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Study Shows that Canadians are the Largest Procrastinators in the World when it comes to filing their flight compensation claims

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Recent AirHelp study finds that it takes Canadians an average of 57 days to file their flight claims

Toronto, February 21, 2019 — More than 87 percent of travelers globally do not know their rights when it comes to airline compensation, and of those that do, it takes them as much as 57  days (over 8 weeks)  after they have completed a trip to file a claim. In a recent study of the largest countries around the world, AirHelp, the world’s leading air passenger rights company, found that Canadians rank as the worst procrastinators for compensation claim filing under European passenger law EC 261.

EC 261 protects passengers who have experienced lengthy delays, cancellations or denied boarding on all flights departing from the EU, or those flying into the EU on European carriers. On average, travelers from countries like Portugal, the Netherlands and Austria file claims within 34 or 35 days of a disruption, whereas Canadians rank the worst for filing their claims.


What are travelers’ rights under EC 261?

Passengers may be entitled to financial compensation of up to $900 CAD per person in the event of delayed or cancelled flights, or when denied boarding. What’s more, the reason for the flight delay must be caused by the airline, and not due to an extraordinary circumstance beyond the airline’s control like weather, medical emergencies, or terrorism.

“While travelers have up to three years to file a claim under EC 261, it is imperative that passengers stand up for their rights when they are mistreated by the airlines and experience avoidable disruptions,” said AirHelp CEO, Henrik Zillmer. “Canada is far behind other countries not only in terms of protecting travelers, but also in its overall awareness. AirHelp’s research shows that in the last year over 43,000 Canadian travelers were eligible for compensation, however, the majority are not even filing claims at all. At AirHelp, we aim to educate travelers so that they feel empowered to stand up for themselves and push airlines to fulfill their obligations to passengers.”


How does each country stack up? 

Canada, Norway and the United States rank as the worst procrastinating countries where European travelers typically take less time to file claims. Which may be because Europe under EC 261, clearly states what travellers rights are, resulting in more people being aware of the protections in place. See below for the full list of average claims filing times per country:

Procrastination Rank (Worst to Best)


Average Wait Time Before Filing Claims (Days)
1 Canada 57.1
2 Norway 53.4
3 United States 52.3
4 Denmark 49.3
5 Brazil 48.3
6 Sweden 47.2
7 France 44.1
8 Romania 42.3
9 Ireland 42.3
10 Switzerland 41.9
11 Czech Republic 41.7
12 Poland 41.2
13 Great Britain 40.7
14 Spain 39.8
15 Finland 39.5
16 Italy 37.5
17 Belgium 36.8
18 Germany 36.4
19 Austria 35.3
20 Netherlands 35.0
21 Portugal 34.4

Data analysed January 1 to December 31, 2018.

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How can Canadian travelers file claims?

Travelers who experience flight disruptions can file claims directly through the airline. In fact, based on  AirHelp’s a global airline ranking,  Air Canada, West Jet and AirTransat A.T Inc rank in the high 90 percentile  for claims processing. But, if airlines do not share a response or deny Canadian‘s compensation that they are entitled to, travellers can file claims through the AirHelp website or download the free app on the apple store or google apps. Claims can be filed up to three years after a flight disruption and AirHelp’s in-app boarding pass scanner also helps travelers scan tickets and learn of their eligibility quickly.



About AirHelp

AirHelp is the world’s largest organization specializing in air passenger rights, helping travelers get compensation for delayed or canceled flights and in instances of denied boarding. The company also takes legal and political action to support the growth and enforcement of air passenger rights worldwide. AirHelp has aided more than 7 million people, is available in 30 countries and has more than 600 employees.

For further information: or to arrange an interview, please contact: Victoria Mattacchione, [email protected], 416- 366-7735 x260