I will then make recommendations to both Air Canada on how they can improve their contract, as well as the customer, warning them about the dangers that can arise if they take the terms and conditions lightly when signing a contract or in this case, purchasing a plane ticket. Air Canada gives the customer fair warning that they should familiarize and feel comfortable with their rules and regulations before purchasing a ticket, and most people overlook this step. The lessons I have learned after looking into the clauses and analyzing them will then be looked at.
These lessons will help me as the customer when dealing with an organization such as Air Canada. Finally, we will be looking at the legal corrective measures that can be used to fix the contractual issues that have been found in Air Canadas General Conditions of Carriage. These measures are there to not only clarify any clauses that may be unclear that may cause confusion, but also to help put Air Canada in a better position, so that they dont have to be responsible or take liability for any unfortunate events or situations that may occur on one of their flights.
These corrective measures will also help the customer as well so they will feel more safe, secure and comfortable when flying with Air Canada and their staff. The objectives of this paper are to analyze all the clauses that Air Canada has provided when flying with their airlines. I want to be able to read and understand each one carefully. If there is any vagueness with one of their rules than it will be brought up as a point of discussion. Another goal is just to understand all the clauses and learn something that I did not know to begin with.
I quickly became aware just after scanning over the conditions quickly that there are many rules I did not know existed and most people would be shocked to learn that they have to give up that right when flying with Air Canada. I also want to look at the clauses and see if I consider them to be fair. Most people would be shocked to learn of some of the clauses including the fact that in almost all situations where the end result is bodily harm or even death, Air Canada is protected and does not need to assume any responsibility for what happened.
Of course, if something like this happens just due to negligence on the part of an Air Canada employee, that is a whole other story that will be discussed later on. If I find that I dont think a point is fair, it will be a topic of discussion where I will recommend a solution that can help both parties. For the most part, customers and passengers of Air Canada must understand that they are not being forced to take a flight with their airlines. Air Canada is performing a service for them and if they decide to accept this service then they must be willing to abide and play with Air Canadas rules.
This is because the main objective of Air Canada when writing up this contract is to provide a service where they can make a profit, but do it in a way where they are not at risk and cannot get into legal trouble. People must remember that the contract is not being drawn up for their well being, it is being drawn up for the well being of the company so that they are protected at all times. Air Canada has done a pretty good job of this as will be discussed later. It is important to look into all this as a student in commerce because Air Canada is more than just an airlines, its a business.
All businesses have the same mentality, whether its an airlines, a law firm or an ice cream service; this mentality is that they must look out first for number one which is themselves, make sure that they cannot be hurt by the legal system, and then secondly, attempt to satisfy their customers to the best of their ability. This General Conditions of Carriage for Air Canada is a very good example for a student like myself in a commerce program about how the business world really works.
The reason for this is because we are studying an actual contract for an actual company in the real world that have to deal with all the concepts and principles we talk about in class on an everyday basis. General Conditions of Carriage for Air Canada Air Canadas General Conditions of Carriage starts off with its Important Conditions section. The first point is that passengers must get their boarding pass and check in baggage by their check-in deadline. The deadline varies depending on where the plane is departing from and going to.
If you are flying within Canada, the check-in deadline is 30 minutes prior to the planes departure with a boarding gate deadline of 20 minutes. If you are flying from Canada to the United States or vice-versa, the check-in deadline is 60 minutes prior to take-off with a boarding gate deadline of 20 minutes. Finally, if you are flying from Canada to anywhere else in the world, the baggage check-in deadline is 60 minutes with a boarding gate deadline of 30 minutes. All this is just to ensure that the flight can take-off promptly at the planned time so that there would be no unnecessary delays and so the airlines can continue running smoothly.
Obviously, it takes longer to prepare a plane when it is going to a foreign country versus just staying in Canada. That is why the deadline for check in as well as the recommended check in times are both greater when flying outside of the country. The second point is that they strongly recommend that passengers reconfirm their flight prior to the day of their flight. Passengers can check their flight status online or call their flight information system number. This is so that customers can feel safe that they are on the flight.
Also, when calling in, they can ask any questions they have about their flight. By doing this prior to the day of the flight, this can help speed up the boarding process on the day of. The third condition is that the passengers assigned seat is not a guarantee and can possibly change without notice. If this does happen, Air Canada will do their best to transfer the person to a seat close by, and will try to make it of the same class or service. Any applicable fees will be refunded. This would be an unfortunate event but sometimes these situations cannot be avoided.
If this happens, the only option Air Canada has would be to try and offer you the closest possible arrangement that you were expecting and paid for. The fourth condition is that any travel credits banked for unused tickets are not transferable. When the credit is used, it must be used by the same person whose name appears on the original ticket or document. Air Canada has put this clause in their so that people can not just work together, building up credits and having it be used on one person and essentially getting to fly free because of all the credit that has been built up.
This also encourages people to save up their credit so that they can get a larger discount on a flight in the future. The fifth condition is that voluntary changes to a passengers flying program may require the payment of additional fees for upgrades. If the person has a non refundable ticket, and this incident results in an unexpected trip cancellation or emergency, Air Canada will not be able to make any exceptions and the fee will still need to be paid. For this reason, travel insurance is strongly recommended.
This condition is notifying the customer that trip cancellations, whether it is the customers fault or not, may still require that the person pays the ticket. This is the reason why travel insurance is important and is offered. Of course, they recommend this travel insurance because it is another way for them to make money for the company. The General Conditions of Carriage then discusses the Checked Baggage Policy. This policy says that passengers are entitled to a free checked baggage allowance depending by the persons fare, destination, date of flight and frequent flyer status.
If the passenger has paid more for the flight, they are entitled to more free checked baggage. I would assume that if the destination that they are travelling to is farther away, they would also offer more checked baggage since destinations that are farther away usually indicate that people will be staying there longer. For example, a vacation to Australia would most likely be longer than a trip to Calgary. The date of the flight also has something to do with the amount of free checked baggage one can bring with them on the flight.
The busier the day is, the less flexibility a passenger would have with being allowed to bring a large number of luggage with them. Finally, people with a better frequent flyer status are also entitled to more free checked baggage because this indicates that they are a loyal customer that continues to go back to Air Canada and the company would like to reward them for that loyalty. Passengers who travel on a codeshare flight, which is an Air Canada flight number but is operated by another airline, the person is subject to the rules of the airline operating the first flight of their flying program.
If at anytime the person must recheck their baggage with another airline for their next connecting flight, the rules of that airline applies. You can tell if your flight is being run by a codeshare partner by looking for the Operated by note appearing when you are selecting flights on aircanada. com. The checked baggage limitations are broken up into two classes, economy class and executive first class. For economy class, the maximum overall measurement (length+width+height) cannot exceed 158cm and the maximum weight is 50 pounds.
For executive first class, the maximum measurement cannot exceed 158cm as well but the maximum weight is 70 pounds. If these limits have been exceeded, additional checked baggage charges will apply. Again, Air Canada is rewarding people that buy a higher priced ticket by allowing them to bring more with them onto the plane. They are probably also assuming that the majority of people riding in first class are flying for business related reasons and may require to have more things brought with them on the trip.
If a passenger chooses to bring additional baggage, then Air Canada requests that they show up 120 minutes before departure. Each additional bag that a person checks may cost up to $100. This is a not a refundable transaction so if the additional bags are delayed the cost stands as is. A small suggestion would be that Air Canada should notify the customer about why some additional baggage costs more than others so customers can plan ahead to see if they want to explore this option.
Codeshare flights have the same rules as previously stated. If these additional bags exceed the weight and size limitations, the passenger will need to contact their local Air Canada Cargo sales office for the shipment of the bags. Air Canada also stresses that all your checked baggage are properly identified. Air Canada tries their best to make sure that the person and their baggage is transported on the same flight, however, many things can make this task challenging and sometimes it cannot be avoided.
Since this does occur from time to time, they suggest that a passenger should put their information inside the bags as well because sometimes external tags can be damaged or detached. If the tags on the outside of the bag are damaged it can sometimes be impossible to locate who the owner of the bag is. Many people have the same type of baggage so this can lead to even more confusion. Air Canada does not take responsibility for lost baggage but they are at least trying to help their customers so this type of thing doesnt happen.
There are some items that must be brought in your carry-on baggage which is what you bring with you on the plane to your seat. These items include laptops, house and car keys, medication, cash and high valued items such as cameras, jewellery and electronic devices. The reason why Air Canada wants these high valued and often breakable items to be carried with the passenger is so that if a checked bag gets lost, there would be a lot more complaints since that bag could potentially contain hundreds of dollars worth of stuff.
If something inside the bag breaks, Air Canada does not want to be responsible for that. Air Canada makes it clear that oversized carry-on bags are not allowed as this can take up too much space, cause trouble and ultimately delay flights. Each person can carry two pieces of carry-on luggage with them on the plane. This includes one carry-on bag or suitcase which cannot weigh more than 22 pounds and cannot have dimensions larger than 23cm by 40cm by 55cm. A back pack, duffle bag or one of those over the shoulder purses would fall under this category.
They may also bring along a personal article like a briefcase, laptop, camera case or something of that nature. This article cannot weigh more than 22 pounds and cannot have dimensions larger than 16cm by 33cm by 43cm. Items that may also be brought onto the plane in addition to your carry-on items include coats, infant care system, cell phones, mp3 players or a special need item. Special need items include objects that a person would need for mobility such as a cane, crutch or communication device.
Generally anything that is small enough to fit inside your pocket or can easily be carried by hand is acceptable. A container carrying life sustaining items or personal medication is obviously acceptable as well. Ever since the terrorists attacks of 9/11, security and precautions for boarding an airplane are tighter and more thorough than theyve ever been to prevent anything like that from ever happening again. This is why a new policy has been put into place which doesnt allow passengers to bring liquid or gels in containers over 100ml/100g with them when boarding the plane.
These items will be confiscated at the security checkpoint and additional charges may be applied in order to check the items safety. Bombs and other dangerous weapons can be made from certain types of liquids and Air Canada does not want to take any chances. Air Canada advises that passengers that are waiting for connecting flights do not buy these types of items until they reach their destination because this can be a waste of money if they are confiscated once again while boarding for the connecting flight. There are a list of items that are prohibited from being brought on as a carry-on item.
These items should be stored in the passengers checked baggage. Some of these items include sharp, piercing or cutting objects such as scissors, knives, saws and drills as well as potentially dangerous sporting equipment such as ice skates or hunting equipment such as rifles and hunting gear of that nature. The only exceptions to this rule are syringes or needles that are for personal medical use. This must be accompanied by the prescription medication. Electronic devices that can interfere with the planes navigational or communication equipment are also not allowed.
The use of Bluetooth headsets, radio transmitters and laser pointers will not be tolerated as they can interfere with the flight systems or the staff aboard the plane. These items should be stored in the checked baggage, however, as previously stated, Air Canada is not responsible for the destruction or loss of these items. There are other items considered dangerous goods that will be brought up. There are also items that are acceptable items to bring with you as carry-on items that people may be confused about. These items include electronic devices for entertainment such as cameras, portable video game devices, laptops and mp3 devices.
One book of matches per person as well as a specific type of lighter are also items that are allowed to be brought with you on the plane. Everything else that cannot physically harm another person or are small enough to fit the size requirements of carry-on baggage are always acceptable. Passengers may also bring their cats or small dogs with them provided that they stay in its carrier under the owners seat at all times. For one way travel within Canada or to the United States, bringing a pet along costs $50, cannot weigh more than 22 pounds (carrier included) and the carrier cannot have dimensions larger than 23cm by 40cm by 55cm.
This is because the airline attendants must be able to comfortably move around the plane as well as the fellow passengers. For one way travel to anywhere else, bringing a pet along costs $100 with the same limitations. For certain destinations such as Hawaii, pets must be stored under the plane with the checked baggage. To be eligible for this, the passenger will need to register their pet within 24 hours of booking the flight with Air Canada Reservations. The pet must be at least 8 weeks old and fully weaned as well.
Other implications involve having to arrive 30 minutes prior to the recommended check in time as well as always be bestowed under the passengers seat. These requirements are for the pets safety as younger pets are not full developed, are weaker and may be more susceptible to sickness. There cannot be more than one pet per passenger and unaccompanied minors cannot bring a pet with them. No pets are allowed in the Executive First Suite and the carrier will count as the persons one standard carry-on item.
The reason why no pets are allowed in the Executive First Class Suites is because the people in first class have paid good money for these seats and they should not have to deal with the noise or nuisance that another passengers pet may cause. Since there are many allergy sufferers, Air Canada advises that you advise the agent at the check-in gate prior to departure and they will try as hard as possible to move you or the pet owner. Air Canada makes it clear that they will not be responsible for the loss, sickness or death of any pet even if it was accepted for transportation.
For safety reasons, many items have been deemed dangerous goods and must not be brought in the checked baggage as well as carry-on baggage. These dangerous goods include compressed gases, explosives, flammable liquids, poisons or briefcases with installed alarm devices. Firearms, alcohol and oxidizing materials are all examples of items not allowed on a plane for obvious reasons. The last thing Air Canada would want is an unfortunate situation where one of their passengers have been seriously hurt because they allowed a dangerous item on board that clearly should not have been allowed.
Air Canada is subject to the rules of the Montreal Convention and Warsaw Convention. These are both conventions that regulate the liability for international carriage of persons, baggage or goods performed by an aircraft. These rules are here to protect the airline if an accident occurs and bodily harm or damage to goods result. Going back to the General Conditions of Carriage, Air Canada states that they are not liable for perishables or liquids, nor are they responsible for the loss of valuable items such as money, jewellery, computers, business documents and so on.
Air Canada also states that they are not responsible for the bodily harm or even death of one of their customers. When travelling, Air Canada requires that passengers provide information about themselves before boarding a plane. It is the passengers responsibility to provide these travel documents as well as the documents of any children travelling with them. Additional documents may be needed depending on the persons country of origin. The passport is the best accepted piece of documentation proving a persons citizenship.
Air Canada indicates that a customer must bring their passport as part of their proof of citizenship. For Canadian and American citizens, a valid passport is always needed. Some other countries require that your passport be valid for at least 6 months prior to flying to their country. This is so that there will be no complications once arriving in their country that can cause unnecessary and lengthy delays. Children must also have their own documentation and cannot get by with just their parents documentation. Some countries allow this but this is not the case in Canada.
For children, birth certificates showing the names of both parents, legal documents referring to custody and parental consent (if child is travelling with only one or neither of their parents) are all documents that must be showed on behalf of the child. The reason for this is they do not want one of the parents to have the authority or opportunity to leave the country with their child if theyve had a feud with the other parent. There have been stories of couples that have gotten divorced and one of the parents take the child and leave to an unknown destination.
Air Canada does not want to have to take responsibility for something like that happening on their airlines. For Visas, different countries have different rules and Air Canada suggests that you check with your travel agents for visa requirements of the countries you are planning to drive through. Some general rules include obtaining your visa well in advance to your flight because this may involve mailing your passport in briefly as well as the chance that there may be a long delay if you apply for a visa from a third country while travelling.
Upon arrival in a foreign country, it may be required that a passenger must prove that they have sufficient funds to support themselves for their intended stay. This can include showing proof of a visa for that country if that is a requirement. The reason for this is countries dont want to accept people that are going to end up stranded in their country because they dont have the money to leave. This can only lead to trouble which they understandably do no want to deal with.
Only Canadian permanent residents from non visa-waiver countries travelling outside Canada are required to carry a valid Canadian permanent resident card in addition to a valid passport to return to Canada from a commercial flight. This card proves your immigration status. Without it, the person will be unable to board the plane. Though most people are fit to take a plane, Air Canada realizes that there are some customers that may have special needs and they will try their best to accommodate these people.
This assistance can include special meals or assistance for minors travelling without their parents. Anyone that may need assistance about checking in and boarding the plane will get the help they need as well as routine check ups to make sure they are doing fine. If a customer has a disability such as having to use an electric wheelchair, needs medical oxygen or has a severe medical or mental disability, it is important that they give 48 hours notice before departure as well as check in 2 hours before departure.
This will give Air Canada and its employees enough time to plan and prepare for the passengers arrival so that there will be no delays and so that they can make the persons flight experience as enjoyable as possible. If Air Canada decides that the person is in such a bad state that they think flying would be detrimental to their health, I believe Air Canada will not allow them to fly with their airlines for the benefit of the customer, but also for the benefit of their fellow passengers as well as the flight staff that would have to deal with this problem.
There is also a section of the General Conditions of Carriage that talks about tariff regulations. The Montreal Convention or the Warsaw Convention system may be applicable to your journey. This may limit the liability that Air Canada carries for death or bodily injury as well as loss or damage to baggage as well as delays. If the Montreal Convention and Warsaw Convention systems both do not apply, the liability limit for loss or damage to baggage is $1500 per person. Any actions that one brings up in court must happen within 2 years of the date of arrival of the flight you were on.
There is one final section in the General Conditions of Carriage which is an Overbooking Notice. This indicates that flights may become overbooked and there is a small chance that a seat may not be available for a person that has a confirmed reservation. No one will be denied a seat until an employee asked if there is anyone willing to give up there seat for that flight. If there are not enough volunteers, passengers will be denied according to the airlines boarding priority list.
Passengers denied clearance for the flight will be compensated. The full rules are available at all airport ticket counters and boarding locations. The problem with this rule is that the boarding priority list is they give priority to the passengers that paid more for their ticket. This can be viewed as social discrimination as generally speaking, people that have more money to spend on luxury items will be the ones buying the more expensive ticket. This problem will be looked at and analyzed later on in the article.