These Canadian Airlines Top The List For Passenger Complaints, A New Report Says

Here's how six of the major carriers fared. ✈️👀

​A plane lands in Vancouver. Right: Planes at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

A plane lands in Vancouver. Right: Planes at Toronto Pearson International Airport.

If you've ever taken issue with your experience flying with one of Canada's major airlines, you're not alone.

The Canadian Transportation Agency recently published a new dashboard detailing the number of complaints each of the country's major carriers received over a given time period, and two of Canada's airlines topped the list.

Among six Canadian airlines, budget carriers Flair Airlines and Swoop received the highest number of complaints over a six-month period in 2022.

Flair registered the highest number, with 13.7 complaints for every 100 flights operated by the carrier.

Following Flair was similar low-cost carrier Swoop Airlines, which had 12.6 complaints for every 100 flights over the same time period, according to the CTA.

Following these two airlines was Sunwing, which received 8.6. complaints for every 100 flights from April to September 2022, WestJet (4.9), Air Canada (3.6) and Air Transat, which had the lowest number of complaints at just 2.2 for every 100 flights.

According to the CTA, the complaint data is based on information submitted by passengers. Most complaints, it says, are resolved "informally through facilitation or mediation."

Canadian airlines dealt with extremely high volumes of passengers this summer, with Air Canada, WestJet and Swoop all facing delays that were some of the worst in the world in July, according to FlightAware.

The delays came amid a surge in demand for post-lockdown travel, complications with the hiring and retention of staff, and COVID-19-related public health measures, among other challenges.

For its part, Swoop said that it experienced "significant disruption" to its scheduled flights over the summer due to "industry-wide operational constraints and congestion in airports," which, it says, caused delays and cancellations.

"In order to mitigate last-minute disruptions and stabilize the operation we were forced to make schedule adjustments and subsequently saw a significant spike in claims for the period of July 1 – September 30," the airline said in a statement to Narcity.

"Reliability is extremely important to us and we understand how impactful it is when travel doesn’t go according to plan. We sincerely apologize to travellers who were impacted by those disruptions and schedule changes."

Flair Airlines CEO Stephen Jones also told Narcity that the carrier "experienced a challenging operating environment in 2022," particularly over the summer.

"Delays at one airport can cause delays and cancellations later in the day at others, and that is frustrating for passengers. Flair Airlines wants to impress each and every passenger, first with low fares and then with excellent service from start to finish," he said in a statement.

"We take every complaint seriously and try our best to fix it directly with our customers, who are the lifeblood of our business. There is more that we can do on that front. Flair Airlines believes the vast majority of travelers have an excellent experience with Flair."

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Katherine Caspersz
Katherine Caspersz is a Creator for Narcity Media focused on evergreen travel and things to do, and is based in the Greater Toronto Area in Ontario.