Delayed, Diverted and Cancelled Flights

This page provides valuable information for passengers who have experienced a flight delay, diversion, cancellation or a missed connection.

If your flight is delayed or cancelled

We work hard to get you to your destination on time, as scheduled. Sometimes, events beyond our control or situations we do not anticipate lead to flight delays, cancellations or diversions. When these situations arise, we will always do our best to minimize your inconvenience.

What we’ll do to help

We will keep you informed

  • We will make available information about changes to your flight's status within 30 minutes of the time we are notified of the change. Updates will be provided through our online Flight Status tool, local airport Flight Information Displays and through the Porter Call Centre. We will also offer updates at the boarding gate area and on board (if applicable), and will continue to provide updates every 30 minutes.
  • To ensure passengers are kept informed of any changes to their travel itinerary of 30 minutes or more, Porter deploys an automated notification system that forwards electronic messages as soon as flight change details become available.
  • If you provided a valid email address on the reservation, we will send any email notifications to that address. If you’ve signed up for SMS alerts, you will also receive text message notifications.
  • If you’ve made your reservation through a travel agency, the flight notification will be sent to the e-mail your agency provided, unless you updated your contact information during web check-in or if you are a registered VIPorter member and your membership number has been added to the reservation.

We will rebook you at no cost

When your itinerary requires rebooking because of a flight disruption that delays your arrival to your final destination by three hours or more, we will:

  • Rebook you on the next available Porter flight at no cost.
  • If the next available Porter flight is more than 48 hours later than your original departure time, you will receive notification on how you can request to be rebooked on an earlier flight on another airline. We will reimburse for transportation to the alternate airport.
  • If the offered rebooking options do not meet your travel needs or no rebooking options exist, you will be entitled to a refund in the original form of payment or a full credit if the flight disruption was beyond our control.

Standard of treatment you will receive

We commit to meeting the minimum standards of treatment established by federal regulations for all flight delays and cancellations that are either within Porter’s control or are required for safety.

  • We will provide you with meal vouchers for use at an airport restaurant, depending on the timing of the delay. If vouchers are not available, you can be reimbursed to a daily maximum of $35.
  • If a delay is expected to extend overnight, we will provide hotel or other reasonable accommodation, including transportation to and from the accommodation. This will be provided to you free of charge
  • Once a departure has been delayed by two hours, we will also provide you with access to a means of communication.

Note that the above standards of treatment do not apply when there is a delay or cancellation due to situations outside of Porter’s control.

What we’ll ask you to do

  • Provide us with your contact information during booking or online check-in, or add your VIPorter number to your reservation, so that we can inform you about any changes to your booking.
  • Visit our online Flight Status page for up-to-date information about your flight. If you are already at the airport, check the Flight Information Display screens, listen out for flight announcements or ask one of our gate agents for information.
  • Check your email and/or text message to see if you’ve received any flight updates from us.
  • If your flight is cancelled or delayed by 3 hours or more, you can choose one of the following alternative options:
    • Travel on the next available flight to your destination (which we will rebook you on);
    • Choose an alternate flight/date;
    • Cancel one or all of your unused flight segments with no penalty and receive a Porter credit, or when the delay is due to a situation within Porter’s control, request a refund issued to the original form of payment.

Once you have completed your trip

Under certain circumstances, you may be entitled to claim compensation for a delayed or cancelled flight. Check what you are eligible for when your travel plans are disrupted and submit a claim.


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Types of flight disruptions

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Flight disruption is the collective term for the following events that prevent passengers from completing their itineraries on time:

  • Flight and tarmac delays;
  • Flight cancellations; and
  • Denials of boarding.

Categories of flight disruptions

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The causes of flight disruptions fall into three categories:

  • Uncontrollable events - situations Porter does not have control over
  • Controllable events - situations within Porter's control, most often due to commercial decisions.
  • Controllable, but required for safety - situations within Porter’s control that are required by law to reduce risk to passengers.

It is important for you to understand these categories because they determine your entitlement to relief under the Air Passenger Protection Regulations

Disruptions outside Porter's control (uncontrollable)

This list is not exhaustive and does not include all events that could cause flight disruptions beyond a carrier’s control.

  • Meteorological conditions or natural disasters that make the safe operation of the aircraft impossible;
  • Instructions from air traffic control;
  • Airport operational issues;
  • Medical emergency;
  • Collision with wildlife;
  • Security threat;
  • Manufacturing defect that reduces the safety of passengers and that was identified by the manufacturer or a competent authority;
  • Labour disruption at the air carrier or essential service provider such as an airport or an air navigation service provider;
  • Notice to airmen (as defined in the Canadian Aviation Regulations);
  • War or political instability;
  • Illegal acts or sabotage;
  • Or an instruction from an official of a state, a law enforcement agency or a person responsible for airport security.

Disruptions within Porter's control but required for safety

Situations within the carrier’s control but required for safety purposes are those required by law to reduce risk to passengers’ safety.

  • Unexpected aircraft malfunctions not identified in routine maintenance that may compromise safety;
  • Safety-related decisions pilots in command of the aircraft make;
  • Decisions the airline makes based on its Safety Management System.

Disruptions within Porter’s control (controllable)

Controllable events are those that cannot be shown to fall into the other two categories. These may stem from commercial decisions Porter makes in its day-to-day operations, such as:

  • Flight preparation activities such as baggage loading, and aircraft fueling;
  • Late aircraft cleaning or late loading of catering;
  • Porter IT system outages;
  • Scheduling and availability of staff and flight crew;

Causes of flight disruptions

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When there is a disruption, airlines are required to inform passengers of the cause. Due to the complexity of airline operations, the precise cause of the disruption is often not immediately known. Therefore, we will provide you with the most up-to-date information available at the time, and then provide updates as and when they become available.

There are times when there is no one cause for a disruption, but multiple causes. In other cases, a cause normally found in one category may actually belong to a different category, due to extenuating circumstances such as third-party actions and others.

If a flight is delayed or cancelled due to multiple factors, the primary cause, or the most significant contributing factor, will normally determine the category.

Departure delays

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If, upon your arrival at the departure gate, we have learned that weather, air traffic, or other operational issues may cause your flight to be significantly delayed, rerouted, include an unscheduled stop, or that your connecting flight may be cancelled, our airport staff at the gate will let you know. Generally, for delays that occur less than 30 minutes prior to departure, you will be notified verbally via announcements in the departure gate area. This will give you the opportunity to decide whether you would like to travel on your confirmed flight, select an alternate available flight or cancel your trip.

Porter will not begin the boarding process if we know that your flight will be delayed at the gate for two or more hours. In the event of a delay of known duration, we will commence boarding no sooner than 30 minutes in advance of a firm, revised estimated time of departure.

This helps to ensure that our passengers have access to restrooms, food and beverages, and other airport services during the course of an extended delay. Once the affected flight is available for boarding, a general boarding announcement will be made in the departure gate area. It is important to note that general terminal announcements typically cannot be heard in airport concession areas, restaurants, some lounges, outdoor smoking areas, and in some cases restrooms.

Tarmac delays (onboard delays)

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If weather, gate availability, airport conditions, mechanical problems, Air Traffic Control restrictions, or other uncontrollable circumstances cause ground delays, and if safety and security considerations permit, we will make every reasonable effort to ensure your essential needs are met, including the provision of adequate snack food and water, access to operable lavatories and adequate medical attention if needed.

Porter will provide passengers at the airport and onboard an affected aircraft with timely and frequent updates regarding known delays, cancellations, and diversions within 30 minutes of becoming aware of the flight irregularity, and will strive to provide the best available information concerning the reason for the delay, any changes in the status of the flight and any opportunity to deplane.

For full details, please have a look at our contingency plan for lengthy Tarmac Delays.

Flight diversions

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Occasionally, unforeseen events such as severe weather conditions, medical emergencies or mechanical issues require a flight to divert to an alternative airport.

If we believe there is a reasonable possibility that a flight will be diverted, that information will be provided to you before departure, when available. In the event a diversion decision occurs after the aircraft has departed, the in-flight crew will inform you.

When a diversion occurs, Porter will make every reasonable effort to provide for your comfort and well-being. This may include alternate transportation, meals and beverages, and hotel accommodations.

Toronto Pearson International (YYZ) diversions

When a diversion to Toronto Pearson International (YYZ) occurs, cabin crew will provide you with a voucher that can be redeemed for one-way travel on UP Express (UPX) airport train to downtown Toronto. UPX operates every 15 minutes and takes only 25 minutes between YYZ and Union Station.

Passengers may continue on to Toronto Billy Bishop Airport (YTZ) using the complimentary shuttle bus service that operates approximately every 15 minutes from the west side-entrance of The Fairmont Royal York Hotel, at the north-east corner of Front and York streets, just across from Union Station.

For later diversions, that don’t allow enough time for you to catch the last train at 1:00am, Porter will provide a complimentary shuttle bus service to Union Station.

Accommodating passengers with service requests

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Disability assistance

If your flight is cancelled, we will automatically rebook any disability or mobility assistance you have requested. To learn more about services we offer for specific travel needs, please visit Disability Assistance

During a flight delay, we will try to make your wait as comfortable as possible. If you need assistance during your wait at the airport, please do not hesitate to reach out to one of our airport staff.

Unaccompanied Minors

Your child will receive priority care and attention from the Porter staff in the event of a flight delay or cancellation.

When dropping off your child at the airport, you should be sure to arrange your schedule so that you can remain at the airport if departure is delayed. Please make sure the parent/guardian putting your child on the return flight also understands this requirement.

You are also required to be available (via phone) until the aircraft has arrived and your child has been transferred to the care of the pick-up guardian in their destination city.

To read more about our unaccompanied minor service, please visit Children Travelling Alone

Prepaid seats

If your flight is cancelled, we’ll do our best to rebook the seats you had previously selected.

If we have to change your seat, we will do our best to seat you in a suitable alternative. If you have paid for an exit row seat we will look to seat you in another exit row seat.

If we are unable to offer you a suitable alternative seat, you may request a refund using the online Refund Form.

Compensation

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Regulations applicable to flights travelled on or after December 15, 2019

The levels of compensation available to passengers affected by flight disruptions are regulated by Canada’s Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR). In accordance with these regulations, we will provide the following compensation to eligible passengers for qualifying delays and cancellations:

  • 3 or more hours, but less than 6 hours: CAD$400
  • 6 or more hours, but less than 9 hours: CAD$700
  • 9 or more hours: CAD$1,000

Compensation is issued per journey. Eligibility is determined by the length of time you were delayed arriving to your destination and the primary reason that caused the delay.

If you choose not to accept alternative travel arrangements and your ticket is refunded instead, you may be eligible to claim a minimum of $400 in compensation.

Compensation will be offered in cash or equivalent (including electronic payments), but passengers can choose to accept other forms of compensation (e.g. flight vouchers), which must be of greater value and cannot expire.

To find out if you are eligible for compensation and start a claim, visit our Flight Delay Compensation page.

In order to receive the minimum compensation, you must file a request for compensation with our Customer Relations Department within one year of the flight delay or flight cancellation. The Customer Relations Department will provide compensation, or an explanation as to why compensation is not payable, within 30 days of receiving any eligible request.


Flights travelled before December 15, 2019

In addition to reimbursement of eligible expenses, eligible passengers who are affected by a delay of two hours or more due to reasons within our control, or whose flight was diverted are offered compensation in the form of electronic voucher(s) that can be used towards a future Porter flight.

Length of delay E-voucher amount
Delay Less than 2 hrs $0 CAD
Delay & Diversion Less than 2 hrs $50 CAD
Delay 2-3 hours $50 CAD
Delay & Diversion 2-3 hours $100 CAD
Delay 4 hrs or more $100 CAD
Delay & Diversion 4 hrs or more $150 CAD

Vouchers are generally issued within 48 hours of travel by an automated voucher notification tool.

If you are eligible, we will send you a notification that includes the compensation amount and relevant voucher information to the email address you provided at the time of booking.

Please note that for travel agency bookings, email notifications will be sent to the agency contact. If passenger's VIPorter number has been added to the booking, the notification will be sent to the e-mail address registered on the account.

Vouchers are always issued in Canadian currency; exchange rate applies to US dollar transactions.

If you have misplaced your voucher e-mail, please contact the Porter Call Centre at 1-888-619-8622 for assistance.

It is important to note that voucher compensation will not be issued for advance schedule changes where we informed you of the cancellation 72 hours or more before your scheduled departure date.

If your flight is cancelled due to a situation within Porter’s control, and you choose to cancel your journey instead of travelling on a different flight, you will be eligible to receive a $50.00 electronic voucher. This is only applicable if the flight is already officially cancelled when you cancel your journey. No compensation will be issued if you cancel your flight before it is cancelled by Porter.

Overnight accommodations

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If a flight delay caused by circumstances within our control causes you to miss your connection or the last flight of the day to your destination, please see our airport staff for assistance with arranging overnight accommodation. Depending on the timing of delay or cancellation, meal vouchers will also be provided: $8 for breakfast, $12 for lunch and $15 for dinner.

If your overnight delay is caused by circumstances outside our control, such as adverse weather or Air Traffic Control, we will do our best to assist you with securing a discounted rate at a hotel or motel at or near the airport.

How to claim a refund

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If you decide to no longer travel either because your original flight was cancelled or you are delayed three hours or more, you may cancel one or all of your unused flight segments with no penalty and receive a Porter credit, or when the delay is due to a situation within Porter’s control, request a refund issued to the original form of payment.

If you have booked your flight directly with Porter and would like to claim a refund, please complete the online Refund Request Form.

If you have booked your flight through a travel agency, please contact them directly to get a refund.

Note that when cancelling a VIPorter redemption booking, your points will automatically be re-deposited into your account at no cost.

Connecting flights

If a cancellation disrupts your trip at a connecting point during your journey for which you hold a through ticket and you no longer wish to continue to your destination, Porter will provide a return flight to the original point of departure at the earliest opportunity as well as refunding the parts of the journey not flown.

If you choose not to continue with your journey and decide to return to your point of departure, you are entitled to receive a reimbursement for the part(s) of the journey which were flown, only if (a) the cause of the flight cancellation was within Porter’s control, and (b) you can demonstrate that the journey no longer serves any purpose in relation to your original travel plans. To obtain a reimbursement of a flown sector, you must make the claim at the same time as claiming the refund of the unflown sectors.

This applies to Porter ticketed reservations only. If your ticket was issued by one of our partner airlines, please contact them directly.

Confirmation letters

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Upon request, we can provide a statement of proof that your Porter flight was delayed or cancelled. You can obtain a confirmation letter by submitting your request online through our Confirmation Letter Request form.

Be sure to include the confirmation number, flight numbers, dates of travel, passengers names, phone contact and the email address where you would like the letter sent.

Standing by for earlier flights

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If you have a confirmed reservation and due to a cancelled flight, you've been rebooked on a much later flight because seats are not available on the next flight, at the airport you may request to stand by for the earlier flight at no charge.

If seats become available, we'll begin assigning them to standby customers about 15 minutes prior to departure. If no seat becomes available, your name will be added to the standby list for the next flight.

Advance schedule changes

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We sell our flights several months in advance and therefore, at times we may need to adjust our schedules. We will notify you as far in advance as possible of any change to your itinerary, including departure time, and/or arrival time.

If your flight was cancelled or delayed 3 hours or more, you can choose one of the following alternative options:

  • Travel on the next available flight to your destination (which we will rebook you on);
  • Choose an alternate flight/date;
  • Cancel one or all of your unused flight segments with no penalty and receive a Porter credit, or when the delay is due to a situation within Porter’s control, request a refund issued to the original form of payment.

You can also request to receive a refund issued to the original form of payment.

Complete Terms and Conditions of Carriage

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Complete terms and conditions relating to your rights in the event of delays or cancellations can be found in our Domestic Tariff (see Rules 14(j) and 16), our Canada-U.S. Transborder Tariff (see Rule 65 and 80), and our International Tariff (see Rules 15 and 18).

In the event of any conflict between the information on this page and the provisions of our tariffs, the applicable tariff will govern.

Dispute resolution process

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Talk to us

For immediate assistance with an existing reservation before or during travel, please contact our Call Centre.
Toll-free:
1-888-619-8622
Business hours:
Monday to Friday 5:30 AM to 11:00 PM ET
Saturday to Sunday 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM ET

Write to us

For post-travel feedback or complaints, please complete our online Feedback form. You will receive a confirmation email that includes a case number.

We review all complaints and concerns promptly and respond as quickly as reasonably possible. Some complaints, suggestions or recommendations may, however, require more time and effort to address. Normally, a full response and explanation will be given within 30 days or as soon as reasonably possible.

You may also mail your comments to:

Customer Relations, Porter Airlines Inc.,
Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport,
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5V 1A1

If you are unable to resolve a claim or dispute directly with us, you may seek the assistance of the Canadian Transportation Agency External site which may not meet accessibility guidelines