*Updated April 2015
Unfortunately, yes. Airlines can change their flight schedules at any time and it is out of our control. These schedule changes happen fairly frequently. Most of the time it is a minor difference, for example, delaying the flight by a half hour, but in some cases, it can be more drastic.
If the airline is registered with TICO (Travel Industry Council of Ontario) and the flight schedule change is greater than 24 hours, they are required to offer the option to cancel with a full refund if. If it is less than 24 hours, the airline is not required to offer any sort of compensation.
Airline schedule changes can occur due to weather or mechanical issues, but sometimes they are simply a result of air space being organized between airlines. Booking in advance means there is a greater possibility of schedule changes between your booking date and departure date.
When tripcentral.ca is notified of a schedule change, we immediately send an email notice to passengers and a follow-up courtesy phone call. Schedule changes can even occur the day before. If it is within 24 hours of a flight, the airline usually just marks the flight as delayed.
If you make a choice between two different flight options based on flight times, keep in mind that there is always a possibility of schedule changes. You may even decide to pay more for an option with a better time and later find out that it is worse than the one you decided not to book.
Schedule changes can be problematic and costly for people – including missing a day’s work, missing or paying a penalty on another pre-booked arrangement (such as a connecting flight to another city in Canada, or a cruise or tour).
It’s for this reason that we advise people making these kind of arrangements to factor in a possibility of a schedule change. It is not likely or foreseeable, but if you are flying to catch a cruise or tour, an extra day on the front end of the trip and travel insurance are strongly recommended.
It’s best to allow tripcentral.ca travel agents to arrange as much as possible for you as part of a comprehensive itinerary.