Facilitation for disputes about federal transportation

What is facilitation?

An Agency case officer assesses the issue and leads an informal exchange between the parties, usually by phone or email.

Type of disputes Possible outcome

Air travel complaints: The case officer facilitates a settlement that respects the carrier's legal obligations.

Other types of complaints: The case officer works with the parties to develop a mutually satisfactory solution.

Please note that we have received a high number of complaints.
We process each complaint as quickly as possible, based on its merit, impartially and in a rigorous manner. Once a complete application has been assessed by a facilitator, the dispute resolution process begins and service levels apply. You will be notified at that time.

For a comparison of the Agency’s dispute resolution services, see the overview and FAQs.

How does facilitation work?

An Agency case officer will assess the issues in the complaint and gather more information, if necessary. Case officers have extensive knowledge of transportation issues. They can offer their expertise and help to define the issues involved, which may clear the way for a solution.

The process depends on the nature of your complaint:

  • For air travel complaints, the case officer makes sure that the airline has applied the terms and conditions set out in your contract with the airline – and that both you and the airline have met your end of the bargain. The case officer will contact you about the outcome of your case and let you know if any action is required on your part to obtain a settlement (if one was offered).
  • For other types of complaints, the case officer will have informal discussions with each party by phone or email (usually separately, but together if desired) so that they can try to develop a solution. The case officer will share information, with the consent of the parties, to ensure that each is fully aware of the other's position. The case officer will inform the parties of the relevant legislation, regulations and applicable guidelines, and may refer to previous Agency decisions which dealt with similar issues.

If facilitation is not successful, or only partially successful, you can still use one of the Agency's other dispute resolution services.

During the facilitation process, after you file your complaint, any information provided to one of the parties by the other party, including any offers made to try to resolve the matter, cannot be used as part of any other dispute resolution process at the Agency unless both parties agree.

How to request facilitation

You can submit a complaint form for these types of complaints:

For other types of rail or marine disputes, please contact the Agency Secretariat to request facilitation.

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