I recently had an unpleasant experience where Air Canada bumped a 2.5 hour international connection down to a 30 minute international connection that became a 5 minute one after flight delays. This was the direct result of the airline putting me and a travel companion on an earlier flight that turned a reasonable connection into an impossible one. The original flight we booked still flew (and we could have made it) but they refused to check us in as the check in window had closed. The end result in our case will be (if everything else goes smoothly) a net 14 hour trip delay.
Right now, all we've gotten from the airline customer service was a voucher to share a room (as two unmarried adults) in a dingy 2-star hotel 2 miles from Toronto Pearson.
Is there really nothing more a consumer can expect from an airline legally? Are there international terms of carriage or consumer protections that we could invest the next 12 hours of wretched travel time into hounding the airline over? Can an airline arbitrarily change any customer's itinerary to any other intinerary without limitation so long as it arrives at the same destination?