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Air Canada - refund?


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  • 3 weeks later...

I purchased flights into Vancouver on AirCanada in Feburary of this year. Since then I have recieved notification that my flight times have changed. (My cruise in mid August is obviously canceled) I have pretty well read through the fine print but decided to hold back from trying to get a credit since things do not look good with flights flying out of Phoenix Arizona. Sure enough to night I got a electronic message stating that one of my flights will not happening (direct flight no connections) I know AirCanada is still offering credit if I cancel the flights. The reason for the cancelation reads "Government travel advisory"! Am I correct to think I am entitled for a refund and not credit. The ticket was purchased as a non refundable ticket but this was not because something I had anything to do with. My thinking is to apply for a refund and then cancel the flight. Any feed back would be apricated. I am approximately 30 days away from the first leg of the flight.   

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Getting a refund out of Air Canada for a transborder flight is difficult if not impossible especially if you are canceling and not them.  As your ticket was non-refundable and if you cancel then an e-credit is a good option because under normal circumstances you would get nothing. Unfortunately the fact your cruise is cancelled is irrelevant to whether you are entitled to a refund or an e-credit.  Now if they cancel your flights that is a different situation though the outcome may not be different. 

 

They canceled my booking for May flights due to Covid-19 and government travel advisories. Online all you could get for a non-refundable ticket was an e-credit good for 24 months. I went online and applied for a refund under the  US DOT rule that said that flights canceled by airlines that fly into or out of the USA must provide a refund. Air Canada seems to ignore this.  Heard nothing from Air Canada other than an email acknowledging the refund application and it has been months.

 

As it was getting close to the deadline for filing a dispute with my credit card company i went that route.  I heard back from the credit card company yesterday asking for copies of the emails where AC cancelled the flight and AC acknowledged my filing the refund request. I am hoping that i will get my refund through them as opposed to directly from AC. 

 

I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for AC to give you a refund. Keep the credit card option open if AC does in fact end up canceling your booking.  

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CruzStart.....Thanks for your feed back. I have to agree with you on the possibility of a refund.... in other words don't count on it. Today after giving it some thought I went to the AC web site and went to my flight booking. Once I clicked on the "Acknowledge button" I got a updated report that said my booking was still in place for the dates that I had booked. I'm not sure what the "non operational itinerary" was all about but it disappeared. I have a feeling there is some kind of hold by the Canadian Government". If this is the case then I should see more action coming before August. For now I will sit on it and wait for August to arrive. By then maybe I can cancel the flight and get some kind of credit. In the mean time I will wait for AC to cancel the flight. I put this out there since I know there are more Canadian's and US residence in the same situation that I am in.  

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We had a June flight Las Vegas to Vancouver cancelled by Air Canada.  The tickets were nonrefundable. When I finally got thru to someone on their 800 line, I referenced the recent US Department of Transportation notice re cancellations and COVID-19 ("the rules haven't changed").  The agent acknowledged the rules reinforced by this notice but said that it didn't matter and that all I would get is a future travel credit.

I did the following:

  • Put in a complaint to Air Canada (again citing the USDOT notice).  
  • Put in a complaint with the US Department of Transportation emphasizing the Air Canada agent's response to my refund request.
  • Filed a dispute with my credit card company.

Air Canada did respond to the credit card company with the same "COVID-19 is different, the rules don't apply, and we are giving compensation in the form of a voucher" message.  I expected this but decided to update the USDOT with this response. 

On July 1(Canada Day), I received permanent credit for our tickets from our credit card company.  I don't know who blinked first.  I do know that the USDOT is getting a lot of complaints about Air Canada not refunding tickets for flights which Air Canada cancelled.  It's definitely worth waiting to see if Air Canada does cancel and then you will be in a much stronger position.

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Desert Cruiser.... Thanks for you information. I give you lots of credit for attempting to get a refund. Looks like that effort paid off. I am the type of person that would do just what you have done but am taking a different approach. I did notice that Air Canada did send me a e-mail stating that everything was in place for my August flight. I just got done talking to someone who was saying that Canada "May" open the border come August 1st. I really don't find that to be correct. If Bermuda doesn't want US citizens coming over then I suspect the Canadian rule will stay in place a while longer. If there was a break in the virus trend that would be different and its not. It should be easy for me to get a credit and that is all I am asking for. I already spent time on the phone trying to talk with a Canadian Air agent and it was time wasted. I was on the phone for over an hour and once the connect was made I was dropped off. I suspect the Canadian Air agents are at wits end. It looks like I have about two weeks or less to press that cancel button. 

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25 minutes ago, vivian02 said:

Desert Cruiser.... Thanks for you information. I give you lots of credit for attempting to get a refund. Looks like that effort paid off. I am the type of person that would do just what you have done but am taking a different approach. I did notice that Air Canada did send me a e-mail stating that everything was in place for my August flight. I just got done talking to someone who was saying that Canada "May" open the border come August 1st. I really don't find that to be correct. If Bermuda doesn't want US citizens coming over then I suspect the Canadian rule will stay in place a while longer. If there was a break in the virus trend that would be different and its not. It should be easy for me to get a credit and that is all I am asking for. I already spent time on the phone trying to talk with a Canadian Air agent and it was time wasted. I was on the phone for over an hour and once the connect was made I was dropped off. I suspect the Canadian Air agents are at wits end. It looks like I have about two weeks or less to press that cancel button. 

The border closure with Canada has been extended until August 21. 

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Bennybear.....thanks for the information. This is exactly what I was wanted to hear. That August 21 date is probably why AirCanada said one of my flights was non operational. My flight back was suppose to be on August 23rd. I would bet if things don't improve going into August that date (August 21rd) gets extended. Lets hope this virus thing sometime down the road goes away. For now its a different world. Take care.  

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  • 3 weeks later...

Interesting. Now that I have make it into August I checked flights into Vancouver and found out that on the day I originally was set to travel on a non stop flight they don't exist. An hour later I got a notification that my flight schedule had been change. Instead of flying in on Saturday the Airlines had changed my flight to a day earlier? It said it was due to Government restrictions? On the good side is the fact that AC did extend their cancelation policy for customers to cancel all the way up to the end of August. It seems to me if they are changing my flight backing it up 24 hours who will pay for my hotel room that I did not book? I would suspect they should have come out and stated I qualify for a refund however I did notice that their refund polilcy now says there is a cancelation fee. Will probably go ahead and just cancel and take the flight points down the road. Just wanted to keep those watching up to date. 

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Thanks for the update.  My request for a refund from AC was denied by them.  In the meantime i had filed a dispute with our credit card and received a refund. Now just have to wait to see if the CC company reverses the refund and i am stuck with the travel credit.  My previous loyalty to flying AC domestically and internationally has disappeared. I will only use them when it is the only viable option but will try and book other alternatives particularly internationally where we fly nothing but business class.  

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Thanks for your update Cruizstart. Will probably hit the cancel button this weekend. As long as I have credit for next year I will be happy. I have nothing against AC this all started with the virus. If I hadn't been so quick to book the flights I would not be in this situation which is my fault. At least I did not book any hotel rooms. That was next on my planning but the Grand Princess sailed into Oakland and all is history now. Take care my Canadian friends. 

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I might check with the US Department of Transportation regarding whether involuntarily changing the day of a flight might still require the airline to refund a nonrefundable ticket upon request.  You have nothing to lose.  I would also consider filing a dispute with your credit card company.  You paid for a flight on a specific day and you are not getting what was promised.  Again, worth a try.

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12 hours ago, vivian02 said:

Thanks for your update Cruizstart. Will probably hit the cancel button this weekend. As long as I have credit for next year I will be happy. I have nothing against AC this all started with the virus. If I hadn't been so quick to book the flights I would not be in this situation which is my fault. At least I did not book any hotel rooms. That was next on my planning but the Grand Princess sailed into Oakland and all is history now. Take care my Canadian friends. 

i would probably have less animosity towards AC if my tax dollars hadn't kept the airline afloat for many years. Not as much anymore as it is now a publicly trading company but for years they were in our pockets and even now still receive preferred treatment from our federal government while treating the people that kept them in business with distain.  They flout the regulations and complaints because they know the Canadian government will always back them up. 

Stay safe and stay well. 

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1 hour ago, 1982CruzStart said:

i would probably have less animosity towards AC if my tax dollars hadn't kept the airline afloat for many years. Not as much anymore as it is now a publicly trading company but for years they were in our pockets and even now still receive preferred treatment from our federal government while treating the people that kept them in business with distain.  They flout the regulations and complaints because they know the Canadian government will always back them up. 

Stay safe and stay well. 

 

Canadians never threw off the yoke of "Crown Corporations".  Many still exist to this day, as they do in the UK and elsewhere around the world.  You get the government you elect.

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3 hours ago, 1982CruzStart said:

i would probably have less animosity towards AC if my tax dollars hadn't kept the airline afloat for many years.

 

Complete rubbish, not true.  Air Canada was privatized 30 years ago and has received no taxpayer dollars since then.  I can't be sure - somebody else chip in? - but even as a Crown Corporation they managed to keep their heads just above water and did not receive any tax dollars.

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21 minutes ago, Fairgarth said:

 

Complete rubbish, not true.  Air Canada was privatized 30 years ago and has received no taxpayer dollars since then.  I can't be sure - somebody else chip in? - but even as a Crown Corporation they managed to keep their heads just above water and did not receive any tax dollars.

It is not rubbish. Air Canada started out being owned by the Federal Government and received its seed money from them which as far as i know is taxpayer money.  They were moved to a crown corporation and may have kept their head above water but only because they received preferential treatment.  They may not have received any direct funding from the government since being privatized but they continue to receive preferential treatment to the determinate of the Canadian taxpayer and competitors including other Canadian airlines. 

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18 hours ago, 1982CruzStart said:

They may not have received any direct funding from the government since being privatized but they continue to receive preferential treatment to the determinate of the Canadian taxpayer and competitors including other Canadian airlines. 

 

If they did, indeed, receive preferential treatment it was obviously hopelessly inadequate.  The privatized Air Canada went bankrupt.

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Don't forget there are many Airlines that have government backing. I remember booking a flight into Rome many years ago and a passenger on that cruise said they would not book with a Italian Air lines because they might go bankrupt. Turns out that same Airlines is still flying today. I can say the same for alot of the US airlines. Many have gone bankrupt only to start up again later down the road. 

     On the Air Canada subject. I am in the process of getting ready to press the cancel button this next week. Today I did the necessary work to get a membership for Air points. Sure was a pain but at least I didn't wait until the last minute when any glitch could cause me more grief. I would recommend anyone canceling for the extra points or airfare to be used later on just make sure you have the account set up so the so called refund flight has a place to go. In other words don't cancel unless you have set up an account.  

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If you are getting a voucher for future travel, it will be tied to your ticket number.  Upon cancellation, you will receive an e-mail with your booking locator and ticket numbers confirming the voucher amount.  It will take 6-8 weeks to get the actual voucher.  I don't thinks that it is necessary to have an "account" set up.

 

If you are going to choose the "extra air points" option...Make sure that you understand the award ticket rules and how easy/hard it is to you use those points especially during peak travel seasons.  Also consider the likelihood of you flying Air Canada again. 

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2 hours ago, Desert Cruisers said:

If you are going to choose the "extra air points" option...Make sure that you understand the award ticket rules and how easy/hard it is to you use those points especially during peak travel seasons.  Also consider the likelihood of you flying Air Canada again. 

 

Not quite sure what this "extra air points" is all about.  However, on the likelihood of flying AC comment:

 

If the offer is for a cash voucher for use buying a revenue ticket from AC, remember that AC sells tickets on it's own ticket stock that is operated by other Star Alliance (and other) carriers.  So you can buy a ticket from AC that's actually a UA flight.  This doesn't apply to all UA/Star flights, but to many of them.

 

If the offer is for Aeroplan miles rather than a cash value, again know that you can use those Aeroplan miles for flights on all Star carriers, given that there is award inventory.  One advantage of Aeroplan is low surcharges.  The downside here is that you need to have enough miles in your account to redeem an award.  The upside is that you can often purchase additional miles from Aeroplan, as well as transfer in from major transferable programs (such as Chase, Citi, Amex and Marriott).

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Re the "extra air points" option...Air Canada is offering a bonus if you take the Aeroplan miles instead of a future flight voucher.  

I forgot about using the Aeroplan miles on partner airlines.  As you mentioned, award inventory and having enough miles to be of use are also important.  Add in the difficulty of using awards during peak seasons - e.g., Alaskan cruising.   

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55 minutes ago, Desert Cruisers said:

  Add in the difficulty of using awards during peak seasons - e.g., Alaskan cruising.   

 

Using miles for Alaskan cruising is usually a poor redemption value - the award prices are inflated and the cash pricing is not exorbitant.  Unless I get at least a 2 cent+ value to my redemptions, I tend to pass on the award, choosing to wait for a better "exchange rate", such as international business class to Asia for 60k, getting over 5 cents per mile.

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I have to admit that everyone giving feed back on Canceling a AC ticket has been really good information. Today was the day to go in and press that Cancel button. This got to be a bit tricky. Having set up an Aeroplan account over the weekend my thought was to get miles awarded  I had the choice of Awarded miles with a percentage bonus or a voucher. It said in the wording that the Aeroplan was the best choice? When I picked the Aeroplan miles the confirmation would not take. It came back and said my Aero Account number didn't match. After some frustration I came to the conclusion that even though I could log into the account the final account still needed some final processing by AC . I then picked the voucher and it did take. I printed out the notification that my ticket total would be processed for a voucher. I will give it the two weeks for processing and see what happens. Believe me this has not been much fun. With any luck I will be able to get a flight next year for a nice vacation. Thanks for all of the information regarding this ticket cancelation.  

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