Travel

Air Canada Full Refund Due to Canada/US border closing?

  • Last Updated:
  • May 26th, 2020 3:28 pm
Deal Addict
Mar 24, 2015
1005 posts
378 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
mzmoney wrote: That's great, you received your refund now on your CC!

Can you clarify, based on your previous post ... with options after AC cancelled your flights:

"I went online to check and have two options: get a refund of $550 and lose the rest of the $3k as they are non-refundable fees, or get the full 3k in credit, good for 24 months."

Hmm guess that is why some people are getting refunds less than the value of their ticket.

You ignored online options of Refund or Credit, your hubby called, got a great rep and you received a refund with base fare + taxes/fees = $3k total?

Nice!
Yes this is pretty much it. I was ready to accept the credit and was waiting a few days to go back online, but others suggested I call as they got refund so I did. Painless process, refund receipts email received within minutes. Was told it would take about a week to show on my cc.
Received the full amount (base fare, non refundable fees, taxes, all included)

My flights were booked in January for travel April. AC cancelled my flights. Basic fare, non-refundable. Ottawa to Lisbon and Paris to Ottawa, 4 passengers
Deal Addict
Mar 24, 2015
1005 posts
378 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
I called AC on March 24 and I think the next day CTA issue the statement saying airlines were ok giving vouchers. I haven't heard of anyone receiving refunds since then so maybe AC has stopped doing it and I am part of the lucky few.
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Oct 3, 2018
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GTA
ckay1980 wrote: Yes this is pretty much it. I was ready to accept the credit and was waiting a few days to go back online, but others suggested I call as they got refund so I did. Painless process, refund receipts email received within minutes. Was told it would take about a week to show on my cc.
Received the full amount (base fare, non refundable fees, taxes, all included)

My flights were booked in January for travel April. AC cancelled my flights. Basic fare, non-refundable. Ottawa to Lisbon and Paris to Ottawa, 4 passengers

Guess you may be one of the luckier ones, as your flights got cancelled by AC in March, hubby able to call March 24th ... prior to CTA Statement on Vouchers (March 25th!)

A lot has changed in 7 days with AC digging in their heels with credits only ... and lots of upset passengers threatening chargebacks, small claims court, etc.

Great that your nice hubby didn't need to state your claim for a refund and that he got a good rep willing to process a $3k refund, with no fuss.

Even more reason to celebrate and to give others hope, that it's worth a try to get a refund!!
Deal Addict
Mar 24, 2015
1005 posts
378 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
mzmoney wrote: Guess you may be one of the luckier ones, as your flights got cancelled by AC in March, hubby able to call March 24th ... prior to CTA Statement on Vouchers (March 25th!)

A lot has changed in 7 days with AC digging in their heels with credits only ... and lots of upset passengers threatening chargebacks, small claims court, etc.

Great that your nice hubby didn't need to state your claim for a refund and that he got a good rep willing to process a $3k refund, with no fuss.

Even more reason to celebrate and to give others hope, that it's worth a try to get a refund!!
Yes I believe it's down to who pick up the phone on the other end. If someone is not successful, I would suggest try calling again and you might end up with a different person who is more willing to give a refund.
My husband spoke to a lady who didn't talk much (not too engaging). I know some people are very confident over the phone and hard to get something out of them, but this lady in particular was not that kind of person.
Before the phone call I actually told my husband all the arguments possible in case they made it difficult but all he had to say was "our flight was cancelled and would like a refund". gave reference number, confirmed flights dates and destinations, waited a bit for her to do her thing, then confirmed amount of refund.
Deal Addict
Jul 17, 2003
1289 posts
170 upvotes
Toronto
aZnRYcEbOi wrote: DOT emailed me back this morning with the following. Seems like if enough people make a similar complaint through the DOT, they could pursue "enforcement action" although they don't have the power to "order compensation".

For everyone that had a cancelled flight (related to a US airport) and no refund, please file a complaint here:
https://airconsumer.dot.gov/escomplaint ... erForm.cfm (You can specifically select Air Canada in Airline dropdown menu)
https://www.transportation.gov/individu ... cellations


"Dear Mr. XXXXXXXXX:

This responds to your communication regarding Air Canada Airlines. The U.S. Department of Transportation seeks to ensure that all airline passengers are treated fairly. Complaints from consumers are helpful to us in determining whether the airlines are in compliance with our rules and to track trends or spot areas of concern that warrant further action.

Based on the information you have provided, your complaint appears to fall under the Department's rules. We will forward your complaint to the airline and ask the company to respond directly to you with a copy to us. Airlines are required to acknowledge receipt of a consumer complaint within 30 days and provide a substantive response to the complainant within 60 days. We will review the airline's response. If you need to contact me, please include your name and case number (see above). I will make every effort to reply to your message within one business day.

If our review of your complaint and the response from the company discloses a potential violation of our rules, we may pursue enforcement action. Generally, we pursue enforcement action on the basis of a number of complaints which may indicate a pattern or practice of violating our rules. Your complaint may be among those considered and may lead to appropriate enforcement action including the assessment of civil penalties. However, we have no authority to order compensation for individual complainants.

We have entered your complaint in our computerized industry monitoring system, and it will be counted among the number of complaints filed against this airline in our monthly Air Travel Consumer Report. This report allows consumers and air travel companies to compare the complaint records of individual airlines and tour operators. The data in this report also serve as a basis for rulemaking, legislation and research. Consumer information for air travelers, including the Air Travel Consumer Report and our pamphlet Fly-Rights, a Consumer's Guide to Air Travel, can be found on our website: www.transportation.gov/airconsumer. Thank you for taking the time to contact us.

Sincerely,

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
U.S. Department of Transportation
Aviation Consumer Protection"
DOT issued a directive today for airlines to give refunds. Applies to both domestic and foreign airlines.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... d-by-virus
https://www.transportation.gov/briefing ... ier-refund
https://www.transportation.gov/sites/do ... 2020_0.pdf

"Airlines must fully refund airfare to passengers whose flights have been canceled during the outbreak of Covid-19, the U.S. Transportation Department ordered on Friday.

It is receiving a growing number of complaints from people who say airlines have refused to pay refunds after flights were canceled, the agency said in a press release and an enforcement notice.

“The obligation of airlines to provide refunds, including the ticket price and any optional fee charged for services a passenger is unable to use, does not cease when the flight disruptions are outside of the carrier’s control,” the agency said.

The directive applies to domestic and foreign airlines for flights to, within, or from the U.S. People are also protected when an airline “makes a significant schedule change and the passenger chooses not to accept the alternative offered by the carrier,” according to the department."
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May 10, 2005
34588 posts
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aZnRYcEbOi wrote: DOT issued a directive today for airlines to give refunds. Applies to both domestic and foreign airlines.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... d-by-virus
https://www.transportation.gov/briefing ... ier-refund
https://www.transportation.gov/sites/do ... 2020_0.pdf

"Airlines must fully refund airfare to passengers whose flights have been canceled during the outbreak of Covid-19, the U.S. Transportation Department ordered on Friday.

It is receiving a growing number of complaints from people who say airlines have refused to pay refunds after flights were canceled, the agency said in a press release and an enforcement notice.

“The obligation of airlines to provide refunds, including the ticket price and any optional fee charged for services a passenger is unable to use, does not cease when the flight disruptions are outside of the carrier’s control,” the agency said.

The directive applies to domestic and foreign airlines for flights to, within, or from the U.S. People are also protected when an airline “makes a significant schedule change and the passenger chooses not to accept the alternative offered by the carrier,” according to the department."
Hope the Canadian government takes up this position as well but....don't hold your breath. There is not enough money in all of Canada's future to bail out all those people as well as small businesses and then big businesses too. :)
The Government cannot give to anybody anything that the Government does not first take from somebody else.
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Jul 17, 2003
1289 posts
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Pete_Coach wrote: All American information, not helpful here in Canada.
Pete_Coach wrote: Nice of them to respond to you.
It is still an American government response which really has no bearing in Canada or in Canadian law or government.
I believe the prime issue on this thread is cancellation of flights prior to departure form Canada. I do not think that there is any (or every few) cancellations at American airports for returns to Canada. I am quite sure every Canadian in the US got back to Canada.
Lastly, looks like a form letter to me :)
Pete_Coach wrote: Hope the Canadian government takes up this position as well but....don't hold your breath. There is not enough money in all of Canada's future to bail out all those people as well as small businesses and then big businesses too. :)
Thanks for your input...but to be honest, your last 3 replies have not been helpful either. If you have any constructive and actionable ideas, please feel free to share.

The US Department of Transportation has authority to pursue enforcement actions (including civil penalties) against foreign airlines because AC is flying in/out of US airports. DOT may not have direct authority to get AC to compensate passengers, but AC still needs to comply with US regulations. So at least for people with US bound flights (like me), then this is totally applicable.

I'm well aware of AC's financial situation and that they don't have liquidity to provide everyone with a refund. But holding onto customer funds isn't going to be enough to keep them afloat either. But let's not get into a discussion of which businesses Canada should and shouldn't be bailing out. The point of this thread is to see what else people can do to TRY to get their money back.
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May 10, 2005
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aZnRYcEbOi wrote: Thanks for your input...but to be honest, your last 3 replies have not been helpful either. If you have any constructive and actionable ideas, please feel free to share.

The US Department of Transportation has authority to pursue enforcement actions (including civil penalties) against foreign airlines because AC is flying in/out of US airports. DOT may not have direct authority to get AC to compensate passengers, but AC still needs to comply with US regulations. So at least for people with US bound flights (like me), then this is totally applicable.

I'm well aware of AC's financial situation and that they don't have liquidity to provide everyone with a refund. But holding onto customer funds isn't going to be enough to keep them afloat either. But let's not get into a discussion of which businesses Canada should and shouldn't be bailing out. The point of this thread is to see what else people can do to TRY to get their money back.
OK, I hope for you American authorities will help you.
You may not like it but, reality does not always go your way.
I have helped people with situations by letting them know how I got full refunds and PMed them how and gave them numbers not listed.
The Government cannot give to anybody anything that the Government does not first take from somebody else.
Deal Addict
Jan 3, 2007
1273 posts
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Toronto
So the government is now subsidizing wages for Air Canada's 16500 employees aka a bailout. Perhaps it's now time to refund those people's cancelled tickets?
Sr. Member
Oct 3, 2013
945 posts
1170 upvotes
penguindude wrote: So the government is now subsidizing wages for Air Canada's 16500 employees aka a bailout. Perhaps it's now time to refund those people's cancelled tickets?
Difference is they get reimbursed for the wages, whereas they would lose the capital once they process refunds. Further, there have been many datapoints that have suggested AC is refunding those who are truly entitled to them.

Regardless, I still think it was an honourable thing to do.
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Jan 3, 2007
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Phonophoresis wrote: Difference is they get reimbursed for the wages, whereas they would lose the capital once they process refunds. Further, there have been many datapoints that have suggested AC is refunding those who are truly entitled to them.

Regardless, I still think it was an honourable thing to do.
What do you mean by truly entitled?
Sr. Member
Oct 3, 2013
945 posts
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penguindude wrote: What do you mean by truly entitled?
There is a difference between an airline outright cancelling your flight, and when a consumer is taking advantage of the flexibility policies for re-booking travel during the COVID-19 crisis. Let's take the following examples:

1) Bob has a flight from Toronto to Tokyo. As a result of travel decline and/or travel bans, Air Canada decides to cancel the route, leaving Bob with no more flight, and no re-accommodation options. This passenger has had no part in this decision, and should not be penalized for it. This passenger deserves a full refund, no questions asked. There is some data that Air Canada has been processing refunds for these cases (WestJet has not done the same).

2) Bob has a flight from Toronto to Vancouver. Air Canada has announced a flexibility policy to allow them to move the dates of travel, or receive a credit, all penalty-free. This route is still operating, and there have been no formal domestic travel advisories at this time. Bob would rather be safe, and cancels his flight that is upcoming in the next couple of weeks. It is not Air Canada's responsibility that Bob doesn't wish to travel, despite it still being possible. Bob is LUCKY that he will receive a credit, penalty-free, and should not be entitled to a refund. [For the record, this is not taking into account how I feel about Bob still travelling from a public health standpoint].

3) Bob has a flight from Toronto to Vancouver. Air Canada has reduced their network offerings, and now has to be re-accommodated on a flight that is 1-hour later than originally scheduled, or perhaps has to connect through Calgary now. He has been re-accommodated on a flight(s) to get him from point A to B as planned, and this will result in a minimal delay. This is also similar to option #2, though you get into some grey areas depending on how large the flight change is. As per domestic tariffs, any flight change is grounds for a refund, but even prior to COVID-19, it usually had to be a significant delay/change to be able to invoke that policy.


I hope that makes sense, and the difference is clear.
Deal Addict
Jan 3, 2007
1273 posts
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Phonophoresis wrote: There is a difference between an airline outright cancelling your flight, and when a consumer is taking advantage of the flexibility policies for re-booking travel during the COVID-19 crisis. Let's take the following examples:

1) Bob has a flight from Toronto to Tokyo. As a result of travel decline and/or travel bans, Air Canada decides to cancel the route, leaving Bob with no more flight, and no re-accommodation options. This passenger has had no part in this decision, and should not be penalized for it. This passenger deserves a full refund, no questions asked. There is some data that Air Canada has been processing refunds for these cases (WestJet has not done the same).

2) Bob has a flight from Toronto to Vancouver. Air Canada has announced a flexibility policy to allow them to move the dates of travel, or receive a credit, all penalty-free. This route is still operating, and there have been no formal domestic travel advisories at this time. Bob would rather be safe, and cancels his flight that is upcoming in the next couple of weeks. It is not Air Canada's responsibility that Bob doesn't wish to travel, despite it still being possible. Bob is LUCKY that he will receive a credit, penalty-free, and should not be entitled to a refund. [For the record, this is not taking into account how I feel about Bob still travelling from a public health standpoint].

3) Bob has a flight from Toronto to Vancouver. Air Canada has reduced their network offerings, and now has to be re-accommodated on a flight that is 1-hour later than originally scheduled, or perhaps has to connect through Calgary now. He has been re-accommodated on a flight(s) to get him from point A to B as planned, and this will result in a minimal delay. This is also similar to option #2, though you get into some grey areas depending on how large the flight change is. As per domestic tariffs, any flight change is grounds for a refund, but even prior to COVID-19, it usually had to be a significant delay/change to be able to invoke that policy.


I hope that makes sense, and the difference is clear.
I dont think anyone is arguing that people from scenario 2 and 3 be refunded. Everyone, including the class action suits, is targeting airlines for not refunding people when the airline has cancelled the trip and instead is giving out vouchers.
Sr. Member
Oct 3, 2013
945 posts
1170 upvotes
penguindude wrote: I dont think anyone is arguing that people from scenario 2 and 3 be refunded. Everyone, including the class action suits, is targeting airlines for not refunding people when the airline has cancelled the trip and instead is giving out vouchers.
You would think, wouldn't you? Have a read of several of the threads dedicated to talking about this topic (including this one), or social media. Many people are certainly arguing for options 2/3 to fit under a refund policy.
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May 10, 2005
34588 posts
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penguindude wrote: So the government is now subsidizing wages for Air Canada's 16500 employees aka a bailout. Perhaps it's now time to refund those people's cancelled tickets?
Yup, just like any Canadian business that sees "a drop of at least 15 per cent of their revenue in March 2020 and 30 per cent for the following months"
It keeps people working and prevents companies from losing important and potentially irreplaceable employees.
The Government cannot give to anybody anything that the Government does not first take from somebody else.

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