Air Canada said that eligible customers who purchased a non-refundable ticket for travel on or after February 1, 2020 but did not fly can now obtain a refund from the carrier by submitting a request online or with their travel agent. The revised COVID-19 refund policy covers tickets and Air Canada Vacations packages purchased before April 13, 2021 for flights cancelled either by the airline or by the customer for any reason.
“Air Canada will be offering refunds to all eligible customers whether they cancelled their ticket or if their flight was cancelled by the airline. Customers can now submit refund requests online or through their travel agent and we are committed to processing refunds as fast as possible,” said Lucie Guillemette, Executive Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer at Air Canada.
“In addition, Air Canada has revised its booking policies for all future travel. Starting today, in cases where a customer’s flight is cancelled or rescheduled by more than three hours, we will now offer all customers the choice of receiving a refund, an Air Canada Travel Voucher or the equivalent value in Aeroplan Points with a 65% bonus. This new policy will provide more certainty and flexibility, so customers can book their future travel with greater confidence and we look forward to welcoming you back on board.”
Note that Air Canada has already been allowing full refunds for flights cancelled under EU261 rules, however this expansion of criteria means that more passengers who were booked to travel on flights not covered by EU261 (eg a cancelled domestic Canada flight) or flights which were not cancelled and did operate but where the passenger opted to cancel voluntarily as they were unable to travel due to Covid can now apply for a refund. Passengers who hold either a future travel credit or an Air Canada travel voucher can opt to keep these or to apply for a full refund.
In addition to the expanded refund policy announced today, Air Canada customers will continue to have the option of accepting a fully transferrable Air Canada Travel Voucher (ACTV) with no expiry date or converting the value of their ticket to Aeroplan points with a 65 per cent bonus. Customers who have already accepted an ACTV or Aeroplan points will have the option to exchange these for a refund to the original form of payment, including for the unused portion of any ACTV issued or in cases where a partial refund was provided.
Since March 2020, Air Canada has refunded more than $1.2 billion to customers holding refundable tickets. With today’s announcement, Air Canada is extending a refund option to all eligible customers with tickets for travel dates on or after February 1, 2020 and who purchased their ticket before April 13, 2021. Refunds are available to those customers whose flight was cancelled or who voluntarily cancelled their flight for any reason, and who wish to submit a request for a refund to their original form of payment. Customers can request a refund online at www.aircanada.com/refund until June 12, 2021. The policy also applies to Air Canada Vacations packages.
Customers who booked through a travel agency must contact their agent directly. In support of its travel agency partners, Air Canada confirmed today that it will not recall agency sales commissions on refunded tickets that they process.
New Future Travel Policy
Air Canada also announced a new policy for all tickets purchased for future travel that is effective today.
For new tickets purchased on or after April 13, 2021, Air Canada will provide customers an option for a refund to the original form of payment in instances where Air Canada cancels their flight or reschedules the departure time by more than three hours, irrespective of the reason. Air Canada customers will also have the option of accepting an ACTV or Aeroplan points with a 65% per cent bonus.
For customers who make voluntary changes, normal fare rules will apply. Air Canada has also extended its existing goodwill policy so that customers can make a one-time change without a fee for all new or existing bookings made through May 31, 2021 for original travel until May 31, 2022.
Air Canada is due to restart services on 4th June on Dublin-Toronto after a suspension at the end of February.