Update, April 13: Air Canada announced that they will allow refunds for tickets purchased before today for travel on February 1, 2020 or later, even on flights that operated. The refund policy covers tickets or vacations that were voluntarily cancelled by passengers for any reason. You can contact your point of purchase to obtain the refund. Refunds must be requested by June 12, 2021.
Air Canada also said that going forward, flight changes of more than 3 hours or cancellations will be eligible for a refund or for conversion into Aeroplan miles with a 65% bonus. Air Canada will also allow a free change for any reason on tickets bought by May 31st.
Originally posted on April 12:
Air Canada has been one of the worst actors with COVID-19 refunds.
While other airlines were stingy, they generally paid up when a passenger filed a DOT complaint for a refund due to a flight cancelled by the airline. Air Canada on the other hand has resisted refunds even when faced with DOT complaints. The Canada Transportation Agency also punted on enforcement.
Air Canada announced today that they have come to a bailout agreement with the Government of Canada. It includes a provision saying Air Canada agrees that, “Beginning April 13, 2021, offering eligible customers who purchased non-refundable fares but did not travel due to COVID-19 since February 2020, the option of a refund to the original form of payment. In support of its travel agency partners, Air Canada will not retract agency sales commissions on refunded fares”
Air Canada also agreed to resume service to nearly all communities where service has been suspended due to COVID-19.
Those issues were used as key negotiating tools to get a government bailout, which Air Canada admitted last month:
If Air Canada cancelled a flight they will clearly provide a refund starting tomorrow, but it’s unclear what will happen if a passenger cancelled a ticket before their flight was cancelled or if the flight still operated. I’ve reached out to Air Canada for comment and will update this post if they respond.
Have you been waiting for an Air Canada refund?