The Canada Transportation Agency Responds To DansDeals Article On Air Canada’s Refusal Of COVID-19 Flight Refunds: Please Don’t Call Us Canada, Eh?

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Oh Canada.

Last week I wrote about the showdown between Air Canada and the US DOT.

The post gained traction among Canadians, with a number of Retweets and Likes on Twitter:

 

 

 

 

Clearly Air Canada’s actions have not been popular in Canada.

The post also got the attention of the CTA, which wrote this to me:

“Good morning, we’d like to clarify a misunderstanding in your blog, published on July 2.

Specifically, “But worse than that, the Canada Transportation Agency ruled that Canadian airlines did not have to refund passengers holding tickets on flights that Air Canada cancelled.”

Please note the CTA never ruled that airlines did not have to refund passengers for a cancellation related to Covid-19.

In its Statement, published March 25th, which was at no time a binding decision, the CTA offers suggestions to airlines and passengers in the context of a once-in-a-century pandemic, global collapse of air travel, and mass cancellation of flights for reasons outside the control of airlines.

For delays or cancellations outside of the airline’s control, the legislation as passed by Parliament does not give the CTA the authority to make regulations that establish a minimum obligation for all airlines to issue refunds. For such flights, the legislation only provides for regulations that require airlines to ensure passengers can complete the passenger’s itinerary (rebook the passenger). Some airlines’ tariffs provide for refunds in certain cases, but may have clauses that airlines believe relieve them of such obligations in force majeure situations.

The Statement doesn’t affect airlines’ obligations or passengers’ rights. If a person believes they are entitled to a refund for a flight that was cancelled for reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic and doesn’t want to accept a voucher, they can ask the airline for a refund. If a passenger thinks they are entitled to a refund and the airline refuses to provide one or offers a voucher with conditions the passenger doesn’t want to accept, they can file a complaint with the CTA, which will determine if the airline complied with the terms of its tariff. Each case will be decided on its merits.

Also, for future reference, the name of our organization is the “Canadian Transportation Agency” and not “Canada Transportation Agency”.

 

Well that was a long-winded way of saying that we aren’t empowered to enforce refunds, but nevertheless we still are giving Canadian airlines cover to not give refunds for cancelled flights by stating that we believe it’s appropriate for airlines to refuse refunds on flights cancelled due to COVID-19.

We won’t stick up for our citizens, but surely you won’t mess up our name again, right?

On a positive note, at least they’re now accepting complaints. Previously they were not accepting them. However it sure doesn’t sound like they will do anything about those complaints.

Remember that if you are refused a refund:

  • You can dispute the charge with your credit card. Just note that if you used a personal travel agent you’ll be taking the money out of their pocket rather than the airline’s pocket.
  • You can file a complaint with the US DoT if the flight was to/from the US.
  • If those options fail, you can take the airline to small claims court.

Hopefully the DOT will hit Air Canada with enforcement action for violating their rules about refunds on cancelled US flights.

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39 Comments On "The Canada Transportation Agency Responds To DansDeals Article On Air Canada’s Refusal Of COVID-19 Flight Refunds: Please Don’t Call Us Canada, Eh?"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.

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Emes

I’m offended by the word Parliament . Can we change that to Parliapersont?

Coming from a country who changed the words of their national anthem because they think they offended 50% of the population, did you really expect more?

Emes

And now I realize I’m offended by Parliapersont as well. Let’s try Parliapeoplet.

NW

That’s Canadians! Welcome to Canada!

Lester

Why are you taking money out of your travel agent?

And if so dont you pay your travel agent to fight on your behalf?

Motti

If you dispute the charges made for a ticket bought using a travel agent, the travel agent is responsible for that, (plus another fee for a disputed charge). It’s in the contract between the airline and the travel agent. The travel agent has no power to fight against it, so he will lose money if you dispute it.

ads

why is the travel agent doing business in the first place with Air Canada ?

Shmoogrr

Trying to get money I believe

ads

theirs enough legit airlines to make money from, choose those that stand behind their product.

Lester

Sorry …that’s the cost of doing business….I should feel bad? I think not…..I am out the fare!!!!

Mikes@Micro.com

You should feel bad for the travel agent regardless. It most certainly is not their fault….

Jeff

That is between the agent and airline to sort out. Passengers are entitled to refunds and if the agent cannot provide it, filing a chargeback is the only option. Let the travel agent go after the airline.

CTA

Please don’t call us Shirley either.

Morty

Shirley you can’t be serious.

Mike

If only your petition for airline concessions went global when we bailed them out. Maybe Trump would have posted it to Twitter

Liam K. Nuj

Keep calling them “Canada Transportation Agency”. That’ll show ’em!

Rob

Haha, kinda like China Virus.

Todd Gordo

Woulda been nice to get “sorrey” from them. I am buying my maple syrup elsewhere from now on

Mikes@Micro.com

Costco is better anyways

CtownBin

Lol, though I’m pretty sure most maple syrup you buy at Costco (at least in the northern half of the country) came from Canada anyways 🙂

Nate the Great

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/being-as-canadian-as-possible-under-the-circumstances/article725129/

This country that the slogan is “As Canadian as possible under the circumstances”

Aaron K

kudos on not changing the name on the post 🙂

D

Was about to say that

NTorch

Woe Canada

Itchakadoozie

NTorch for Prime Minister! Lol

Michael

I filed a complaint with DOT as to Chase Sapphire Ultimate Reward’s failure to refund points related to a cancelled flight in early May. I never received a response from DOT of any action taken, so I would not put too much reliance on DOT resolving anything.

Chase at least claims they will refund the points, but so far all of the time frames given for resolution have come and passed with no follow through.

EL Al sucks

I filed a complaint with DOT in middle of May, I finally got a response a early Monday morning. Seems like they are backed up.

Liberal Corrupt gov

I will call them “Canada Transportation Agency” until they stop their coziness with Air Canada and stop taking bribes from air Canada subsidiaries.
THEY SHOULD REPRESENT THE PEOPLE’S INTERESTS NOT THE LARGE CORPORATIONS LIKE THE DOT.

Gabor Lukacs

The CTA’s claim of having no jurisdiction to enforce refunds is incorrect. There are at least four legally binding decisions on this point — by the CTA:

Lukács v. Porter, Decision No. 344-C-A-2013, para. 88
Lukács v. Sunwing, Decision No. 313-C-A-2013, para. 15
Lukács v. Porter, Decision No. 31-C-A-2014, paras. 33 and 137
Re: Air Transat, Decision No. 28-A-2004

You will find links to these decisions in the following article:
https://airpassengerrights.ca/en/covid19/coronavirus-how-to-get-a-refund

I would be happy to provide you with additional information on the Canadian regulations.

YYZOGG

I have a feeling people here dont recognize Gabor Lukacs. Is this actually you?

izzy

I’ve finally received my refund from Chase Freedom after three months of disputing my ElAl charge for a ticket purchased via Priceline. Whew.

Gil

Has anyone filed a complaint in small claims court yet – considering pulling the trigger on that.

YGX

Air Canada once got me to one of their destinations ON A BUS. There was a snowstorm, and they kept rebooking everyone on to the next flight in hope they’d be able to fly, until the night ended with no flights. At that point they directed everyone to coach buses for an icy trip from Montreal to Ottawa to complete our ordeal of a trip that had started in the US. When I wrote to them complaining about this after the trip, the gist of their response was “read the fine print – it says as long as we got you there, we satisfied all our obligations to you.” The fact they got us there by bus for the last leg in slip-n-slide conditions and took all day and night on what was supposed to be a 4 hour trip when they could have cancelled to begin with – none of that matters. They got us there!

TT

I remember hearing about this story. Or maybe it happens a few times. crazy

Bob

Surprised they didn’t respond in both Official Languages.

All government communication legally has to be in English and French.

Harry

And yet you call them Canada Transportation Agency. How dare you

chaz

Is it the
Canadian transportation authority or the
Canadian transportation agency or the
Canada transportation authenticity or the
Canadian transportation auto transit authority or the
Canada agency of transportation or the
Canadian transportation organization or the
Canada no refunds for our flights agency or the
Canadian agency of transportation or the
Canada yes we will deny your refunds in french as well agency or the
Canadian transportation oops i got the DOT down my back gotta go! agency
I AM SO CONFUSED.

Ben

Based on the above logic would an El Al flight going to New York that was cancelled be entitled to a refund? Orbitz says no, elal says no, credit card says no…?

Joe

Some useful information how to get refund from Air Canada:
https://airpassengerrights.ca/en/covid19/coronavirus-how-to-get-a-refund

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