The CTA (Canada Transportation Agency) released a statement that says they believe airlines can issue vouchers in lieu of a refund as issuing refunds could ruin the viability of airlines. They recommend that vouchers be valid for 24 months.
The CTA also announced that they are suspending dispute resolution between passengers and airlines through June 30th and that they may extend that date.
Shame on Canada for allowing airlines to refuse refunds and for suspending dispute resolution.
Here’s hoping the US DoT doesn’t follow their lead.
Unfortunately the system is rigged against consumers. If a passenger needs to cancel a flight, the airlines will laugh at them and charge a small fortune just to make a change.
But now airlines are refusing refunds when they cancel flights.
Maybe we should announce a bailout of the airlines and then keep delaying it until finally we cancel and give them hotel vouchers.
— Ryan Calo (@rcalo) March 24, 2020
It seems like sheer arrogance that airlines are asking taxpayers to bail them out, while refusing to refund passengers booked on flights that they cancelled. That’s exactly why I created a Whitehouse.gov petition for a traveler’s bill of rights. You can read more here.
Hopefully European, Israeli, and US regulators will force the airlines to offer refunds based on existing laws. Many passengers have received refunds by asking nicely, explaining extenuating circumstances, and by speaking to supervisors, so definitely start with that.
Remember that if you are being 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 or with the relevant local complaint board.
- If those options fail, you can take the airline to small claims court.
Have you run into roadblocks trying to get a refund? What steps have you taken?