Date: Jun 11 2021
The policy allows eligible customers who purchased a non-refundable ticket before April 13, 2021 for travel on or after February 1, 2020, but who did not fly for any reason, to submit their request for a refund online or with their travel agent. Air Canada’s original refund deadline, June 12, was announced in mid-April when the company outlined its financial assistance package from the federal government. The company says that since April 13, 2021, about 40% of eligible customers have requested a refund, and 92% of submitted requests have been processed. “The number of customers who have requested a refund is lower than anticipated and most have kept their travel credit, Air Canada Travel Voucher or Aeroplan points, which we are pleased to see as it is an indication they plan on travelling in the future. We also take this as a vote of confidence from our customers that they intend to fly with us on their next trip, and we are looking forward to welcoming them back onboard,” said Lucie Guillemette, Air Canada’s Executive Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer.
Guillemette adds: “For customers who want a refund, our employees have been working very hard to process requests as quickly as possible and will continue to do so, including in collaboration with our travel agency partners. We have in place an easy online refund process and we have also reached out to customers directly to advise them of their options. Still, given only approximately 40% of eligible customers have requested a refund, we are extending the initial deadline for requests.”
The COVID-19 refund policy covers tickets and Air Canada Vacations packages purchased for flights cancelled either by the airline or by the customer for any reason was initially due to expire June 12, 2021.
As of April 13, 2021, the day on which the COVID-19 refund policy came into effect, Air Canada had a total of 1.8 million of its customer bookings eligible for a refund. Air Canada customers also 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% bonus.
Customers who have already accepted an ACTV or Aeroplan points also 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.
Customers can request a refund online at aircanada.com/refund until July 12, 2021. The policy also applies to Air Canada Vacations packages. Customers who booked through a travel agency are asked to contact their agent directly.
As for the airline’s future travel policy, Air Canada’s new refund policy of offering customers options of refunds, an Air Canada Travel Voucher or equivalent value in Aeroplan Points with a 65% bonus should the airline cancel or reschedule a flight by more than three hours, is applicable to all tickets purchased.
In other news, Air Canada says it will recall more than 2,600 employees as it prepares for an increase in demand for flights.