Published on March 26th, 2020 | by William Charles10
Canada No Longer Requires Airlines To Provide A Cash Refund
The Canadian Transportation Agency has released a statement stating that airlines are no longer required to provide consumers with a cash refund and can instead provide them with a travel voucher. The relevant part of the statement below:
On the one hand, passengers who have no prospect of completing their planned itineraries with an airline’s assistance should not simply be out-of-pocket for the cost of cancelled flights. On the other hand, airlines facing huge drops in passenger volumes and revenues should not be expected to take steps that could threaten their economic viability.
While any specific situation brought before the CTA will be examined on its merits, the CTA believes that, generally speaking, an appropriate approach in the current context could be for airlines to provide affected passengers with vouchers or credits for future travel, as long as these vouchers or credits do not expire in an unreasonably short period of time (24 months would be considered reasonable in most cases).
Air Canada and WestJet are now offering future flight credits that are valid for up to 24 months when cancelled. I see this as a disappointing development, in many cases consumers were required to book additional flights due to cancelled itineraries and are now forced to shoulder that financial burden. Some consumers won’t be in a position to use these credits in the next 24 months and will just be out of pocket entirely. The airlines seem to think they are in some unique position that only affects them, but this is affecting everybody financially.
Hat tip to OMaaT