Posted by William Charles on March 26, 2020
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Published on March 26th, 2020 | by William Charles

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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

 



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Clara
Clara

Unfortunately that’s exactly where I’m stuck with… Air Canada cancelled my international flight in early April, and automatically rolled the credits to my accounts for “future purchases”. If I want to get my money back, they charge a hefty “cancellation fee”. Since I paid with my Amex Plat card, I had Amex opened a dispute (but doubt there’s anything amex could do). Any suggestions on how I can get my money back?

Travel33t
Travel33t

That’s not true. The Canadian Transportation Agency issued a statement which is only an opinion not a regulation or enforceable decision. Canadian consumers still have recourses other than the CTA under federal and provincial laws like contract law and consumer protection laws that entitle them to be reimbursed for services paid but nit delivered. But they will have to fight for it with chargeback, small claims court lawsuits and class action lawsuits

Harry Nguyen
Harry Nguyen

That’s crazy cause my flight to Canada was suppose to be in July and I saw that if I get a refund I’ll only get like $65 out of $424 or so. And somebody told me to wait until that date so there would be better option but I also have the option to use for full value for next year but who knows what will happen next year so I’m out of pocket smh.

Dubya
Dubya

So it begins. Once this crisis is over this will more than likely stay in place. Airlines will unlikely walk this back.

Jim
Jim

Not surprised since Canada is one of the many socialist big government nation

Avi
Avi

sOcIaLISm bAd!
oRaNge mAn gOOd!

Derek
Derek

Understood, but if this is the case going forward a reasonable trade-off has to be that the credit is NOT tied a single user or name. It should be able to be sold or exchanged to another person. Or consumers lose and gain nothing.

Lrdx
Lrdx

Fine. Make the credit available to anyone, and don’t expire ever.

G
G

Right otherwise its and automatic 1% return on funds since more than a few will no longer be alive to ever use the credit.

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