My wife is Canadian and we used to visit her homeland several times a year prior to the pandemic. But then the border closed and … you know the story. I’ve always been a fan of Air Canada, even though it seemed most Canadians loved to bash them. But Air Canada really ticked me and countless others off last year when they outright refused to issue refunds after they canceled flights, even though it was required by law.
I understand that they, like all the airlines, were in survival mode. They did extend the credits for two years instead of one and I’m pretty sure they were the first to do this. However, they should have had better and clearer messaging instead of pissing everyone off. When the pandemic hit, a lot of customers were hurting financially and I was one of them, which is why I wrote these posts back in May:
I ended up not filing a complaint with the DOT because just before I was about to, I noticed that my credit card company (Chase Sapphire Reserve – here’s why to get this card), had refunded my money after I’d requested a chargeback.
Well, it looks like this week, there will be a lot more refunds thanks to Air Canada reaching a deal with the Canadian federal government.
According to the CBC, “The federal government has reached an agreement with Air Canada that will provide the pandemic-battered airline with financial support — while committing the airline to refunding customers who saw their flights cancelled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. At a news conference in Ottawa on Monday, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said the government will provide Air Canada with up to $5.9 billion through the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility, a program aimed at supporting large Canadian employers who have lost revenue due to COVID-19.”
Here’s the most important part of the deal: “In exchange for federal government support, Air Canada has agreed to refund customers who had their flights cancelled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
This morning, Air Canada just tweeted: “Customers can submit refund requests immediately as we begin to offer refunds for all fares for flights affected by COVID-19 since February 1, 2020. Learn more: https://t.co/EuD4rUeHZF. To apply for a refund, go to: https://t.co/bBkLvkdVLb”
There will be a lot of relief all around with this financial support so that’s, well, quite frankly, a relief. A few things that this pandemic has taught travelers is to not book through a third party (that made getting refunds even more challenging), to pay with a credit card (preferably within 60 days of purchase so you get your money back), and to be patient.
Did you get your refund? Let me know!