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Air Canada introduces 3-hour refund option, revises booking policy on future travel

  • Air
  •   04-13-2021  9:51 am
  •   Pax Global Media

Air Canada introduces 3-hour refund option, revises booking policy on future travel
Pax Global Media

Adding to its announcement that it will refund passengers for cancelled travel, Air Canada on Tuesday (April 13) revised its booking policy on all future travel.

Starting today, in cases where a customer's flight is cancelled or rescheduled by more than three hours, Air Canada will now offer all customers the choice of receiving a refund, an Air Canada Travel Voucher or the equivalent value in Aeroplan Points with a 65% bonus.

“This new policy will provide more certainty and flexibility, so customers can book their future travel with greater confidence and we look forward to welcoming you back on board,” said Lucie Guillemette, executive vice-president and CCO at Air Canada, in a release.

READ MORE: "Air Canada will not retract agency sales commissions on refunded fares," says airline

Customers who have already accepted an ACTV or Aeroplan points will 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.

For customers who make voluntary changes, normal fare rules will apply.

Air Canada has also extended its existing goodwill policy so that customers can make a one-time change without a fee for all new or existing bookings made through May 31, 2021 for original travel until May 31, 2022.

The update comes after Air Canada, on April 12, secured a $5.9 billion-dollar aid package with Ottawa – an agreement designed around refunding passengers, protecting workers and travellers, restoring regional routes and allowing airlines to purchase new airplanes.

Refund link now live

On Monday (April 12), Air Canada announced that eligible customers who purchased a non-refundable ticket for travel on or after Feb. 1, 2020 but did not fly can now obtain a refund by submitting a request online or with their travel agent.

Travel agent commissions will not be impacted in this process, Air Canada confirmed.

READ MORE: Air Canada/Ottawa relief deal: Industry reaction, conditions, plan for other airlines

The revised COVID-19 refund policy covers tickets and Air Canada Vacations (ACV) packages purchased before April 13, 2021 for flights cancelled either by the airline or by the customer for any reason.

In a memo to media on Tuesday, ACV said that it will begin reaching out to travel agents with eligible affected customers to guide them through the refund request process.

A Frequently Asked Questions document outlining all terms and conditions and further information regarding the announcement will also be provided. 

The refund option is for all eligible customers with tickets for travel dates on or after Feb. 1, 2020 and who purchased their ticket before April 13, 2021.

Refunds will be available to customers whether they cancelled their ticket or if their flight was cancelled by the airline.

Customers can request a refund online at until June 12, 2021. The policy also applies to Air Canada Vacations packages.

Since March 2020, Air Canada has refunded more than $1.2 billion to customers holding refundable tickets, the airline said.

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