This week, following the rapidly evolving situation of COVID-19 and Air Canada's decision to suspend flights, Air Canada Vacations (ACV) announced that it is cancelling all bookings scheduled to depart Canada between March 19th and April 30th, 2020.
So, what does this mean for travel agents?
Here, we list some of the most common questions agents are asking about ACV's new policy (along with answers, as provided by the team at ACV!)
Q: Is my commission protected?
A: Yes! Air Canada Vacations is offering a full future travel credit to your customers for cancellations of bookings scheduled to depart between March 19th and April 30th, 2020. Your commission is not being recalled.
Q: What will customers receive for those affected by a cancellation scheduled to depart between March 19 and April 30th, 2020?
A: Affected customers who booked through a travel agent will receive a full credit on file for future travel credit valid for 24 months. The future travel credit for 24 months is only applicable to those affected by a cancellation scheduled to depart between March 19th and April 30th, 2020. Travel agencies with affected passengers will receive an email notification from Air Canada Vacations with the reservation numbers so you can contact and advise your customers.
Q: What types of bookings affected by a cancellation scheduled to depart between March 19th and April 30th, 2020, are eligible?
A: Bookings must have been affected by a scheduled cancellation to depart between March 19th and April 30th, 2020. Types of bookings: Land only & Individual & Group. Group passengers are eligible for the future travel credit valid for 24 months only for the same hotel & destination. Product Lines eligible: Las Vegas, United States, Canada, Mexico & the Caribbean.
Q: How will my customers be notified?
A: Air Canada Vacations has deployed an email to all travel agencies with a list of affected passengers and reservation numbers. It is the responsibility of the travel agency to contact affected customers to advise them of the cancellation of those scheduled to depart between March 19th and April 30th, 2020, inclusively.
Q: As the travel agent, is there anything I need to do?
A: You will only need to notify your customers of the cancellation according to the email you receive from Air Canada Vacations. The future travel credits will be processed automatically, so it is not necessary for you to contact Air Canada Vacations.
Q: Will my customers receive an email notification directly from Air Canada Vacations?
A: No, the advisory is sent directly to the travel agency email on file.
Q: What if I cancelled my customer’s bookings prior to March 19th, 2020, for travel that was scheduled between March 19th and April 30th, 2020?
• Example: I cancelled my customer’s booking in a GDS and then submitted using an Air Canada vacations submission form.
• Example: I cancelled my booking directly following the online submission form without cancelling in GDS system.
• Example: I cancelled my booking by contacting Air Canada Vacations by phone.
A: Your customer will receive a future travel credit valid for travel within 24 months of cancellation date.
Q: What if my customer’s booking included the CareFlex travel protection plan (either purchased or complimentary)?
A: The CareFlex travel protection plan has its own set of terms and conditions allowing a future travel credit valid for 12 months from the original date of departure. Additional terms and conditions may apply.
Q: My customer purchased a cruise package with Air Canada Vacations. What is the cruise cancellation policy with Air Canada Vacations?
A: For cruise packages, Air Canada Vacations is now applying the same cancellation policy as with other March 19th to April 30th, 2020 departures. Affected customers will receive a full future travel credit with validity in accordance with the individual cruise line policy. This is subject to cruise line terms and conditions.
Q: The future travel credit is valid until which date?
A: Your customers’ future travel credit is valid for 24 months from the original date of departure. Only cancelled bookings originally scheduled to travel between March 19th and April 30th, 2020 will be eligible.
Q: How long will it take to receive an updated invoice?
A: We are processing files in order of departure dates. Given the high volume of requests, we will be sending invoices as quickly as possible.
Q: Does the policy apply to groups travelling in March/April 2020?
A: Yes, groups are covered under the same policy as individual travellers for bookings departing between March 19th, 2020, and April 30th, 2020. The only exception is that the future travel credit will be applicable to the same destination and same hotel for your customers’ group booking. Their future group booking is subject to availability and fare changes.
Q: Are the terms and conditions for group cancellations in March/April the same as with individual bookings?
A: Yes, they are very similar. For cancelled flights departing between March 19th and April 30th, 2020, your customers’ future travel credit for individual or group bookings is valid for 24 months. The only exception for your customers’ group bookings is that the future travel credit will be applicable to the same destination and same hotel.
Q: If my customer was originally booked as part of a group, can they use their future travel credit to make an individual booking?
A: Yes, noting that the future travel credit will be only applicable to the same destination and same hotel and will be subject to availability and fare changes.
Q: Are you making any exceptions to the future travel credit by offering a full refund?
A: No. Customers affected by flights cancelled between March 19th and April 30th, 2020, will be offered a future travel credit valid for 24 months.
Q: What if my customer wishes to cancel travel for May, 2020, or later?
A: Normal booking and/or cancellation penalties will apply.
Q: ACV&Me – If my file has been cancelled due to COVID-19, when I will receive my points?
A: ACV&ME regular terms and conditions apply, points are not earned on cancelled bookings. When your clients redeem their Future Travel Credit you will earn points on the new booking and see them listed under pending points. Points will then be moved to your redemption amount the day after client’s departure.
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