Air Canada has revised its cancellation policy, offering travellers the option of a travel voucher without expiry date or to Aeroplan points at a discount.
22 may 2020 17: 15
Air Canada is revising its refund policy for cancelled flights
The canadian Press
MONTREAL — Referred to by the frustration growing consumer, Air Canada has revised its cancellation policy, offering travellers the option of a travel voucher without expiry date or to Aeroplan points at a discount in the event that the carrier cancelled their flight due to the pandemic of COVID-19.
The airline said that the new policy – in the previous, the vouchers expire after 24 months and the option of Aeroplan points did not exist – applies to non-refundable tickets issued up to the end of June, with a travel date initial march 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021.
The new approach of Air Canada comes as defenders of the rights of consumers and thousands of passengers continue to demand their money for services they have paid, but have not received.
Three petitions with over 89, 000 signatures requesting the implementation of full refunds prior to the granting of financial assistance to the airlines, two of which have been presented to the House of commons during the last 11 days.
“Air Canada continues to circumvent its obligations to repay the approximately $ 2.6 billion that it owes to passengers”, said Gabor Lukacs, an advocate for passenger rights.
Mr. Lukacs argues that the law requires airlines to reimburse customers, adding that rates could well increase in the next year, reducing the value of the travel voucher.
Air Canada said that it had repaid close to a billion $ to customers since the 1st of January, primarily to passengers who have paid for refundable tickets.
“The world has made great progress in its fight against the COVID-19; but we are aware that we must remain vigilant, this also implies flexibility,” said Friday, the commercial director Lucie Guillemette.
The option of the points of the loyalty program allows customers to convert the remaining value of their ticket in Aeroplan miles “to an enhanced rate of 65 %”, a-t-she added.
None of the major canadian airlines does not offer to reimburse the passengers for the hundreds of thousands of flight cancellations since mid-march, opting instead for good – whose duration of life is generally a maximum of two years.
Pressed on the issue Thursday, during his daily press conference, the prime minister Justin Trudeau said that the government needed to have “discussions very careful with the airlines,” as well as with the Canadians in order to maintain a balance where the passengers are “treated fairly” and the sector remains intact.
Several decisions rendered by the Canadian transportation agency over the past seven years seem to affirm the right of air travelers to a refund, a cancellation of a flight escapes or not in the control of the airline, said Mr Lukacs.
A decision of 2014 reiterates “the right of passengers to be refunded for the unused portions of their tickets if the carrier is not able to provide transportation on its services or on the services of other carriers within a reasonable time”.
In a ruling in 2013 on Porter Airlines, the Board has concluded that,”it (was)unreasonable for Porter to refuse to refund the fare paid by a passenger due to the cancellation of a flight, even if the cause is an event beyond the control of Wear”.
The airlines have provided flights for the repatriation and offer vouchers to customers, but in general, they do not announce any refund policy for the routes cancelled.
The WestJet website highlights the future of travel vouchers for canceled flights, but said: “We do not issue refunds according to the original payment method for the moment.”
The warning occurs even if the company’s tariff – the contract between the airline and the passenger states that “the unused portion of the ticket(s) of the passenger will be refunded,” according to the original method of payment, “if the alternative transport offered by the carrier does not meet the satisfaction of the passenger.”
On Friday, Air Canada has also announced that it regarnissait its summer schedule, even if the amount of flights, nonetheless, remains less than 50% than that of last year, the pandemic COVID-19 continue to weigh on the airline industry.
The 97 destinations compare to the 220 last summer, but mark an improvement over the last six weeks, while 95 % of its flights were still suspended.