WestJet appears to be the first major carrier in canada to offer refunds instead of credits to passengers whose trips have been cancelled due to the crisis of the COVID-19.
June 5, 2020 17h32
WestJet offers discreetly to reimburse some customers for cancelled flights
The canadian Press
WestJet Airlines has quietly changed its reimbursement policy to allow certain customers whose flights have been cancelled due to the pandemic to recover their money. This decision seems to make WestJet the first major carrier in canada to offer refunds instead of credits to passengers whose trips have been cancelled due to the crisis of the COVID-19.
This change of direction is in response to months of criticism from consumer advocates and the thousands of passengers who continue to ask to be able to get back the money that they have provided for services that they have never obtained.
Three petitions – two of which are presented to the House of commons in the last month – supported by more than 110,000 signatures calling for full refunds before any aid is granted to the air carriers.
The offer of reimbursement of WestJet, set out in a document sent to travel agents and obtained by The canadian Press, applies to flights that include a city in the United States or the United Kingdom as their destination or origin.
WestJet said in an email that she contacted customers to alert them of the new option, which applies to all fares and classes, but not to vacation packages.
The policy does not include flights within Canada or to the continental Europe, Mexico or the Caribbean. It is also not available to customers who have chosen to cancel a trip in advance.
The authorities of transport in the United States and the european Union have demanded of the airlines, including foreign ones, that they offer refunds for cancelled flights in the wake of the pandemic.
Unlike the governments of the united states and europe, Ottawa has not announced any funds or loans for the air transport sector in particular. Companies can, however, make appeal to broader programmes, such as wage subsidies, or apply for a loan of at least $ 60 million reserved for large companies.