Consumer Watchdog Says Travel Vouchers Okay

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

Patrick McKeen

Ontario's Better Business Bureau (BBB) says it received 262 formal complaints over the past few weeks, most stemming from customers looking for help receiving a refund for their cancelled trips.

Patrick McKeen, President, BBB, told KitchenerToday that there wasn't much the BBB can do in these situations.

As the pandemic grew to encompass the world, countries began recalling their citizens and closing their borders. While some travel agencies offered initial refunds early on, many started to fall back onto their terms and conditions.

"Although there's been lots of information in the news around getting full refunds, it's still within the terms and conditions of the ticket that were booked, for the travel operator to offer a voucher instead of a full refund," McKeen advised.

The travel and hospitality industries were heavily affected by the pandemic, making it even less likely for tickets to get fully refunded. McKeen said it was best to be flexible and reschedule your trip, or take the travel voucher for now.

He advises people to always read the terms and conditions, but he acknowledges that no one could have expected the pandemic, let alone have specific protections for it.

Anna Kroupina

Anna Kroupina Journalist

Anna is OJ's newest member and she joins the team as a writer/reporter. She co-writes the daily news and covers events. Although she's new to the industry, pursuing a career path in travel/tourism has been a goal since her first family road trip to the Florida Keys sparked a desire to discover the world and this exhilarating, fast-paced industry.


Dal Lockwood - May 7, 2020 @ 01:03
It is not realistic to expect airlines to refund tickets. Most tickets are sold as non-refundable. Airlines don’t stockpile the money for future travel. For this reason the Canadian Government in an effort to prevent a massive failure of Canadian airlines and tour operators made the painful decision that it was better for everyone to get a future credit than for a few people to get a refund and many to get nothing. Insurance companies and credit card companies had language in their terms that said if the supplier provided a credit they would not pay cancellation coverage.

Grant - May 5, 2020 @ 15:17
Mr. McKeen is incorrect. If you do not receive the product purchased, the merchant shall refund. Air carriers have revised their tariffs recently to included FTC's. The original tariffs ordered the airline to refund. Most if not all airline tickets were purchased under the original tariff, When is it right to change the contract midstream? How is this legal? Yes, we are all affected by this pandemic. However, it's Right to Refund!

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