Air Canada Offers Refunds To Pax With Flights Originating In Europe

Anna Kroupina, Open Jaw

Air Canada is allowing refunds to customers whose flights were cancelled due to the COVID-19 — but not passengers whose trips originated in Canada.

Customers with flights originating in the European Union, Switzerland and Iceland are entitled to a refund for non-refundable tickets, confirmed Air Canada spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick.

"This decision follows extensive discussions among EU members of appropriate remedies given this unprecedented, global crisis and our own review of the applicable regulations in an evolving regulatory environment," Fitzpatrick said in a statement to Open Jaw. 

Air Canada has been providing refund options to customers holding refundable tickets as per the fares’ terms and conditions, and has refunded more than $1 billion since the beginning of the year, Fitzpatrick said. 

Air Canada customers holding non-refundable tickets have the choice of a travel credit with no expiry date that is fully transferable, or to convert their booking into Aeroplan Miles and get an additional 65% bonus miles. 

Air Canada posted the change on its website on 15JUN, based on its metadata, according to Canadian Press. The post cites an EU regulation that grants passengers "the right to choose between reimbursement, rerouting or rebooking the flight at a later date" if their trip is called off by the airline, according to Canada's Library of Parliament.

This shift makes Air Canada the second large Canadian carrier to offer refunds rather than credit to some passengers whose flights were cancelled as a result of the coronavirus crisis, the first being WestJet when it made the decision at the beginning of JUN. 

WestJet's refund offer applies to flights with a U.S. or U.K. city as the destination or origin.

The change follows months of backlash as consumer advocates and thousands of passengers continue to seek refund for services paid for but never rendered.

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.


ivy ng - June 25, 2020 @ 20:31
Westjet only allow passenger to refund their ticket based on selected destinaton USA and London only. In addition they may us travel agent is a fool. They don't allow passenger book with Travel agent website (TA web) for travel bank credit. Only state as open ticket for credit. Westjet use Travel Agent to sell but make it very difficult to handle cancellations as they have double standard policy. That confuse the clients, how would a customer know the diffrence between Travel Agnet website booking system and Westjet direct booking system. Absoulately unfair to the hardworking travel agents!!!!!

Richard - June 25, 2020 @ 14:36
AC is allowing refunds to customers whose flights were cancelled due to the COVID-19 — but not passengers whose trips originated in Canada.
The reality is other nationalities would not pick AC over other carriers.....Canadians have no choice but to fly AC.........

Christine Mackey - June 25, 2020 @ 14:09
So what is Air Transat offering their customers. Especially as they are being bought out by Air Canada!

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