Natalie Rahey and Blair Skrupski are shown in a handout photo. The Halifax couple in their 30s whose wedding in Mexico’s Riviera Maya later this month is now on hold after Air Canada Vacations cancelled their flight, say they and their nearly three-dozen guests are now out more than $50,000. Rahey says she is “incredibly disappointed” that the voucher requires them to rebook at the same resort for the same price or more within the next two years, even if cheaper options become available. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Natalie Rahey

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Travellers and travel agents alike are increasingly frustrated with refund policies and customer service at Canadian airlines amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

A petition calling on Ottawa to refuse bailouts to any airline that does not refund customers for cancelled flights now has roughly 3,000 signatures.

Toronto resident Bob Scott launched the petition last week.

He notes that Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds — amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars in effective loans to airlines from passengers.

Barbara Broomel, a New York-based travel agent who works with Canadian clients, says Air Canada has been “very hard” to reach, leaving her “in agony” about whether a tour group should make their final $6,000 payment for a European trip that may yet be cancelled.

Air Canada, which has cut flying by about 90 per cent for the next two months, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Natalie Rahey and Blair Skrupski, a Halifax couple whose wedding in Mexico later this month is now on hold after Air Canada Vacations cancelled their flight, say they and their nearly three dozen guests are now out a total of more than $50,000. Rahey says she is “incredibly disappointed” that their voucher requires them to rebook at the same resort for the same price or more within the next two years, even if cheaper options become available.

While U.S. and European Union officials have ordered airlines to reimburse customers for cancelled flights, a statement on the Canadian Transportation Agency website says airlines are not obliged to refund passengers for flights suspended due to the novel coronavirus or other reasons outside a carrier’s control.

READ MORE: As 240K apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirustravel

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

IN PHOTOS: Grand Forks prepares for high water

Volunteers and emergency crews were busy all around the city, reinforcing vulnerable low points

‘Not technically feasible’: Grand Forks volunteers stack sandbags to fill in damaged dike

Residents hoped governments would do emergency repairs, but learned Sunday that it was up to them

Boundary freshet 2020: At least 189 properties ordered to evacuate as of June 1

Real-time gauges on the West Kettle, Kettle and Granby rivers suggested Monday water near peak

Flood warning issued for Boundary as Kettle River expected to rise to 20-year return level

RDKB: This amounts to a high flood risk for low-lying properties in the region

SD 51 students are allowed to return to school this week – under very different rules

School on June 1 and June 2 was cancelled due to the local state of emergency

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

John Horgan says COVID-19 restrictions won’t be eased regionally

B.C. Liberals urge ‘tailored’ response based on infections

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

B.C. ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Greater Victoria drive-thru window smashed after man receives burger without mustard

Greater Victoria Wendy’s staff call police after man allegedly rips Plexiglas barrier off window

Murder charge upgraded in George Floyd case, 3 other cops charged

Floyd’s family and protesters have repeatedly called for criminal charges against all four officers

Most Read