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

Cariboo ranchers, lodge operators say Indigenous land title shuts them out

Tsilhqot’in jurisdiction affects grazing, access to private property

Ashcroft food bank benefits from donation as demand increases

Community Futures Thompson Country provides much-needed cash donation

B.C. government eyes antlerless moose harvest increase in bid to save caribou

Antlerless moose hunts reduce predation for threatened mountain caribou, says ministry

Public will have input on changes to interior of Ashcroft Library

Local libraries also offering new takeout service as they work toward reopening

BC SPCA team helps discover new feline virus after outbreak at Quesnel shelter

Fechavirus is a kind of parvovirus, which makes cats and kittens very sick

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

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’

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

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit was en route as whale broke free from prawn trap line

Racist incident shocks Vancouver Island First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP investigating after video shows truck wheeling through Tseshaht territory

Vancouver Island school principal mourns brother, cousin killed during U.S. protests

Jelks says he’s grateful for the outpouring of support from the community in the wake of this tragedy

Most Read