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

Huu-ay-aht First Nations qualify for national wage subsidy

Limited partnership structure caused concern when CEWS was first introduced

ARTS AROUND: Giant Book Sale has new date, new location

Book sale will take place in November at Alberni Athletic Hall

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Yukon writer reads at virtual Alberni Valley Words on Fire

Joanna Lilley will make her appearance on May 27

Port Alberni gift card site kickstarts post-COVID-19 economy

City, chamber of commerce collaborate on novel ‘shop local’ plan

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

An ongoing updated list of Alberni Valley events affected by COVID-19

Has your event been cancelled or postponed? Check here

Bike shops busier than ever, but owners worry about stock supply issues

Uptick in cyclists brings new challenges for shops

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Most Read