Air Canada refused to refund tickets after hospitilization in Singapore

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Nov 8, 2019
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#1
My husband and I were traveling on an extensive itinerary from Phoenix-Sydney-Hobart-Singapore-Hanoi-Ho Chi Minh City-Phoenix when I was hospitalized for a week in Singapore with pneumonia and other issues, and after discharge flew back to the U.S. from Singapore with a medical escort. This curtailed our plans to continue on with our Vietnam tour and the return flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Phoenix on Air Canada about 2 weeks later. We attempted but were unable to reach Air Canada from Singapore to cancel the return flight. After we returned home, we contacted Air Canada customer service last April regarding a refund of all or part of the $11,750 for my and my husband's airfares. They only refunded several hundred dollars in taxes and the case was closed by customer service without further action. After several more unsuccessful requests, in October we mailed an extensive packet of documentation directly to Air Canada's Calgary Customer Service Headquarters asking them to re-open the case, but again received an email saying that, while unfortunate, the medical emergency did not constitute grounds for reimbursement of a non-refundable ticket. Since we booked the final return flight directly with Air Canada, it was not covered under our travel insurance policy. However, it is a significant amount of money, and we feel that they should at least be open to negotiating a partial refund due to the medical emergency. Since my and my husband's current health conditions will not allow for future air travel, a voucher would not be an acceptable resolution. We feel that Air Canada has taken a very hard line in this case, given the circumstances of the hospitalization and our attempt to cancel. We are wondering if anyone else has had success in approaching Air Canada with a similar situation. Sharon S.
 
Jul 13, 2016
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#2
A little more information is needed.
When was this trip?
With whom did you book these tickets? Directly with Air Canada, or with another airline, or with a third party company like Cheapo-air, Travelocity, Orbitz, etc?
Were all these tickets on one ticket or were there multiple, disconnected tickets?
You say you were unable to reach Air Canada while in Singapore. How did you reach out to them? Email? Phone call?
Why was the final leg booked through Air Canada not included in your travel protection policy?

It seems like you did not cancel the flight prior to day of departure, thus becoming "no-shows" and thus not being eligible for a refund or future flight credit. Even if AC does reconsider, you would get a future air credit voucher at best, not a cash refund. And that voucher would only be valid until one year from purchase date, not flight date.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#3
Does the $11,750 represent the entire return from Ho Chi Minh to Phoenix?

Why doesn’t your travel insurance cover this return flight?

Did you pay for the flight with a credit card that has travel insurance?

The airlines get requests for exceptions on a weekly basis — illness, death in family, job issues— sometimes they take a hard line and say non refundable is non refundable and expect the passenger to mitigate the losses — by buying appropriate insurance.

Was the ticket cancelled before departure?
 
Jan 30, 2018
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#4
As Christina asks, why did the travel insurance not cover the flight? We buy travel insurance when we first book a trip and add to it as we make additional payments for airfare and other non-refundable expenses so that the entire trip is covered. In fact, some policies will not pay out unless all trip expenses are insured.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#5
You should all your travel insurance company. I don’t understand why they aren’t covering the flight unless they required you to contact them to rebook but I’ve never heard of that.

Appeal the declination.

Air Canada doesn’t owe you a refund - that’s what the insurance is for. What class ticket did you originally have and were you rebooked on the same ticket class?

Do you have a link to the travel insurance we can read?
 
Likes: VoR61
May 1, 2018
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#6
Since we booked the final return flight directly with Air Canada, it was not covered under our travel insurance policy.
The above sentence, as written, makes no sense. Insurance is going to be the crux of the issue here to it's vital that you expand on why your claim was denied by your travel insurer.
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
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#7
Have you tried to see if you have any coverage through your credit card used to purchase the ticket? I think that is your best bet. Unfortunately, non-refundable means just that. While we all agree that $11,000 is a lot of money to lose and that the hospitalization was not your choice, it was also not the fault of the airline. Cold hearted, yes, but that is most businesses. Air Canada is not known for their stellar customer service.

BUT, you can always try to appeal to the execs for an exception to their rule. Use the Company Contacts link at the top of the forum to find the email addresses for the execs of Air Canada. Be brief, polite and acknowledge you are requesting an exception to their rule. Write to one at a time, waiting one week for a reply before moving to the next name on the list.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#9
If I read your narrative correctly, your travel insurance "might" cover the original cost of the return flight, but not the replacement cost for the new flight. It does seem that you wish to be compensated for the entire cost of the trip. If so that is unlikely.
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
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#11
If I read your narrative correctly, your travel insurance "might" cover the original cost of the return flight, but not the replacement cost for the new flight. It does seem that you wish to be compensated for the entire cost of the trip. If so that is unlikely.
I think you might be right. It is unclear but I am now assuming they bought NEW tickets to fly home at a cost of $11,000 rather than use the return tickets with a change fee.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#12
I think you might be right. It is unclear but I am now assuming they bought NEW tickets to fly home at a cost of $11,000 rather than use the return tickets with a change fee.
If that’s the case- I understand the declination but we really need to see the policy.

OP- did you cancel the original return while you were hospitalized or did you simply not show up? If you were a no show on the return flight instead of canceling and rescheduling- this could be why the insurance company is declining.