Extenuating medical circumstances

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Sep 19, 2015
18
3
3
66
#1
I booked air on Air Canada through Fareboom in March, 2018 for an August, 2019 trip. The trip required extensive walking. In December, we discovered that my travel partner would not be able to handle the walking. In January, 2019 we notified Fareboom that we wished to cancel. There has been paperwork back and forth. After the submission of a physician’s statement, Fareboom, requested a hospital certificate. At no time were either of us hospitalized. I questioned the requirement that hospitalization was required for a medical waiver. Fareboom has now requested a statement on physician’s letterhead. They also question why my travel partner can’t fly. Obviously, it is not the flying but the amount of walking on the tour itself. Fareboom has also stated that Air Canada rarely grants a medical waiver. We are still pursuing this matter.
 

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
2,128
2,379
113
Maui Hawaii
#2
I booked air on Air Canada through Fareboom in March, 2018 for an August, 2019 trip. The trip required extensive walking. In December, we discovered that my travel partner would not be able to handle the walking. In January, 2019 we notified Fareboom that we wished to cancel. There has been paperwork back and forth. After the submission of a physician’s statement, Fareboom, requested a hospital certificate. At no time were either of us hospitalized. I questioned the requirement that hospitalization was required for a medical waiver. Fareboom has now requested a statement on physician’s letterhead. They also question why my travel partner can’t fly. Obviously, it is not the flying but the amount of walking on the tour itself. Fareboom has also stated that Air Canada rarely grants a medical waiver. We are still pursuing this matter.
If you booked an air only ticket with Fareboom, they are interested in the air ticket only and your inability to fly, not the reason you cannot take the planned walking trip. If the airfare you booked is not refundable, you may get (emphasis on MAY get, not you will get) at most a credit for a future flight. However, if your fare is non-refundable, no changes allowed, you will likely get no credit regardless of any documentation you provide.

You also have to deal with Fareboom AND Air Canada and will be subject to the most restrictive provisions of your fare. If the AC ticket was non-refundable, no changes allowed, AC will not likely provide any credit. Fareboom advertises "Search for low fares & the cheapest days to fly to get the best flight deal" so the ticket you have is likely the most restrictive.
 
Last edited:
Sep 19, 2015
5,018
6,854
113
49
#3
I am not sure that there will be much success. Th passenger not being able to do planned activities at the destination is not a strong reason for a refund on a non refundable trip.

Is this to a destination where there is nothing else ( ie a mountain city).

You are asking for an exception and it is even harder in that an OTA is involved.

Did you buy any insurance or does the credit card used offer insurance?

The ticket was purchased in March 2018 for an August 2019 flight? I did not know that one could book 16 months in advance. The problem is that if flight credit is offered the time to use it has passed — one year from original booking date.

When was the flight scheduled? August is half over.

Was the airline ticket bought independently from the tour?
 
Jan 6, 2015
3,068
3,143
113
#4
Some clarification would be helpful I think, not only for our understanding, but for recommendations in your appeal process.

Your partner's mobility
Is this a short-term (1-2 months), long-term (1 year or more), or "permanent" issue?
Is walking PROHIBITED or restrictive in some way (please specify)?
Your airfare purchase
Is is for Basic Economy class seating?
Have the dates already passed?
Your tour(s)
Is the challenge the length of each walk(s), the terrain, or the elevation gain?
Or perhaps the total "amount" of walking?
Do the tour operators offer mobility assistance (wheel chairs, carts, segways, etc.)?

Additionally, see Air Canada's medical waiver policy. There are two conditions accepted, and only the second one has a chance of applying to your scenario: "There is medical reasonable doubt that you can complete the flight safely without requiring extraordinary assistance during the flight"

Unfortunately, even that seems unlikely. For future travel, please consider Trip Insurance as anything can unexpectedly abort/interrupt your plans . . .
 
Sep 12, 2018
58
138
33
41
#5
Pubic service announcement: At this point in time, the travel industry considers any money you’ve paid them to be theirs forever. It is still possible to acquire fully refundable bookings for airlines, hotels, rental cars, tours, cruises, etc. But unless you went out of your way to locate this type of booking and paid more - often considerably more - for it, what you have is not refundable, for any reason, ever. As a result, a whole industry has sprung up offering to insure your investment with travel insurance. For more money, that you will also never get back. For a specific set of causes, they will reimburse your losses if you can’t travel. But if whatever prevents you from traveling falls outside those limitations, you’ll still lose your money. You have to know these risks going in, and you have to be willing to risk the funds. Read the fine print. Assume that said fine print is not written in your favor. Be smart, and also assume that however it worked the last time you traveled is not how it works now.
 
Sep 19, 2015
5,018
6,854
113
49
#6
Air Canada has the following o their website

Air Canada will cancel any purchased ticket and provide a full refund without penalty up to 24 hours after purchase.
Beyond 24 hours of purchase, a non-refundable ticket offers no options in the event that an unexpected medical emergency or other unforeseen circumstance forces you to cancel your trip or modify your travel plans. And we can’t make any exception to the fare rules.
The best advice is to prepare and plan for the unexpected. Many travellers consider the purchase of cancellation insurance as a good investment against such risks. Some payment cards also cover trip cancellations; check with your bank or service provider. The time to make these decisions is when you purchase your ticket.

What is the OTA actually doing after 8 months?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
19,308
17,762
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#7
If you paid in March and canceled in January, there is little change of obtaining any refund of you didn’t buy travel insurance. And travel insurance might not cover the air at all since your friend is still able to fly.

Here is what Fareboom says about canceling:

Before you cancel your trip you should review the reservation rules Penalties portion. Some reservations are non-refundable meaning that no money is refunded to you in case of cancellation.

Medical Emergency or Death Cancellation Reasons

Most airlines waive cancellation fees and issue a full refund or a future travel voucher (refund or voucher is up to individual airline discretion) in case of unforeseen passenger hospitalization on the day of trip departure, or in case of passenger or immediate family death - some exclusions apply subject to airline policy or specific fare provisions. Hospitalization or death certificate issued by an applicable institution is required in order to apply for a refund/voucher.

Family relationship qualification note: When applying for a refund based on death of an immediate passenger family member additional documents demonstrating family relationship are required when passenger and deceased last (family) names are different. Acceptable documents are either marriage certificate or birth certificate.


As you can see, your reason for canceling doesn’t need the qualifications.

If you are lucky they may issue you a credit less their cancellation fee for a new ticket within a year of the day you booked the initial ticket.

Or you may not receive anything at all depending on the type of ticket.

I don’t see contacts for Fareboom so you can fill this out and see if our researcher can find some:

https://www.elliott.org/research/
 
Dec 19, 2014
401
752
93
47
#8
From the airline's perspective, they are contracted to fly you and your partner from point A to point B. They are prepared to fly you and your partner from point A to point B. The reality is that everyone feels their rational for receiving a refund is "an extenuating circumstance" but you case is weakened because you are you are UNWILLING to fly, not UNABLE to fly.

Fairboom is correct. Air Canada needs to grant the waiver. Based on history, your chances are near zero. Even if there is hospitalization, the chances are low, but the airline may be more sympathetic. This situation is exactly what travel insurance is for. Having said that, a well worded letter to Air Canada may garner some sympathy and they may be willing to make a few concessions. However, you are asking for an exception, and it should not be an expectation.

I'm sorry to hear about your partner's medical condition. I'm not trying to sound cold in my response, but trying to be realistic.
 
Sep 27, 2017
128
181
43
49
#9
At the risk of repeating what others have said:

1/ You are dealing with an OTA (FareBoom). Chances are FareBoom is listed as the purchaser. If AirCanada does issue any refund or credit, it will probably go to FB, and you may have to petition all over again for FB to pass that money/voucher over to you.

2/ Vouchers are usually good for one year from date of purchase. That time has passed.

3/ If the ticket is a 'basic economy' fare, it is all but gone. Sometimes in a non-refundable fare, the right letter to the right customer service agent may squeeze out some sympathy, but with a 'basic economy' ticket, that sympathy goes right out the window 100% of the time. It's the absolute cheapest ticket for a reason.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
8,539
8,754
113
San Francisco
#10
I hope that someone somewhere does something for you. Booking a trip, then changing your mind months later usually results in a total loss without trip insurance. I'm so sorry we can't be more helpful.