Frustration with Air Canada Refund Request

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Sep 25, 2018
I have been trying to get Air Canada to step it up and address my inconvenience, yet to no avail. Hence my reason to reach out to you as I am getting nowhere.

Allow me to explain:

On August 9, 2018 I left Cleveland to fly on Air Canada to Sept-Iles Quebec flight #AC7406. Everything started out as planned until I arrived in Quebec City and flight to Sept-Iles #AC8766 was delayed due to mechanical problems. Instead of landing at 10:00 as scheduled, we landed at 3:30 AM. I had a meeting scheduled the next morning at 7:00 AM and yep, I was tired.

My return flight was even worse. Allow me to explain:

On August 18, 2018 I was scheduled to take off at 2:40 PM. Upon arriving at airport, I was informed flight AC8796 was delayed because of mechanical problems. All of my connections would be missed now and instead of arriving at home on the 18th at 9:30, I would not get home until Sunday morning the 19th around 9:00 AM. Furthermore, Air Canada agreed to put me up in a hotel (airline policy) upon arriving at Toronto Pearson.

Once landed in Toronto I proceeded to the customer service desk by gate 21 at Pearson Int'l Airport. The young lady after reviewing informed me they had no rooms available and it was 11:00 PM! I stepped back and pointed to the sign above the desk and asked her to tell me what it said, her reply "customer service", I than asked, and what part am I missing. She again apologized and suggested I take the train to the hotels connected to the airport; Alt and Sheraton Hotels. I stated, yea right, those hotels are going to cost $400.00 per night. Her reply, "No worries as Air Canada will reimburse me".

Well I went to both hotels and was informed they had no rooms available because of the fires out west and rain in Newark which were causing all kinds of air travel problems.

Jeremy, front desk person at Sheraton, did offer one token, he gave me a key to the shower room by the pool; of which I used after walking Toronto Airport until 6:00 AM.

My cost of flight was $807.69 and want a complete refund. Air Canada offered a 10% and 20% discounts from future flight assuming I book within 1 year. Not only will I not fly AC, but my airline of choice is United AND I am a US citizen and AC does not fly much where I travel to.

More to the point on a refund. Had I been able to complete a reservation at the Sheraton, I am sure the reimbursement would not be compensatory to my cost. I say this as AC is completely unavailable to have ANY conversation as I have been emailing many times trying to get my voice heard. Somehow I do not believe AC understands the term "customer service" as no communications are permitted. Instead I have been back and forth with a Mr. Alvarez in customer service and this guy keeps on saying the same thing on how sorry they are for my inconvenience......

End of the day, had I gotten a room AND assuming, say 20% refund been allowed, we are close to what the ticket had cost me. So my gripe is not only fair but reimbursement based on AC policy of giving a hotel room is extremely reasonable.

Can you help me in this cause?

Many thanks for reading.

Tim Doyle


Verified Member
Oct 2, 2014
Here's what you're entitled to by contract:
In the case of an extended delay to an Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge or Air Canada Express flight* which is expected to last:

  • 2 hours or more:
    • You can change your reservation** at no cost by choosing a new departure date within 7 days of your original travel date. If you change your departing flight, you can also, at the same time, choose a new return flight to match the same length of stay, if necessary.
    • You can retain the unused portion of your ticket and use it toward future travel on Air Canada.
    • You can request a refund for the unused portion of your ticket.
  • 4 hours or more:
    • When the delay is caused by circumstances within Air Canada's control, an Air Canada airport agent will offer you a meal voucher for use at an airport restaurant or for our Air Canada Bistro service.
  • 8 hours or more:
    • For circumstances within Air Canada's control - If your flight has been rescheduled to depart the next day, you may be entitled to meal vouchers, transportation to and from the airport as well as hotel accommodations (subject to availability). Ask an Air Canada airport agent for assistance.
    • For circumstances outside Air Canada's control - If your flight has been rescheduled to depart the next day, Air Canada representatives will provide you with hotel contact information where you can obtain valued customer rates.
You'll notice that there's no mention of a refund of flight that were flown.

Your best bet is to gather up your receipts for anything you spent on food and ask for a refund for those. I would also ask for a future flight voucher equal to the cost of a hotel room at Pearson which they were required by contract to provide and failed to do so. Since you didn't actually spend any money out of pocket, it highly unlikely you'll get a refund.

Here's the link to the company contacts:
Start with the primary contact and work your way down giving each step a week to respond. Remember to be reasonable in your request or they're likely to just delete you email.

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Dec 27, 2014
New York
I second John's advice. You won't get a refund because they fulfilled their obligation to get you to and from your destinations. Believe it or not, the DOT actually will tell you schedules basically mean nothing. Read it and weep:

"Airlines don't guarantee their schedules, and you should realize this when planning your trip. There are many things that can-and often do-make it impossible for flights to arrive on time. Some of these problems, like bad weather, air traffic delays, and mechanical issues, are hard to predict and often beyond the airlines' control. "

How ridiculous is this?


Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
San Francisco
This had to be an awful experience, Tim, but for an airline it's "business as usual". For the tix that you purchase, they offer to transport you from Point A to Point B; there's no discussion about when. An airline agent will tell you anything to get you to go away, sad but true. I have to agree with my colleagues, you may be reimbursed for some of your out-of-pocket expenses, but a refund would be a very long shot. You can surely use our Company Contacts to see if a voucher for a future flight might be offered.