Help with Air Canada Refund

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Apr 30, 2020
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On 12/22/19, I purchased 2 round trip tickets on Air Canada from SFO to KEF for my son and me. Departure 6/27/20, return 7/13/20. Total fare $1,785.06
It was to be a family trip after his graduation this summer. My husband booked separately on United as he was continuing on to Germany for work afterwards.

I received emails regarding "revised itinerary" on 1/21, 2/5 and 2/25.
On 4/15/20, I received 3 separate emails re: cancelled flights, but only for the 2 outbound [SFO-YYZ and YYZ-KEF] and ONE inbound [KEF-YUL]. Air Canada advised me to go on their website to cancel my reservation and they would give me a travel voucher valid for 24 months. Their site stated that COVID-19 was beyond their control and they could only give a travel voucher, not a refund. I understand the DOT states otherwise.
Also, my reservation showed only the outbound flights as being cancelled, but not the 2 inbound flights which were shown as "Flight Changed". I don't know if this will be a problem getting the full amount refunded?

Adding to my confusion, I received 2 emails today, 4/30/20, from Air Canada "Booking Confirmation & Receipt or Itinerary Change" for the outbound flights which were supposedly cancelled!
We had already cancelled the Land Tour Package in Iceland and my husband's flights. I cannot re-book as my son will be starting a job after our original return date. Air Canada is not my usual airline [United] so the odds are low that I will be able to fly with them in the future.

I have tried contacting Air Canada online via the links from your Help site, but keep being redirected in circles and achieving nothing.
Worse, I cannot even get to My Booking as this pops up:
"Sorry, we're not able to display this booking online. To make changes to this booking, please contact Air Canada ReservationsOpens in a new window for assistance or talk to your travel agent."
Clicking on the link brings me back to the same vicious circle.

Can you please help me contact Air Canada so that I can cancel the reservation and get my money refunded? At this point, I can't even get to the point of asking for a voucher.

Thank you!
 
Feb 21, 2018
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Have you tried sending an email through the Customer Support page of Air Canada's website? I had very good results contacting them that way last fall when one half of my outbound flights for a trip were cancelled for mechanical reasons. My husband and I had paid almost $150 for premium economy seating on the second half of the itinerary that flew, but we couldn't use because of the re-route they gave us. Reasonable response time and ultimately a good outcome because of the details and documentation I was able to easily email them during the exchange.
 
Apr 30, 2020
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Thank you for your information. Yes, I tried the Customer Support page, but as I mentioned, I kept getting redirected and ultimately never got to a page where I could actually send an email even though I clicked on "Send us an Email" or the "link" for "cancelling or changing reservation due to COVID-19". It says they recently migrated to a new reservation system, so I don't know if that's part of the problem. I'm sure the main reason is due to all the upheaval the virus has wrought to the airlines.
I don't want to call them [yet] as I want to have a paper trail. The Elliott site also mentions that others have reported problems reaching Air Canada, receiving this message: "Email messages to contacts listed on your site were rejected".
 
Feb 21, 2018
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I just looked back into my old emails and I have my acknowledgement that came from customercare@aircanada.ca - if you haven't already tried this email, might be worth a shot to see if you can get a response by sending outside of their web submission form.
 
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Apr 30, 2020
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Thank you for the email address. I did not see your second post until today. For some reason, even though this is "watched", I didn't receive an email advising I had a message, like I did the first time. I've just written to them and, fingers crossed, it will be delivered and I can get a resolution.
 
Apr 30, 2020
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I received an automated reply that Air Canada is not accepting direct emails. They gave 2 links to contact them, which again is sending me around in circles. What should I do?
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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I think we need a new description for travellers today ... agonized frustration. We're into this isolation mess six weeks and customer service everywhere is still very difficult. While I understand how difficult it's been, I also understand your situation, Mayling. And on top of that, AC is "changing their res system". Just plain awful. I think you're going to have to use the phone to get this straightened out. I would also pay a visit to the airport and see if you can track down an AC person ... I mean, miracles do happen, right? I literally can't imagine what else you can do except keep trying everything over and over. The only ray of sunshine I see is that you have time, your flights aren't departing the day after tomorrow.
 
Apr 30, 2020
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Thank you for your insight. Yes, I guess I’ll eventually have to try calling and forget about having a paper trail. I dread to think how long I’ll be on hold, IF I can even get through. I tried calling another company recently and was told “the wait time is 2 hours”! Now I just have to psyche myself up ...
 
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Dec 3, 2018
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I telephoned American Express, filed a dispute and within a week received a letter from American Express indicating that I would receive a full discount.
 
Apr 30, 2020
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Thank you for your info. I may have to resort to filing a dispute with my credit card later if things don't work out. However, I called Air Canada at 1 A.M. today and the wait wasn't too bad! The agent confirmed that my reservation had been canceled, hence my inability to see the booking. She said an email was sent 4/16/20 to inform me, but I never received it. In fact, she tried re-sending it and all I got was the same "Booking Confirmation" received on 4/30. She verified the travel vouchers were good for 24 months from 4/16/20, but when I asked for a refund, she said AC was not giving refunds. She said she was unaware of the DOT mandate for refunds. She told me to contact Customer Service, and I just clicked on "Refund Request" this time, now that I knew for sure the reservation was canceled. It says it may take up to 6 weeks for the request to be processed!
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
All refunds are taking up to three months so six weeks is not unusual. Just be patient- as long as you were able to cancel and request the refund it seems that you are confirmed that the flight was canceled.
 
Apr 30, 2020
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Thanks for the heads up that it may take up to 3 months. The good thing for me is that Air Canada canceled my flights rather than my having to do so. I just wish I could have a copy of that 4/16 email for my files, but it's in their system, at least for now. I sure hope DOT rules re: refunds don't change in the meantime.
 

Dwayne Coward

Administrator
Staff Member
Director
Apr 13, 2016
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Thanks for the heads up that it may take up to 3 months. The good thing for me is that Air Canada canceled my flights rather than my having to do so. I just wish I could have a copy of that 4/16 email for my files, but it's in their system, at least for now. I sure hope DOT rules re: refunds don't change in the meantime.
I would recommend filing a complaint with DOT, as AC is notifying everyone they are only providing vouchers good for 24 months in these cases, apparently with the agreement of the Canadian CTA. As DOT regulations do apply to these flights and an the DOT has already issued an enforcement order on these cases, complaints may get some traction and/or further enforcement action.

https://www.transportation.gov/airconsumer/file-consumer-complaint
 
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Apr 30, 2020
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Can a Staff Member help me with my next step please? I received the email copied below from Air Canada today, basically giving me the runaround and stating no refund. My cancellation had already been completed prior to my request for a refund. Do I now appeal to someone higher at Air Canada? Twyla Robinson, the first one listed under Executive Contacts? Can you please advise what I need to write? Thank you.
Coincidentally, Chris Elliott's column last Sunday May 17 [Flight canceled by airline? You are entitled to a complete refund. Period] was about a lady whose Delta Airlines flight got cancelled under similar circumstances and she got a quick response and a full refund. That was an U.S. company though.

Dear Customer,
We have received your request for a refund due to a flight change or cancellation caused by the impacts of COVID-19, government travel advisories and/or health and safety concerns.
If you’ve booked with a travel agent, 3rd party website such as Expedia or with one of our partner airlines, please contact your original booking partner for assistance as our systems are unable to process any changes to these bookings.
If you booked with Air Canada directly, please process your booking cancellation online. Visit our COVID-19 landing page and review the steps under “My flight has been cancelled. What should I do?” to complete your cancellation.
As you can now manage your booking with your travel agent or online, we will be closing your Ticket Refund Application on your behalf.
Am I eligible for a refund?
Despite this unprecedented situation, rest assured we are working around the clock to help our customers. However, while cancellations that are within an airline's control can lead to a refund, those cancellations that are caused by COVID-19 are beyond our control, principally due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the government measures put in place to contain its spread.
If you purchased a refundable fare, it can be refunded as per fare rules (please note a cancellation fee may still apply depending on the type of fare you purchased).
If you purchased a non-refundable fare, please note that you are not eligible for a refund. However, you may keep the remaining value of your ticket for future travel. This value is valid for travel within 24 months of your flight cancellation date which is in accordance with government regulations. The cancellation fee will be waived when rebooking your travel.
We look forward to welcoming you on board again soon.
 
Apr 30, 2020
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I did file a DOT complaint back on May 5 when Dwayne advised that. Though I received an acknowledgement from them, no one contacted me per their statement "Your complaint or inquiry will be assigned to an analyst for review and you will receive a more detailed acknowledgment from us within a few days". There's no reference #. Do I file a new complaint since Air Canada has definitely denied me a refund?
And yes, my round trip flights originated and ended in the US [SFO].
Should I not bother reaching out to Air Canada Management as well then? Or if I should, which of the ones listed on your site - Twyla Robinson, Anthony Doyle, or Craig Landry? Thanks.