Seeking advice before doing anything regrettable

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Mar 13, 2018
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Hello Elliot community:

I am seeking your advice before I do anything regrettable.
  • On January 14, 2020, I purchased a non-refundable, RT airfare/hotel combination on Expedia** for travel to London, October 25, 2020-November 1, 2020.
  • The airline is Air Canada.
  • I was going for a concert that has been since rescheduled to November 3, 2021.
  • Outbound: PDX-YVR-LHR
  • Inbound: LHR-YVR-PDX.
  • I purchased travel insurance from Allianze Global Assistance.
  • As you know, Americans aren't allowed entry into Canada and England (as far as I can determine).
  • As of today, September 15, 2020, the flight is not canceled.
  • I suspect it is still too far out for Expedia to start communicating with me on my options.

As I still am planning to attend the concert in November 2021 (conditions permitting), what you do recommend would be my course of action?
  • Wait for Expedia to initiate communications?
  • Change air ticket now and possibly incur a change fee?
  • Other?

I appreciate site tremendously, and thank you for your suggestions/advice!

Stay safe,

Larry Lindamore

**I've never had trouble with Expedia before, but I am definitely going with airlines directly from now on.
 

VoR61

Jan 6, 2015
4,064
6,493
the United States
Good forward thinking on your part, Larry. Here are some articles that will guide you:

for issues with Canadian and European Airlines, see Question 8 in this article:

The bottom line for both is for you to wait patiently for them to cancel since your tickets are non-refundable . . .
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
11,040
13,231
San Francisco
How clever you are to ask first! Since you have a new date, I think you should begin the process now with Expedia. I've little experience with these services; perhaps my colleagues may not agree with me. Logically, it seems a simple task. Not that dealing with AC or Expedia is ever simple, of course. First, the easy way: call Expedia to make your request. They will not be able to rebook until 364 days out probably, but let them tell you how it goes. Next would be an email Customer Service, followed by our Company Contacts. Two weeks between each submission. All you're looking for is to cancel your tix and rebook for next year, without change/cancel fees. The fare amount for next year may be higher, or it may not. As usual, who knows what goes on in the minds of airline management?

You stated your case to us perfectly, it passed my test of "one read and I got it". A+

You know it might take a long time, so be absolutely sure you get somewhere before your scheduled departure, or you'll have to cancel the res. Find out what your time parameters are. I'm sure you know that a no-show means that you will lose that value forever. It's my personal opinion that CS agents must be ready to commit hari-kari after all these months of people calling and babbling and asking for the impossible. I chatted with a rep at United the other day and he quickly confirmed my opinion. He literally told me how refreshing it was to deal with a pax on a businesslike level. I think they might be very receptive to a rational voice asking for simple help after what they've been through. Best of luck, and please keep us updated.
 
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Comicman

Jul 13, 2020
869
1,821
If me, regardless of if I planned to go in the future or not I would wait it out till the airline cancels and then request a refund. Then in the future when I want to go again , my options are open. Who knows if the airline credit will have the option of the same routes as this current ticket. Who knows if the price will be doubled ( you need to pay any extra fare over the voucher vale). Who knows if Covid will be controlled by then. Get a refund and you can book what ever flights you want with, whenever you want and how you want. Leave your options open.
You can always cancel the day before you are to fly. But if Canadian borders are close to Americans ( I suspect they will be next month) , the flight surely will be canceled. Then just request a refund.
 

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Dec 27, 2014
25,883
29,033
New York
www.promalvacations.com
Air Canada has not followed US DOT guidelines requiring refunds if they cancel a flight. They have defied DOT rules and the DOT is not doing much about it do waiting might actually be worse because you probably won’t get a refund if they do cancel.

I’m with jsn on this one- contact Expedia and see what they will do.
 
Apr 1, 2018
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243
I just did a search - AC (operated by Jazz) flights from PDX to YVR and AC flights from YVR to LHR have consistently flown during the last 7 days, so flight cancellation may be unlikely.

I would initiate a conversation with Expedia and find out how much the change fee is. If it isn't too much I would probably just pay it and hope that by next year, we will see some return to normality. The risk of not doing this is if there is some type of COVID breakthrough between now and November this year, which seems unlikely but one never knows, it may be more difficult to change flights on a non-refundable ticket after the "breakthrough."
 
Mar 13, 2018
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UPDATE: Expedia just notified me (8:00 p.m. PST, 9.16.20) that Air Canada has changed the October 25, 2020, outbound PDX-YVR leg quite substantially .

Previous | New schedule.
Depart PDX 3:35 p.m. | 8:25 a.m.
Arrive YVR 4:49 p.m. | 9:40 a.m.

The outbound YVR-LRH leg remains the same.
Depart YVR 7:00 p.m.
Arrive LHR 11:20 a.m. + 1

This is an ~7-hour change, with a long layover in YVR.

I am given the option to accept the change or cancel. According to Expedia's email, "If you choose to cancel, please click "Cancel" and we will cancel your flight. Once we cancel. you will receive either a refund or a credit depending on airline policy. For more information, see our customer service portal."

Based on what I gleaned from previous posts, the 7-hour time difference is sufficient grounds to cancel (and hoping for the best for a refund, but it is Air Canada after all).

My question: would you cancel? It seems to me to be most logical option.

Thank you for your collective wisdom.

Larry

P.S. Given this was a air/hotel bundle purchase, how would I go about canceling the hotel portion? Work with Expedia?




 
Sep 27, 2018
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403
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UPDATE: Expedia just notified me (8:00 p.m. PST, 9.16.20) that Air Canada has changed the October 25, 2020, outbound PDX-YVR leg quite substantially .

Previous | New schedule.
Depart PDX 3:35 p.m. | 8:25 a.m.
Arrive YVR 4:49 p.m. | 9:40 a.m.

The outbound YVR-LRH leg remains the same.
Depart YVR 7:00 p.m.
Arrive LHR 11:20 a.m. + 1

This is an ~7-hour change, with a long layover in YVR.

I am given the option to accept the change or cancel. According to Expedia's email, "If you choose to cancel, please click "Cancel" and we will cancel your flight. Once we cancel. you will receive either a refund or a credit depending on airline policy. For more information, see our customer service portal."

Based on what I gleaned from previous posts, the 7-hour time difference is sufficient grounds to cancel (and hoping for the best for a refund, but it is Air Canada after all).

My question: would you cancel? It seems to me to be most logical option.

Thank you for your collective wisdom.

Larry

P.S. Given this was a air/hotel bundle purchase, how would I go about canceling the hotel portion? Work with Expedia?




Note with Air Canada, the only option is a voucher as they are ignoring our rules of a refund.
 
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Skippy

May 30, 2019
901
2,397
Based on what I gleaned from previous posts, the 7-hour time difference is sufficient grounds to cancel (and hoping for the best for a refund, but it is Air Canada after all).


As you noted, AC is not giving refunds these days. If the voucher is useful to you, my recommendation is to take it. Before you do, be sure that there are no funny T&C's related to cancelling.
 
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Mar 13, 2018
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Update, September 21, 2020. Thank you all again, Elliot Community, as you offered great advice! I have an update that I'd like to share regarding my pre-paid bundled air/hotel trip to London, October 25-November 1 (PDX-YVR-LRH) purchased through Expedia.

1. Canceled the Air Canada ticket (due to a massive schedule change) and accepted a 2-year credit voucher, effective on the cancelation date of 9.17.20
2. Filed a DOT report about Air Canada's non-refund policy -- not expecting anything, but just to add another voice to the mix.
3. Expedia contacted the hotel on my behalf, and the hotel would not refund/exchange my pre-paid reservation.
4. However, I had purchased Vacation Waiver Insurance from Expedia. I was able to secure a refund on the pre-paid hotel costs. (Go Expedia Chat service). The refund should be posted to my credit card in a few business days.
5. No luck on using the Vacation Waiver insurance on securing an air refund though. (I thought I would ask while I was at it.)
5. The outstanding balance between the initial prepayment and the credit voucher/hotel refund are the taxes/fees, which are not insignificant.
6. Not hoping for any success, but I'm going to contact my credit card to see if I can secure a some refund on those taxes/fees.

Lessons learned: I forgot I had purchased the Vacation Waiver Insurance*. In hindsight, I would have started there first with questions about my upcoming trip and what my options were.

Stay safe,

Larry

* I also had Allianz Travel insurance, which I would have approached next if everything else failed.
 
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Neil Maley

Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Dec 27, 2014
25,883
29,033
New York
www.promalvacations.com
Good news but if you used the Vacation Waiver- that’s why you aren’t receiving a refund of it. You used the policy.

A suggestion when you rebook- do not book a nonrefundable rate. Book something you have leeway to cancel.
 
Mar 13, 2018
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Too right, Neil, about the refundable rate. Even though refundable rates are more expensive, what is my piece of mind worth?

Thank you for this site and to the community.

Take care,

Larry

P.S. I may use my Air Canada 2-year credit voucher to visit Toronto or Montreal at some point. And book my November 2021 London trip (conditions permitting) directly with the airline (bypassing Expedia).
 
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Mar 13, 2018
23
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Hello Elliott Community:

I have an update to my Air Canada credit voucher. I did receive an email today (4.23.21) from Air Canada saying I am eligible for a refund on my canceled trip. As I purchased the ticket through Expedia, I had to contact them for the refund. Using Expedia's chat, the agent issued the full refund, processed in the original form of payment (credit card). It will take longer than I originally expected to receive the refund, but I'm just glad not to have a credit. (BTW: I have a copy of the chat in case there's problems.)
 

kenish

Sep 1, 2015
1,176
2,239
KSNA
On a similar note, in March of last year my son was flying AC from SJC-YVR-YYZ to see a friend compete in Olympic qualifiers. 12 hours before his flight, the venue in Toronto announced that spectators would not be allowed. Trans-border travel was still allowed but things were rapidly shutting down. Since his flights were operating but there was no point in traveling, he reluctantly got a credit from AC. Fast-forward to late summer- after a long thread with AC, my son got a full refund! At the time the Canadian government was holding back on rescue funds to AC due to the many issues with unpaid refunds. My son fully understood he wasn't entitled to a refund by the strict letter of the rules, but he got lucky.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
11,040
13,231
San Francisco
Too right, Neil, about the refundable rate. Even though refundable rates are more expensive, what is my piece of mind worth?

Thank you for this site and to the community.

Take care,

Larry

P.S. I may use my Air Canada 2-year credit voucher to visit Toronto or Montreal at some point. And book my November 2021 London trip (conditions permitting) directly with the airline (bypassing Expedia).
Before you go the refundable route, check a biz/first class tix. It may be less that ref coach. Airlines take much better care of their travelers in the front of the cabin. Except for AirCanada of course, they do as little as possible. Also check out credit cards with trip insurance included as a perk.
 
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