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Posted by
45 posts

I was listening to a cbc podcast on this , had a lawyer on and he stated that was completely illegal for them to withhold your money . when I have time ill google for a link to the law he cited ,
im 80/20 against it
i pay for a service and if you cant provide it , I should get my money back
the other part of me understands if they give all the refunds back , there is a good chance the government will have to bail them out

personally I think they should have done this
offer a voucher for 125-150% of the money all ready spent , that's good for 2-3 years
if the person doesn't want that then give them their money back as they made need it in this tough time and its against the law for them to keep it

Posted by
2070 posts

I was reasonably satisfied with the 24 month voucher I got from Air Canada, but I would have been much happier with a refund. Now I will be forced to use an airline I’ve never flown before (but happened to have convenient flights fir a trip I was to take in April). I’m hoping it will work out.

Posted by
5 posts

While the Canadian Transportation Agency states airlines only have to offer passengers travel vouchers for cancelled flights due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both the European Union and the U.S. have declared that — under their rules — passengers are entitled to refunds.

Posted by
1018 posts

Clearly this decision was made by the government to protect the Canadian airlines and while it doesn't say it, I have to assume it means any airline with a flight originating in Canada can now offer a voucher. Does anyone have experience of how the non-Canadian airlines are handling it with flights originating from Canada? I'm thinking KLM flights to Amsterdam, British Airways to London, Air France to Paris, all of the US airlines flying to the US or even code sharing to other parts of the world.

Posted by
921 posts

Garneau’s statement is an opinion without legal basis and a poor one at that, just like the CTA’s and the Prime Minister’s namby-pambying. Garneau himself admitted to monitoring the issue on a daily basis at the end of the interview, and in an answer to a journalist’s question on Friday Trudeau claimed that more news would be forthcoming in the next few weeks. It seems Garneau became transport minister because he was once an astronaut, akin to Dennis Rodman becoming Minister of Sports because he once played basketball (if there was such a position). Whatever prudence and fairness he had was lost in space.

It’s all not good enough. Consumer rights have to be protected. Other airlines are giving refunds. So are hotels, cruises, theatres, etc. If a service cannot be provided, a refund should be given. A voucher is no good to anyone who may not be able to travel again, and how is it fair if the cost of a flight goes up by a substantial amount, which is the case with Air Canada already for next year?

As for airlines outside of Canada, they have their own rules to follow, regardless of where the flight originates. There will always be airlines.

Posted by
1018 posts

As for airlines outside of Canada, they have their own rules to
follow, regardless of where the flight originates.

Are you basing this on something you know or is it just your opinion? I haven't been able to find any information to confirm or deny that airlines can make these decisions based on the laws or rulings of the country the flight starts from. For example, if an Air Canada flight is delayed in an EU country it does have to abide by the EU rules, but if the delays is while in Canada, it's whole different compensation story. As a result I have to wonder if other airlines can get away with vouchers for flights from Canada to their home country.

Posted by
921 posts

Allan, it was an educated guess based on airline policies for return fare flights using the same airline. I may indeed be incorrect and apologise if I misled anyone. I shall leave my post as is to prove my fallibility.

A tricky one in theory. USA Transport Office: https://www.transportation.gov/sites/dot.gov/files/2020-04/Enforcement%20Notice%20Final%20April%203%202020.pdf This gives a clear indication that if an Air Canada return flight is booked from New York to Toronto, for example, and is cancelled by the airline, Air Canada would be on the hook to provide a refund - but is it, according to their own policy? Reversing the flight paths, at presently Air Canada only has to provide a voucher. When using two airlines, it gets more complicated.

The EU also provides much stronger customer protection: https://ec.europa.eu/transport/themes/passengers/news/2020-03-18-covid-19-guidance-eu-passenger-rights_en

So, US and EU citizens are better protected than we are. At present, the Canadian Government is playing piggy-in-the-middle without any intention of actively joining the game. A limp-wristed approach at best.

As for non Canadian airline flights starting in Canada, I just presumed policies were adhered to as per the airline's country of origin, seeing as there is no clear law for Canadian airlines with regards to refunds.

Posted by
1018 posts

A limp-wristed approach at best.

Our current government is very good at this. There, I said something positive about our government, not a safe thing to do in Alberta.

Posted by
4950 posts

Aren't European governments allowing their airlines to give vouchers instead of refunds as well? Looks like governments have three choices: (1) let them go bankrupt now, bail them out later; (2) give them a massive taxpayer bailout now so they can pay out refunds and then bail them out again when they go bankrupt later; and (3) let them save cash now with vouchers, and hope it means an easier recovery with fewer taxpayer bailouts later. None of these are painless choices.

Posted by
154 posts

I planned on using Porter Air from Montreal to Boston, one way, in late August. The date for their reopening is now not until end of July. I would be ok with the voucher ( my trip was cancelled due to Covid) IF this airline made it good for a year from the travel date- then there is a way to use it when I move all the plans to summer 2021.
My frustration is the terms say valid for a year from purchase date, which was January...

Posted by
1018 posts

Karen, I agree with you. I'm so focused on what Westjet is offering it hadn't occurred to me that the voucher rules are a free-for-all. It's one thing to say the voucher system is OK, but quite another not to establish some acceptable minimum requirements for the airlines to follow.

Posted by
921 posts

You are right, Stan, none of the choices are painless. Save for a rainy day, my Gran used to tell me.

"Aren't European governments allowing their airlines to give vouchers instead of refunds as well?" - From March 18th, European Commission, Section 3.2.
https://ec.europa.eu/transport/sites/transport/files/legislation/c20201830_en.pdf

The main problems with vouchers for cancelled flights: a) unable to make a trip at a later date. b) the flight price will increase and likely considerably. When looking at flights for next May, to the same intended location this coming September, the cost of my flight has varied but increased anywhere from 20 to 60%. Today it is 29% higher. The wags at Air Canada also say that if the flight price decreases (as if that is going to happen) then no monetary refund can be applied - how is that fair? c) it is wrong, plain and simple.