Help with Air Canada Refund

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Dwayne Coward

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Staff Member
Director
Apr 13, 2016
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St. Louis
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.
I´m afraid that Air Canada is publically stating that they are not providing refunds for flights canceled due to COVID19 pandemic:

If you purchased a non-refundable fare, please note that in accordance with government regulations, non-refundable bookings that are canceled due to the impacts of COVID-19, government travel advisories and/or health and safety concerns are outside of Air Canada’s control and ineligible for a refund.​
They have also issued the following statement to individual consumers:

“We realize that COVID-19 has disrupted the plans of travellers worldwide, and our priority is to ensure that our customers have options with a flexible rebooking policy. Similarly to other major airlines, Air Canada is offering all of our customers whose travel was cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis, including those with non-refundable tickets, the option to keep the remaining value of the ticket for future travel with no expiry date.​
Our policy of offering the remaining value of the ticket for future travel is not only consistent with how major airlines are managing this unique situation, but it is also in line with our publicly published tariff rules. Our policy states that in the case of uncontrollable cancellations, the airline’s responsibility is to provide alternate travel options (as opposed to refunds), at the end of the event that caused the cancellation.​
This is also consistent with the Canadian Transportation Agency, which recently confirmed in a statement regarding COVID-19, the appropriateness of offering the remaining value of the ticket for future travel due to this unprecedented situation. This statement can be found here:​
We realize you may disagree and view this approach as inconsistent with the US DOT’s Enforcement Notice. However, we believe that our position is consistent with US law having examined this question in depth.“​

Due to the number of complaints and their public stance on the issue, we are encouraging consumers to file a complaint with the DOT, as it will likely take enforcement action on their part or a lawsuit to get them to change this policy. You can continue to write them, but I don't think it is going to help in this situation.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,037
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113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
Don’t file again with the DOT. You will just need to wait and see if they can force the hand of Air Canada, who openly seeks to be defying the DOT laws.

You can call your credit card company and see if they can file a dispute, but if they fails- there is nothing else you can do if the airline is openly flouting DOT rules. The DOT has to take action.
 
Apr 30, 2020
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I see that their statement says "the option to keep the remaining value of the ticket for future travel with no expiry date". I was told 24 months. Do I need to do anything to ensure there's NO end date?
Has your feedback shown that DOT is taking much longer than "a few days to assign an analyst" as it's now 3 weeks? My concern is that, at the time, I wrote that I had requested a refund from AC after a verbal denial, but now it's definitely been denied.
I will also try my credit card company as you've suggested, and also by #fischbowl earlier in this thread. Plus this article:
 
Apr 30, 2020
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I wanted to give an update about my situation. I filed a dispute with my credit card company and received a letter from them on 6/30 that they had resolved my dispute! :) Basically, AC accepted that Chase had taken the money away from them. Oddly enough, I received an email today from AC, cc'd to DOT, reiterating that they were not giving refunds but that travel vouchers could be transferred to ones with no expiration date. I guess, technically, they had not "refunded" me. In any case, I'm relieved it's all over now and to my satisfaction. Thank you to everyone on the Forum who helped out.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
23,037
23,001
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
I wanted to give an update about my situation. I filed a dispute with my credit card company and received a letter from them on 6/30 that they had resolved my dispute! :) Basically, AC accepted that Chase had taken the money away from them. Oddly enough, I received an email today from AC, cc'd to DOT, reiterating that they were not giving refunds but that travel vouchers could be transferred to ones with no expiration date. I guess, technically, they had not "refunded" me. In any case, I'm relieved it's all over now and to my satisfaction. Thank you to everyone on the Forum who helped out.
Did you receive a conditional credit or did Chase notify you that following their investigation they found in your favor and made the provisional credit permanent?
 
Apr 30, 2020
14
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Yes, please encourage others to file a dispute with their credit card company as AC isn't backing down, and it's a waste of time dealing with AC at any level. Even our DOT can't force them to do anything, as acknowledged by the DOT email I received awhile ago. That being said, Chase wanted to know if I'd approached AC first and I was able to give documentation of all my communication efforts.

Here's part of the AC email received today which they cc'd to DOT:

Our policy of offering the remaining value of the ticket for future travel is not only consistent with how major airlines are managing this unique situation, but it is also in line with our publicly published tariff rules. Our policy states that in the case of uncontrollable cancellations, the airline’s responsibility is to provide alternate travel options (as opposed to refunds), at the end of the event that caused the cancellation.

This is also consistent with the Canadian Transportation Agency, which recently confirmed in a statement regarding COVID-19, the appropriateness of offering the remaining value of the ticket for future travel due to this unprecedented situation. This statement can be found here:

https://otc-cta.gc.ca/eng/statement-vouchers

We realize you may disagree and view this approach as inconsistent with the US DOT’s Enforcement Notice. However, we believe that our position is consistent with US law having examined this question in depth.
 
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