Air Canada did pay 1112 $ to a customer to reimburse him for the sum of 2753 $ in connection with the cancellation of a family trip planned for this summer.
A few weeks ago, Martin Gagnon has decided to cancel the four airline tickets that he had purchased for a trip to Europe.
Not she took : Air Canada has retained as a cancellation fee 1112 $, which represents nearly 29 % of the 3865 $ disbursed for the purchase of four tickets. Mr. Gagnon was therefore unable to recover 2753 $.
This is one example among many that shows that even with a refundable ticket, the pandemic can be expensive for travelers who want to get their money.
“They don’t care about the world”
“The reason why I still took a refund is that I already had several travel credit,” says Martin Gagnon.
“I have to spend 20 000 $ to 25 000 $ per year for Air Canada, says it. They don’t care about the world, that’s for sure. There is no doubt about it. ”
The refusal of airline companies to reimburse their customers for cancelled trips due to the coronavirus has caused outrage for weeks.
However, even customers who are willing to accept travel credit are faced with situations incongruent :
- obligation to make the final payment for a trip is already cancelled in order to get full credit
- risk of a price increase when using a credit
- obligation to use the entire credit at one time
- inability to transfer credit to someone else
“There are people to whom it would not issue a credit if they could give it to relatives “, note Élise Thériault, lawyer at Option consommateurs.
Nancy Proulx, for example, would like to have the possibility to use the credit she has received from Transat for a ticket for her daughter.
“She must travel it again, but it is not certain to be able to do so because of her studies. Otherwise, I lose the credit, because it is in his name. As it was I who paid, I think it’s unfair, ” says Ms. Proulx.
The petition launched this week by Option consumers to ask Ottawa to force the hand of the airlines has already collected more than 20,000 signatures.
Air Canada, loose ballast
In the Face of the outcry that does not calm, Air Canada has finally announced yesterday, some easing of its policy.
The carrier still refuses to reimburse its customers who do not have refundable tickets. But for trips canceled since the 1st of march, the credits are valid for two years, will be transformed into ” travel vouchers “, without expiration date, and ” fully transferable “.
Travellers will also have the opportunity to convert the “residual value” of their tickets on Aeroplan miles “with a high value of 65 % compared to the normal rate of purchase of miles,” said Air Canada.
The montreal company claims to have repaid close to a billion dollars to its clients since the 1st of January. However, she did not reveal how much she received in cancellation fees to make these payments.
On the side of the Recliner, it indicates that the credits can be used for more than one trip. By contrast, the transfer of credits is not usually possible.
“In some special situations, we may allow the transfer of credits, but this is a case, which must be analyzed individually “, said yesterday a spokesman for Transat, Debbie Cabana.
Money belonging to the client held by the travel companies
- Air Canada: $2.6 Billion
- Transat: 809 M$
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