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Old Oct 8, 20, 4:59 pm
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 12
Originally Posted by strickerj View Post
I had the same experience with Air Canada - the details are in the master COVID cancellation thread on the AC forum (, and also my DOT complaint (, but here's the gist of it:

In August of 2019, I purchased one way DTW-YYZ-YVR for 2020/05/22 for 3 passengers, each of which got charged separately.

In early April, they canceled both flights, and in fact suspended service to DTW entirely. This was blamed on "government regulations", even though Delta has continued to operate DTW-YYZ service this entire time.

A few weeks later, I saw the DOT notice, and requested a refund from AC citing it. The website said to allow 6 to 8 weeks, so when 8 weeks passed without a response, I filed a chargeback (actually 3 - one for each ticket) and the DOT complaint. AmEx applied temporary credits.

Unrelated to the chargeback but worth mentioning: Air Canada filed essentially the same reply to my DOT complaint as to the others: "complainant has no standing" (huh?) and that non-refundable tickets will only be refunded for cancellations "within the airline's control" (which was added to the terms and conditions on January 6 of this year and thus does not apply. AC agreed that the tariff at the time of purchase applies, which was that a refund will be provided in the event of a cancellation for any reason if the passenger no longer wishes to travel.).

In August, AmEx received a response from AC (basically just saying the ticket is non-refundable and showing that I agreed to the terms and conditions, but not actually showing what those terms and conditions were) and reversed the credit. I don't blame AmEx here; they were acting on the information they were given.

Here's the kicker - I reopened the disputes (there's a link to do so, with one of the selectable reasons being "I have additional information not already provided") and submitted a comment that I acknowledge the tickets were non-refundable, but that only means the passenger can't cancel for a refund, not that a refund wouldn't be owed if the airline cancels. This is affirmed by both DOT and Air Canada's own terms and conditions (both of which I attached, with references to the relevant paragraphs). Approximately 2 weeks later, AmEx replied to all 3 appeals separately: one of which they sided with my and closed, one if which they kept open pending a response from the merchant, and one of which they closed in AC's favor with the comment "the merchant has already justified its position and we are not in a position to investigate this further". After years of positive experiences, I must say I'm really disappointed in American Express on this one. Why have the option to reopen a dispute with additional information if they won't consider it?
To follow-up on my experience, after initially closing the dispute in my favor, Amex eventually re-billed me for the charge since the airline responded that they had offered a travel credit, which Amex deemed to be a satisfactory resolution. I reopened the dispute online and provided a copy of the airline CoC, but Amex again closed the dispute in favor of the merchant. At this point, I tried calling, but the Amex phone representative essentially told me not to expect to see my money again. Unfortunately, since the flight was wholly international, we were not protected by DOT regulations. I subsequently filed a complaint with the CFPB (for goods not received), and Amex has now reopened the case and issued a credit while they investigate further, so we'll see where this goes...
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