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Master thread COVID-19/Coronavirus; travel waivers, route changes, AC impacts

Old Jan 27, 2020, 4:42 pm
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Last edit by: Adam Smith
Key points of AC COVID change/cancellation policy [as of December 10, 2021]:
(see this page under "Changes and cancellations")

Unlimited changes. No change fees. Ė Until December 31, 2021, if you want to change your flight, we'll waive the change fee. After December 31, 2021, you can make one change at no extra charge. If your new fare has a higher price, you only need to pay the difference from your original fare.

If Air Canada changes the time of your flight, you make a change for free.*
*Within 3 days for North American destinations and 7 days for international and sun destinations.

If your flight is cancelled, you get a refund Ė If your flight is cancelled for any reason and we donít rebook you on another flight that departs or arrives within three hours of your original departure or arrival time, or if we add a connection to your itinerary, you can request a refund.

Need to cancel? Save the value for future travel Ė If you need to cancel a booking, the full value can be transferred to an Air Canada Travel Voucher, which never expires and is fully transferrable, or converted into Aeroplan points with a 65% bonus. Refundable tickets are always refundable.

Flexibility with Aeroplan bookings Ė Until December 31, 2021, if you want to change your Aeroplan flight reward, we'll waive all change fees. After December 31, 2021, you can still make one change without a fee.
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Master thread COVID-19/Coronavirus; travel waivers, route changes, AC impacts

Old May 11, 2020, 2:33 pm
  #1636  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 176
Originally Posted by drjeffrock
Flight to Casablanca from LAX via Montreal was just cancelled for mid-June. Called and was told that Iím not eligible for a refund because 1) itís a non-refundable ticket 2) They are a Canadian company not bound by USDOT (lol) and 3) They are still working on reaching an agreement regarding refunds with the Canadian department of transportation.

To those that want a refund and have flights involving the US: Donít settle for some lame voucher. File a USDOT complaint and initiate a chargeback with your cc issuer. The less people bring the airlines nonsense to light, the more egregious and flagrant their reasoning for denying you refunds will become.
Just adding a data point that my chargeback went through successfully last week with Amex and I was refunded in full.

I will say, I am glad I booked the ticket direct with AC and not through amex IAP, like I normally do...
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Old May 11, 2020, 2:48 pm
  #1637  
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Originally Posted by drjeffrock
Just adding a data point that my chargeback went through successfully last week with Amex and I was refunded in full.

I will say, I am glad I booked the ticket direct with AC and not through amex IAP, like I normally do...
And yet, I booked $14K worth of tickets through Amex IAP (saved me 2 grand over booking direct) and not only was I fully refunded, Amex called me - on the phone by a dedicated agent - to inform me of the flight cancellation and that the full amount would be refunded to my account. I didn't need to initiate contact with Amex or the airline at all.
That was last week and today I received emails from both that agent and Amex corporate informing me the refund has posted.
Disclosure - I am an American citizen, flights originated from and returned to the US, and I purchased through the IAP by phone, not online.
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Old May 11, 2020, 3:13 pm
  #1638  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 176
Originally Posted by rickg523
And yet, I booked $14K worth of tickets through Amex IAP (saved me 2 grand over booking direct) and not only was I fully refunded, Amex called me - on the phone by a dedicated agent - to inform me of the flight cancellation and that the full amount would be refunded to my account. I didn't need to initiate contact with Amex or the airline at all.
That was last week and today I received emails from both that agent and Amex corporate informing me the refund has posted.
Disclosure - I am an American citizen, flights originated from and returned to the US, and I purchased through the IAP by phone, not online.
Nice. Iíve never had an issue with IAP refunding a cancelled flight, but my law firm partner was getting the run around on an air Tahiti Nui cancelled flight that he originally booked through Amex travel. But now that I think about it: it probably wasnít IAP as he never loosens the purse strings and flies coach lol. Glad to hear that IAP is being proactive though...
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Old May 11, 2020, 5:03 pm
  #1639  
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Exclamation

A reminder that there are a number of different COVID-19 related threads currently under discussion for different related topics so please direct your post to the most appropriate venue:

Air Canada Clean Care+ program
- discussion of AC's program to clean aircraft and check passenger temperatures

AC Provides Financial Update on Response to COVID-19 (16Mar20); Changes coming?
- discussion of the financial toll of COVID-19 on Air Canada

Tracking AC planes being parked due to COVID-19
- AC aircraft removed from service and temporarily stored

Master thread Air Canada Refunds vs credits; Class action lawsuit filed
- discussion related to future travel credits vs. cash refunds

Air Canada Altitude status extended until end 2021 due to COVID-19 & adds incentives
- discussion on elite status being extended

While these are the main COVID-19 discussion threads such an unprecedented crisis has of course had wider ranging impacts on Air Canada so some other threads have seen debates on a narrowed focus such as the Air Canada Master Fleet Changes thread and the Air Canada Reports First Quarter 2020 Results thread.

Please note that posts placed in one thread but more on topic for another may be moved but members will be notified.

Regards,

tcook052
Air Canada forum moderator
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Old May 11, 2020, 5:30 pm
  #1640  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Vancouver
Programs: AC SE100K 1MM, FB Platinum, Bonvoy Platinum Elite, IHG Gold Elite, Hilton Gold
Posts: 1,580
BCN, both from YYZ and YUL, switches to mainline 788 beginning June 24th. Curious what other routes will switch from Rouge to mainline.
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Old May 11, 2020, 8:29 pm
  #1641  
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Originally Posted by drjeffrock
Nice. Iíve never had an issue with IAP refunding a cancelled flight, but my law firm partner was getting the run around on an air Tahiti Nui cancelled flight that he originally booked through Amex travel. But now that I think about it: it probably wasnít IAP as he never loosens the purse strings and flies coach lol. Glad to hear that IAP is being proactive though...
I have heard anecdotally that bookings through IAP online instead of by phone, while avoiding the $39 transaction fee, do not receive the same level of service.
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Old May 11, 2020, 10:50 pm
  #1642  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: YSC (and all its regularly scheduled flights)
Posts: 2,499
I booked a Basic Fare return ticket for my sister-in-law from LHR-YVR-YYJ using part of a credit from a VDB and credit card for the taxes. I cancelled it on April 17 online and was just given a 'case number'. I was planning to get in touch last week (but forgot), but yesterday got a (6th) revised itinerary. I was going to call this morning, but at 8am got confirmation of the cancellation with the following message:

We are happy to inform you that we have processed your request to cancel your itinerary and keep the remaining value of your ticket for future travel. This is value is valid for travel to be rebooked and completed within 24 months of your flight cancellation date. If you purchased a non-refundable fare, please note that you are not eligible for a refund.
Please note:
  • If your original travel dates were between March 1, 2019 and February 29, 2020, both the change fee and fare difference will apply.
  • If your original travel dates are between March 1, 2020 and May 7, 2020, the change fee will be waived, but the fare difference will apply.
Also, when rebooking a new flight, any fare difference will apply if the new flight is more expensive. If you have purchased a non-refundable fare, and the new flight is less expensive, the fare difference is non-refundable.
We're past May 7 now, so not sure what this means.

The flights are still all running, so I guess that EU-261 doesn't apply, even though there is zero chance of her flying. On the other hand we bought a basic fare knowing that there were no changes or refunds allowed.

Dr. PITUK
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Old May 12, 2020, 8:11 am
  #1643  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Toronto, ON
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Originally Posted by EdmFlyBoi
BCN, both from YYZ and YUL, switches to mainline 788 beginning June 24th. Curious what other routes will switch from Rouge to mainline.
From another forum - it seems that rouge isn't coming back until December. There are 3 ex-rouge TATL destinations currently planned to operate this summer: BCN, ATH, LIS. ATH is allegedly going to be flown by the 788, and LIS by the A330. I assume any Sun destinations will be flown by the existing mainline A32x fleet.
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Old May 12, 2020, 8:13 am
  #1644  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
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Originally Posted by ChrisA330
From another forum - it seems that rouge isn't coming back until December. There are 3 ex-rouge TATL destinations currently planned to operate this summer: BCN, ATH, LIS. ATH is allegedly going to be flown by the 788, and LIS by the A330. I assume any Sun destinations will be flown by the existing mainline A32x fleet.
Very curious as to what Bogota is going to be. Can the A321 reach BOG from YYZ?
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Old May 12, 2020, 8:48 am
  #1645  
 
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I don't think the narrow body fleet can reach BOG, and apparently it's a cargo heavy route. Perhaps they'll continue to use the ex-SQ A330s in 2 class PY/Y config for some of these routes.
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Old May 12, 2020, 9:03 am
  #1646  
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Originally Posted by ChrisA330
From another forum - it seems that rouge isn't coming back until December. There are 3 ex-rouge TATL destinations currently planned to operate this summer: BCN, ATH, LIS.
Heavy emphasis on currently. The way things are going, I'm skeptical that many of these things will operate this summer.

Originally Posted by EdmFlyBoi
Very curious as to what Bogota is going to be. Can the A321 reach BOG from YYZ?
Originally Posted by ChrisA330
I don't think the narrow body fleet can reach BOG, and apparently it's a cargo heavy route.
I don't think the 321 can do BOG, but the 319 can. Going back 10 years ago or so, AC did YYZ-BOG on 319. Of course, rouge 763 to 319 is a huge capacity decrease, and even going to daily service (BOG is usually 3-4x weekly, not sure what it is currently) wouldn't quite make it up. Then again, maybe that's a good thing these days.

I'm not sure how valuable the cargo is. I heard it's a lot of flowers, which are bulky but not heavy.

I also suspect this will kill/postpone the YUL-BOG route that was supposed to start up soon.

Perhaps they'll continue to use the ex-SQ A330s in 2 class PY/Y config for some of these routes.
Of course, they've just ripped out the J cabins in a few of those birds ahead of the reconfiguration. I think there are still a couple left, but not sure how long they'll stay in that layout. It may be a chance to enjoy a real J product on some of these routes

Last edited by Adam Smith; May 12, 2020 at 12:22 pm Reason: Corrected typo
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Old May 12, 2020, 12:07 pm
  #1647  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 259
Not a biggie. but still a data point...

Our June 28 2020 flight from YYZ to SFO, which was a 777 layflat, is now on an A320 - no lay flats. Big family reunion on the July 4th weekend. At least that's the plan. I just got the flight change email 3 days ago from Air Canada.

Still so fluid, and who knows if borders and flights will be open by then - after all, it's only a little more than 6 weeks away, and a LOT has to fall into place before then.
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Old May 12, 2020, 1:29 pm
  #1648  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 324
Originally Posted by drjeffrock
Just adding a data point that my chargeback went through successfully last week with Amex and I was refunded in full.

I will say, I am glad I booked the ticket direct with AC and not through amex IAP, like I normally do...
I was wondering how you did the chargeback for a future flight. I just got a cancellation notice for flights in June but wasnít sure if I could initiate a cc chargeback until the actual date of the flight since you canít select a future date during the dispute process (at least with chase visa).
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Old May 12, 2020, 1:49 pm
  #1649  
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Originally Posted by nock
I was wondering how you did the chargeback for a future flight. I just got a cancellation notice for flights in June but wasnít sure if I could initiate a cc chargeback until the actual date of the flight since you canít select a future date during the dispute process (at least with chase visa).
I don't know about the details of the Chase process, but with Amex, they ask you the date the merchant failed to provide the services, or advised that they would not deliver the services. So if your flight was cancelled today, you would use today's date. Same with CIBC. Regardless of when the flight is or was.
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Old May 12, 2020, 2:00 pm
  #1650  
 
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Originally Posted by Adam Smith
I don't think the 321 can do BOG, but the 319 can. Going back 10 years ago or so, AC did YYZ-BOG on 319. Of course, rouge 763 to 319 is a huge capacity decrease, and even going to daily service (BOG is usually 3-4x weekly, not sure what it is currently) wouldn't quite make it up. Then again, maybe that's a good thing these days.
Except there won't be any Rouge A319's left either...

It could definitely be done with an A220 but seems unlikely they will have enough birds yet to assign one to the route. I'm thinking it will be an A330 - there really aren't enough 788's to cover all of these former Rouge routes.
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