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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. 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 If your flight is cancelled for any reason and we dont 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 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 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 Jan 25, 2020, 11:06 pm
  #46  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Canada
Programs: AC SE100k, Marriott Titanium Elite, Accor Platinum, National Executive Elite
Posts: 348
Originally Posted by kenlor
Just as a data point: I called both the Concierge and the 100K Reservations line today to ask about cancelling a YYC-YVR-TPE round trip that was booked in early January for travel Feb 1 - 5.

Both told me the goodwill waiver does not apply to TPE and the normal change/cancellation process & fees would be applied. If I chose to change, I would receive a credit that I could apply to any other routing on any other day, within 1 year. Concierge advised that since I would have to pay the change/cancel fees today, I should probably wait a few days to see if the waiver is expanded to include TPE, but made it clear she had no insider knowledge as to whether or not this would happen. I chose to wait a few days just in case.

I also have a HKG routing in later Feb, so will be watching for that one too.
Just to be clear, I also had a YVR-TPE trip from Feb 1 to 5th booked and the concierge applied the waiver to this itinerary.
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Old Jan 26, 2020, 12:01 am
  #47  
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Location: SFO
Programs: AC SE MM, SQ Silver, Bonvoy Tit LTG, Hyatt Glob, HH Diamond
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Something very strange is going on. So strange that I can't explain it.

For the second time in as many days, I've pretty much 100% agreed with a long controversial post by CZAMFlyer .

That doesn't happen often.

I'm trying to find an MR to Asia. Paid N with R space. Hopefully this waiver opens up some space for me as others cancel their plans.

I'm not going to mainland China (for other reasons), and this virus does not scare me away from the rest of the continent.
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Old Jan 26, 2020, 7:43 am
  #48  
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Exclamation

After some post deletions, let's please keep in mind that the coronavirus is not the topic of this thread but rather more narrowly Air Canada's reaction to it and the impact on AC passengers.

Those wishing to debate the wider topic of the virus and particular governments handling or mishandling of the outbreak are invited to do so elsewhere such as this thread in the FT Asia destination forum

tcook052
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Old Jan 26, 2020, 8:14 am
  #49  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Hoping they expand the travel waiver soon. Have a flight to TPE that I may wish to cancel (there are other destinations in Asia as well I was going to head to but only the main flight to TPE is on AC ticket)
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Old Jan 26, 2020, 9:15 am
  #50  
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There is some interesting reading in multiple other sources, not just mainstream media regarding the virus as well as air travel. Some airlines have completely cancelled flights to mainland China. Others have offered travel waivers on the routes they fly to the mainland. And others, like AC, seem to be offering some waivers on both mainland China and other Asian routes.

Cabin crews on non-Chinese and non-Asian airlines have demanded the ability to wear masks. In some cases, pax on flights lectured crews who weren't wearing masks (and it doesn't matter if anyone on this forum thinks masks matter). I am sure many pax on AC flights to PEK, PVG, HKG, TPE, NRT, HND and possibly elsewhere, are wearing masks when flying.

I would think that AC has a team closely monitoring the situation for their flights to PEK and PVG - both in Canada and on the ground at the outstations. I am sure some crews have opted out of those flights.

The situation with this virus is changing rapidly. Those at AC making the decisions on whether to offer waivers to pax, to allow crews to opt off the routes, or to cancel flights altogether, don't have an easy job as these are not easy decisions - both from a financial point of view as well as a public perception point of view.

Even if only a few countries are airlifting their diplomatic citizens out of parts of China, the public may look at this and wonder why AC is still flying pax from China to Canada.

It doesn't matter that some on this forum think travelling to Asia is reasonable travel choice. Lecturing others about whether the worries are rational or not, does not change the decision by AC to offer waivers, nor does it change the decision of some to change their travel or opt to not travel.

AC might never be the first out of the gate to offer waivers when there are major travel disruptions of any kind, but as long as they do, customers have the choice to change their plans. AC knows they have a large number of business and leisure travellers going between Canada and Asia - and that other choices are available. Sometimes, decisions are made that might seem over-precautionary, but they are beneficial to both the company and the customers in the long term.
.

Last edited by 24left; Jan 26, 2020 at 9:36 am Reason: travellers
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Old Jan 26, 2020, 9:27 am
  #51  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: PHL, NYC, DC
Posts: 9,705
My issue right now...

1. govt keeps on downplaying infection rate is low. Yes for Canadians in canada, but no if Canadians are travelling to Asia Pac (depending on your specific location)

2. also unlike other govt/airlines/hotel chains that have taken proactive stance, govt and Air Canada takes a wait and see approach

3. govt doesnt update travel advisory to discourage travel and therefore airlines like Air Canada are refusing to issue waivers/cancellation and unable to claim trip interruption/cancellation insurance.

quite a number of us are stuck in this infinite loop

Honestly this is no different from CA wildfires a few years back when Air Canada refused to issue waiver to SFO until being pressured to do so otherwise later on
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Old Jan 26, 2020, 9:37 am
  #52  
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@global happy traveller

I understand your points. Perhaps read my post above your post. There are some subtle and less subtle answers to some of your comments. And there is no need for you or anyone else to be stuck in a loop. We should all make the decisions that are best for us.

If waiting for AC to extend a waiver, or add destinations to a waiver don't work for current timeline needs, one still has to make a decision to either wait or make changes now to AC tickets and travel.
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Old Jan 26, 2020, 10:48 am
  #53  
 
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I have a miniRTW in March I booked through AE. On March 27 I had a flight booked from KIX to MEL with a 20 hour stop in PEK. Last Saturday I found an alternative from KIX-AKL-MEL and phoned in to make the change. It was before any waiver was announced and it is outside the current period in the waiver, but the agent said there will be no change fee. I thought it was because my status changed to 100K, but I am not sure. Anyone know if that was the case or are AC and AE selectively waiving change fees for flights to or through China?
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Old Jan 26, 2020, 10:54 am
  #54  
 
Join Date: May 2013
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Originally Posted by allbrosca
I have a miniRTW in March I booked through AE. On March 27 I had a flight booked from KIX to MEL with a 20 hour stop in PEK. Last Saturday I found an alternative from KIX-AKL-MEL and phoned in to make the change. It was before any waiver was announced and it is outside the current period in the waiver, but the agent said there will be no change fee. I thought it was because my status changed to 100K, but I am not sure. Anyone know if that was the case or are AC and AE selectively waiving change fees for flights to or through China?
As a SE, you were not charged a change fee. Im sure that was the case and nothing to do with the waiver.
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Old Jan 26, 2020, 10:54 am
  #55  
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Originally Posted by allbrosca
I have a miniRTW in March I booked through AE. On March 27 I had a flight booked from KIX to MEL with a 20 hour stop in PEK. Last Saturday I found an alternative from KIX-AKL-MEL and phoned in to make the change. It was before any waiver was announced and it is outside the current period in the waiver, but the agent said there will be no change fee. I thought it was because my status changed to 100K, but I am not sure. Anyone know if that was the case or are AC and AE selectively waiving change fees for flights to or through China?

@allbrosca

QUOTE:

New for Air Canada Altitude Super Elite 100K members: Complimentary changes and refunds
Beginning July 15, 2019, Air Canada Altitude Super Elite 100K members will no longer be charged a fee when they request a change to their Flight Reward booking. Additionally, these members will also no longer be charged a fee to refund their bookings. These fee waivers will apply to all bookings, including those made prior to the new policy coming into effect.

https://www.aeroplan.com/whats_new/n...5_2019_07_15#/
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Old Jan 26, 2020, 11:09 am
  #56  
 
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Thanks 24left. Good to know. I tried to find something on the altitude site without luck before I posted
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Old Jan 26, 2020, 12:05 pm
  #57  
 
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One cannot discuss the Air Canada response without understanding the characteristics of the illness, because the Air Canada response is based upon assumptions that the airline has made and its own best interests. The waiver relies on those assumptions and the airline continues to sell tickets, without a caution to customers, to destinations now considered at risk.
It appears that the airline is "self regulating' in a vacuum of no guidance having been provided by the federal government: Guidance as in what to do with scheduled flights and how to manage pax onboard. As such, Air Canada's conduct can be seen as acting on its own behalf and not for the greater good of society. Changes in case circumstances from the time the initial waiver policy was made include;
- Fatality rate now exceeding 3%
- Super shedder patient identified. A super shedder is one who is more infectious than others. In this case, a patient rapidly infected 15+ patients. Air Canada does not have a cabin management instruction for this.
- Air Canada has relied upon the questionable public health screening procedures at airports as a get out of jail card. T

Air Canada gambled on its China routes and IMO been losing. The end result is that the waiver policy from Air Canada is intended to preserve its business and not necessarily protect customers.
IMO Air Canada has been irresponsible and not acted to protect its passengers. Ideally, the airline should be directed to refund/waive all NE Asia tickets, and to suspend all service to mainland China and those transiting from the mainland until the mainland government confirms that the epidemic is contained.

Last edited by tcook052; Jan 26, 2020 at 12:37 pm Reason: Off topic
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Old Jan 26, 2020, 12:11 pm
  #58  
 
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Originally Posted by canadiancow
Something very strange is going on. So strange that I can't explain it.

For the second time in as many days, I've pretty much 100% agreed with a long controversial post by CZAMFlyer .

That doesn't happen often.

I'm trying to find an MR to Asia. Paid N with R space. Hopefully this waiver opens up some space for me as others cancel their plans.

I'm not going to mainland China (for other reasons), and this virus does not scare me away from the rest of the continent.
The planets axis has certainly tilted if this repeat of rare events has occurred in such short order. I suspect we agree on many more issues, as Cow does inject a dose of common sense into many discussions.

Anyway, there will indeed be some increased availability on AC flights to and from East Asian destinations for the next little while. The efforts of the health professionals have only partially moderated the medias and general publics tendency to instil fear and panic into an otherwise concerning yet manageable situation. Many of the affected passengers are of Asian heritage, are very valuable to the airline, and are easily lost to competitors if they feel that the company is not adequately addressing their concerns. At the risk of painting with a broad brush, Chinese consumers are often noticeably more discerning than others, and not inclined to settle for less than they expect.

Posts above have used the term lecturing, but stating facts that may contradict the flavour of public hysteria seems troublesome to some. Airlines have enough headwinds to overcome in the course of their daily operations without customers canceling plans en masse after making decisions based upon a headline rather than assessing an extremely low balance of probabilities.

Back to the Cow: I hope you find your MR space and enjoy a wonderful flu-free trip. Ill work on finding more content we can both agree upon. Cant make any guarantees it wont ruffle some feathers...
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Old Jan 26, 2020, 1:08 pm
  #59  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
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Originally Posted by CZAMFlyer
Why are people canceling trips to Beijing, Hong Kong and Taipei? This is not a zombie apocalypse; it's the seventh strain of the common cold.
Maybe because people dont feel like taking the risk? Regardless of your watering dawn of the virus, there is a good chance one ends up in an isolation room in a hospital racking up thousands of $$ in insurance copays should they become infected. Beijing, Hong Kong, and Taipei will still be there once all this blows over.

You dont know what someones life situation is at home, therefore you have no authority to judge their decision not to travel.

Im traveling in a couple weeks and transiting TPE both ways. Im watching this very closely. I do have an elderly father who nearly died from a staph infection. I may not want to risk bringing home this virus to him. But thats none of your business to decide for me.
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Old Jan 26, 2020, 3:18 pm
  #60  
 
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It looks like the goodwill policy has been EXTENDED to February 15, 2020 ?!

https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/...han-china.html

Update - January 26, 2020

Because of the recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China, we understand that you may want to make alternate travel arrangements. For this reason, Air Canada has extended its goodwill policy related to the outbreak.

If you are scheduled to travel during the affected period, you can retrieve your booking to change your flight, free of charge, to another date or another destination, subject to availability in the booking class of the ticket you originally purchased. Otherwise, any fare difference will apply.

Details and a list of affected airports are as follows.
Affected airport Ticket issued no later than Original travel date Rebook free of chargeBeijing Capital Int. Airport (PEK)
Pudong Int. Airport, Shanghai (PVG)

January 24, 2020

January 24 to February 15, 2020

Until April 15, 2020

Wuhan Tianhe Int. Airport (WUH).

January 21, 2020

January 22 to March 29, 2020

Until June 15, 2020



If you purchased your ticket with Aeroplan or Air Canada Vacations, please contact them directly.

And if you require assistance, you can always contact us directly (1-888-247-2262).
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