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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 27, 2020, 12:05 am
  #76  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Programs: IHG Platinum
Posts: 629
Originally Posted by CZAMFlyer
Oh sleuth, how ironic is your username.


The 2019-cNoV (Wuhan virus) has killed 56 people globally. Each year, approximately 3500 people die in Canada from influenza and pneumonia. The Center for Disease Control estimates 80,000 Americans died last year from the flu.
Whats ironic is your inability to mind your business. Get back to us when there is a voluntary vaccine for coronavirus, like there is for influenza and pneumonia. Your choice to roll the dice and not get either vaccine. My choice to decide if I wish to travel through a region where a virus is spreading rapidly.
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Old Jan 27, 2020, 3:53 am
  #77  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: SFO
Programs: *G^2, Bonvoyed, NEXUS
Posts: 3,486
Just boarded AC018 in TPE. Almost all pax in J and at least half the crew are wearing masks.
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Old Jan 27, 2020, 4:58 am
  #78  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: トロント
Programs: IHG Gold
Posts: 4,806
Originally Posted by D582
Just boarded AC018 in TPE. Almost all pax in J and at least half the crew are wearing masks.
Which are more cosmetic in their efficiency than disease preventing.
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Old Jan 27, 2020, 9:50 am
  #79  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: YYC
Posts: 23,688
Originally Posted by D582
Just boarded AC018 in TPE. Almost all pax in J and at least half the crew are wearing masks.

I wonder for how much longer AC will be able to get crews still willing to fly to China, the way things are going. Both deaths and cases roughly doubling every two days. I.e. increasing by a factor 180 every half month.
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Old Jan 27, 2020, 12:47 pm
  #80  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: YVR
Programs: Bottom feeder Star Gold
Posts: 2,652
Originally Posted by D582
Just boarded AC018 in TPE. Almost all pax in J and at least half the crew are wearing masks.
I was surprised yesterday (Sunday) how few passengers were wearing masks from the midday China arrivals to YVR. AC 18, 26 & 30 landed and disgorged their passengers within 20 minutes each of other, and as I watched from the walkway above the immigration hall, I'd have guessed maybe a third of the arriving travellers wore masks. Those that did so were almost exclusively Asian. About one in ten arrivals coordinators (the staff in blue vests you see at kiosks and the base of the escalator in the hall) and one in six CBSA staff wore masks, although most of them wore latex gloves. I didn't notice any of the crew from any flight.

Outbound travellers showed the same thing: many China-bound Asian travellers wore masks, but few, if any Caucasians did so. The decision to wear masks (using an admittedly non-scientific basis of observation only) appears to be destination/origin based, and is practiced much more so by Asian people than people of other heritages.

Originally Posted by sleuth
What’s ironic is your inability to mind your business. Get back to us when there is a voluntary vaccine for coronavirus, like there is for influenza and pneumonia. Your choice to roll the dice and not get either vaccine. My choice to decide if I wish to travel through a region where a virus is spreading rapidly.
It seems you're angry at the facts that the virus isn't really posing much of a risk to most people. I haven't told you what you should or shouldn't do; I've simply pointed out that healthy people have little to fear. Travel to Shanghai (800+ km from Wuhan) or to Beijing (1100+ km away) shouldn't cause a healthy traveler much concern. That it does so is a problem for airlines like Air Canada, who are obliged by the pressures of under-informed customers to create "policies of goodwill" and other such means to placate the fearful. Other, older viruses spread just as rapidly as this new one, with far more deadly results, and yet the concern seems absent without our news sources telling us we should be afraid.

Last edited by tcook052; Jan 27, 2020 at 1:24 pm Reason: off topic
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Old Jan 27, 2020, 5:37 pm
  #81  
Suspended
 
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Posts: 18,877
Originally Posted by D582
Just boarded AC018 in TPE. Almost all pax in J and at least half the crew are wearing masks.
Originally Posted by Stranger
I wonder for how much longer AC will be able to get crews still willing to fly to China, the way things are going. Both deaths and cases roughly doubling every two days. I.e. increasing by a factor 180 every half month.
In the meantime....



P.S. Photo listed as taken at YYZ on Jan 25. Looks like neither the CBC nor the Reuters photographer know what an AC uniform looks like, lanyard and all.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/cor...alth-1.5442123
.
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Old Jan 27, 2020, 5:51 pm
  #82  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Programs: AC SE MM, Marriott Titanium
Posts: 904
Seen a definite uptick in the use of masks/gloves at YYZ, including cabin crew. Definitely not widespread like Asia but certainly the first time I have seen AC ground and cabin employees wearing them.
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Old Jan 27, 2020, 7:42 pm
  #83  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: SFO
Programs: *G^2, Bonvoyed, NEXUS
Posts: 3,486
Originally Posted by mapleg
Which are more cosmetic in their efficiency than disease preventing.
Whilst I agree that their effectiveness is limited, and they are more suited to catch outgoing particles from the wearer than to filter particles from someone else, I wouldn't dismiss them as totally useless. One thing they help to prevent is peoples' more subconscious practice of rubbing their noses and mouths with less-than-sanitary hands. Kind of like protecting yourself against yourself.

Additionally, it's far more common in Asia to wear a mask if you feel ill to help prevent spreading to others. So the use case here is 'I hope I'm not infected, but in case I am, I am trying to prevent you from getting infected'.
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Old Jan 27, 2020, 8:06 pm
  #84  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: BKK/SIN/YYZ/YUL
Programs: DL, AC, Bonvoy, Accor, Hilton
Posts: 2,872
Ok what now? China made its announcement on last Saturday and I see that the media is now carrying the edict;

China said on Saturday that it would suspend all tour groups and the sale of flight and hotel packages for its citizens headed overseas, starting on Monday. The association for China’s travel agencies said tour groups that were in the middle of their trips could proceed with their itineraries but should closely monitor the health of their travelers.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/25/w...ronavirus.html

What will Air Canada's position be? AC has a JV with Air China and CA sold group travel on behalf of AC.

Forbes has clarified The ban is not on all outbound travel. The ban, first reported by Bloomberg, applies only to group travel and not passengers making their own arrangements, although the ban has the indirect impact of sending a message to an already cautious market.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/willhor.../#5a1f2eba2fb4

Forbes also states that China’s aviation regulator ordered local airlines to offer refunds to passengers wanting to cancel travel. Foreign airlines are doing so voluntarily, but only for immediate travel: up to January 31 for American Airlines and Delta Air Lines, and up to February 7 for United Airlines. No mention of Air Canada, however as group travel on AC was typically booked through CA, this may not be a big issue. This legal order protects customers originating in China, but what of this in Canada? It looks like Canadian customers will not be treated as generously by Air Canada.
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Old Jan 27, 2020, 8:15 pm
  #85  
m.y
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: YYZ
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Posts: 1,105
Originally Posted by m.y
I have a flight to PEK/PVG mid February, I'm hoping AC will extend waiver to cover those dates, as what I hear from my relatives, the outbreaks in both cities are much worse than reported.
I was able to cancel my flight and get a full refund. It was a P fare and I'm Elite 50k.

Even without considering the health aspects, many tourist attractions in China are closed, and the government extended CNY break for another week, meaning no tourism and no business activities. All of my relatives are staying home all day, so you can't visit families either.
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Old Jan 27, 2020, 8:49 pm
  #86  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,145
Any news on Aeroplan bookings? Will they open award space on a connecting itinerary over PEK? My parents are on SYD/PEK/YYZ. Weird world right now...
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Old Jan 28, 2020, 8:09 am
  #87  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: YYC
Programs: AC SE 1MM, Marriott Ambassador
Posts: 3,389
For those of you that have bought tickets with OPM it may be worthwhile checking with your travel department. Mine has suspended all travel to the Wuhan region and is cancelling all tickets for the duration. I would expect every corporate travel department would, at a minimum, permit no penalty to the employee cancellation.
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Old Jan 28, 2020, 10:05 am
  #88  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
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Posts: 2,948
I just booked flights to/from TPE mid Feb.... the return portion for TPE-YVR was available in J fare only (ie J5C0D0Z0P0), so was crazy expensive. One option was to fly TPE-HKG-YYZ, but I (nor Mrs. Plumber) was crazy about the idea of a mainland connection.

Yesterday, my TA walitlisted me on the TPE-YVR flight for a lower fare and it cleared overnight for ~$4000 less than the J fare is selling for. Is this AC being proactive?

Hopefully TPE is ok.
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Old Jan 28, 2020, 10:29 am
  #89  
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Originally Posted by Plumber
I just booked flights to/from TPE mid Feb.... the return portion for TPE-YVR was available in J fare only (ie J5C0D0Z0P0), so was crazy expensive. One option was to fly TPE-HKG-YYZ, but I (nor Mrs. Plumber) was crazy about the idea of a mainland connection.

Yesterday, my TA walitlisted me on the TPE-YVR flight for a lower fare and it cleared overnight for ~$4000 less than the J fare is selling for. Is this AC being proactive?

Hopefully TPE is ok.
@Plumber

A couple of notes re TPE and fares. We all know the great PE and J fares that they had. PE for now, is still reasonable of course. But J is almost double what it once was. My theory is that the reduction of flights to 5 days has of course reduced capacity. I suspect demand might be the same and peak at certain times. Some believe AC is losing money on this route. I don't know and don't care really.

However, since I fly BR, I also read their forum. According to some on that forum, they are not making money on the YVR-TPE route and along with AC and CI, plus others, it's a tough battle ex-YVR. Plus there are flights ex-SEA which some consider a reasonable option. Further. BR seemed to have swapped out their 777 for a 789 which does not have PE. This might mean AC has one less PE competitor and can raise prices. Or not.

The added issue of the virus and travel currently has major implications for travel within Asia and less so for TPACs as waivers seem to vary. This may or may not change.
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Old Jan 28, 2020, 10:41 am
  #90  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 745
I have travel on AC scheduled, originating from ORD, late next week with a connection through PEK. I can't get through on the phone to cancel. When I go to the website, it wants to take the $300 fee and other "unrefundable" fees totaling $700+. I can't rebook right now because we don't know when it will be okay to travel to China, nor when my partners' offices and factories will be open. Should I wait it out a few more days to see if the policy becomes more flexible? Should I try calling middle of the night when call volume is lower? I'd sure like to retain the full value of the ticket for a future booking.

PS: I had two separate bookings. UA cancelled the domestic US portion with no issue at all. XXX-ORD-XXX was cancelled with no fees applied. Done in three minutes. Thanks UA!
atword is offline  

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