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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 28, 2020, 10:47 am
  #91  
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Originally Posted by atword
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.

Best is to keep trying to phone them. If you continue unable to, try on Twitter or if as for us you don't do Twitter, you might send a message to Customer Solutions on the web site. Keep a record and also a record of the current waiver so that in case nothing gets done you can always contest the charge with your credit card. Not that I expect it would reach that stage.
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Old Jan 28, 2020, 12:51 pm
  #92  
 
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As I alluded to a couple days ago, the first confirmed case has been diagnosed in BC. The patient, a man in his 40s who frequently travels to the Wuhan area, is in isolation and does not require hospitalization - much like a regular cold or flu. It's almost like the PHAC knows what they're talking about. The diagnosis will not certainly not diminish the public pressure on Air Canada to maintain their current policies.
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Old Jan 28, 2020, 12:57 pm
  #93  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 745
United just suspended some flights to China and HKG from Feb 1-8 citing significant decline in demand. I wonder if AC will follow:

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/01/28/unit...ronavirus.html
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Old Jan 28, 2020, 2:09 pm
  #94  
 
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Originally Posted by atword
United just suspended some flights to China and HKG from Feb 1-8 citing significant decline in demand. I wonder if AC will follow:
I have little doubt they'd do the same thing, or at least down-gauge the aircraft on the routes from 777s to 789s for example. We have to account for the cargo revenue though; the pallets don't suffer fears of illness, and may be able to keep a flight profitable. It's a shame so much business is affected by mass irrationality.

Silver linings: opportunities to catch up on deferred maintenance for aircraft that have been flying flat-out for the past several months.
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Old Jan 28, 2020, 2:14 pm
  #95  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Originally Posted by CZAMFlyer
I have little doubt they'd do the same thing, or at least down-gauge the aircraft on the routes from 777s to 789s for example. We have to account for the cargo revenue though; the pallets don't suffer fears of illness, and may be able to keep a flight profitable. It's a shame so much business is affected by mass irrationality.

Silver linings: opportunities to catch up on deferred maintenance for aircraft that have been flying flat-out for the past several months.
I'm flying home through HKG in a couple of weeks so I really hope they don't. Makes it easier to score upgrades ;-)
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Old Jan 28, 2020, 4:36 pm
  #96  
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https://www.theglobeandmail.com/busi...n-response-to/

Air Canada cancelling select flights to China in response to coronavirus

Air Canada said on Tuesday it is cancelling select flights to China to better match capacity with expected demand as the spread of the new coronavirus rattles travellers.

Air Canada currently operates 33 flights a week to China and the resulting capacity reduction is relatively small, a company spokesman said by email. Those customers who are affected will be notified and provided with alternate travel options.
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Old Jan 28, 2020, 4:39 pm
  #97  
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https://www.travelweek.ca/news/u-s-o...ds-from-china/

Air Canada waives change fees for Beijing and Shanghai flights

TORONTO Air Canada, which offers direct flights to Beijing and Shanghai from Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, as well as to Wuhan through a partner, is allowing passengers to rebook flights to the Chinese cities free of charge.

Updated today, Air Canadas notice for passengers flying to Beijing (PEK) and Shanghai (PVG) applies to tickets issued no later than Jan. 28 for travel Jan. 24 Feb. 29. Passengers can rebook free of charge until April 15.

Air Canada had previously waived change fees for Wuhan (WUH) for tickets issued no later than Jan. 21, for travel Jan. 22 March 29. Those passengers can rebook free of charge until June 15.
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Old Jan 28, 2020, 7:15 pm
  #98  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
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Reading random AC stuff on Twitter, saw a few comments that because of the cancelled flights to PVG/PEK they are rerouting people via HKG, TPE, ICN, NRT, HND etc?
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Old Jan 28, 2020, 7:19 pm
  #99  
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Originally Posted by global happy traveller
Reading random AC stuff on Twitter, saw a few comments that because of the cancelled flights to PVG/PEK they are rerouting people via HKG, TPE, ICN, NRT, HND etc?
Wouldn't that make lots of sense?

Better than cancelling tickets, surely. For both the travelers and AC.
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Old Jan 28, 2020, 7:43 pm
  #100  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
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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.
Was just in TPE... things seemed fine other than more people wearing masks. Also connected in HKG on way to TPE and again, masks everywhere. (And technically, HKG is not a 'mainland' connection, and the airport is on a man made island off a real island ).

Also, you have demonstrated the value in a real TA who has a good relationship with an airline.
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Old Jan 28, 2020, 8:08 pm
  #101  
 
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Originally Posted by D582
And technically, HKG is not a 'mainland' connection, and the airport is on a man made island off a real island ).
LOL... of course ...technically you are right. But I will travel to Taipei, but not to HKG at the moment.

Originally Posted by D582
Was just in TPE... things seemed fine other than more people wearing masks. Also connected in HKG on way to TPE and again, masks everywhere. (And technically, HKG is not a 'mainland' connection, and the airport is on a man made island off a real island ).

Also, you have demonstrated the value in a real TA who has a good relationship with an airline.
Interesting. Thanks for the comments. And yes, I agree on the TA!!!
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Old Jan 29, 2020, 8:27 am
  #102  
 
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It looks like they went back to Jan. 26 policy vs Jan. 28 .. so the goodwill for PEK-PVG flights only is good until Feb. 15 and not Feb. 28 anymore ?!

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

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Old Jan 29, 2020, 9:26 am
  #103  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
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Originally Posted by YUL_Around_The_World
It looks like they went back to Jan. 26 policy vs Jan. 28 .. so the goodwill for PEK-PVG flights only is good until Feb. 15 and not Feb. 28 anymore ?!
I noticed that as well, however I was just able to cancel my trip with a PEK connection via the website for a full refund to original payment method. Yesterday they wanted the $300 change fee plus over $400 in non-refundable fees.

I'm personally not all that worried about traveling, however those that I need to visit in China are shut down an extra week for spring festival and have been asked by the government not to leave their homes. They are disconcerted with the fact that the streets are empty rather than the normal bustle of shoppers. Offices have been told to remain closed until Feb 9...my trip would not be productive.
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Old Jan 29, 2020, 12:15 pm
  #104  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
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So I have an upcoming trip in PE booked. YYZ-PVG-TPE, 20 hours in TPE or so, TPE-YVR-YYZ.

I'm trying to rebook to YYZ-YVR-TPE, in keeping with the current waiver for PVG.

But I can't do so online, because the web site (but not the app) has decided to break down my trip as YYZ-PVG outbound and PVG-TPE-YVR-YYZ return, despite the layover in PVG being just four hours, and the "layover" in TPE being almost a full day.

Can't call in to make the change, because AC's "phone service" is currently not putting people on hold at all and advising you to call back if your travel isn't within 24 hours. (By which time, PE space on YYZ-YVR might be less readily available.

Is this kind of ticket change something Twitter can handle? Any other suggestions on how to get the change made without waiting for either 24 hours before departure or whenever AC gets its phone systems issues in order?

Thanks!
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Old Jan 29, 2020, 12:16 pm
  #105  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
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Originally Posted by atword
I noticed that as well, however I was just able to cancel my trip with a PEK connection via the website for a full refund to original payment method. Yesterday they wanted the $300 change fee plus over $400 in non-refundable fees.

I'm personally not all that worried about traveling, however those that I need to visit in China are shut down an extra week for spring festival and have been asked by the government not to leave their homes. They are disconcerted with the fact that the streets are empty rather than the normal bustle of shoppers. Offices have been told to remain closed until Feb 9...my trip would not be productive.
I could also cancel my Feb 19th flight online without any issue. Hopefully, the refund will come quickly.
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