Air Canada Waiving Change Fees

Old Mar 4, 20, 5:03 pm
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Air Canada Waiving Change Fees

March 4, 2020

When you purchase a ticket between March 4 and March 31, 2020, Air Canada will allow you to make a one-time change to your flight without incurring a change fee up to 14 days before travel.

Changes can be made online, through your travel agent, or by calling Air Canada Reservations at 1-888-247-2262 (Other numbers).

The one-time change fee waiver also applies to Aeroplan Flight Reward bookings. Please contact Aeroplan directly if you choose to make changes to your booking.

Air Canada Vacations is also implementing flexible booking policies. Please see below for more information or visit aircanadavacations.com.
Link with full details here.
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Old Mar 4, 20, 5:10 pm
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Interesting. Must be the case that bookings are seriously down. Which should not really be a big surprise.
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Old Mar 4, 20, 5:11 pm
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Following suit to what UA did yesterday, reflecting that the continued spread of coronavirus in the US is creating uncertainty even for travel within North America.
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Old Mar 4, 20, 5:20 pm
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Originally Posted by eigenvector View Post
Following suit to what UA did yesterday, reflecting that the continued spread of coronavirus in the US is creating uncertainty even for travel within North America.
AC's policy is much less customer friendly: changes need to be made at least 14 days before original departure. Other airlines allow for changes to be made any time as long as travel is within ticket validity (cancel first and rebook later when one has decided)
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Old Mar 4, 20, 5:26 pm
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Originally Posted by keithguy View Post
AC's policy is much less customer friendly: changes need to be made at least 14 days before original departure. Other airlines allow for changes to be made any time as long as travel is within ticket validity (cancel first and rebook later when one has decided)
I've been eyeing a J fare to Europe later this year, and if that were the policy, I'd have finally bought it.

But I'm unwilling to make any bookings more than a week or two out right now, and a 14 day free change doesn't assuage my concerns.
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Old Mar 4, 20, 6:07 pm
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Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
But I'm unwilling to make any bookings more than a week or two out right now, and a 14 day free change doesn't assuage my concerns.
Exactly. I may go visit our office in Europe this month, but I'm not going to jump on this and book now for a 14 day change, not flexible enough. For the time being is wait and see and book last minute.
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Old Mar 4, 20, 6:24 pm
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Originally Posted by RatherBeInYOW View Post
Exactly. I may go visit our office in Europe this month, but I'm not going to jump on this and book now for a 14 day change, not flexible enough. For the time being is wait and see and book last minute.
Ah. For me, it's a discretionary leisure trip.

It's a 60 day advance purchase fare, or I'm not going.

And right now, I'm not willing to lock in 2 months out.

So with this waiver, the trip is simply not happening for me, where it seems like for you, they just get a last-minute full J fare. Attitudes like that are not going too make AC relax their policy.
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Old Mar 4, 20, 6:26 pm
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Originally Posted by keithguy View Post
AC's policy is much less customer friendly: changes need to be made at least 14 days before original departure.
​​​​
​​​​​​I hope other customers agree and this doesn't create a mass influx of future AC bookings. Then cheaper fares will be around the corner

I have friends wanting to come for a conference later this month which coincides with some spring breaks/basketball events.

Airfare has been going down and it's refreshing to see the exibitors have done a total 360 when it comes to registrations. Instead of going up at X days/months out, they are begging for more attendees: cheaper fee, then free, and now with promotions of a free hotel stay.
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Old Mar 4, 20, 6:46 pm
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Originally Posted by expert7700 View Post
​​​​
​​​​​​I hope other customers agree and this doesn't create a mass influx of future AC bookings. Then cheaper fares will be around the corner
Wishful thinking at best. Won't happen.

I have friends wanting to come for a conference later this month which coincides with some spring breaks/basketball events.

Airfare has been going down and it's refreshing to see the exibitors have done a total 360 when it comes to registrations. Instead of going up at X days/months out, they are begging for more attendees: cheaper fee, then free, and now with promotions of a free hotel stay.
Eventually they may not have much of a choice and they may cancel.

I plan to attend a few conferences later this year, Australia July, Germany late July, Rome end of August. Tickets already bought for most, P fares on AC. Keeping a close eye on what will happen.

Although I am starting to feel more optimistic. Looking at China, numbers are coming down rapidly and within a month, China may be the safest place to be from the virus standpoint. European countries are roughly one month behind so May might be OK. I suspect the US may get very bad but roughly another month later. Sol apart from the US, I may well end up going for a May trip to Europe. And these conferences. Of course Iran, Egypt and I suspect Africa as a whole might be a different story. But these won't affect AC bookings all that much.
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Old Mar 4, 20, 7:11 pm
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Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
So with this waiver, the trip is simply not happening for me, where it seems like for you, they just get a last-minute full J fare. Attitudes like that are not going too make AC relax their policy.
Hah, fair point. But however a) I don't book paid J for work, so last minute PE more like it and b) if loads stay low prices stay low and c) I am just not go as well, internal travel is usually discretionary.

Right now I have one flight booked, to the US for an internal meeting in early April. Even that is suspect right now. If AC wants me taking more risks and booking flights then they need a better policy than this.
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Old Mar 4, 20, 7:24 pm
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Well you gotta admit, its awfully generous that they're allowing Aeroplan changes, although they're still subject to inventory restraints so that may very well be a pretty useless policy.

I presume that they're just waiving the change fees here, not any up-fares due to inventory availability, right?
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Old Mar 4, 20, 7:24 pm
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Originally Posted by RatherBeInYOW View Post
Hah, fair point. But however a) I don't book paid J for work, so last minute PE more like it and b) if loads stay low prices stay low and c) I am just not go as well, internal travel is usually discretionary.

Right now I have one flight booked, to the US for an internal meeting in early April. Even that is suspect right now. If AC wants me taking more risks and booking flights then they need a better policy than this.
Prices do not stay low even if loads stay low. I'm looking at a P fare that is $600 base for 60 day advance purchase. At 59 days, the cheapest base fare is over $2400. USD. Plus YQ, taxes, fees, etc.

That's why this waiver needs to be better. I could buy this now at the $600 base (and to be clear, we're looking at about $2000 USD round-trip, so $1400 in YQ and taxes/fees, this is not a mistake fare), but if I were going to France in 15 days from, would should I do? Not clear.

And it doesn't even seem like "cancel" and rebook later is an option. The waiver applies if you rebook NOW.

Not worth it.
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Old Mar 4, 20, 7:42 pm
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Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
Prices do not stay low even if loads stay low. I'm looking at a P fare that is $600 base for 60 day advance purchase. At 59 days, the cheapest base fare is over $2400. USD. Plus YQ, taxes, fees, etc.

That's why this waiver needs to be better. I could buy this now at the $600 base (and to be clear, we're looking at about $2000 USD round-trip, so $1400 in YQ and taxes/fees, this is not a mistake fare), but if I were going to France in 15 days from, would should I do? Not clear.

And it doesn't even seem like "cancel" and rebook later is an option. The waiver applies if you rebook NOW.

Not worth it.
France in 15 days? No. I would not go. Too much risk that you get inconvenienced in some way. (Local flights cancelled, hotel goes on lock-down, etc.)

An important aviation/travel industry conference I track with 10,000 delegates planned for 31-Mar to 2-Apr in Paris has been delayed at the insistence of the French Government. Pushed out to June.

I travel on flight passes to Europe, and cheap J (P) to Asia. My European flights are booked from now to mid-June (4 round trips). Easy-peasy to change if I need to.

Two Asia trips for smallish conferences have already been cancelled (Guangzhou and Singapore). Next Asia trip is a conference and speaking gig in SYD at the end of May. This move by AC will tempt me to go ahead and book the SYD flights, and maybe other flights for Sept to SIN and Dec to BKK. Everyone's situation is different.
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Old Mar 4, 20, 8:28 pm
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Originally Posted by Seat13F_AC_CRJ View Post

An important aviation/travel industry conference I track with 10,000 delegates planned for 31-Mar to 2-Apr in Paris has been delayed at the insistence of the French Government. Pushed out to June.
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thanks for bringing up passenger expo, I attended last year, and couldn’t make it this year because of a conflict, now that is in June I might just go ahead and book with new AC policy, and June in Paris is a fabulous time
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Old Mar 4, 20, 9:12 pm
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Originally Posted by Seat13F_AC_CRJ View Post
France in 15 days? No. I would not go. Too much risk that you get inconvenienced in some way. (Local flights cancelled, hotel goes on lock-down, etc.)
So when would you use your one free change to change to?

Would you go to France now?

14 days ago, would you have said "I'll go to France on March 4" ?

That's my point. Two weeks ago, France was totally fine. Now that we're at departure time, there's no waiver, and this new change waiver wouldn't apply.

Countries are going from "no cases" to "we're closing one of our biggest tourist attractions" in less than 14 days.

Allow it to be cancelled any time before departure for rebooking any time within the ticket's validity, and it's completely different. I'll book Rome in June now. If, in June, things look bad, I'll cancel it and wait for it to get better before rebooking. But too much can change in 14 days.
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