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Question: Is a three month ticket refund window standard with Air Canada?

Question: Is a three month ticket refund window standard with Air Canada?

Old Apr 11, 20, 3:53 pm
  #1  
Was George Kyriakos
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Is a three month ticket refund window standard with Air Canada?

Hey folks - apologies if I missed another thread on this (mods, please merge if so).

I’ve managed to get a phone agent to issue a full refund (despite her being adamant that no refunds were due) for a direct return flight which was originally on the Max, but then switched to a connecting flight therefore eligible for either a one-time change or cancellation.

I opted to cancel the booking for a refund, but the agent quoted me a three-month processing time.

What’s more is that no cancellation email confirmation was issued (again the agent was adamant that they don’t send these out) but instead I got an email re-confirming my booking (!). The agent said this was standard procedure and that if I tried to check my booking online it’d fail to display - indeed it throws a “Sorry, we're not able to display this booking online” error but it also says to call if I need to make any changes to it (?).

Granted, I’ve never done a cancellation with AC before, but the email reconfirming my booking, the absence of a cancellation confirmation (coupled with the error of the agent who originally refused to give a refund) and the three-month processing window all sound… too haphazard.

Therefore I wanted to ask the collective if this was standard as far as you’re concerned. Refunds usually take a few minutes to process and maybe a day or two to transfer back to the customer. Three months, even by today’s standards, is obscene, especially since this now means that AC is holding the money without rendering any services.

I pressed the agent on this and she said that there are a lot of refunds going out, despite her saying originally that they don’t do refunds and only vouchers are sent. So if you’re sending vouchers to everyone, how do you have a refund backlog? That went down like a lead balloon…

Grateful for your thoughts!
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Old Apr 11, 20, 6:32 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by George K View Post
Therefore I wanted to ask the collective if this was standard as far as you’re concerned. Refunds usually take a few minutes to process and maybe a day or two to transfer back to the customer.
No, three months is not standard. Couple weeks, maybe.

Three months, even by today’s standards, is obscene, especially since this now means that AC is holding the money without rendering any services.
Yes, it is obscene. Some of it may genuinely be due to longer processing times, but I suspect this is mostly their latest tactic to hold on to our money for as long as possible.

You could try filing a chargeback on your credit card if you want to try to accelerate the process, but I don't know that there's anything else to be done.
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Old Apr 11, 20, 7:19 pm
  #3  
 
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AC has a lengthy history of processing purchases within seconds but processing refunds in days, weeks and months.
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Old Apr 11, 20, 9:06 pm
  #4  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend and Moderator: Air Canada Aeroplan, Canada & Manufactured Spending
 
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I'm far less suspicious of anything nefarious and more inclined to believe the volume of refunds has simply swamped the system delaying processing times greatly. Three months is quite out of the ordinary but may have been given as a worst-case scenario and could be refunded quicker, especially once the March flood has subsided.

That is of course just MHO.
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Old Apr 11, 20, 9:19 pm
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by tcook052 View Post
I'm far less suspicious of anything nefarious and more inclined to believe the volume of refunds has simply swamped the system delaying processing times greatly. Three months is quite out of the ordinary but may have been given as a worst-case scenario and could be refunded quicker, especially once the March flood has subsided.

That is of course just MHO.
I agree, tcook052

I still have not heard back from AC in regards to a refund request I sent back in February!
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Old Apr 11, 20, 9:22 pm
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I called for a refund on March 20th due to a schedule change and cancellation due to covid. The money was back on my card within a week. Three months is not acceptable.
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Old Apr 12, 20, 1:26 am
  #7  
 
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I requested a refund around March 17th, agent assured me it would be processed.

Called in again on March 21st to discover the refund was "lost" -- the customer service representative put it back into the queue with "priority status" (doubtful on that bit tho) and indicated it would take 3-5 business days to process.

5 business days later, I call in again as it has yet to show up. Was told it would take 5-10 business days to process.

Called in again on the 8th (business day #12 , for those counting) and was told it's been passed to some other department for processing and to check again if it hasn't posted by Friday (i.e. yesterday).

On the bright side, phone wait times are 5-10 minutes now, if that. I would initiate a chargeback with Chase, but I think I'm outside the 90 day window and the online interface won't let me. Maybe I'd have to call in and beg forgiveness.
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Old Apr 12, 20, 8:33 am
  #8  
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Originally Posted by Sopwith View Post
AC has a lengthy history of processing purchases within seconds but processing refunds in days, weeks and months.
Change AC to "Every airline", and you're right. AC does not have a monopoly on keeping people's money.
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Old Apr 13, 20, 12:34 pm
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Originally Posted by George K View Post
Hey folks - apologies if I missed another thread on this (mods, please merge if so).

I’ve managed to get a phone agent to issue a full refund

How?
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Old Apr 17, 20, 11:29 am
  #10  
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I cancelled a flight at the beginning of this month and the money was back on my credit card the next day.
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Old Apr 17, 20, 3:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Polytonic View Post
I requested a refund around March 17th, agent assured me it would be processed.

Called in again on March 21st to discover the refund was "lost" -- the customer service representative put it back into the queue with "priority status" (doubtful on that bit tho) and indicated it would take 3-5 business days to process.

5 business days later, I call in again as it has yet to show up. Was told it would take 5-10 business days to process.

Called in again on the 8th (business day #12 , for those counting) and was told it's been passed to some other department for processing and to check again if it hasn't posted by Friday (i.e. yesterday).

On the bright side, phone wait times are 5-10 minutes now, if that. I would initiate a chargeback with Chase, but I think I'm outside the 90 day window and the online interface won't let me. Maybe I'd have to call in and beg forgiveness.
Called in again today. Was told the refunds department is up to a 30-50 business day backlog. Meanwhile, still waiting.
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Old Apr 20, 20, 11:11 am
  #12  
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A client cancelled his Europe travel for June on AC 13 Apr. and emailed me today that the refund minus the cancellation penalty posted back to his CC in under a week.
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Old Apr 20, 20, 12:36 pm
  #13  
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I ve been waiting for an Aeroplan refund for 24 days now....
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Old Apr 20, 20, 1:27 pm
  #14  
 
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I had an AE award refund of taxes take about 4 days to process, but had been told it could take 2-3 months. Also had an AMEX refund for a JAL ticket where they told me it could be up to 3 billing cycles, but it took 22 days (thankfully clearing 2 days before an automatic withdrawal of just under that amount!). And an AS reward cancellation where the refund took about 2 weeks. It's all over the board.
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Old Apr 26, 20, 7:40 am
  #15  
Was George Kyriakos
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Bit of an update: Called back twice to check status of refund, only to be told that my request was never submitted, never mind processed. Upon pressing, the agents could see ‘a note in the system’ and proceeded in showering me with everything from useless advice (send us an email, cancel your booking online, etc) to total negligence with one agent adding a random flight to my booking in order to make it live again so I can see it online (!). Of course I asked for no such thing to happen and it was a miracle I did not explode over the phone as soon as she said that she’d done that.

After all this, I decided I had enough. I’ve initiated a chargeback via Amex and the money was back in my account immediately as Amex chases Air Canada.

I know exactly what has gone wrong here: It’s a simple story of this case falling through the cracks. It’s a phone booking, so had to be cancelled via the phone, and it just so happens that everyone I’ve spoken to has been useless. Every company is as good as how they handle their non-textbook cases. And Air Canada failed miserably in that respect.

Even filing a complaint is borderline impossible unless it’s for a medical issue. If I have some time, I may fill in the customer service ‘General Request’ form, but any attempt to select an issue with refunds, cancellations etc, just funnels you to either the reservations team, or a dead end.
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