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Cancellation of Flight Booked Prior To March 4

Cancellation of Flight Booked Prior To March 4

Old Mar 7, 20, 4:48 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2014
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Cancellation of Flight Booked Prior To March 4

I was on hold forever and finally gave up.

We have an upcoming flight to Florida booked a few weeks ago. In light of the conditions today, we are going to cancel. I noticed on the website that flights booked after March 4 are able to be changed without penalty. Anyone know if West Jet will do anything for flights booked prior to that date?
stoddaj1 is offline  
Old Mar 7, 20, 11:03 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Calgary
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Originally Posted by stoddaj1 View Post
I was on hold forever and finally gave up.

We have an upcoming flight to Florida booked a few weeks ago. In light of the conditions today, we are going to cancel. I noticed on the website that flights booked after March 4 are able to be changed without penalty. Anyone know if West Jet will do anything for flights booked prior to that date?
Standard change and cancel rules apply to flights booked prior to that date. WestJet is not flying to any areas that are Covid-19 hot spots at the moment, the change and cancel fee waiver for the bookings after 4 Mar are to convince people to book at low risk now, not due to the risk of the destinations they are flying to.
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Old Mar 8, 20, 5:33 pm
  #3  
 
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WestJet does fly to many areas in the US with states of emergency both directly and via codeshare.
Altaflyer is offline  
Old Mar 8, 20, 6:39 pm
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True, but having a declared state of emergency does not necessarily equate to an area being any more dangerous, nor do they mean that there is broad 'community transmission' happening. It's not a statement on safety. In America all that a state of emergency means is that the local or state government enacted it so they can take certain extraordinary actions or draw on certain funding. As ominous as "State of Emergency" sounds, in American government, it's more of a procedural thing. If Canada had the same process, we'd have declared states of emergency in every province and city where a case has been identified.

The "hotspots" that Aerobod referred to above are places like China, S Korea and Italy -- where there is significant community spread and travel is deemed unsafe by government. Today, there's a big difference between being a virus hotspot (i.e. Wuhan) and being an American city that declared a state of emergency (i.e. L.A.)

WestJet - like pretty much every other airline - is only going by formal advisories from DFAIT or Health Canada (or their international equivalents) on restricting travel. At this point, official/government travel bans get you airline flexibility. No travel ban means you're changing or cancelling by choice, so the change or cancel rules and fees that were in place when you bought your ticket apply.
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Old Mar 8, 20, 8:10 pm
  #5  
 
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I think there is a recommendation that older people should avoid travel. My mom is 74. Likely should not be traveling. Insurance would not cover this.
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Old Mar 9, 20, 5:43 pm
  #6  
 
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I think it's blatantly unfair to issue waiver for change fee for reservations made only during Mar 5-31. Instead waiver should be issued for travel in the next couple of months. This is especially important to contain the virus and avoid its spread in the next months. I am an elderly traveller with some inherent healthy issue and my family physician does not recommend travel at this time. I would like Westjet to reconsider their policy on this issue.
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Old Mar 9, 20, 7:28 pm
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Originally Posted by canadianidol View Post
I think it's blatantly unfair to issue waiver for change fee for reservations made only during Mar 5-31. Instead waiver should be issued for travel in the next couple of months. This is especially important to contain the virus and avoid its spread in the next months. I am an elderly traveller with some inherent healthy issue and my family physician does not recommend travel at this time. I would like Westjet to reconsider their policy on this issue.
If your MD advises against travel, this is an easy one for your trip cancellation insurance...
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Old Mar 9, 20, 10:49 pm
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Update from Westjet...


I am writing you today to provide information regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and what we at WestJet are doing in response.

As a valued WestJet guest, your safety has always been, and remains, our number one priority. We train comprehensively for these scenarios as part of our overall emergency response and stood up a COVID-19 direct response team immediately as the situation began to unfold.

From the onset of the coronavirus, we have been in contact with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), Transport Canada and other agencies around the world to ensure we are aware of, and aligned with, guidance regarding air travel.

There are hundreds of WestJetters across Canada involved in the planning and implementation of our coronavirus response. In addition to the standard aircraft cleaning that has been part of our daily maintenance schedule, we have introduced additional measures to increase the sanitization of our aircraft.

We already disinfect and sanitize our aircraft using industry-approved products and have also introduced hospital-grade Clorox Wipes and Spray to our cleaning processes. These new products are used to clean the galleys, lavatories, tray tables, seat armrests and headrests, seatbelt buckles, the power supply unit panel, overhead bin door latches and lavatory door handles.

In the air, our aircraft are equipped with state-of-the-art HEPA filters which are similar to those used in hospitals. These filters achieve a viral and bacterial removal efficiency of greater than 99.99 per cent. These aircraft also introduce fresh air into the cabin every two to three minutes.

To help you continue to book with confidence, we had already instituted a flexible change policy giving those guests who booked between March 3, 2020 and March 31, 2020 the ability to change their flight without the applicable change fees.

In addition, we are temporarily removing the normal change and cancel restrictions for guests who had previously booked a Basic fare for travel beginning on or before March 31, 2020. More information can be found on the WestJet travel advisory page. If you have any questions regarding your reservations, there are a number of ways to contact us that you can find here. If you booked with a travel agent, please contact them directly.

PHAC has assessed the public health risk associated with coronavirus as low for Canada. To date, there are no known cases where this virus has been transmitted from one person to another on an aircraft. We recognize that this is an evolving story and my commitment is to provide you with up-to-date information as it becomes available. We will continue to post to the WestJet blog which remains the best place to find the most current information.

I hope this gives you confidence in the actions we are taking on your behalf. We remain committed to providing you a safe travel environment and I look forward to welcoming you on board in the near future.

Sincerely,
Ed Sims
President & CEO
WestJet Airlines
newfbc is offline  
Old Mar 10, 20, 9:45 am
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by newfbc View Post
In addition, we are temporarily removing the normal change and cancel restrictions for guests who had previously booked a Basic fare for travel beginning on or before March 31, 2020. More information can be found on the WestJet travel advisory page. If you have any questions regarding your reservations, there are a number of ways to contact us that you can find here. If you booked with a travel agent, please contact them directly.
Interesting.

The additional flexibility is for Basic fares only -- and with a pretty small time window.

This is still far less flexibility than the U.S. carriers have now put in place.
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Old Mar 10, 20, 10:33 am
  #10  
 
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Strange...I have had zero communication from Westjet. No blanket e-mail, nothing.
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Old Mar 10, 20, 1:40 pm
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Originally Posted by Frequentlander View Post
Strange...I have had zero communication from Westjet. No blanket e-mail, nothing.
I received emails overnight for each of my kids whose WestJet rewards accounts use my email address, but nothing that was addressed to me personally.
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Old Mar 10, 20, 5:05 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
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I received the above email. However, it doesn't address the arbitrary nature of penalizing anyone who purchased the ticket before March 3. I called WJ and basically told to wait until my travel date in mid April approaches for more communication. One would expect WJ to be more accommodating like many of the US airlines.
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Old Mar 10, 20, 5:11 pm
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Originally Posted by Jono View Post
I received emails overnight for each of my kids whose WestJet rewards accounts use my email address, but nothing that was addressed to me personally.
Mine just arrived.
Thankfully the ticket I was holding was full fare so I got a 100% refund when the conference I was going to attend in Houston was postponed.
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Old Mar 11, 20, 7:45 pm
  #14  
 
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New policy for existing tickets

For flights booked before March 3, 2020 for travel in March or April 2020:
  • $0 one-time fee waiver for changes or cancellations
  • Change or cancellation must be requested at least 24 hours prior to departure
  • Value of cancelled flights will be returned as a credit to your Travel Bank
  • If you change your flight, the difference in fare applies
Please contact us to change or cancel your flight. If you initially booked through a third party, please contact your travel agent directly.
Altaflyer is offline  

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