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Full Refund vs Credit to Travel Bank amid COVID crisis

Full Refund vs Credit to Travel Bank amid COVID crisis

Old Mar 18, 20, 1:26 pm
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Full Refund vs Credit to Travel Bank amid COVID crisis

Has anyone had first hand experience or success in having Westjet agree to actually refunding fares as opposed to travel bank credit?

Five us have YLW-MCO-YLW booked for mid April 2020, obviously cannot go now even if we wanted to, have no wish to rebook for other dates as the purpose of going was shut down (Tropical 7's Rugby Tourney), so would like a full refund back payment source (Amex Plat) as opposed to a travel bank credit.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 1:40 pm
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I have cancelled 14 flights and over $8000 credit. No refunds. All credit. I wasn't given a choice.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 2:01 pm
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Angry

I call this high-jacking of customers by airline companies. Airline companies must provide options to customers so they can receive their money in their bank accounts or by other means...otherwise keeping our money as credit or under any other name is theft and governments must legislate so we can be fully reimbursed.

Originally Posted by CanuckFlyHigh View Post
I have cancelled 14 flights and over $8000 credit. No refunds. All credit. I wasn't given a choice.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 3:29 pm
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Originally Posted by maxjasper View Post
I call this high-jacking of customers by airline companies. Airline companies must provide options to customers so they can receive their money in their bank accounts or by other means...otherwise keeping our money as credit or under any other name is theft and governments must legislate so we can be fully reimbursed.
Problem is airlines need right now all the $$ they can get to keep the lights on, so I doubt if they are too eager to give it back..
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Old Mar 18, 20, 5:42 pm
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Originally Posted by taupo View Post
Has anyone had first hand experience or success in having Westjet agree to actually refunding fares as opposed to travel bank credit?

Five us have YLW-MCO-YLW booked for mid April 2020, obviously cannot go now even if we wanted to, have no wish to rebook for other dates as the purpose of going was shut down (Tropical 7's Rugby Tourney), so would like a full refund back payment source (Amex Plat) as opposed to a travel bank credit.
I had a full fare premium ticket refunded. It was an accident. I usually buy the restricted premium but in this case I was travelling with someone else and he snagged the last restricted fare. I was fuming mad at the time but in the end I came out ahead because he got credit and I got a refund when we had to cancel.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 6:49 pm
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Unless it’s a full fare unrestricted ticket, WJ will continue to abide by and be completely consistent with the same policy they’ve had in place since February 1996.

No refunds, everything goes into your travel bank, good for one year. I imagine they’ll be some flexibility on the one year time frame. It’ll probably be stretched out to 1 year from when the crisis is officially deemed over, though that’s speculation on my part.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 7:42 pm
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Originally Posted by HangTen View Post
Unless it’s a full fare unrestricted ticket, WJ will continue to abide by and be completely consistent with the same policy they’ve had in place since February 1996.

No refunds, everything goes into your travel bank, good for one year. I imagine they’ll be some flexibility on the one year time frame. It’ll probably be stretched out to 1 year from when the crisis is officially deemed over, though that’s speculation on my part.
Pretty much industry standard, but the time frame of 1 year will most certainly be adjusted IMO
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Old Mar 18, 20, 11:06 pm
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You have the right to a refund if your flight is canceled. Westjet may not voluntarily offer it to you but you have the right to it. Call them and pester them if necessary or file a formal complaint with the CTA.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 11:38 pm
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Originally Posted by james dean View Post
Pretty much industry standard, but the time frame of 1 year will most certainly be adjusted IMO
Industry standard is if an airline cancels a flight, you're entitled to a full refund.
Westjet is significantly lagging the industry in this respect.
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Old Mar 19, 20, 12:02 am
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Originally Posted by cedric View Post
Industry standard is if an airline cancels a flight, you're entitled to a full refund.
Westjet is significantly lagging the industry in this respect.
WestJet is aligned with the US airlines, according to the Business Insider: https://www.businessinsider.com/coro...uthwest-2020-3

From the article: “Just because an airline is canceling a ticket, does not mean that travelers will get their money back. Most airline tickets are non-refundable meaning that even if the ticket is canceled, the airline will likely not give the money back to the customer unless certain conditions are met.The policy is in place to prevent unnecessary bookings as well as prevent the airlines from losing money in the event of a mass cancellation event such as a pandemic. Airlines will instead keep the funds and allow them to be used on a future booking, encouraging customers to rebook for a later date and still fly with the airline.

If airlines allowed for refunds during the COVID-19 pandemic, they would lose millions with no guarantee that passengers would rebook especially since the demand for travel is plummeting.“
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Old Mar 19, 20, 1:35 am
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I'm puzzled by all this, there was only a single instance when WestJet refused me a refund after a WestJet initiated cancellation or unworkable schedule change and ultimately they came up with a workable itinerary in that instance.

I never perceived this to be an issue.
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Old Mar 19, 20, 7:43 am
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I have cancelled 14 flights and over $8000 credit. No refunds. All credit. I wasn't given a choice.
I thought Canada has introduced new air passenger rights.
There is no provision that requires (if requested by the passenger) an airline to issue a full refund for a cancelled flight?
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Old Mar 19, 20, 7:45 am
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WestJet is aligned with the US airlines, according to the Business Insider: https://www.businessinsider.com/coro...uthwest-2020-3

From the article: “Just because an airline is canceling a ticket, does not mean that travelers will get their money back. Most airline tickets are non-refundable meaning that even if the ticket is canceled, the airline will likely not give the money back to the customer unless certain conditions are met.The policy is in place to prevent unnecessary bookings as well as prevent the airlines from losing money in the event of a mass cancellation event such as a pandemic. Airlines will instead keep the funds and allow them to be used on a future booking, encouraging customers to rebook for a later date and still fly with the airline.

If airlines allowed for refunds during the COVID-19 pandemic, they would lose millions with no guarantee that passengers would rebook especially since the demand for travel is plummeting.“
OMG! USA and Canada need an equivalent EC261/2004 passenger protection legislation.
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Old Mar 19, 20, 7:48 am
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https://airpassengerrights.ca/en/cov...o-get-a-refund

Legal Grounds for a Refund

1. Flight cancellation (to, from, or within Canada)

If the airline cancels any segment of your itinerary since the time you purchased your ticket, you are entitled to a refund of the unused portion of your airfare, and if you did not depart yet, the entire airfare.

If the reason for the flight cancellation was “schedule change” or something similar within the airline’s control (including maintenance issues), then the precise legal basis for your right to a full refund is subsection 17(2) of the Air Passenger Protection Regulations. Subsection 17(7) confirms that “Refunds under this section must be paid by the method used for the original payment and to the person who purchased the ticket or additional service.”

If the reason for the flight cancellation is outside the airline’s control, such as closure of airports, then the legal basis of the right to a refund is contract law in general, and case law from the Canadian Transportation Agency:
[...] it is unreasonable for Porter to refuse to refund the fare paid by a passenger because of its cancellation of a flight, even if the cause is an event beyond Porter’s control.
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Old Mar 19, 20, 11:20 am
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Section 17 in the APPR only applies to "Alternate arrangements - within carrier's control", so in the case of a pandemic it doesn't apply. Other APPR compensation rules have also been temporarily suspended in many cases due to COVID-19: https://www.otc-cta.gc.ca/eng/import...uring-covid-19

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