Air Canada’s Boeing 777-200LR. Credit: Air Canada

My wife is Canadian and we used to visit her homeland several times a year prior to the pandemic. But then the border closed and … you know the story. I’ve always been a fan of Air Canada, even though it seemed most Canadians loved to bash them. But Air Canada really ticked me and countless others off last year when they outright refused to issue refunds after they canceled flights, even though it was required by law.

I understand that they, like all the airlines, were in survival mode. They did extend the credits for two years instead of one and I’m pretty sure they were the first to do this. However, they should have had better and clearer messaging instead of pissing everyone off. When the pandemic hit, a lot of customers were hurting financially and I was one of them, which is why I wrote these posts back in May:

How I’m Getting My Money Back From Air Canada
Why I’m Filing a DOT Complaint Against Air Canada

I ended up not filing a complaint with the DOT because just before I was about to, I noticed that my credit card company (Chase Sapphire Reserve – here’s why to get this card), had refunded my money after I’d requested a chargeback.

Well, it looks like this week, there will be a lot more refunds thanks to Air Canada reaching a deal with the Canadian federal government.

RELATED: Is American Airlines Out of Their Minds?

According to the CBC, “The federal government has reached an agreement with Air Canada that will provide the pandemic-battered airline with financial support — while committing the airline to refunding customers who saw their flights cancelled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. At a news conference in Ottawa on Monday, Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland and Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said the government will provide Air Canada with up to $5.9 billion through the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility, a program aimed at supporting large Canadian employers who have lost revenue due to COVID-19.”

Here’s the most important part of the deal: “In exchange for federal government support, Air Canada has agreed to refund customers who had their flights cancelled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

This morning, Air Canada just tweeted: “Customers can submit refund requests immediately as we begin to offer refunds for all fares for flights affected by COVID-19 since February 1, 2020. Learn more: https://t.co/EuD4rUeHZF. To apply for a refund, go to: https://t.co/bBkLvkdVLb

There will be a lot of relief all around with this financial support so that’s, well, quite frankly, a relief. A few things that this pandemic has taught travelers is to not book through a third party (that made getting refunds even more challenging), to pay with a credit card (preferably within 60 days of purchase so you get your money back), and to be patient.

Did you get your refund? Let me know!

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9 Comments On "Air Canada Is Finally Issuing Refunds and Here's How To Get Your Money Back"
  1. Ray|

    At last Johnny. I’m afraid they’ve lost my. and probably countless others’, business though due to their unreasonable, unlawful and unacceptable behaviour.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      I don’t blame you

  2. TD Hill|

    Thanks so much! I had 3 vouchers that I requested cash, thanks to your posting. Smart thinking using the CSR for a chargeback- I didn’t think of that. Here’s the direct website for requesting the cash refund: https://www.aircanada.com/refundrequest/?lang=en-CA

  3. Claudia|

    I was one the customer pissed off with AC as well. Because of lots of reasons beyond my control, I would not be able to use an Air Canada credit in any foreseeable future.
    I opened a formal complain about the situation with DOT and also with Canadian Transportation Agency, both answered me reassuring I had a case and they would be in contact with Air Canada. I am glad the Canadian Government impose the refunds in the financial aid agreement.
    I will not say Air Canada lost my business forever because they have nice people on board, I used AC only twice in my whole life and it was a pleasant flight experience. I had similar nice experience with Swiss Air too. I don’t fly too much in a year, this nightmare with AC made me aware of several details I’ve never thought or heard about before, these details will certainly help me in future bookings.

  4. Kathy Reynolds|

    Thank for your advise in the past. I did file a complaint with DOT (didn’t change AC stance). Now I’m in the process of requesting my refund, after a year of them using my money. So far I have been unsuccessful in submitting (website keeps erroring out) but I will keep trying every day. Thanks for your travel tips. Always enjoy the newsletter.

  5. Jennifer Blough|

    Hi,

    Because of your post, I went back to CheapOAir, who had issued my Air Canada tickets ( for a family 50th anniversary celebration in Portugal) and I just received my refund!!!

    Thank you for the info!

    Jennifer

    1. Johnny Jet|

      AWESOME

  6. TDHill|

    Hey, I wanted to give an update. After your very helpful blog here, I immediately submitted requests and all 3 refunds arrived on May 6th, and it showed up on my credit card a day or two later. Thanks again for all your great info!

  7. Douglas A Lock|

    Johnny
    I listen to Leo LaPorte and really enjoy your part in the podcasts. My wife and I have lived in Manhattan Beach since 1966, are both Canadians (dual citizens now), and are looking forward to the day we can drive up again to visit our friends and relatives there. How about a section on your webpages that keep us updated on the US to Canada border crossing.,

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