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Canadian Railroads > VIA Rail vs. Air Canada Refund :Policy


Date: 03/22/20 09:25
VIA Rail vs. Air Canada Refund :Policy
Author: andersonb109

Last week, VIA Rail canceled my reservation on No. 1 to Vancouver suspending the train. I received a  full refund instantly to my credit card and two new vouchers to be used for future travel since I was losing the one used for the canceled trip. Now for Air Canada. I was suppose to fly from Vancouver to Sacramento for Pete Lerro's now re-scheduled Sierra Railroad charter.  The border was closed last week and Air Canada canceled my flight. No e-mail notice, no re-booking. Nothing. nIt was the only direct flight on that route. AC's web site indicates I can receive only a full credit to be used within one year. Fair enough if you are a regular customer who flies the airline frequently. But I've never flown AC previously and probably wouldn't again. And THEY canceled my flight. If Delta cancels your flight, you have a choice of accepting the replacement flight, a voucher, or a full refund.  So I had no choice but to accept the voucher. Doubt it will ever be used. Thanks Air Canada. But a bigger thank you to VIA Rail for taking care of their customers. 



Date: 03/22/20 09:48
Re: VIA Rail vs. Air Canada Refund :Policy
Author: viatrainrider

My VIA story similar.  I was due to leave WPG on 3/16, with wife in tow this trip.  She concluded early in the corona virus thing she no longer wanted to go to Vancouver and then Seattle.  My idea then  was to go alone.  But being that she is an RN, she convinced me to also cancel.  A call and an e-mail to VIA  easily took   care of the problem.  I also worried that I would lose Preference benefits as they needed to be used by the end of April which I was not able to do.  (The Canadian has since  been canceled.)  VIA cheerfully and without problem refunded my wife's fare and restored my Preference benefits for use after April!  So I continue to be a happy viatrainrider although not riding at this time.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/22/20 11:24 by viatrainrider.



Date: 03/22/20 10:45
Re: VIA Rail vs. Air Canada Refund :Policy
Author: chapmaja

It's not just Canadian Arilines that do this. American Airlines, when something gets cancelled try the voucher thing as much as they can. Some airlines will relent if you really push them for a refund, but you can't expect them to do it. 

I recently had a trip scheduled to Boston from Detroit on Jet Blue. My graduation got cancelled and I had to cancel the trip. JetBlue's policy is also when a trip is cancelled you get the voucher. I took the voucher rather than fight to get a refund because the graduation is supposed to be rescheduled and if it is I would like to attend still. 



Date: 03/22/20 11:10
Re: VIA Rail vs. Air Canada Refund :Policy
Author: WP17

For flights that an airline cancels without providing any alternate transportation, I would suggest calling your credit card company and challenging the charge. 

WP17



Date: 03/22/20 12:03
Re: VIA Rail vs. Air Canada Refund :Policy
Author: PHall

Air Canada didn't cancel your flight. The governments of Canada and the United States cancelled your flight when they closed the border.
You want a refund? File a claim with them.



Date: 03/22/20 12:04
Re: VIA Rail vs. Air Canada Refund :Policy
Author: dxm332

Right now no major airline is allowing cash refunds.
My suggestion is that, as the previous poster said dispute the charge with your credit card company.

The ac app has an excellant explanation concerning what you should do if your flight was cancelled. It is a bit hard to find on line but appears immediately when u open the app. The key point from the site is the specific steps you should take depending on how the ticket was purchased,direct with ac,through a travel sight or agent....
Based on the your information, and the web site it appears your best bet is to have your credit card company dispute the charge. None of the three airlines that have cancelled my reservations, AC,United & americain are allowing cash refunds.
I am worried about the future of the two us airlines so I will likely be trying to get my c c to void these 2 transactions tomorrow

The AC credit from my cancellation is good for 24 month therefore next year we will be going the Netherlands for the 76th liberation day (rather than the 75th) and to visit the areas my uncles helped liberate (north novas and cape breton highlanders)

Posted from Android



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/22/20 12:20 by dxm332.



Date: 03/22/20 15:48
Re: VIA Rail vs. Air Canada Refund :Policy
Author: DrawingroomA

PHall Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Air Canada didn't cancel your flight. The
> governments of Canada and the United States
> cancelled your flight when they closed the
> border.
> You want a refund? File a claim with them.

It is common law that if you pay for something and it is not provided they owe you a refund. Air Canada does give refunds for cancelled flights, even on non-refundable fares, but it is difficult to find that information. The "regulars" on the discussion site Flyertalk have confirmed that. A few days ago I spent a considerable time on Air Canada's Website to find that information. Of course I can't find it now. The difficult part is you have to phone them to get a refund on a cancelled flight. According to some postings on Flyertalk, the wait time is two hours and up. Some people can't even get in the queue.

I had a domestic flight booked in April and what Air Canada did was consolidate several flights. Even though it is now about five hours later it has the same flight number, so it is a change and not a  cancellation. Even though it was Business Class, it was not full fare and therefore non-refundable. I am happy with the offer of a credit for the full amount to be used within 24 months.

Last year my wife and I had a flight booked on  a mainline Air Canada plane.  A few weeks before the flight date a Rouge plane (don't ask) was substituted. Even though we would still get J seats, because of the slightly downgraded plane we were given the choice of a full refund or a different flight on a proper AC plane.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/22/20 15:56 by DrawingroomA.



Date: 03/22/20 23:04
Re: VIA Rail vs. Air Canada Refund :Policy
Author: jbwest

I notice that Viking Cruises, that runs both ocean and river cruises, is cancelling cruises between now and May 1, and offering customers a choice of either a full cash refund or a 125 percent future cruise credit.  That sounds pretty smart to me, and unlike AC if they keep your money you get something in return.

JBWX



Date: 03/23/20 07:54
Re: VIA Rail vs. Air Canada Refund :Policy
Author: hoggerdoug




Date: 03/23/20 13:46
Re: VIA Rail vs. Air Canada Refund :Policy
Author: DrawingroomA

jbwest Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I notice that Viking Cruises, that runs both ocean
> and river cruises, is cancelling cruises between
> now and May 1, and offering customers a choice of
> either a full cash refund or a 125 percent future
> cruise credit.  That sounds pretty smart to me,
> and unlike AC if they keep your money you get
> something in return.
>
> JBWX

This appears to be the usual policy on most cruise lines, although the rules can change by the day. We had booked a round-trip  Atlantic crossing for the summer and the final payment was due soon. So we cancelled and got our deposit back. If I had paid Cunard the balance of the fare I would have had the now typical, but temporary, cancellation rules. If I cancel there is a 125% credit and if Cunard cancels there is the option of a full refund. The trouble is, they - like most cruise lines - are shutting down only until April 11th, which I think is unlikely.

I don't know about Amtrak, but VIA is being reasonable as are most, if not all, hotels and cruise lines. It is just some airlines that are being difficult. The airlines will be the first ones with their snouts in the troughs when it's time for government bailouts.



Date: 03/23/20 20:26
Re: VIA Rail vs. Air Canada Refund :Policy
Author: RuleG

If the worst thing that happened to me as a result of the coronavirus pandemic was an airline cancelling a flight and offering a voucher instead of refund, I would be one very happy guy.

 



Date: 03/24/20 17:39
Re: VIA Rail vs. Air Canada Refund :Policy
Author: symph1

I was scheduled to fly Laramie-Denver-Montreal, but a snowstorm caused my LAR-DEN leg to be cancelled. I drove to Denver and flew to Montreal. All it took was an email to United and they refunded the portion of the flight that was cancelled, and also gave me a $100 credit for my troubles.



Date: 03/25/20 11:58
Re: VIA Rail vs. Air Canada Refund :Policy
Author: DrawingroomA

RuleG Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> If the worst thing that happened to me as a result
> of the coronavirus pandemic was an airline
> cancelling a flight and offering a voucher instead
> of refund, I would be one very happy guy.
>

Despite the logic of that statement, one thing to consider is: the vast majority of people are well - at least for now - but many people are losing their jobs and many businesses are in dire straights and may have to close. So there are some people who would rather have their money returned than  a promise for  a future trip that they may not be able to take.



Date: 03/25/20 19:59
Re: VIA Rail vs. Air Canada Refund :Policy
Author: RuleG

DrawingroomA Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> RuleG Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > If the worst thing that happened to me as a
> result
> > of the coronavirus pandemic was an airline
> > cancelling a flight and offering a voucher
> instead
> > of refund, I would be one very happy guy.
> >
>
> Despite the logic of that statement, one thing to
> consider is: the vast majority of people are well
> - at least for now - but many people are losing
> their jobs and many businesses are in dire
> straights and may have to close. So there are some
> people who would rather have their money returned
> than  a promise for  a future trip that they may
> not be able to take.

The vast majority of the people may be well, but based on what's reported to date, anyone can get the Coronavirus and the number of cases has yet to peak.  As you note many are losing their jobs and businesses, a major economic shock.

Your description of some people preferring to have their money returned rather than a voucher they may not be able to use in the future applies to me.  My partner was going to attend a conference in Denver this month.  I booked a trip on Amtrak (using Amtrak Guest Rewards points) to meet up with her there.  We were going to fly back on Southwest.  The conference got postponed, so the trip was cancelled.  Amtrak refunded the points back to my account and Southwest gave me credit for a future trip within a year.  I have no idea if I will be able to use those points as I typically do not fly Southwest.

If that's the worst thing which happens to me as a result of the coronavirus, I will still feel like one damned lucky guy.



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