What you need to know if you're thinking about cancelling a flight

Dec 17 2021, 7:22 pm

With a federal travel advisory recommending Canadians refrain from non-essential travel, there are likely many folks who are thinking about cancelling a flight.

On the other hand, what do you do if the airline cancels your flight?

The process varies depending on the airline, so we put together some important things to note if you’re thinking about cancelling a flight with WestJet, Air Canada, or Air Transat.

Air Canada

If you’ve booked a flight with Air Canada, there are a few things you need to know.

If Air Canada cancels your flight:

Air Canada will do their best to operate their schedule, but if a flight gets cancelled, and the airline doesn’t rebook you on another flight that departs or arrives within three hours of your original departure time, or if another connection is added to your itinerary, you can request a refund.

If you cancel your flight:

Refundable tickets are refundable, but if you purchased a non-refundable ticket, you can:

  • Make a change to another date without a change fee,
  • Cancel their travel and retain the value of their ticket in an Air Canada Travel Voucher that is fully transferable and does not expire,
  • Cancel their travel and convert the value of their ticket into Aeroplan points plus obtain a 65% bonus.

If you have an Air Canada Vacation package:

If you purchased an Air Canada Vacation package, you can cancel at any time.

Where to make changes:

If you made a booking directly with Air Canada or a contact centre, you can make changes online at aircanada.com. You can also call a contact centre, but Air Canada is warning that wait times are “currently elevated.”

If you purchased through a travel agency, you have to go through the same agency to cancel.

WestJet

Standard flights

All flights booked on WestJet between March 3, 2020, and January 31, 2022, are allowed a $0 one-time fee waiver for changes or cancellations. The cancellation needs to take place more than 24 hours before departure.

If you do cancel, funds will be returned as a travel bank credit, and any amount paid with WestJet dollars will be returned to your account, with the original expiry date applied.

If you change your flight, and the new fare is less, the difference will be returned as a travel bank credit.

If you do cancel within 24 hours of travel, standard cancellation fee rules apply.

WestJet Vacations

WestJet also offers enhanced protection through the WestJet Vacations Travel Protection Plan. The plan costs extra, but it offers additional protection and flexibility for cancelling or changing a flight.

You can read more about WestJet vacations here.

If WestJet cancels

WestJet has a series of scenarios for flights cancelled outside of their control, or flights that are cancelled due to mechanical issues.

See more here.

Air Transat

Flights to and within Canada:

If you booked a flight before December 1 of this year, you can change travel dates or destinations — or both — at no cost up to 24 hours before departure.

There are also options for cancellation.

Flights in Eco Budget, Eco Standard, and Club Standard, you will receive a future travel credit.

For flights in Eco-Flex and Club Flex, there is no cancellation fee.

For flights booked after December 1, for a limited time, Economy and Club Class fare options have been revised and allow you to change your date and destination at no cost, up to 24 hours before departure. Only the fare difference will apply.

To international destinations from Canada:

If you booked your flight before December 16, 2021, you can change your date, or destination — or both — at no cost up to 24 hours before departure. Again, only the fare difference will apply if it exists. You can also choose to cancel, regardless of the fare option, up to 24 hours before departure.

If you booked a flight on or after December 16 for a limited time, Economy and Club Class options allow you to change your date and destination at no cost, up to 24 hours before departure.

If Transat cancels a flight, customers will be refunded.

“We are monitoring the situation closely and respect the decisions our customers will make.  Transat’s top priority is to enable our customers to travel safely and prudently,” Air Transat told Daily Hive in a statement.

“Our top priority is to enable our customers to travel safely and prudently.”

Transat also states they’re experiencing a high volume of calls, and if possible, to use the website for information.

More info here.

Amir AliAmir Ali

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