WestJet's COVID refunds-can you get your money back?

24 Octobre, 2020, 21:25 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • WestJet's COVID refunds-can you get your money back?

Anyone who had their Europe or Disneyland trips cancelled because of COVID-19 in Canada is about to be in luck.

WestJet announced on Wednesday, October 21 that they would start giving real refunds back on flights cancelled by them and Swoop due to the pandemic. Waiting five months to get $3,500 might be a lot of money for many people.

Federal opposition parties said Monday the Liberal government should ensure all airlines ensure passengers receive full reimbursement for any flights cancelled due to the pandemic, particularly if the government passes a bailout for the industry.

WestJet will contact those people it deems eligible for refunds as of November 2, 2020, but it is taking a phased approach, starting with flights cancelled in March and will continue from there.

"We have heard loud and clear from the travelling public that in this COVID world they are looking for reassurance on two fronts: the safest possible travel environment, and refunds".

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According to Sims, only 41 of 181 aircraft in WestJet's fleet are now flying, and the company has had more than 4,000 permanent layoffs. "Even the lowest cost tickets will be refunded to original form of payment if WestJet caused the cancellation". Numerous offers to customers from airlines for cancelled flights have previously been credits for future travel.

Passenger Rights Advocate Gabor Lukacs said the six to nine months WestJet estimates it will take to process refund requests is excessive, calling it "ridiculous" and a "non-starter".

The company said it would not raise fares to pay for the refunds.

Airline analysts claim it's not just about goodwill, rather, it may be a pre-condition on getting financial assistance from Ottawa.

Of the almost 16,300 guests who requested chargebacks from their credit card issuers between March and Aug. 19, only 11 per cent were denied, according to an affidavit WestJet regulatory affairs director Lorne Mackenzie filed to the Federal Court in August.

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