Air Canada Cancelation and Refund Policy - Air Canada Cancelation Fee, Refund Process and 24-Hour Cancelation Policy
Life throws surprises at times, forcing you to change your plans. A sudden death in the family or the hospitalization of a near one due to illness or accident, or even a very important corporate deadline leading to a change in schedule – travel plans are rarely contingency protected. And whenever unforeseen events like these force you to change your travel plan, the first thing that comes to mind is whether the flight ticket can be canceled and the value of the canceled ticket can be recovered in full or in part. Discounted fares may seem attractive at the time of booking, but in situations like these, refundability is the only thing that matters. Therefore, a good knowledge of the cancelation and refund policies of an airline is a must before purchasing an air ticket.
And that is why, reputable airlines like Air Canada draft their own cancelation and refund policies to make passengers aware of unpleasant situations like these and safeguard them against possible monetary losses while maintaining their customer-friendly image and reputation. The Air Canada Cancelation policy does exactly that, the key aspects of which have been analyzed in great detail below.
The Air Canada Cancellation Policy
The Air Canada Cancellation Policycombines all terms and conditions associated with cancelations and refunds, the instructions and guidelines and the various cancelation and refund procedureseffectively and constructively. The policy includes specifications on cancelation fees and lays down guidelines for exceptional situations like sudden flight disruptions and cancelations within 24 hours.
Terms such as Refundable and non-Refundable tickets, flight credits and credit vouchers have been used time and again in the policy and from the start to end throughout this article. For a quicker and more solid understanding of the Air Canada cancellation policy, therefore, the knowledge of the Air Canada fare and ticket types, the different types of ticket vouchers and the cancelation norms associated with each one of them is very much essential. Here is more on them before we discuss any further.
Air Canada Fare Options
Within Canada and the US, Air Canada offers seven types of fare options which are,
- i. Basic
- ii. Standard
- iii. Flex
- iv. Comfort
- v. Latitude
- vi. Premium Economy
- vii. Business Class
The Comfort fare is not offered for international destinations.
As the name suggests, refundable fares are those on which passengers are allowed to claim and get refunds after flight cancelations. They are more expensive than non-refundable fares because of the additional flexibilities attached. Most airlines add refundability to existing fares and sell them at premium prices as refundable tickets. Air Canada also does the same. Its Premium Economy and Business Class fares for travels between the US and Canada and other international destinations, come in two varieties – refundable and non-refundable. The lower priced variety is, of course, the non-refundable one where passengers aren’t eligible for cash refunds and have to pay a fee of at least $100 CAD to cancel their flights. The higher priced variety of both the Premium Economy and Business Class fares are sold as refundable fares where passengers can obtain full cash refunds without paying any cancelation fee. But Air Canada has two dedicated refundable fares for the US-Canadian market which are Comfort and Latitude. There is no cancelation fee for these fares as well. Whereas, for international destinations, Air Canada offers only one dedicated refundable fare which is Latitude.
Non-refundable tickets don’t allow passengers to claim cash refunds after canceling their flights. But most airlines issue voucher refunds to passengers against canceled flights and charge them a cancelation fee on such tickets. Air Canada offers two non-refundable fares, Standard and Flex, for the US and Canadian markets. While there is no cancelation fee for Flex, a penalty of $100 CAD is charged for canceling Standard tickets. The same rules apply to these two fares for international travel, however, in this case, a cancelation fee applies to both of these. And as per the standard rules of the Air Canada Cancelation policy, the Basic fare is non-refundable and non-cancelable for both the US and Canadian markets as well as international destinations.
Like all other airlines, Air Canada has a frequent flier program for passengers, which is known as Aeroplan. Aeroplan members can purchase reward flight tickets with reward points accumulated over time from accrued miles. The Air Canada cancelation policy allows passengers to cancel their reward flight tickets and get back their miles with or without a cancelation fee that depends on the terms and conditions associated with each individual fare type. So, a passenger can cancel his reward flight ticket and receive the full value converted into miles back as a refund if the booked ticket was refundable. And for a non-refundable fare like the Standard, a cancelation fee might be deducted before converting the remaining value into miles and redepositing in the passenger’s account other than a few exceptions.
Air Canada Vouchers
Air Canada has a complex credit refund system that has been elaborately discussed under its refund policy. The airline offers its passengers a wide variety of credit options where they can store the cash value of their Air Canada flight tickets after cancelation and use it whenever they need to book a flight or purchase a service in the future. Most of these vouchers can be used multiple times and in combination with other forms of payment while redeeming. However, none of them can be used when passengers are using uplift as a payment method. Also, these can’t be used at airport kiosks and counters all over the world. The different Air Canada credit options are discussed in brief below.
Air Canada eCoupons
Air Canada eCoupons are fully transferable vouchers that can be used multiple times to book new flights or to buy various travel options such as Maple Leaf Lounge Access, Bistro Vouchers and Seat Selection. The coupons come with an expiry date and they can be redeemed till the point their value becomes zero. But these coupons have their limitations as well. Passengers won’t be able to buy travel insurance, duty-free purchases and onboard Bistro Vouchers with these coupons, nor can they book hotel rooms or transportation with these. Passengers are also not allowed to buy Flight Passes and book group travels with these coupons. However, passengers can request a cash refund on these coupons if their value falls short of the price of a new ticket provided they purchase the new ticket with some other form of payment and submit proof of the same.
Electronic Travel Vouchers
Passengers, who are denied boarding on booked flights due to any reason, are issued Electronic Travel Vouchers for future use when they apply for a refund. These vouchers are transferable and can be used to purchase any base fares from Air Canada, Air Canada Express and Air Canada Rouge and also from some of their airline partners. These can also be used to purchase flight passes, tickets with discount codes and flight portions of the Air Canada Vacation bookings. The vouchers can be redeemed many times before their value is completely exhausted. Also, Electronic Travel Vouchers can be combined with other forms of payment to purchase base fares.
Future Travel Credits
When passengers cancel their flights due to any reason and are sure about flying with Air Canada in the near future, they may prefer to store the unused value of the canceled tickets including both base fares and applicable taxes in the form of these vouchers. Future Travel Credits are mostly issued to refund non-refundable fares. These vouchers are non-transferable and as per the refund norms, aren’t allowed to be combined with other forms of payment while redeeming them. Applicable cancelation fees are deducted from the value of canceled flight tickets before converting them to Future Travel Credits. Fare difference applies when these vouchers are redeemed to purchase new flight tickets. If the value of the new flight tickets is lower, then the difference value is forfeited.
Air Canada Travel Voucher
Although regarded as the most flexible credit voucher offered by Air Canada, Air Canada Travel Vouchers are no longer issued by the airline after the introduction of AC Wallet. However, passengers who already have these vouchers issued against their names can continue enjoying the benefits as long as these haven’t been redeemed completely or their value hasn’t been completely used up.
Exclusively designed for Aeroplan Members, AC Wallet is a non-transferable future credit issued by Air Canada that can be used for new flight bookings and purchasing of various Air Canada travel options. AC Wallet can be redeemed both online and through the Air Canada mobile app. Passengers can purchase flight tickets and travel options such as food and beverages with Air Canada Bistro, Maple Leaf Lounge Access and Seat Selection with AC Wallet flight credits. But they can’t use these to buy Flight Passes, duty-free products and services, Air Canada Vacation packages, or Air Canada cargo products and services with AC Wallet. They are also not allowed to book hotel rooms and car rentals with these. If passengers cancel tickets purchased with AC Wallet, the value of the unused tickets is further refunded back to the AC Wallets.
The Air Canada Cancelation Policy Guidelines
Air Canada has a set of well-written guidelines and terms and conditions to assist passengers in matters related to the cancelation of flights and claiming of refunds. Mentioned below are the highlights of the Air Canada cancelation policy that includes the rules, norms and guidelines.
- i. Air Canada passengers can cancel their flights and claim refunds up to 2 hours before the original departure as per the rules of the Air Canada Cancelation policy.
- ii. Air Canada offers both refundable and non-refundable fares. Passengers are eligible to obtain the value of canceled flight tickets as refunds in the form of flight credits after canceling non-refundable fares.
- iii. Passengers canceling refundable fares are qualified to receive cash refunds under the policy that are sent back to the original forms of payment.
- iv. Passengers whose flights are disrupted due to reasons within Air Canada’s control are eligible for full refunds irrespective of the types of fares they booked. This rule is applicable to passengers whose flights were canceled without their knowledge or delayed by more than three hours.
- v. Passengers who were denied boarding or if additional connections were added to their itinerary without warning are also allowed to cancel their flights and are eligible to get full refunds under the flight disruptions clause.
- vi. The flight disruptions clause under the Air Canada Cancelation policy also may make passengers qualified for cash compensations. Passengers can check their eligibility for receiving compensation online through the “Flight Disruption Compensation Eligibility Tool” on the official Air Canada website.
- vii. It is mandatory, as per the terms of the Air Canada Cancelation policy, to process both cancelation and refund requests from the same points of purchase where they booked their flight tickets. This is important because each point of purchase has its own unique booking system which can’t be accessed by the other. It means if you book your flight through a travel agent, you must contact him for flight cancelation and refund.
- viii. Air Canada has never charged its passengers any refund processing fee. However, cancelation fees are charged on certain fares on both domestic and international routes.
- ix. Aeroplan members can get their reward points and miles back to their Aeroplan accounts after canceling their flight reward tickets. But there may be a cancelation fee depending on the terms and conditions associated with the fare types they originally purchased. More on the Aeroplan Flight Reward Cancelation policy has been discussed later in this article.
- x. Air Canada provides its passengersthe option to store the value of canceled flight tickets into different types of flight credits even if they purchase refundable fares. The airline offers five different types of flight credits designed to fulfil the needs of different customer segments.
- xi. All flight credits issued by Air Canada can be used for future flight ticket purchases and for buying various travel options. However, they all come with an expiry date that is mentioned in the confirmation email sent to the customers after their issuance.
- xii. Air Canada has a 24-hour cancelation policy which allows passengers to claim and obtain full refunds after canceling their flights within 24 hours of booking. This rule surpasses all existing terms and conditions of the Air Canada Cancelation policy and applies to all fares including Basic, voiding their individual fare-specific cancelation norms.
- xiii. The 24-hour cancelation window starts from the time of purchasing flight tickets and ends with the cancelation request being submitted.
- xiv. The Air Canada Basic fares are non-cancelableand non-refundable as per the general terms and conditions of the Air Canada Flight Cancelation policy. However, there are two exceptions to this rule. First, when cancelations are done within 24 hours of purchase and second, when passengers’ flights are disrupted without prior notice. On both these occasions, Passengers can cancel their Basic fares and get full refunds on them.
- xv. Passengers’entire booking amounts are forfeited if they don’t cancel their flights up to two hours prior to departure and don’t show up for their flights.
- xvi. The same rule on no-shows applies to flight reward tickets whose value becomes zero if passengers miss their flights. Since the value of the tickets becomes zero, nothing can be adjusted towards flight credits and no refunds can be claimed on them.
- xvii. Passengers are charged a penalty that is subject to the fare rules associated with individual flight tickets for canceling their reservations. The rest of the value after the deduction of the penalty is encoded in the future credits before issuance in the name of passengers.
How to Cancel Air Canada Flight?
As per the Air Canada cancelation policy guidelines, passengers must return to the original source of booking or the point of purchase to process their cancelation and refund requests.There are many different ways to cancel an Air Canada flight ticket, but their applicability depends on the source from where the ticket was originally purchased. The various booking sources are discussed in the procedures mentioned below.
Online Flight Cancelation
Passengers can cancel their Air Canada reservations online themselves if they purchased their flight tickets directly from Air Canada (from the Air Canada official website, Air Canada mobile app or Air Canada Contact Centers) or from online flight booking services such as Google Flights, Kayak or Skyscanner.The following points discuss the step-by-step process for online flight cancelation.
- i. To cancel your flight online, you have to first, visit the homepage of the Air Canada official website, www.aircanada.com. On the home page, click on ‘My Bookings,’ which is the sixth menu from the left on the menu bar right under the slideshow.
- ii. Once you click on ‘My Bookings,’ a dropdown box with the heading, “Access a flight booking,” would open. Enter your last name and the booking reference number or ticket reference number on the designated spaces and click on the ‘Find’ tab on the right.
- iii. This would retrieve your trip information and complete flight details. Now select the cancel flight option on the flight details page and follow the subsequent prompts.
- iv. Now, fill up your details and submit your flight cancelation request.
Refund requests can be made right after submitting the cancelation requests or later from the same ‘My Bookings’ section of the website.
Aeroplan members who booked flights with reward points are also eligible to make cancelation requests online through the ‘My Bookings’ section of the official website.
Canceling Flights via Phone Call
Passengers who purchased flight tickets directly from Air Canada or the online flight booking search portals mentioned above can also make cancelation requests offline by calling the dedicated toll-free customer care contact numbers, 1-888-247-2262 and +1-888-261-0054. Passengers who are from outside the US and Canada, or who booked international flights from places other than these two, can find local Air Canada contact numbers in the ‘Customer Support’/’Contact Us’ section of the official website for submitting their cancelation requests. Aeroplan members have a separate toll-free contact number for requesting offline flight cancelations which can be found on the Aeroplan section of the customer support page on the official website.
Online Booking Cancelation through Travel Agents
If you booked your Air Canada flight ticket through a travel agent or an online travel agency, you must contact them for requesting cancelation as per the norms of Air Canada Flight Cancelation policy.Your cancelation request would be submitted online through their booking system.
Online and Offline Cancelation for Air Canada Vacations
Passengers booking vacation packages with Air Canada have a dedicated website, vacations.aircanada.com, to manage their bookings online where they can cancel their reservations and claim refunds subject to specific terms and conditions. The website has a “Manage Your Booking” section that can be accessed by entering passengers’ last names, booking reference numbers and departure dates. Vacation packages including flights can be canceled offline too by calling the dedicated toll-free vacations contact number provided on the website.
Canceling Business Booking via Phone Call
Air Canada has a separate business helpdesk called Air Canada for Business to deal with business bookings. Passengers, who want to cancel their business bookings, must get in touch with the dedicated business helpdesk via its toll-free phone number mentioned on the official website of the airline.
Air Canada Aeroplan Flight Reward Cancelation Policy
Frequent travelers with Air Canada can register themselves as members under its Aeroplanfrequent flier program and earn reward points from accrued miles. The same reward points can be used to purchase flight tickets and other travel-related services. Such award ticket bookings come under the Aeroplan Flight Reward policy. Passengers can cancel such award tickets and claim refunds on them. The cancelation and refund guidelines are included in the policy, excerpts from which are given below.
- i. As per the Aeroplan Flight Reward Cancelation Policy, non-refundable cancelation fees may be applied to flight reward cancelations depending on fare options selected at the time of booking.
- ii. Passengers are allowed to cancel their award tickets up to two hours prior to departure.
- iii. Passengers can get their reward points reinstated after canceling their flight reward tickets.
- iv. Failing to cancel the flight at least up to two hours prior to departure and not showing up for the journey would lead to forfeiture of the flight reward ticket. The forfeited flight reward tickets are neither valid for further travel nor the points used in purchasing such tickets can be redeposited back to the passengers’ Aeroplan accounts.
- v. Cancelations of flight reward tickets may result in a refund of fees, taxes and charges after conversion into equivalent reward points and miles. However, taxes and fees which are non-refundable by law can’t be reinstated.
The Air Canada 24-Hour Cancellation Policy
Air Canada has a 24-hour cancelation policy under which passengers can cancel their reservations within 24 hours of booking and obtain full refunds of the tickets’ value without paying any penalty. The key points of the Air Canada 24-Hour Cancellation Policy are given below.
- i. Under the 24-hour cancelation policy, passengers are allowed to cancel their Air Canada flight tickets within 24 hours of purchase without paying any cancelation fee.
- ii. As per the policy, Passengers can claim and obtain full refunds of the booking amounts in cash which are sent back to the original forms of payment.
- iii. Terms and conditions of the policy are applicable to both the refundable and non-refundable fares.
- iv. The 24 hours mentioned in this policy refers to the period between the exact time of ticket purchase and the time when the flight cancelation request is submitted.
- v. Passengers who have booked flight reward tickets can also cancel their flights within 24 hours and get their used reward points or miles back without any penalty under this policy.
Air Canada No Show Policy
A no-show happens when a passenger either doesn’t intend to travel on the scheduled date and time or fails to show up in time for his flight due to any reason, and in both cases doesn’t cancel his reservation up to two hours prior to departure. As far as the Air Canada no-show policy is concerned, passengers’ entire booking amounts are forfeited if they don’t show up for their flights. The policy is equally strict on flight reward tickets where the tickets are forfeited and their value becomes zero in case of no-shows. This means that passengers can’t get their miles redeposited to their Aeroplan accounts if they don’t cancel their flights purchased with flight reward points before departure and fail to show up.
Air Canada Cancellation Fees
Air Canada charges a cancelation fee on select fares for processing cancelation requests. The fee is usually $100 CAD or equivalent in other currencies. For travels within Canada or to the US, passengers are charged a cancelation fee of $100 CAD per ticket on the low-priced segments of the Premium Economy and the Business Class. The higher-priced segments of these two fares are refundable and no penalty is charged from passengers for canceling these tickets. There is no cancelation charge for Latitude, Comfort and Flex fares while there is a penalty of $100 CAD for canceling Standard fares. The basic fares are non-cancelable and non-refundable, meaning that the booking amounts would be forfeited for canceling these tickets under normal circumstances. In case of travel to international destinations, a cancelation fee is levied on Standard, Flex, Premium Economy lowest and Business Class lowest fares. Refundable fares like Latitude, Premium Economy Flexible and Business Class Flexible are exempt from cancelation fees. However, all Air Canada passengers can cancel their flights without paying any cancelation fees under the 24-hour Cancelation policy. As per the policy, they can cancel both refundable and non-refundable fares including the Basic within 24 hours of booking and they aren’t charged any cancelation fee for doing so. The entire Air Canada cancelation fee structure has been summarized in the following table.
||Cancelation Fees ($) CAD
||Canada & to the US
|Premium Economy Lowest
|Premium Economy Flexible
|Business Class Lowest
|Business Class Flexible
The Air Canada Refund Policy
Air Canada has a flexible refund policy under which passengers can obtain both cash and future credits as refunds. The key points of the Air Canada Refund policy are discussed below.
- i. The Air Canada Refund policy allows passengers to claim and obtain refunds on both refundable and non-refundable tickets.
- ii. As per the policy, cash refunds can be obtained after canceling refundable tickets. And flight credits are issued to passengers for canceling non-refundable tickets.
- iii. Unlike other airlines, Air Canada allows passengers to choose between flight credits and cash refunds if they have refundable tickets. Passengers may decide to store the value of canceled tickets in different types of credit vouchers and use them in the future in combination with other payment methods to purchase flight tickets as well as various travel options.
- iv. As per the Air Canada Refunds policy, passengers’ eligibility for a refund in cases where they cancel their flights at their will depends on the fare rules associated with each individual fare type.
- v. If passengers’ flights are canceled by Air Canada without their knowledge and for reasons within Air Canada’s control, they can claim full cash refunds under the Air Canada Refunds policy irrespective of the fares they booked.
- vi. Passengers are also allowed to cancel their bookings and claim full refunds as per the refunds policy if their flights are delayed by more than three hours by Air Canada.
- vii. Passengers have the right to cancel their flights and claim full refunds if Air Canada voluntarily adds connections to their itinerary without their knowledge.
- viii. Full refunds as per the Air Canada Refunds policy can be claimed only on the unused portions of tickets.
- ix. Air Canada has a 24-hour cancelation policy which allows passengers to cancel their flights without any penalty within 24 hours of purchase, and claim full cash refundsirrespective of fare type and related terms and conditions.
- x. As per the terms of the Air Canada flight rewards cancelation policy, passengers can claim and receive refunds of the miles spent on purchasing flights. The miles are put back to their Aeroplan accounts which can be used again in the future.
- xi. All cash refunds are processed within 7 business days and are sent to the passengers’ original forms of payment.
- xii. The flight credits issued to passengers are added to their accounts on aircanada.com which they can view from their individual profile pages and can use during checkouts.
- xiii. All issued flight credits have an expiry date which is mentioned in the emails sent to passengers after issuance.
- xiv. As per the Air Canada Refund policy, Passengers requesting a refund must do so through their original points of purchase. To make it simple, if a passenger booked his flight through an Air Canada travel agent, he must process his refund request through that same travel agent because Air Canada has different booking systems for different points of purchase.
- xv. Taxes, fees and additional charges are generally refundable under the Air Canada Refunds policy but their refundability depends on the terms associated with fares originally booked. Taxes and fees may be non-refundable as well depending on the laws of the country where the canceled tickets were originally purchased from.
How to request a refund from Air Canada?
The Air Canada Refund policy stresses the importance of requesting a refund only through the original points of purchase. The airline offers several options to passengers as far as the process of submitting refund requests is concerned. All these processes are based on passengers’ original booking methods. So, as a passenger, you must select the refund request process that matches your original booking method.
Online Refund Request
Online refund request is for those passengers who booked their flights directly through Air Canada, Google Flights, Kayak or Skyscanner. The direct booking channels of Air Canada include the official website of the airline, aircanada.com, its mobile app and the many Air Canada contact centers. The online refund request process starts with the cancelation of bookings through the official website of the airline, the step-by-step process of which has already been discussed in the previous sections. The only extra step they need to follow here is to select the option, Request a Refund, from the My Bookings section of the official website after submitting their cancelation requests. Aeroplan members can also request refunds online from the same My Bookings section of the official website.
Refund Request via Phone Call
Passengers can request refunds through phone calls via Air Canada Contact Centers. The refund requests can be submitted along with cancelation requests or they can be done later after the cancelation procedure is complete. The contact numbers for the US and Canada have been provided in the previous sections. For international travel, passengers need to find their local Air Canada contact numbers on the official website. Aeroplan members who want to request a refund via phone call have a separate contact number which is also available on the official website.
Refund Request for Air Canada Vacations
Passengers, who booked vacation packages with Air Canada, have to request a refund through the dedicated vacation toll-free contact number or through the dedicated vacation website. The URL of the separate Air Canada Vacations website has been provided in the cancelation section above, whereas, the contact number for the dedicated vacations team has been provided in the Contact Us section of the above-mentioned website.
Refund Request for Air Canada Business
Business Class passengers who booked business flights with Air Canada mustprocess their refund requests online through the dedicated Air Canada for Business link on the official website of the airline. They can also request refunds for their business bookings offline through the toll-free Air Canada for Business contact number provided.
Online Refund Request through Travel Agent
Passengers who booked Air Canada flights through travel agents or websites of online travel agencies like Expedia have to contact them for processing their refund requests. The refunds in such cases would be processed online through their booking management portals. Additional restrictions may apply depending on their respective cancelation terms and conditions.