Air Canada begins refunding passengers grounded by the pandemic

As a condition for Air Canada’s financial assistance package from the federal government, the airline said that customers who purchased a non-refundable ticket for travel on or after February 1, 2020 but did not fly can now obtain a refund by submitting a request online or with their travel agent.

The revised COVID-19 refund policy also covers tickets and Air Canada Vacations packages purchased before April 13, 2021 for flights cancelled either by the airline or by the customer for any reason.

Customers can request a refund online at www.aircanada.com/refund until June 12, 2021.

“Air Canada has revised its booking policies for all future travel,” added Lucie Guillemette, Executive Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer at Air Canada in a press release.

“In cases where a customer’s flight is cancelled or rescheduled by more than three hours, we will now offer all customers the choice of receiving a refund, an Air Canada Travel Voucher (ACTV) or the equivalent value in Aeroplan Points with a 65 per cent bonus,” she said.

In addition to the expanded refund policy announced Tuesday, Air Canada customers will continue to have the option of accepting a fully transferrable ACTV with no expiry date or converting the value of their ticket to Aeroplan points with a 65 per cent bonus. Customers who have already accepted an ACTV or Aeroplan points will have the option to exchange these for a refund to the original form of payment, including for the unused portion of any ACTV issued or in cases where a partial refund was provided.

For customers who make voluntary changes, normal fare rules will apply. Air Canada has also extended its existing goodwill policy so that customers can make a one-time change without a fee for all new or existing bookings made through May 31, 2021 for original travel until May 31, 2022.

Since March 2020, Air Canada has already refunded more than $1.2 billion to customers holding refundable tickets

Customers who booked through a travel agency must contact their agent directly. In support of its travel agency partners, Air Canada confirmed that it will not recall agency sales commissions on refunded tickets that they process.

Daily travel links for 2021-04-12: Porter restarting in June, Airplane cabin concepts and Surviving hotel quarantine

    • Porter Airlines says it will resume flying on June 21, pushing back from the May 19 restart date it had originally chosen… https://t.co/lhNKqNXLkD
    • Entrants to this design contest have reimagined what airplane cabins could be, but my guess is that none of them will ever become reality… https://t.co/mNW0hkS5rt
    • I wonder why no one seeks advice from imprisoned convicts for advice on how to survive a hotel quarantine.… https://t.co/Hq6zd7Ocw8
    • The TSA will now let you bring your full-size sunscreen bottle onboard a plane in your carry-on as it’s classified as a medical item… https://t.co/tNYFMBx7Lr
    • For those of you wondering if masks on airplanes will be forever, keep in mind that we’re still removing our shoes 20 years after the ‘shoe bomber’ was caught… https://t.co/4mMaIOIUNO
    • The latest from the CBC is that Ottawa is giving Air Canada loans in exchange for refunds to customers who had their travels cut short by the pandemic… https://t.co/gKI0BNMSMo

 

Daily travel links for 2021-04-09: Dumping bucket lists, Work from sea and and Incentivizing vacation time

    • If you can work from anywhere, why not do it on a cruise ship? Princess Cruises is turning its ships into ‘offices at sea’ with wifi speeds rivalling those found on land… https://t.co/FhC3otIZ8k
    • Some companies are using drastic measures to push employees to use their time off that has accrued during the pandemic… https://t.co/RRgEe6SCwf

 

Daily travel links for 2021-04-08: Avelo is America’s new airline, Travellers welcome vaccination passports and Influencers keep influencing

Avelo airline airplane
    • It’s interesting to note that Avelo, America’s first new mainline #airline in nearly 15 years, is focusing its inaugural routes on destinations near national parks, which is a wise move during a pandemic… https://t.co/HqcIwKlza1
    • More than 90% of travellers would welcome vaccination passports to restart travel, according to a survey sponsored by a travel company… https://t.co/ENocFFLDW2
    • This guy is making his own airplane meals to get through lockdown, but it just isn’t the same unless you’re balancing it on a tray over your knees during turbulence… https://t.co/Ylu8OKlmyR

The Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa is going virtual once again

Canadian tulip festival

It’s looking like The Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa is going virtual again this year.

As of this week, the Province of Ontario has announced a stay-at-home order within weeks of the tulips blooming at the festival site in Commissioners Park, at Dow’s Lake.

“The safest way to enjoy the tulips this year is online,” stressed the festival’s Executive Director,  Jo Riding. “With the information provided by Ottawa Public Health, we knew to prepare for a third variant-based wave this spring and have done everything we can to bring the tulips to Ottawa, Canada, and the world.”

Fans of the festival are asked to stay home and experience the gift of tulips through an immersive virtual experience at www.tulipfestival.ca.

Virtual walking tours with a live tour guide are being offered from May 14 – 24, 2021, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm EST, and cost $10 per ticket.

Festival organizers aren’t new to hosting a virtual festival, having had to pivot to a completely online event last spring within two months of the pandemic. Given their experience last year, organizers were understandably cautious when planning for the upcoming 69th edition of Ottawa’s longest-running, largest attended event.

For those who live in the Ottawa area, the festival is fundraising through the sale of fresh, locally-grown cut tulip bouquets, sold online for curbside pickup or next-day delivery. All proceeds of the flower sales go towards the continuation of the Canadian Tulip Legacy, a registered charity.

The thirty public tulip gardens in the National Capital Region will remain open for local visitors, but festival organizers ask that they wear a mask,  visit at non-peak hours and follow social distancing guidelines while enjoying the flowers.

Admission to the festival site at Commissioners Park beside Dow’s Lake is free.