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Lucie Guillemette

Air Canada’s COVID-19 refund policy is outlined in full, with new details about ACV and booking policies for future travel

MONTREAL — Following up on its announcement last night after it secured $5.9 billion in government financial aid, Air Canada has released a complete outline of its revamped refund policy in the wake of the pandemic.

This morning ACV also sent out an update that include details about ACV refunds. Details are below. Like Air Canada, ACV has committed to protecting travel agent commissions, another massive win for the retail travel sector.

This afternoon Air Canada’s Executive Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer at Air Canada, Lucie Guillemette is hosting an Air Canada virtual town hall for the trade. Guillemette has been named President of ACV as well (see below).

Eligible Air Canada passengers who purchased a non-refundable ticket for travel on or after February 1, 2020 but did not fly can now obtain a refund from the carrier by submitting a request online or with their travel agent.

The revised COVID-19 refund policy 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.

“Air Canada will be offering refunds to all eligible customers whether they cancelled their ticket or if their flight was cancelled by the airline. Customers can now submit refund requests online or through their travel agent and we are committed to processing refunds as fast as possible,” said  Guillemette.

 

 

In addition, says Guillemette, Air Canada has revised its booking policies for all future travel.

Starting today, April 13, 2021, in cases where a customer’s flight is cancelled or rescheduled by more than three hours, Air Canada will now offer all customers the choice of receiving a refund, an Air Canada Travel Voucher or the equivalent value in Aeroplan Points with a 65% bonus.

“This new policy will provide more certainty and flexibility, so customers can book their future travel with greater confidence and we look forward to welcoming you back on board,” says Guillemette.

In addition to the expanded refund policy announced today, Air Canada customers will continue to have the option of accepting a fully transferrable Air Canada Travel Voucher (ACTV) with no expiry date or converting the value of their ticket to Aeroplan points with a 65% 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.

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

With today’s announcement, Air Canada is extending a refund option to all eligible customers with tickets for travel dates on or after February 1, 2020 and who purchased their ticket before April 13, 2021.

Refunds are available to those customers whose flight was cancelled or who voluntarily cancelled their flight for any reason, and who wish to submit a request for a refund to their original form of payment. Customers can request a refund online at www.aircanada.com/refund until June 12, 2021.

The policy also applies to Air Canada Vacations packages.

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

NEW FUTURE TRAVEL POLICY

Air Canada also announced a new policy for all tickets purchased for future travel that is effective today.

For new tickets purchased on or after April 13, 2021, Air Canada will provide customers an option for a refund to the original form of payment in instances where Air Canada cancels their flight or reschedules the departure time by more than three hours, irrespective of the reason. Air Canada customers will also have the option of accepting an ACTV or Aeroplan points with a 65% bonus.

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.

ACV REFUNDS & COMMISSION PROTECTION

ACV sent out an update to the trade this morning, stating that starting April 13, 2021, Air Canada Vacations will begin accepting and processing refund requests for from eligible customers whose vacations were cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

ACV’s revised policy covers trips cancelled by ACV or by the customer. Customers have the option to request a refund for any reason if their booking was made before April 13, 2021 for travel on or after February 1, 2020.

“We are pleased to announce that we will not be recalling commissions from agents once refunds are processed,” says ACV in its statement.

ACV added that it is reaching out directly to travel agents with eligible affected customers, to guide them through the refund request process. ACV is also providing a FAQ document outlining all terms and conditions and further information regarding the announcement.

GUILLEMETTE NAMED ACV PRESIDENT

Meanwhile ACV announced today that in addition to her current role, Guillemette will be leading Air Canada Vacations as its President as well, replacing Craig Landry effective immediately.

Landry has served as president of the group since December 2015.

Landry will  remain Executive Vice President, Operations at Air Canada. During his tenure as president, he has successfully led the team in growing its business and reinforcing its position as a key player in the leisure market. 

ACV says the change in leadership comes as a result of a commercial reassessment and adapting of strategies following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Lucie’s expertise in leading the team and her accumulated knowledge in revenue, product, distribution, sales and network management will be a tremendous asset in establishing a solid future for Air Canada Vacations,” said Landry.

“I look forward to leading this agile team with a strong entrepreneurial spirit into its next chapter. Now is the time to strengthen our relationships and lay the groundwork for our full recovery by leveraging the commercial synergies that exist between Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations. I am certainly very pleased to have Air Canada Vacations join the Air Canada commercial team,” said Guillemette.

Nino Montagnese, Vice President – Air Canada Vacations, will report directly to Guillemette as he did to Landry, and retains his responsibility to lead the senior leadership team at ACV in all aspects of the day-to-day management of company.

Guillemette was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer at Air Canada in January 2017, with overall responsibility for all of Air Canada’s commercial strategies to support the airline’s business objectives and continued drive towards sustained profitability.

She has been a member of Air Canada’s executive team since 2008 when she was appointed Vice President, Revenue Management. In 2017, Ms. Guillemette was recognized by the Women’s Executive Network as of one Canada’s 100 Most Powerful Women in Business in the Corporate Executive category.