Rebooking policy update: Air Canada extends dates, Lufthansa Group drops rebooking fees

MONTREAL — Air Canada has expanded its rebooking options with an eye to increased flexibility.

Passengers with new or existing bookings made by Sept. 30, 2020 for original travel March 1, 2020 – Sept. 30, 2021 can make a one-time change without a fee. 

Air Canada spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick confirmed that the new dates are an extension of the carrier’s goodwill policy for change fee waivers. “We now cover ticket issued up to Sept. 30, 2020 and rebooking window until Sept. 30, 2022,” he said.

Passengers who booked directly with Air Canada who need to cancel for any reason can convert their ticket to an Air Canada travel voucher, with no expiry date, or to Aeroplan Miles with 65% bonus miles.

Air Canada adds: “For customers who booked through a travel agency, Air Canada is working to make these options available.”

Travelweek asked Fitzpatrick when travel agencies would be able to access the options, and will update this story as that information becomes available.

Meanwhile Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines have announced changes to their ticket fare structure through the end of December 2020.

For all four airlines, all fares can be rebooked several times free of charge. That includes the lowest light fare without checked baggage.

Lufthansa Group Airlines had already made a one-off free of charge rebooking possible in spring, in response to the pandemic.

The new regulation applies worldwide to all new bookings on short, medium and long-haul routes. Passengers may incur additional costs if, for example, the original booking class is no longer available when rebooking to a different date or destination. Any difference will be compensated for by means of additional payment.

The Lufthansa Group airlines say they also continue to offer a return flight promise on all European routes and, together with AXA Partners, a travel insurance policy. On-site coverage applies in the event of a travel warning or a significant spread of the pandemic. Travellers will be flown back to Germany, Austria or Switzerland with Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian Airlines.

Lufthansa resumed its nonstop Frankfurt flights out of Toronto on June 3, while SWISS restarted Zurich service out of Montreal in July.

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