Cancelled flights, disrupted vacations, frayed tempers: FAQs about the chaos in the airline industry

ACV bookings update as Air Canada continues to reduce capacity

MONTREAL — All Air Canada Vacations bookings scheduled to depart Canada between March 19 and April 30, 2020, inclusively, have been cancelled.

ACV says affected customers whose bookings are cancelled will automatically receive a full credit for future travel valid for 24 months.

For ACV clients with Group bookings, the future travel credit will be applicable to the same destination and same hotel.

ACV is asking customers not to contact Air Canada Vacations or their travel agent as the travel credits will be processed automatically and will be sent by email.

When customers are ready to use their credits, they should refer to their invoice which contains their ACV booking reference number.

ACV adds: “Please note that we are processing files in order of departure dates. Given the high volume of changes, we are working as quickly as possible and appreciate your patience. Thank you for your understanding during these times of rapid change.”

AIR CANADA

Air Canada announced late on March 18 that it plans to gradually reduce its scheduled capacity as of April 1 amid travel advisories and border closures for Canada and countries around the world.

Subject to further government restrictions, Air Canada says it intends to continue to serve a small number of international and U.S. transborder destinations from select Canadian cities after April 1, 2020.

The airline also intends to continue serving all provinces and territories of Canada after that date, albeit with a significantly reduced network.

International and U.S. transborder flights

To facilitate the continued repatriation of citizens to their home countries, including Canadians back to Canada, and to support the essential movement of needed goods and cargo during the crisis, Air Canada intends to continue to operate a limited number of international “air bridges” between one or more of its Canadian hubs and the cities of LondonParisFrankfurtDelhiTokyo and Hong Kong from April 1 until at least April 30. This will reduce its international network from 101 airports to six.

As to U.S. transborder services, given the decision by the U.S. and Canadian governments today, closing the Canada-U.S. border, from April 1, Air Canada will reduce its transborder network from 53 airports to 13, subject to further reductions based on demand or government edicts. The cities with continued service will be: New York (LGA and EWR), BostonWashington, D.C. (IAD and DCA), ChicagoHoustonSeattleSan FranciscoLos AngelesDenver, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale.

Domestic Canada flights

Air Canada says it intends to continue to serve all provinces and territories of Canada, reducing its domestic network from 62 airports to 40 through a reduced network April 1 – 30, subject to further reductions based on demand or government edict.

For information on Air Canada’s schedule beginning April 1, 2020 see www.aircanada.com.

“The restrictions on travel imposed by governments worldwide, while understandable, are nonetheless having a cataclysmic effect upon the global airline industry,” said Air Canada’s President and CEO, Calin Rovinescu.

“Our immediate focus is on ensuring the safety and well-being of our employees, customers and communities. At the same time, we are exploring with the Government of Canada possibilities to maintain essential operations to enable as many Canadians as possible to return to Canada, and to support other vital transport needs, including the shipment of goods and cargo during the crisis as required in any state of emergency.

“We are working around the clock to deal with the impact for our customers and our business of the various travel restrictions that are being made by governments at unprecedented speed without advance warning.

For affected passengers

The airline will gradually suspend some of its scheduled flights between now and March 31 as demand for Canadians to return to Canada from a number of destinations reduces. Air Canada’s website has the most up to date details.

Affected passengers, including those with ACV packages, whose flights are cancelled will receive a full credit valid for 24 months. There is no requirement to contact Air Canada as passengers will be contacted directly.

The airline has also put in place temporary, one-way fares to Canada to enable customers abroad to return home.

Passengers seeking to contact Air Canada are advised that contact centre wait times are very high, so the airline has put in place a number of self-service tools to enable passengers to manage their travel online. For more information the airline’s COVID-19 webpage is at www.aircanada.com.