Affected by winter travel disruptions? Here’s what to know about refund deadlines – Country

Canadians get caught up in popularity vacation the disruption is seeking refunds and compensation from airlines and rail services after a severe winter storm over Christmas affected operations – but how long it took to receive amount owed?

Thousands of travelers have faced cancellations or delays due to bad weather in recent weeks, leaving many stranded in sunny destinations, sleeping on airport floors and commuting between hotels.

There have also been complaints about lost or misplaced luggage amid the chaotic traffic, and by railway announced on Tuesday that it was conducting an external review of its performance during the storm.

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Gabor Lukacs, president of Air Passenger Rights, says there’s a fair amount of time for customers to ask airlines to respond — but if they don’t, it’s time to escalate.

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“First, give them a chance to do the right thing, send a letter of claim, give the airline 30 days to pay, and if they don’t, serve them the court papers claiming it. small,” he said in an interview with AM640 Toronto on Tuesday. The radio station is owned by Corus Entertainment, the parent company of Global News.

“I know it can be very difficult or the passenger feels like it, but nothing will change unless the passenger is willing to go through the effort.”

So far, Transport Canada says it is facing more than 30,000 complaints backlog. And while major Canadian airlines and passenger rail companies, Via Rail, have promised refunds and refunds to affected customers, processing those claims is taking a long time.

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Via Rail said it received “a large number” of refund requests after the company canceled all services on its Toronto-Montreal and Toronto-Ottawa lines between December 24 and 26, 2022.

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“Our teams are currently working to process all refunds as quickly as possible, but this operation may take several days to complete due to high volume,” said Philippe Cannon, spokesman. member of Via Rail, told Global News on Monday.

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All Via Rail passengers who traveled or had to travel on canceled trains between December 24 and 26, he said, are eligible for an automatic full refund.

Additionally, passengers on trains in the Québec City-Windsor, Ont., corridor who were immobilized on the night of December 23 and 24 will receive a full refund as well as a travel credit, Cannon added.

On Tuesday, the rail service said it would review its performance over a four-day period in December with the help of outside experts.

“We will be looking at a variety of issues including hurricane planning, operational response, our overall customer care and communications processes, and how we can serve them.” better passengers to get them to their destination,” Via Rail President and CEO Martin R Landry said in a statement.

Click to play video: 'VIA Rail faces delay after 3 days of cancellations'

VIA Rail faces delays after 3 days of cancellations

WestJet, which has canceled hundreds of flights due to extreme weather conditions in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia, also said it was “working around the clock to refund all affected passengers as soon as possible. good”.

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According to the Calgary-based airline, the deadline to submit a refund request is December 28, 2022.

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“If you booked or changed your trip before December 28, 2022 at 11:59 MT for a trip between December 18, 2022 and January 8, 2023 and choose to cancel your flight(s) or the your WestJet vacation, you may already be eligible for a refund,” the airline said on its website.

“Any guest who proactively cancels their flight before 11:59pm MT time on December 28, 2022 will receive a full refund on the original form of payment.”

Travelers with delayed, lost or damaged luggage can check in online complaint. Customers can also claim reimbursement for any out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of delayed or damaged baggage.

“Recommended amount is up to $100 for the first 48 hours while your luggage is delayed. After 48 hours, we proposed an additional $150 to bring the total to $250,” WestJet said.

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Air Canada said any customer who chooses not to or is unable to travel during the winter break will be responded to in accordance with its policy and the requirements of the Airline Passenger Protection Regulation.

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The Air Passenger Protection Regulation sets forth the airline’s minimum requirements for travel – including “standards of treatment” and, in some cases, “compensation” for passengers, according to Federal government website.

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Air Canada makes a “Goodwill return policy” before the winter storm on December 22 allows customers to claim a refund or a travel voucher if they purchased a ticket no later than December 21 for travel between December 22 and December 26.

The deadline for submitting a refund request is two hours before departure.

The company did not directly respond to what it would offer to any passengers who did not cancel or rebook but were instead landed at the airport due to flights being canceled by the airline.

But under Canada’s air passenger protection law, major airlines must compensate for delays of more than three hours and up to $1,000.

Passengers believe they may be eligible for such compensation have one year from the time of the incident to file a complaint, according to regulations of the Law. Airlines have 30 days to respond, state regulations.

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Sunwing did not respond to a request from Global News at the time of publication.

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But according to a joint statement by Sunwing Travel Group CEO Stephen Hunter and Sunwing Airlines president Len Corrado on Thursday, the company is “actively accepting qualified claims.”

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Customers can submit their request on Sunwing website if their flight is canceled or delayed for more than three hours.

Many Sunwing travelers making southbound flights between December 24 and 27 from Toronto Pearson Airport experienced baggage issues due to a mechanical problem affecting the belt’s operation.

Sunwing told customers who had to make purchases due to baggage delays during their vacations in sunny destinations that they would be reimbursed up to US$450 per person. The airline later clarified and said compensation would be for “reasonable expenses”.

Sunwing is asking passengers submit online their bills for essentials purchased during their trip.

The travel chaos will face an investigation at the House of Commons transportation committee in the coming weeks. Committee members voted to call on officials from airlines and rail authorities, along with those from the most significantly affected airports in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.


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