Air Canada Refund Policy

Understanding Air Canada’s Refund Policy on Canceled or Changed Flights

Air Canada is Canada’s largest domestic and international airline carrying millions of passengers globally each year. With a vast network and flight schedules, there are often situations where Air Canada may need to cancel or significantly delay flights due to various reasons. This can be an inconvenience for customers. Air Canada does provide refunds or travel credits for disrupted flights under certain conditions as per their refund policies. This article will provide a comprehensive overview of Air Canada’s refund policy, outlining the eligibility criteria, refund options, procedures to claim refunds, timeline, and important considerations for canceled, delayed, or changed Air Canada flights.

When is a passenger eligible for a refund from Air Canada?

As per Air Canada refund policy, passengers are eligible for a refund if:

  • Air Canada cancels the flight, regardless of the reason for cancellation.
  • The cancellation is Air Canada’s fault and they cannot provide an alternative flight within a certain timeframe of the original departure as per the passenger’s destination.
  • Air Canada made a significant change to the scheduled flight timing as outlined below:
  • Domestic flights: Schedule change is more than 2 hours.
  • US and International flights: Schedule change is more than 4 hours.
  • The flight delay or change results in a misconnection of an already booked itinerary.
  • Air Canada downgrades the passenger to a lower class than originally booked.
  • The passenger cancels a non-refundable ticket during Air Canada’s refund offer/waiver period (usually for events like pandemics).

What refund options does Air Canada offer?

For eligible refunds, Air Canada generally offers the following options:

  • Refund to original form of payment: The refund will process back to the original mode of payment used to book the ticket. This includes credit card refunds, PayPal refunds, bank account refunds, etc.
  • Travel voucher: Instead of a monetary refund, customers can opt to receive a travel voucher from Air Canada for future travel valid for up to 2 years. The value of the voucher will match the refund amount.
  • Air Canada Reservations Credit: Online refunds are issued as Air Canada Travel Credit automatically held in the customer’s Air Canada Reservations profile. You can use for booking new tickets.
  • No refund, only rebooking: In some cases like weather cancellations, Air Canada may offer rebookings only and not refunds.
  • Combination of refund and travel voucher: Part monetary refund and part future travel voucher.

Procedures and Timeline for getting refunds from Air Canada

  • You can request a refund online, by calling Air Canada Reservations or through travel agents at +1-860-845-0471.
  • Online refunds are processed automatically once eligible flight cancellation is confirmed in Air Canada’s system.
  • Manual refund requests require submitting a boarding pass, ticket number and other details.
  • Processing time for refunds is a minimum of 10 business days for credit card payments. Other forms of refund can take up to 30 days.
  • For Air Canada Reservations Credit, the refund value is held virtually in the customer’s profile instantly on refund eligibility.
  • Travel vouchers will be email to customers within 48 hours of voucher-request processing.
  • Refunds for tickets booked through travel agents need to process via the agent.
  • Tickets purchased in a foreign currency will refunded in the same currency based on the exchange rate on the ticket issue date.
  • However refunds are only issued to the person named on the ticket or who originally paid for the booking.

Important refund considerations for Air Canada flights

  • Basic economy or no-frills fares are non-refundable in most cases of flight cancellation or changes.
  • Refund eligibility and amount may vary for partially used tickets.
  • Non-refundable tickets can held as credit for future use without a refund.
  • Refund rights may differ when traveling to/from Canada on a non-Canadian airline ticket.
  • Passport details may required for international ticket refunds.
  • Refund processing takes longer for partially used tickets requiring fare re-calculation.
  • Air Canada may decline refunds for cancellations caused by unexpected events like weather, security, pandemics, etc.
  • Options like credit shells and vouchers depend on the conditions of ticket purchase and are not guaranteed.
  • Refunds are not possible directly at airports and require processing as per policy.
  • Contact Air Canada Reservations in case of incorrect or missing refunds for necessary action.

Frequently asked question

Q: Does Air Canada offer partial refunds for flights?

A: Yes, Air Canada does provide partial refunds depending on the fare rules applicable to your ticket. Generally, non-refundable tickets may not qualify for a refund but could be eligible for a credit towards future travel. Refundability varies based on the type of ticket purchased, so checking the specific fare conditions is recommended.

Q: Will I receive a refund if my Air Canada flight is canceled?

A: When Air Canada cancels a flight, passengers have several options available. They can choose to rebook their trip without paying additional fees, reroute to their destination using another carrier, or claim a full refund of the unused portion of their ticket. Passengers who opt for a refund will generally receive it within seven to twenty business days after approval.

Q: Is it possible to obtain a refund for Air Canada seat selection?

A: Seat selection fees are usually non-refundable; however, exceptions apply in some situations. In case if Air Canada changes your seat assignment involuntarily, you may be able to secure a refund for the seat selection fee. Contact Air Canada customer service to discuss your situation and determine whether a refund is possible.

Q: Do I get a refund for Economy Comfort seats on Air Canada if I don’t use them?

A: No, Air Canada’s Economy Comfort seats come with a non-refundable pre-purchase price. This means that once paid, the amount cannot reimburse even if you decide not to utilize the extra legroom feature. Nevertheless, consider purchasing optional travel insurance coverage to protect against unexpected events affecting your journey.


In short Air Canada refunds passengers for eligible canceled or changed flights based on set policy criteria. The refund value and options like a monetary refund, travel voucher, or reservation credit depend on the original ticket rules and conditions. However, passengers should review the applicable Air Canada refund policy details on Air Canada’s website for the latest updates before planning travel. Understanding the eligibility norms, required procedures, processing timelines, and refund considerations outlined in this article will help you get your entitled refunds smoothly when flying Air Canada. And also maintaining all ticket details and proof of disruptions can help expedite the refund process. For any clarifications or assistance with the refund process, promptly contact Air Canada’s customer support channels.

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