Air Canada, Inc. has refused to issue refunds for flights canceled as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, a proposed class action out of Florida alleges.
Echoing complaints filed againstnearly every major airline, the 13-page lawsuit says Air Canada has canceled over 25 percent of its scheduled flights due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and related travel restrictions. Instead of issuing refunds for the cancellations as expressly promised in its contracts with consumers, Air Canada has instead offered only credit for future travel that can be redeemed within 24 months, the case alleges.
Alternatively, if a customer decides not to travel due to COVID-19, cancels their ticket and requests a refund, they’re subject to a $200 cancellation fee by Air Canada, the suit further claims.
“Given such outright cancellations in the midst of a global pandemic, customers, including [the plaintiff], are clearly entitled to a return of their money for which they are receiving nothing in return, which is precisely what Air Canada promised to do in the event it cancelled scheduled flights,” the lawsuit reads.
According to the case, the carrier’s refusal to offer refunds violates its terms and conditions—which state that if Air Canada cancels a flight, it “will refund the unused portion of the ticket”—and an April 3 enforcement notice issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation stressing that passengers should be “refunded promptly” in the event their scheduled flights are canceled or significantly delayed by an airline.
“Although the COVID-19 public health emergency has had an unprecedented impact on air travel, the airlines’ obligation to refund passengers for cancelled or significantly delayed flights remains unchanged,” the notice stated.
The plaintiff claims he was offered only travel credit after Air Canada canceled his trip from Orlando to Toronto and on to Tokyo that was scheduled to depart on May 14.
The lawsuit looks to represent anyone in the U.S. who purchased a ticket for a flight operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Express, or Air Canada Rouge scheduled to depart after March 1, 2020 that was canceled by Air Canada without a refund.
ClassAction.org’s coverage of COVID-19 litigation can be found here and over on our Newswire.