Air Canada customers struggle to get refunds for canceled Labrador routes

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After reducing the routes inside and outside of Happy Valley-Goose Bay and removing Wabush all together, Air Canada is now offering its customers credits for flights they cannot use.Mark Greene bought two tickets for his children to fly from St. John’s to Happy Valley-Goose Bay to see their grandparents. One day after purchasing them, Air Canada announced that it was canceling the route, with immediate effect.

Before speaking to CBC, Greene had $ 1,800 in flight credits with no way to bring her children to Labrador, other than spending more money to book on another airline.

“The problem is, I don’t have $ 1,800 yet,” Greene told CBC. Labrador morning. “The money I have is tied to Air Canada. So I just want my money back. I don’t think I’m asking for anything outrageous. ”

After five days of calling the airline, and the same day, his interview was broadcast on Labrador Morning, Air Canada refunded its money. Greene plans to book with PAL Airlines.

Greene said he thought it was dishonest for Air Canada to even allow him to buy the ticket on June 29, when the route was canceled the next day.

Air Canada cut 30 routes across Canada, including seven in Newfoundland and Labrador, on June 30.

“When I booked these tickets, the decision was obviously made,” said Greene. “There must have been meetings at higher levels for weeks, if not months, to suspend these routes. “

A lot of [people] unfortunately, they simply cannot afford to have $ 1,000 in credits that they cannot even use.– MacKenzie Perry

In a statement, Air Canada said it was continuing a flight from Happy Valley-Goose Bay to Halifax. However, Greene was unable to re-book on this route and a travel agent said Labrador Morning that the itinerary be suspended until August 1 at least.

An Air Canada spokesperson said the airline is contacting all affected travelers to find the best solutions. This will likely not involve changing his plans to cancel the routes.

“What must also be understood is that the profitability of the regional network depends on connections to the national and international network,” said the spokesperson. “Regional roads cannot be maintained with local traffic alone. “

Wabush worries

MacKenzie Perry is in a similar situation, stuck with a $ 1,000 credit on a flight she booked for her son to go to a medical appointment in St. John’s.

He was to take off from Wabush on an Air Canada flight that had booked before the airline announced that it would withdraw from Wabush all together.

Perry said she was fortunate that the meeting was not urgent and that their financial situation was not dire. The worst case would be to book the appointment for a later date using PAL Airlines.

She said there are many others in Labrador who have to travel for medical appointments that will not be as lucky.

“Unfortunately, many of them cannot afford to have $ 1,000 in credits that they cannot even use,” she said.

Perry also arranges flight reservations for the company she works for, which employs workers by air. She said that they are currently trying to find challenges for an employee from New Brunswick, another province hard hit by Air Canada’s cancellations.

“We don’t even know how we can bring it back and keep it,” said Perry.

After several days of trying to reach the customer service agents, Perry is frustrated, but stated that she is not giving up on the refund.

“I really hope that Air Canada listens to this and hears the voices of people in the Lab West area and does what they can to help,” she said. “In the best of cases, they will come back to our community because it is something necessary with our isolation in the region. ”

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