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Covid-19 and travel: what to know?

With the rise in Covid-19 cases and the threat of the Omicron variant, avoid non-essential travel outside of Canada due to the risk of the Omicron variant causing COVID-19.

Here are some tips for seeking reimbursement based on your situation:

If you are the one cancelling your trip:

 

Travel agency or carrier

If you purchased your trip through a travel agency or carrier, you may want to contact them first to see what solutions will be offered. Some may agree to reimburse you or offer you a travel credit that could accommodate you. 

 

Travel insurance

If you have purchased travel cancellation insurance, whether through an insurance company, credit card issuer or travel agency, you may be able to contact your insurer for compensation.

 

However, given the evolution of the pandemic, it is possible that insurance policies may contain exclusions. It is therefore essential to be well informed and to read your contract.

 

Compensation Fund for Customers of Travel Agents

If your travel agency refuses to reimburse you and a Canadian government warning is still in effect 72 hours or less before your departure, the Compensation Fund for Customers of Travel Agents may be able to help. Click here to find out how to apply for compensation.

 

Please note that the Compensation Fund for Customers of Travel Agents is a financial protection that is automatically available to anyone who has done business with a travel agency licensed by the Office de la protection du consommateur.

 

NOTE THAT THESE RESOURCES ARE INTENDED FOR QUEBEC CONSUMERS SINCE THE RULES CHANGE FROM ONE PROVINCE TO ANOTHER. IF YOU ARE A CANADIAN CONSUMER OUTSIDE OF QUEBEC, YOU WILL FIND BELOW A LIST OF ORGANIZATIONS TO CONTACT THAT CAN GUIDE YOU TOWARDS YOUR RECOURSE. THANK YOU.

 For consumers outside Quebec, here is a list of organizations that may be able to help you:

Consumer Association of Canada

Air Passenger Rights

If the carrier or travel agency cancels: 

 

The travel agency 

If the travel agency does not provide you with the trip you paid for, it should

normally refund your money. Instead, they may offer you a travel credit towards future travel. If this is the case and you are happy with it, you can accept. However, we suggest that you carefully check the conditions of this credit (for example: expiration date, value, prohibition of transfer to a third party).

 

The air carrier

It is very likely that the airline will offer you a travel credit in order to postpone your trip. First of all, there is nothing to prevent you from accepting a travel credit if it suits you. However, before accepting such a credit, it is important to check the terms and conditions associated with it. For example, what is the validity period of the credit? Is the credit transferable to another person? Must it be used only for the same destination?

If you prefer to be reimbursed and the airline refuses, a complaint can be filed with the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA). The CTA will determine whether the airline has complied with the terms of its tariff and its obligations under the Air Passenger Protection Regulations (better known as the Travellers’ Charter). Click here for more information on how to appeal to the CTA.

If you believe that the airline has breached its legal or contractual obligations, it is also possible to take legal action in the civil courts. In principle, you must first send a formal notice to the airline. In this regard, the Small Claims at the Court of Quebec has jurisdiction to hear civil claims of $15,000 or less, not including applicable interest. Click here for more details.

 

Compensation Fund for Customers of Travel Agents

If the traveller has dealt with a travel agency, he or she must first contact the agency to find out about reimbursement options.

If the travel agency refuses to refund and a Canadian government warning is still in effect 72 hours or less before departure, the Compensation Fund for Customers of Travel Agents may be able to help. Click here to find out how to apply for compensation.

 

Please note that the Compensation Fund for Customers of Travel Agents is a financial protection that is automatically available to anyone who has done business with a travel agency licensed by the Office de la protection du consommateur.

 

Buying online with a credit card

If you purchased your flight on the Internet or by phone, paid with a credit card and the airline refuses to refund you, it is possible to file a chargeback request with the credit card issuer. Click here to find out the various steps and deadlines to follow.

 

NOTE THAT THESE RESOURCES ARE INTENDED FOR QUEBEC CONSUMERS SINCE THE RULES CHANGE FROM ONE PROVINCE TO ANOTHER. IF YOU ARE A CANADIAN CONSUMER OUTSIDE OF QUEBEC, YOU WILL FIND BELOW A LIST OF ORGANIZATIONS TO CONTACT THAT CAN GUIDE YOU TOWARDS YOUR RECOURSE. THANK YOU.

 

For consumers outside Quebec, here is a list of organizations that may be able to help you:

Consumer Association of Canada

Air Passenger Rights

If you wish to travel despite the recommendation:

The health situation changes rapidly. While the situation may improve during your trip, it may also deteriorate.

An outbreak may occur in the area where you are or you may contract the virus during your stay. It may not be possible for you to return as planned.

As well, both local and Canadian authorities change the health measures that were in effect at the time of departure during the trip. For example, borders may be closed, a negative PCR test result or a quarantine period may be required. We encourage travelers to stay informed.

 

NOTE THAT THESE RESOURCES ARE INTENDED FOR QUEBEC CONSUMERS SINCE THE RULES CHANGE FROM ONE PROVINCE TO ANOTHER. IF YOU ARE A CANADIAN CONSUMER OUTSIDE OF QUEBEC, YOU WILL FIND BELOW A LIST OF ORGANIZATIONS TO CONTACT THAT CAN GUIDE YOU TOWARDS YOUR RECOURSE. THANK YOU.

 

For consumers outside Quebec, here is a list of organizations that may be able to help you:

Consumer Association of Canada

Air Passenger Rights