Advertisement

Still fighting for a refund from airline or travel supplier? How Consumer Protection BC can help

Click to play video: 'Consumer Matters: Getting help to get your air travel refund' Consumer Matters: Getting help to get your air travel refund
Global's Consumer Matters reporter Anne Drewa on B.C. consumer protection laws that can help air travellers get their refunds for flights cancelled because of the pandemic. – Apr 27, 2021

Consumer Protection BC says it is prepared to enforce provincial consumer protection laws if eligible consumers have been denied a refund for travel that was cancelled by the supplier.

“The law says consumers are entitled to a refund and to receive the money that was paid,” Consumer Protection BC vice-president Shahid Noorani said.

Click to play video: 'The Travel Lady: navigating your Air Canada refund' The Travel Lady: navigating your Air Canada refund
The Travel Lady: navigating your Air Canada refund – Apr 20, 2021

The provincial regulator says eligible consumers who booked travel online or by phone, email or fax and didn’t get their services can cancel their contract under B.C.’s distance sales contract laws and be entitled to a full refund from the travel supplier or a reversal of charges from their credit card issuer.

Story continues below advertisement

To apply for a refund you must be a B.C. resident and your travel service was not available to you, such as when an airline cancels your flight.

“We are here to step in and we will assume the role of ensuring the credit card companies and travel suppliers are providing the refunds and we are prepared to take other enforcement measures if necessary to bring about compliance in the industry,” Noorani said.

Click to play video: 'All airlines eligible for loan to help refund customers impacted by COVID-19 pandemic: Freeland' All airlines eligible for loan to help refund customers impacted by COVID-19 pandemic: Freeland
All airlines eligible for loan to help refund customers impacted by COVID-19 pandemic: Freeland – Apr 12, 2021

The Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act gives the provincial regulator the authority to issue an administrative penalty of up to $50,000 to a business per infraction.

Read more: How a B.C. airline passenger refused a travel voucher on a cancelled flight and got her money back

Consumers are not eligible for a refund if the travel service was available, but regardless of the reason, including COVID-19, you decided not to travel.

Story continues below advertisement

Consumer Protection BC says the province’s consumer protection laws don’t come into play if a consumer voluntarily cancelled.

Read more: Air Canada ready to refund flight cancellations in exchange for bailout: union

Recently, Air Canada committed to issuing refunds to passengers whose flights were cancelled last year because of the pandemic. Consumer Protection BC recommends customers go through the airline’s refund process first. If they are denied, they can pursue a refund with the regulator if they are eligible.

Impacted consumers seeking refunds can visit Consumer Protection BC’s website for more information about eligibility, what forms to use, and the steps required to request a refund properly.

Sponsored content