WestJet To Provide Refunds to Guests With Flights Cancelled by COVID-19
October 21, 2020 Jim Byers
|In a positive development for the Canadian airline industry and for Canadian travellers, WestJet says it will provide refunds for guests who had flights cancelled due to COVID-19.|
The company sent out a release late on Wednesday afternoon saying that the WestJet Group of Companie “will begin providing refunds to original form of payment for those guests with flights cancelled by WestJet and Swoop, from any time period, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Starting Monday, November 2, 2020, WestJet will systematically contact eligible guests, beginning with those with flights cancelled at the onset of the pandemic. The refund process is expected to take six to nine months to work through eligible requests, officials said.
“We are an airline that has built its reputation on putting people first,” said Ed Sims, WestJet President and CEO. “We have heard loud and clear from the travelling public that in this COVID world they are looking for reassurance on two fronts: the safest possible travel environment; and refunds.
“We have been delivering on a safe environment through our Safety Above All program since the onset of the pandemic and as of Monday, November 2, we will proactively provide refunds to original form of payment to itineraries cancelled by WestJet and Swoop.”
“It has been incredibly disheartening for anyone working here at one of Canada’s most beloved brands not to be able to demonstrate that we have our guests at the heart of every decision,” continued Sims. “Through the efforts of thousands of WestJetters, we are confident that we can now begin providing refunds proactively.
“We are the first national airline in Canada to do so.”
WestJet’s website initally stated that those who cancelled their own flights or purchased basic fares will not be refunded. They later issued a statement on Twitter that said they are “offering refunds for guests if we cancelled their flight. Even the lowest cost tickets will be refunded to original form of payment if WestJet caused the cancellation.”
Effective Monday, November 2, 2020 guests eligible for a refund to original form of payment will be proactively contacted by WestJet, beginning with those flights cancelled by the airline at the start of the pandemic. WestJet expects there will be an administrative backlog and asks for guests to wait to be contacted as we work through requests as quickly as possible.
A message from WestJet’s Ed Sims to WJ guests is available on westjet.com
Further information can be found on westjet.com/refund.
Eligible guests will be contacted by WestJet beginning Monday, November 2, 2020.
Eligible guests will be contacted in chronological order of cancellation, beginning with those flights cancelled in March 2020 at the outset of the pandemic.
West Jet is asking guests to wait until they are contacted by WestJet in order to not overload the Contact Centre.
About the Author
Jim Byers was travel editor for five years at the Toronto Star, which has the largest travel section in North America. “Canada’s Travel Guy” is a sought-after expert in the industry and has recently published his first e-book “Ontario Escapes, 19: Places to Visit Right Now.” Jim also serves as Senior Editorial Director for TravelPulse Canada.