By Nick Kuhl on March 14, 2020.
One local Air Canada customer says he is not getting any response to
his calls about whether or not he can get a refund on his ticket.
Lethbridge businessman Michael Thompson had booked a ticket through
Expedia to fly from the Lethbridge Airport to a conference in St.
John’s, N.L., on April 1 with WestJet and to fly back with Air Canada
on April 5.
With Air Canada announcing on Thursday it would be halting service to
Lethbridge as of March 31, Thompson attempted to call the company’s
customer service line to inquire about the state of his ticket.
“I already paid for the flight, but if I call Air Canada their
customer service line doesn’t even allow you to stay on hold,” he
says. “It just directs you away. I had booked through Expedia, and
when you call the Expedia line the same thing happens. There is no
method for contacting them other than email because they have shut
down all vocal communications. As of right now, there has certainly
been no communication (from Air Canada) and no refund.”
Thompson still intends to fly out to the conference as scheduled, but
with no sure way back it leaves him limbo as to what he should do. He
acknowledges there are larger forces at work in with the COVID-19
situation, but he would still like an answer from the airline one way
“There is a good chance the event I am attending may be cancelled
anyway, and that I may not be going anyway,” he admits, “but that has
not occurred as yet.”
Thompson also admits he has anxiety about taking the trip which has
nothing to do with the state of his Air Canada ticket.
“I am a little nervous,” he says. “Even though I am a young, healthy
person, I know I could catch it and pass it on to other people, and
they could be casualties because of that. So, yeah, I am nervous. I am
not sure whether they are stopping domestic travel or not at this
time, but certainly I have to take that into account.”
Passenger airlines have often served as the global economy’s canary in
the coal mine when world events of significance happen, and this time
the COVID-19 situation is likely no different, acknowledges Thompson,
but he still would, minimally, like to get someone from Air Canada on
“I heard Mayor Spearman mention in the paper that a stoppage of
service to Lethbridge has happened before, and it has cut back in
situations when there is a bad economic climate for air travel. So
perhaps Air Canada will be back in a year — I think time will tell.
But for the time being, I just need to know whether I am getting a
refund, whether I am getting re-booked, whichever the case is, so I
can move forward with my own plans.
Follow @TimKalHerald on Twitter