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Monday, June 8, 2020

WestJet will provide refunds for U.S. and U.K. tickets cancelled between March 1 and June 30


Late last week the Canadian media picked up the news that WestJet will begin to offer refunds for those travellers who had flights booked with them for travel to the U.S. or the U.K.. This policy started to emerge slowly in May as it confirms an email that FlyerTalk user rowdyfeifer received stating their U.S. itinerary was now eligible for a refund:

Credit: FlyerTalk

This change is due largely in part to the U.S. Department of Transportation enforcing rules for airlines (U.S. based and foreign carriers flying to the U.S.) to issue refunds to travellers. I would assume something similar has transpired for the U.K. since WestJet has added in those flights for refunds as well. If WestJet chose not to refund tickets they could face stiff penalties from these governments. As there is no action from Canada, Mexico and other Latin American countries on forcing refunds those itineraries will continue to see cancelled flights being credited as WestJet Travel Bank credits or if it is a WestJet Vacation package as WestJet dollars. Same goes for WestJet's continental Europe flights at this point as the EU has not enforced any of their refund rules just yet.

If you had flights to the U.S. or U.K. that were cancelled and want to have a refund processed you can follow this schedule based on your flight dates:
Photo Credit: YYCCL3 on FlyerTalk


Going back to rowdyfeifer's post on FlyerTalk the email stated only flights from March 1 to 28 could get refunds. I considered calling WestJet for a refund on my family's U.S. flights from April that were cancelled by WestJet but decided to wait as I figured they were going to systematically contact those with U.S. itineraries. I now see from the chart above that is what WestJet is planning and that I can contact WestJet on or after June 16 to process those refunds. The key to getting a refund however seems to be that email stating you can get a refund. Based on the discussion on FlyerTalk if you call in for a refund they will only process it if you have received an email stating you can get a refund.

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