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Canada Is Trying To Close A Flight Refund Loophole Blown Wide Open By COVID-19

Canadians could get an extra $50 million from airlines if the changes pass!

Staff Writer

The Government of Canada is looking into changing the law to close a COVID-19 loophole regarding flight refunds in Canada.

According to a new government report, the proposed amendments to airplane laws would require carriers to refund or rebook flights "within a reasonable time" if their flights have been delayed for a lengthy period of time or cancelled due to outside forces.

In the report, Canada explains the pandemic revealed a "gap" in refund policies. Previously, Canadians weren't entitled to refunds for flights that were delayed or cancelled due to "situations outside the carrier's control," such as travel restrictions changing.

If a flight is cancelled or delayed by more than three hours (due to outside forces), the proposed amendments would require airlines to rebook a flight within 48 hours. If they can't do that, they must either provide a refund or rebook passengers on the next available flight, whether on their own flight or another airline's flight.

The proposed changes would benefit Canadians to the tune of $46.67 million over the next decade.

"The moves put Canada more in line with the EU system for flight delays, which specifies clearly what defines an extraordinary circumstance, what defines a flight delay, in terms of hours, and clearly labels how a passenger must be refunded and or compensated," Gilbert Ott, the founder of GodSaveThePoints.com, told Narcity via email.

"This is an important step for Canada, which actually serves to help travel, not hurt it," Ott said. "People will be more likely to book if they know they'll have timely access to refunds and recourse."

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