In an announcement on Wednesday, it was confirmed that WestJet refunds for cancelled flights were on the horizon.

The company revealed that they’d be giving eligible passengers their money back, starting from November 2, 2020.

After a brief spat with Air Canada about who was the first national airline to offer refunds like this, WestJet also confirmed that people with eligible third-party bookings could also get their cash back.

However, it looks like it’s going to be a long-winded process.

In fact, the airline is predicting that it could take between six and nine months to get through everybody who wants a refund.

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Who qualifies for a refund?

According to a press release shared with Narcity, the new refund policy will affect travellers who had trips booked with either WestJet or Swoop.

Passengers may be eligible for their money back if their flight was cancelled by one of these two airlines as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

If the cancellation was not at WestJet or Swoop's discretion, a monetary refund is unlikely.

There’s no specific date-period for a cancelled flight to qualify, and the company is repaying eligible customers from March-onwards.

It’s worth noting that those who chose not to take their flight (due to the pandemic or not) will not be eligible for a financial refund.

What are the conditions?

In a tweet, WestJet confirmed that people with eligible bookings who made reservations through a third-party or travel agent would qualify for a refund.

The company also revealed that ticket prices for future travel would not increase to combat the expense of issuing thousands of refunds.

“It is our intention to remove barriers to travel, not create further affordability challenges for hard-pressed travellers,” the airline stated.

Reimbursements will be returned to the original form of payment, so how you get your money back will depend on exactly how you paid.

How do I get my money back?

For the time being, you don’t need to do anything.

Per WestJet’s release, the company will begin the refund process on Monday, November 2.

They will “systematically contact eligible guests,” and are going to start with people whose flights were cancelled at the start of the pandemic.

Contacting thousands of customers is going to be time consuming, and the airline expects it will take between six and nine months to get through all of the eligible refund requests.

In the meantime, they’re asking travellers to avoid overloading their customer service centre, and instead wait to be contacted directly by WestJet.

“We appreciate guests’ patience as our teams ramp up our capabilities to provide refunds at this scale,” they added.