Refund Services Reference Guide

BACKGROUND

Located in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, the Refund Services department reviews Deferred Refunds (for past travel) and audits refunds processed on 014 tickets only. (Refunds for other airlines must be referred to the ticketing carrier.)

There are three ways to contact Refund Services:

  1. GDS bookings, refunds should be processed via your GDS
  2. Ticket refund application
  3. Through BSPlink or ARC. If BSPlink Refund application is turned off and you are unable to process in your GDS please fill out the Ticket Refund Application.

Timeframe for review of your request

Our hours of operation are Monday to Friday, 07:00 – 15:00 CMT.

The normal processing time for deferred refunds sent to Refund Services is a minimum of 3 business weeks. However, due to unforeseen circumstances (e.g. technical issues with files, increases in our volumes due to extreme weather, etc.), processing times may increase and for this we thank you for your patience.

Please note that Refund Services must comply with certain laws/regulations and therefore some claims are reviewed as expedited claims. Our review will occur in 7 business days or less.

What we ask of you

If you have filled out an online ticket refund application, you will receive a confirmation email. Save this email. You can reply via email and the processor who has your claim will see your response. Please refrain from requesting a status update within the same month of your refund request and please do not fill out another form. Please do not send in a request for the same claim multiples times or through more than one department.

Note

A request for refund does not guarantee that a refund will be processed. Refund Services reviews and validates each request for adherence to applicable rules, tariffs and policies.

The credit to your client’s account can take another one or two credit card statements before your client sees the refund. With online banking, your client should see the transaction within 48 hours. If not, your client should contact their credit card company and inform them of the date Air Canada processed the refund.

If Air Canada has issued a credit memo to your travel agency (remitted funds to AC as cash and AC has processed the refund back to TA as a credit memo), it is your responsibility to refund the client as quickly as possible.

REFUND PROCESSING ADMINISTRATION FEES

Refunds that could have been processed in the GDS but have been sent to Winnipeg Refund Services will be subject to a non-disputable refund processing administration fee ($50 plus applicable taxes), per ticket. The fee is collected through an Agency Debit Memo (ADM) or a reduced Agency Credit Memo (ACM).

If a customer purchased a ticket with your travel agency or website, you are the merchant (place of purchase) and only you have the payment information. As the merchant it is your responsibility to refund the customer whenever possible, however we know there are times when you cannot process the refund and that is why we have various refund applications or ways for you to process the refund without a significant monetary impact.

Administration fees are collected when the agency could have actioned the refund and did not.

Error fees will be collected when steps have been omitted or done incorrectly.

If Refund Services needs to correct the error and process the refund you may receive a debit memo for more than one fee.

Refund calculations

Please refrain from sending requests to Refund Services or Customer Relations for refund calculations. Send the request for refund to Refund Services and we will process the refund, if applicable (fee may be charged).

If you have made a refund error and have requested that Refund Services fix the error, you may be subject to both a processing fee and an error fee.

HOW TO PREVENT DEBIT MEMOS

Audit

All non-refundable tickets refunded by agencies goes through an audit for fare, tax and commission compliance; basically, was the refund processed correctly.

We look for clues especially in the OSI field and remarks field. These clues provide insight into why you process the refund, for example:

  • Duplicate booking/014 1234 567 891/seat cancelled

What is key to know is that Air Canada only receives the messaging if there is still live space on the ticket, so please ensure you fill in your fields with your notes; then cancel the space; then process the refund.

Double check:

  • Did you collect a change fee?
  • Did you refund only the refundable taxes?
  • Did you return commission?

In summary, Air Canada does not receive the OSI message when:

  • The customer has used an online website to purchase and cancel their ticket online. Because the booking is cancelled with the airline even if the agency adds an OSI message, Air Canada will not receive the message. The communication stops as soon as the ticket is cancelled.
  • The agency does not add the OSI messaging before cancelling the booking and refunding.

In both circumstances Air Canada is not receiving the OSI message so we don’t know why the agency refunded a non-refundable ticket and a debit memo gets issued.

REFUND WAIVER CODES

All waiver codes have been tested and will fit in the waiver code field; however, we understand that some GDS subscriptions may have a limitation. When you are not able to add the entire waiver code, please ensure that you add additional information in the OSI or Remark field, prior to refunding, otherwise the information is not transmitted to the airline. This is a requirement for the audit, or a debit memo will be issued.

Example: ACUSKEDCHG1234. If the Flight number (1234) will not fit; Add the flight number and additional information in in the OSI or Remark field:

  • AC1234 (input correct flight #) cancelled due mechanical; customer chose not to fly

A debit memo will only be issued when you fail to provide AC with the complete reason for refunding a non-ref ticket.

Below are one of six refund codes that must be entered in the WAVR field when processing a refund:

Situation Definition Refund Waiver Code 10 Characters Additional 4 digits
24 Hours1 Passenger cancelled no later than 24 hours after purchase AC24HRRULE N/A
Unacceptable Schedule Change Caused by carrier; purpose of trip no longer exists ACUSKEDCHG Add flight #
Example: ACUSKEDCHG0871
Unacceptable Delay, greater than 2 hours Caused by carrier; purpose of trip no longer exists ACUDELAY02 Add flight #
Example: ACUDELAY02871
Unacceptable Flight Cancellations Caused by carrier; purpose of trip no longer exists ACFLTIRROP Add flight #
Example: ACFLTIRROP871
Due death of passenger or travelling companion2 Passengers don’t need to be on same PNR, but must show proof they were traveling together, and the traveling companion passed away; purpose of trip no longer exists ACDUEDEATH Add relationship: FTHR, MTHR, SIST, BROT, GMTH, GFTH, CHLD, GCHL, COMP
Example: ACDUEDEATHFTHR
Jury/Military Duty3 Passenger can no longer travel on their ticket because they have been called to jury duty or military duty ACCAL2DUTY Add Date Month Year
Example: ACCAL2DUTY0119

 

1Consult Tariff Rule 100.

2Consult Tariff Rule 100 – H; retain legal documents for up to 6 months.

3Consult Tariff Rule 100 – G; retain Legal documents for up to 6 months; proof that the duty is new; trip booked prior to duty.

What you need to know

  • Waiver codes are not to be used for agency errors
    • This will result in a debit memo(s)
  • No “retro” requests will be accepted. Failure to enter in a waiver will result in a non-disputable debit memo.

During the audit process, Air Canada will look for the associated waiver code and ensure that our policy was followed.

For example, if refunded a non-refundable ticket and you added the waiver code ACUDELAY028872 and the flight was only delay 45 mins and not 2 hours, you will receive a debit memo for the full value of the ticket.

For more information on Air Canada Tariffs, visit www.aircanada.com.

TIPS FOR PROCESSING REFUNDS

With GDS issued tickets, you can process refunds on:

  • Refundable and partially refundable tickets, provided you:
    • Can display the e-ticket and;
    • the coupon available for refund has an “open” status.
  • Can display the fare and the historical in your GDS.
  • Have ownership of the PNR.

Exchange with a refund (negative tax-residual value)

These requests are not handled by Call Centres.

Travel agency process

If you can display the ticket in the GDS, you must:

  • Add a non-air segment
  • Purchase a new ticket* (see note below)
  • Collect applicable fare and taxes
  • Remark the original PNR and in the OSI field, add “NEG TAX” and the new ticket number**. Example: PNR/NEG TAX/NEW TICKET NUMBER
  • Refund the original ticket, ensuring that change fees are deducted

Where the original base fare on a nonrefundable ticket is higher than the base fare of the new ticket, refund the original coupons for the base fare of the new ticket.

The difference between the higher and lower fares is forfeit.

*If you miss Step 1.B (Purchase a new ticket) and a debit memo has been issued for the full value of the original ticket, if you dispute that Step 1.B was missed with proof, you will be charged an Error Fee plus applicable taxes.

**Please note Step 1.D must be completed prior to Step 1.E.

If you cannot display the ticket in your GDS or for exchanged/partially used tickets:

  • Send a request to Refund Services.
  • Information is critical, include in your request:
    • All ticket numbers.
    • Taxes you would like refunded.
    • In the comments, add Exchange of partially used ticket; tax refund required; or residual value refund required.

Many of the guidelines/processes already described can easily be transferred to most scenarios described in this document. You may just need to alter the information.

Duplicate bookings

One of the most common errors is duplicate ticketing.

Air Canada reserves the right to issue debit memos or invoices when your agency fails to cancel duplicate space which is ticketed and not refunded prior to departure.

Violations may include multiple tickets that were issued for:

The same passenger and:

  • Booked in the GDS;
  • Booked in the GDS and online;
  • Multiple online bookings and;
  • Multiple tickets in the same PNR.

What is considered a duplicate booking?

Any space held for the same passenger that cannot all be flown, due to timeline and/or illogical itinerary.

This includes when you hold:

  • More than one booking for the same passenger;
  • In the same or different PNR;
  • With the same or different travel segments;
  • In the same or different booking classes;
  • In the same or different CRS system.

Because duplicate bookings are so common the fees are higher.

Note

If the agency contacts Refund Services to process the same refund as described above and there is seat spoilage, Air Canada will charge (regardless of point of sale) a $100 CA/US processing fee, the applicable change fee of the most restrictive fare rule associated with the NO SHOW ticket PLUS:

  • $100 CA/US for Canadian and Transborder itineraries
  • $150 CA/US for International itineraries, including Sydney

If the agency contacts Refund Services to process a refund where there are 2 tickets associated with 1 PNR and 1 booked seat (no seat spoilage):

  • A $100 CA/US processing fee plus a $50 CA/US error fee will be charged (note: Above penalty may exceed value of the duplicate ticket)

If the agency processes the refund and there is seat spoilage, Air Canada will charge (regardless of point of sale):

  • If you do not cross reference the dupe tickets (as outlined above), the agency will receive an undisputable debit for the full value of ticket.
  • If you do cross reference the ticket and follow procedures, in addition to a $100 CA/US processing fee and the change fee of the most restrictive fare rule associated with the NO SHOW ticket.

Air Canada will charge a debit memo of:

  • $100 CA/US for Canadian and Transborder itineraries
  • $150 CA/US for International itineraries in error fees

Note: Above penalty may exceed value of the duplicate ticket.

Discounts not taken at time of ticketing

Corporate contracts

Air Canada will no longer process a refund retroactively if the discount was not taken at the time of ticketing due to agent/agency error.

Net fare contracts

Deferred refunds are accepted; however, each ticket is subject to a processing fee and an error fee.

Children’s discounts

If a child's discount was not taken at time of ticketing, there are two options available:

  1. Once travel is complete, apply for a refund of the applicable discount. You will receive a non-disputable ADM for an error fee and processing fee.
  2. Purchase a new ticket and apply the discount (based on available fare at the time of ticketing). On the old ticket, quote the OSI line with discount error and the new ticket number. Refund the old ticket. When the old ticket is audited, Refund Services will cross-reference and only apply an error fee of $50 + tax.

Same-day void

Canadian travel agencies

You must void the ticket and cancel your client’s itinerary by 23:59 the day the ticket was issued. Otherwise, tickets sent to for refund by Refund Services will be subject to a refund processing administration fee.

U.S. travel agencies

ARC travel agents can void transactions in Sabre until 23:59 local time the next business day after ticket issuance. For example, tickets issued on Friday, Saturday or Sunday can be voided the following Monday until 23:59. ARC recognizes holidays; agencies can void the first business day after the holiday.

Transactions are reconciled in the Interactive Agent Reporting (IAR).

An e-ticket must reflect the status VOID in the coupons on the both the ARC side and the airline side to avoid ADMs.

24-hour refund rule

Air Canada will allow a refund within 24 hours of your purchase.

The 24-hour refund rule is applicable on:

  • Published and net fares
  • Tickets with codeshare flights
  • Tickets with interline flights

To claim a refund, you are required to go through the BSP and you will now use the new refund waiver code AC24HRRULE. Refund errors may be subject to debit memos.

Please note:

  • The 24-hour refund policy does not apply to group fares or fares purchased for same-day travel.
  • Fare rules apply for any fares cancelled beyond 24 hours.
  • Outside of 24 hours of booking, refundable web tickets will be credited to the original form of payment. Clients may also choose to retain the value for future travel.
  • It is imperative that you refund the customer in a timely manner if they cancelled within 24 hours. Air Canada will give the travel agent up to 48 hours after the cancellation time to refund a ticket that has been cancelled within 24 hours of booking. Beyond 48 hours, the travel agency will receive a debit memo.

Other helpful tips and reminders

  • When cancelling 014 tickets which include other airline segments, please confirm the cancellation/coupon status with the other airline. An ADM will be issued if the
  • It is against IATA ticketing rules to issue 2 or more tickets for the same passenger on the same PNR.
  • Ensure that your clients are notified of schedule changes.
  • As per IATA regulations, a travel agency cannot use their own credit card or an agent’s personal credit card to pay for a client’s travel. This practice is not only a significant client irritant as it creates a two-step process for the client to receive their refund, but it may subsequently nullify the client’s travel insurance and impact reissuance of tickets.
  • If you believe that an error has occurred when making an online booking, verify your booking activity via Manage My Bookings tab from the home page of aircanada.com/agents and contact Air Canada Reservations. Do not make a second booking, as you may be charging your client’s credit card more than once

GDS transactions to display historical fares in GDS

Your GDS provides help pages and help desks to assist you with various transactions:

Apollo

  • HELP $DHISTORY
  • Display up to 1 year prior to today’s date
  • $DYYZYVR11JUN09T24MAY09+AC
  • (departure date / ticket issue date)

Sabre

  • FQAFO010 under Format Finder
  • Display up to 400 days prior to today's date FQ24MAY09YYZYVR11JUN09-AC
  • (ticket issue date / departure date)

Worldspan

  • HELP 4F
  • Display up to 13 months prior to today’s date 4FYYZYVR11JUN0924MAY09-AC
  • (departure date / ticket issue date)

Galileo

  • H/FD or HELP FD
  • Display up to 1 year prior to today’s date FDYYZYVR11JUN09/AC
  • (departure date)

Amadeus

  • HELP FQD (also see MS190)
  • Display up to 1 year prior to today’s date FQDYYZYVR/AAC/D11JUN09 • (departure date)

RECEIPTS

To retrieve customer receipts, please contact Customer Support.

FORM OF PAYMENT ISSUES

Direct customer to their bank to first validate the issue.

Example: Customer believes there was a duplicate charge but the lines on their statements are “holds” where funds are held for the purchase once it is confirmed that there is enough room on the card.