Japan Cancellation and Refund Policy from Aeroplan

We are saddened and very disappointed that we have decided to cancel our trip to Japan due to the natural disaster (earthquake and tsunami) and Nuclear Plant meltdown situation.  We just do not feel comfortable going due to the danger and we do not feel that it would be a good time to go and be all happy when so many are sad, struggling and dying.

We have begun the process of cancelling our tickets, flights and hotels and for flights and here’s the most updated info for Aeroplan:

For any customers traveling to/from/through Japan with tickets issued by Air Canada and your ticket was issued on/before Mar 11, 2011 with an original travel date on/before Apr 30, 2011, your ticket can be re-booked to a new travel date with change fee waived and fare differences waived if the same booking class is available and your new travel dates originates on/before Apr 25, 2011.

If you no longer wish to travel to/from Tokyo, your ticket can also be rebooked to an alternate Asia destination (PEK, PVG, HKG or ICN) with the same condition as above.

For those who would like to cancel their tickets, you can get a full refund if your original travel date is on/before Mar 31, 2011. For travel after Mar 31, 2011, fare rules apply.

In order to help our customers who might be traveling to Japan to help with the recovery efforts, we have also amended our checked luggage policy for those traveling to NRT (as a final destination) for travel on/before Mar 18 on AC operated flights to permit 3 complimentary pieces of checked luggage.

We would also like to mention that if you re-book, you have booked your ticket and fly from 1 year of the original booking date. So if you have booked your ticket in advance like many of us due to the cost of the Aeroplan cost then you might be restricted. This happened to us.

Our situation:

We purchased 2 business class round trip tickets to Japan –> HK — Toronto in June of 2010 for departure date of April 8, 2011 and return April 25.  According to the policy above, we we were told that we were not able to cancel our ticket for a full refund because we are within 22 days of the departure date policy that is imposed by Air Canada and our only option was to rebook. But since we booked our original tickets in June 2010, we have only until June 2011 to rebook our ticket and fly out.  The agent told us that we can book something equivalent and doing a check to fly to Asia (which is equivalent) in June would cost us over 1 million points per ticket.  We explained to the agent that this is not equivalent and this would be penalizing us for a act of god out of our control.  The lady understood and took this to a supervisor and made some exception for us to cancel the ticket out right and receive our full 200k points back, but need to do some weird things to their system to do it.  But also since we are flying out April 8, we have to pay cancellation fee of $90 per ticket. The current cancellation waiving fee only goes up to March 31, however the agent said that wait till next week to cancel and they might extend the date as our tickets were only 1 week away.)

So please be aware, if you rebook you have 1 year from the original booking date to fly out.  We are waiting until March 21, to see if Aeroplan will change their policy and waive cancellation fees for departure dates past March 31.  We are crossing our fingers, but paying $180 to get our 200k points + tax fee is better then trying to force a vacation in June that would most likely cost us extra to go.

We are saddened that we have to cancel our trip, but will definitely rebook and plan to go to Japan to see Sakura’s and all the other wonders that Japan has to offer.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the Japanese people and know that they will overcome this tragedy.

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