Plot twist: neither, according to some Twitter users
Canada’s two largest airlines are engaged in a Twitter back-and-forth, feuding over ticket refunds.
On Monday, WestJet announced that it would be giving full refunds for flights cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Refunds – It’s about time,” read the simple graphic posted alongside their announcement that, effective Nov. 2, they would start refunding their customers.
In an uncharacteristically petty rebuttal, Air Canada responded.
“Misleading statement! (WestJet) is just now catching up to our policy to refund refundable fares,” the airline tweeted.
WestJet responded in the thread, defending themselves from the admonitions of their competitor with a groan-worthy pun and a clarification.
“Let’s clear the air. We’re offering refunds for guests if we cancelled their flight. Even the lowest cost tickets will be refunded to original form of payment if WestJet caused the cancellation.”
The stir became a source of entertainment for some Canadians, and a contemptible debacle for others. Many hopped into the thread to vent their frustrations with both airlines. Air Canada went on damage control, replying to disgruntled customers who hadn’t yet received their own reimbursements. They waded into the replies, telling individuals to send them direct messages with booking references.
On their original post, WestJet explained that they would contact people eligible for refunds directly, via email, as they worked through their administrative backlog. They also linked to an FAQ on their website.
Originally, the FAQ stated that refunds would not be offered to customers on basic fares. It was unclear which purchases would be refundable. Since the Twitter drama, the FAQ has been updated with a clarification that it will refund all fares, including basic tickets.