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WestJet to give refunds for flights cancelled due to COVID-19

Last Updated Oct 21, 2020 at 6:14 pm EST

WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline's facilities in Calgary, on May 7, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

WestJet says it will begin providing refunds to passengers who had their WestJet and Swoop flights cancelled by the airlines as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic – the first airline to offer full refunds for all flights.

The company says the refunds will be in the original form of payment, rather than a credit for future flights as it had been previously offering.

The Calgary-based company says it will begin on Nov. 2 to contact eligible passengers, starting with those who flights were cancelled at the onset of pandemic last spring.

“Please understand this will take us many months to clear the backlog but we are up to the task and we appreciate your patience as our digital and contact centre teams ramp up our capabilities to provide refunds at this scale,” WestJet President and CEO Edward Sims said in a blog late Wednesday entitled “Refunds – It’s about time”.

It asks passengers not to contact the company to avoid overloading its contact centre.

Refunds are expected to take six to nine months.

WestJet Vacations guests will continue to follow the process already established.