Key Tour Operator Payment and Cancellation Policies

Key Tour Operator Payment and Cancellation Policies

Last Updated on February 22, 2021 by tripcentral

As at Nov 17, 2020, Subject to Change

Canadian tour operators have mostly aligned in offering low deposits to book in advance and most with a final payment date now 25 days in advance (instead of 42, 60 or more).  At 21 Days prior, the purchase is 100% non-refundable, however, each offers something below for additional flexibility.

Option Flex Extra $99 per person: allows you to cancel up to 24hrs prior and get a refund to the form of payment (credit card to credit card, cash to cash, future travel credit back to future travel credit).  You could also change dates or destinations up to 24 hours prior

Option Flex $59 per person: allows you to cancel for any reason up to 72 hours prior and receive a future travel credit towards a new trip.

Careflex Plus $59 per person:  Cancel up to 7 days prior for a full refund up to 25 days prior to the original form of payment.  24-21 days, 50% to the original form of payment, 50% travel credit.  Within 21 days, travel credit.  A 15-day waiting period applies for any re-booking after cancellation.

Air Canada Vacations just recently returned their final payment date to 45 days prior to departure, although the purchase of CareFlex Plus above makes it entirely refundable up to 25 days prior. 

Cancel or Change Anytime Promo (Free till Nov 30):  One-time free change of date, destination etc (paying any additional fare difference if applicable) if done up to 4 days prior to travel.  Cancel 25 days or more in advance and receive a refund to the original form of payment of all but $100 non-refundable deposit.  Cancel 24-15 days in advance and receive a refund of all but $250 per person converted to a travel credit with a one-year expiry.  Cancel between 14 and 4 days prior and receive a refund to the original form of payment for all but $500 per person converted to a travel credit with one-year expiry.

Worry-Free Cancellation Waiver $50 pp (always available):  Cancel in advance for any reason and receive a combination of cash refund and future travel credit (depending on the cancellation date).      

Travel Protection Plan $49 per person:  One-time voluntary change fee waived if changing dates, destination, etc up to 3 days in advance.  Name changes can be made up to 7 days prior to departure.  Cancel 25 days in advance and refund will be made to the original form of payment.  24-21 days prior, 50% original form of payment and 50% WestJet dollars.  Between 20 days and 24 hours prior, 100% of trip value will be converted to WestJet dollars.

Safety Ring $50 per person:  Cancel your trip up to 3 days prior for a travel credit valid for 11 months.  If you cancel sooner, for example, more than 21 days in advance, you will get some amount back to the original form of payment (credit card, cash, or travel voucher) and the remaining amount as travel voucher. You can also make name changes up to 21 days prior to departure.  You can make date and other changes for no fee, paying any difference in fare that applies.  If you cancel, you must wait 15 days to re-book. 

Caution / Not Insurance

These plans are waivers to our supplier standard non-refundable terms and conditions, offering more flexibility in exchange for a fee.  They are not insurance.

We strongly recommend travel insurance for all of the other risks including the period of time not covered for cancellation or credit by these plans (example, within 7 days for Air Canada Vacations, 4 days for Sunwing, 24hrs for Transat and WestJet Vacations).  Travel insurance covers many risks that are not covered by waivers such as trip interruption insurance, medical, air ambulance etc.

Tour operators are offering COVID-19 medical coverages for free that many insurance companies are not insuring.  The medical assistance and quarantine covered by these plans are administered locally in the destination.  Private Air Ambulance insurance for return to Canada due to COVID-19 is available for sale by separate insurance companies not represented by tripcentral.ca.

Read more about how low-priced fares are typically non-refundable.

7 Comments

  1. Do any of your suppliers provide coverage for cancelations due to illness less than 24 hours from departure, (e.g. failing a temp. check at airport) ?

    • That’s a very good question. The waivers are really for voluntary changes by you. We will investigate the current policies of each supplier for denied boarding due to temperature check, and as well, what insurance would cover. We’ll get back to you on this thread and likely update the blog itself because it’s such a good question.

  2. At what point must these waivers be purchased? If you have already put the deposit down prior to these waivers being introduced, can you still purchase one?

    • These waivers must be purchased at the time of booking without exception. Otherwise, no one would do it until they needed it. The waiver fee purchased by everyone builds up a fund allowing for the cancellation financial loss to the airline. People do not book with the intention of cancelling, but it has to be purchased at the time of booking.

      • so, if you payed your deposit before the waivers became a ‘thing’ you can’t purchase one now… that’s too bad

  3. Do these waivers cover the entire package, air, hotel, transfers etc or just air?
    I am not worried about me cancelling…I’ll take the hit on that one…but if the Government or the Airline cancels, I would want at least a credit.

    • These are for package suppliers. If the airline is forced to be grounded by the Government, the practice has been to provide a credit for future travel that will vary from 2 years to no expiry and increased flexibility to change names by some airlines. Best to ask our agents for details before booking something specific, because it’s hard to generalize. People always say they are going no matter what – until they change their mind for some unforeseen reason. We really do recommend these optional waivers for that reason. Of course, it’s an option, but it can only be purchased at the time of booking.

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