How to Cancel an Air Canada Flight

Air Canada's change and cancellation policies vary. Penalties, waivers and discounts depend on your ticket type.
Ramsey Qubein
By Ramsey Qubein 
Edited by Giselle M. Cancio
Woman paying for tickets with credit card on vacation. Online travel booking using computer. Business trip planning. Selective focus.

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Sometimes despite your best efforts, you may have to change your plans. If you've booked with Star Alliance carrier Air Canada, the type of fare and when you booked will determine if you'll get your money back, a travel credit, or nothing when cancelling.

This guide covers how to cancel an Air Canada flight, the airline's 24 hour cancellation policy and how its refund policy works.

Can you cancel an Air Canada flight?

Yes, but whether or not you will receive a refund depends on when you cancel it and how you made the reservation.

The Air Canada 24 hour cancellation policy is similar to what many airlines offer in the U.S. Within 24 hours of making a reservation, anyone can cancel their airfare without paying a fee. This option is available no matter what type of fare you book (including basic tickets) as well as if paying with cash or Aeroplan points.

The policy changes after that 24-hour window passes; then, it will depend on the type of fare you booked. At this point, Basic bookings are not eligible for cancellations or refunds. In addition, no changes can be made and no future credit for travel will be issued. That’s the tradeoff for buying the cheapest basic economy tickets.

Other fares can be changed or canceled, but there may be fees (charged in each direction of travel) or additional charges involved. We'll discuss these details in the next section.

🤓Nerdy Tip

If Air Canada changes your flight time by at least two hours, you receive jury duty, military orders or someone on the reservation dies, basic tickets can also be canceled. While traveling, if your Air Canada flight is delayed by at least three hours or canceled, you are eligible for a refund for the unused portion of the ticket.

Air Canada's flight cancellation and refund policy

Depending on your destination, the policies vary. Above is the chart showing the policy for U.S. flights. Remember that basic tickets are not eligible for a refund unless Air Canada cancels or delays a flight for at least three hours or adds a connection. Change fees and policies vary by destination.

If you need to cancel a nonrefundable ticket, you will not receive a refund. Instead, it will be issued as a travel credit. For example, on U.S. flights, only Comfort, Latitude and flexible premium cabin tickets are eligible for a refund to your original form of payment.

Air Canada’s top-tier elite members (Super Elite) have waived fees if canceling an award ticket.

International destinations have a different schematic of change and cancellation policies. The refund and change fees are more complex and depend on the itinerary. Refundable fares will not charge a fee, but will charge (or refund) the difference in fare.

How do you cancel or change an Air Canada flight?

Log into your Air Canada account online and go to Manage My Bookings. You can then choose to change or cancel the ticket by clicking on the appropriate link. If changing it, potential fees or additional charges may apply. Changes include the spelling of names, routing, dates, and origin or destination.

If you do not have an Air Canada account, you can still access your booking in the same way by entering the booking reference number and your last name.

The Air Canada flight change fee varies by ticket type, destination and when you cancel or change the ticket. Aeroplan award tickets charge change fees per direction, and these range between $0-$130 ($0-$175 CAD) depending on the cabin of service.

Super Elite members don’t pay a fee to make any changes, and flexible fares do not require a fee for changes.

What about same-day changes to your ticket? Latitude, premium economy and flexible business class tickets do not charge anything. Basic tickets do not permit changes, but other fares charge $100 in each direction. Nonrefundable business class tickets charge a fee depending upon the fare.

Cancelling an Air Canada flight, recapped

If you have to change travel plans for an Air Canada ticket, the penalty will depend on when you make the change and what type of ticket you have. Elite status members are given some waivers and discounts, which is a nice perk, too.

It’s not unusual to have a change of plans, but be ready to pay some fees or a difference in fare if you purchase certain types of Air Canada tickets.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024, including those best for:

Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.