Travel Advisory - TRAVEL UPDATE (6): AIR CANADA RESUMES FULL LONDON FLIGHTS STARTING THE EVENING OF TUESDAY, DECEMBER 21

MONTREAL, Dec. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada advises that Heathrow airport has given it permission to increase flights to London beginning this evening, allowing the carrier to reinstate previously cancelled flights. Passengers are urged to consult the company website www.aircanada.com for flight schedule updates and before travelling or going to the airport.

"Air Canada has been given permission to reinstate its full schedule of nine flights a day to London Heathrow following several days of sharp restrictions imposed on carriers by the airport. We are now focused on restoring our full operation and moving the backlog of passengers created by the forced cancellations of our flights. We are going to do our absolute best to move our customers as quickly as possible but unfortunately due to capacity restrictions at Heathrow and the fact our aircraft were already heavily booked prior to the holiday season, it may still take more than a week to move all passengers. Air Canada is doing its best because it fully appreciates the importance of travel at this time of year and we thank our customers for being patient and understanding during this difficult period," said Duncan Dee, Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer.

Air Canada will now operate its full schedule beginning the evening of Tuesday, December 21.

December 21, 2010 December 22, 2010
To London From: From London To:
AC848  Toronto AC849 Toronto
AC850  Calgary AC851 Calgary
AC854 Vancouver AC855 Vancouver
AC856 Toronto AC857 Toronto
AC860 Halifax AC861 Halifax
AC864 Montreal AC865 Montreal
AC868 Toronto AC869 Toronto
AC888 Ottawa AC889 Ottawa
AC898 Edmonton (Wed. Dec. 22) AC899 Edmonton (Wed. Dec. 22)

Air Canada will update its website www.aircanada.com as information becomes available.

Customers with confirmed tickets for flights to or from affected areas are advised to check on the status of their flight prior to leaving for the airport by consulting the Air Canada website at aircanada.com, or by calling Air Canada's automated flight information system at 1-888-422-7533, or by using a web-enhanced cell phone.

Due to increased call centre volume, wait times are longer than usual.

Important information for passengers with connecting flights in London on December 21 and 22:

Due to the high number of cancelled flights out of London Heathrow, Air Canada is unable to check passengers and baggage with connecting flights in London on other airlines through to their final destination.  These passengers will need to retrieve their baggage upon arrival in London and proceed to check in with the carrier operating their connecting flight.   Air Canada urges these passengers to contact the operating carrier of their connecting flight   to confirm flight status, as expenses incurred as a result of enroute disruptions are the passenger's responsibility and are not eligible for compensation.   In addition, before leaving Canada, customers must ensure they have the appropriate documentation, including visas, to enter the U.K.

Air Canada encourages customers who have been affected by cancelled flights:

  • To postpone non-essential travel if at all possible; fees have been waived to facilitate changes and refunds are also available.
  • Customers who purchased their ticket through a travel agency should contact their original point of sale for re-booking options.
  • Customers booked on flights between December 18 and December 23 can either apply for a refund or change their bookings through the Delayed and Cancelled Flights Service at aircanada.com, or through an Air Canada Call Centre.
  • Those customers wishing to make alternate travel arrangements can do so without penalty, space permitting, by contacting Air Canada Reservations toll free in Canada and the U.S. at 888-247-2262; TTY: 1-800-361-8071 or Air Canada Reservations worldwide.
  • However, customers are reminded that seat availability is currently very limited for the next two weeks.
  • Customers are reminded that as operations resume and previously booked passengers change their plans, seat availability is subject to change on an on-going basis, and therefore it is important to check back online regularly.
  • The same seat availability information is provided through Call Centres.  However, due to increased call centre volume, wait times are longer than usual.
  • Customers should consult their flight status online at aircanada.com before proceeding to the airport with their confirmed booking.

Air Canada appreciates the importance of travel during the holiday season and is making its best efforts to safely transport customers as soon as possible. It will continue to provide updates at www.aircanada.com as information becomes available

SOURCE AIR CANADA

For further information:

Contacts:

Isabelle Arthur (Montreal)     (514) 422-5788
Peter Fitzpatrick (Toronto)      (416) 263-5576
Angela Mah (Vancouver)       (604) 270-5741

Internetaircanada.com

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