Pregnant woman who cancelled trip over Zika concerns can get refund: Sunwing

A pregnant Ontario woman who cancelled a trip to the Bahamas over concerns about the Zika virus can now get a full refund for the $3,700 trip.

See Full Article

In a statement to CTV News, Sunwing confirmed that the company has modified their policy amid concerns about the Zika virus, which has spread to several countries in the Caribbean and Latin America.

“We have since modified our policy and are now allowing customers to make changes to their travel plans for no additional fees or cancel their trip for a full refund, provided they have a doctor’s note,” the company’s senior marketing director Jacqueline Grossman wrote in an email.

Stephanie Lemay of Niagara Falls, Ont. said she booked the Sunwing Vacation package through Expedia.ca. When she called Expedia to cancel the trip, Lemay, who's 24-weeks pregnant, said she was shocked by the response.

"We were told that we were going to lose our money for the trip, unfortunately," Lemay told CTV News Channel on Friday. "They really didn't give us many other options besides a flat out no."

When Lemay followed up with a telephone customer service representative, she was initially denied the refund because she had not purchased travel insurance.

“At the time of her call Sunwing had not yet formalized our policy as it relates to Zika so the customer service representative denied the refund on the basis that Ms. Lemay did not have travel insurance or protection,” Grossman wrote.

After the news broke, Sunwing got in touch with Lemay to inform her of the policy change. A spokesperson confirmed that Lemay has been directed to company’s customer service department to administer the refund.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is recommending that pregnant women and women considering becoming pregnant discuss their travel plans with their doctor. The agency recommends that if travel plans cannot be postponed, women should take strict measures to protect themselves against mosquito bites.

Air Canada, Air Transat and WestJet are allowing passengers to cancel or change their flights to destinations that have been affected by the Zika virus.

WestJet says any passenger can change or cancel a booking prior to travelling to infected areas and no medical notes are required. Air Transat says pregnant passengers with a medical note and travel companions in their immediate family can reschedule or change destinations. Air Canada is allowing woman and their travel companions to change bookings or receive a refund for trips scheduled between Jan. 28 and June 26.

Meanwhile, Lemay said she doesn't regret cancelling her vacation plans.

"I feel that as a pregnant woman this is probably the biggest chance I have to protect by unborn baby against any dangers," she said. "I didn't think it was worth taking any risk going somewhere where there could be potentially some developmental harm done to my unborn child."



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Google's YouTube losing major advertisers upset with videos

    Economic CTV News
    SAN FRANCISCO -- AT&T, Verizon and several other major advertisers are suspending their marketing campaigns on Google's YouTube site after discovering their brands have been appearing alongside videos promoting terrorism and other unsavoury subjects. The spreading boycott confronts Google with a challenge that threatens to cost it hundreds of millions of dollars. Source
  • Husky spill in southwest Alberta estimated at 25,000 litres; cleanup going well

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY -- Husky Energy says about 25,000 litres of crude oil leaked from one of its pipelines in southwestern Alberta last week. Spokesman Mel Duvall said in an email to The Canadian Press that cleanup at the site at Cox Hill Creek west of Bragg Creek is progressing well. Source
  • Budget 2017: Hello Uber tax, goodbye Canada Savings Bonds

    Economic CBC News
    Consumer tax changes in Wednesday's federal budget will add to the cost of Uber rides while ending a public-transit credit. Those are just two of several Liberal government moves that will hit pocketbooks directly, though modestly. Source
  • Trump's SEC pick, a lawyer for Goldman, to face skepticism

    Economic CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Goldman Sachs may be about to get another friend in Washington. Jay Clayton, a well-connected Wall Street lawyer who is President Donald Trump's pick to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, is sure to face sharp questions from Democrats at his confirmation hearing Thursday over his years of work for Goldman and other financial giants. Source
  • Budget 2017: Liberals spend on training and innovation while holding line on most taxes

    Economic CBC News
    The Liberal government has delivered a budget designed to brace Canadians for a fast-changing global economy and empower women in the workforce, while taking a wait-and-see approach to sweeping changes south of the border. Budget 2017, titled Building a Strong Middle Class, offers targeted investments to tackle what it calls the "challenge of change. Source
  • Bell and Rogers to ask bars to pay more for sports packages

    Economic CBC News
    Bell and Rogers will soon ask sports bars to pay more for the right to broadcast big games, on top of what they pay for their existing television service. As first reported by Postmedia, the two media conglomerates are asking business subscribers across Canada to pay an additional levy of roughly $120 a month — depending on the size of the bar — on top of their existing cable bill for the rights to air sports channels that broadcast live sporting events such as the TSN, RDS and Sportsnet…
  • B.C. shellfish industry reels as norovirus sickens hundreds, forces closures

    Economic CTV News
    VICTORIA - The head of British Columbia's shellfish growers says the industry has been stunned by a mysterious norovirus that has forced the closure of seven coastal oyster farms and made hundreds of Canadians ill. Source
  • Starbucks Canada vows to hire at least 1,000 refugees

    Economic CBC News
    Starbucks Canada says it will hire at least 1,000 refugees over the next five years. The announcement Wednesday follows a statement in January by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz that the company would hire 10,000 refugees around the world in the next half-decade. Source
  • Starbucks Canada sets goal to hire 1,000 refugees over five years

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- Starbucks Canada has committed to hiring at least 1,000 refugees over the next five years, the coffee giant said Wednesday. The company said it will actively begin recruiting job candidates through the national organization, Hire Immigrants, which works with a network of municipal and provincial resettlement agencies. Source
  • Activists seek to intervene in Nebraska Keystone XL review

    Economic CTV News
    LINCOLN, Neb. -- Activists who want to derail the Keystone XL pipeline in Nebraska are again mobilizing to try to make their case to a small state commission that will decide the project's fate. Opponents on Wednesday will ask the Nebraska Public Service Commission to let them intervene in the case, allowing them to file legal briefs, cross-examine witnesses and present formal arguments alongside attorneys for pipeline developer TransCanada. Source