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Travel credits

Refunds and exchanges

Considering the exceptional context created by the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), we understand that your travel plans can change. That’s why we now offer flexible booking options. You can cancel your reservation any time before departure.*

When one of our trains is late, VIA Rail does everything possible to rectify the situation quickly. However, some service disruptions can create delays that are impossible to make up. Under certain circumstances, we may even replace the train with an alternate mode of transportation. In some cases, you can request to be compensated with a travel credit.

VIA Rail offers travel credits for delays exceeding one hour or trips replaced by alternate transportation when the final destination is in the Québec City-Windsor corridor. In such cases, the travel credit is based on the cost of the portion in the Québec City-Windsor corridor portion only.

Travel credit conditions vary according to different trains, length of journey, and final destination. See the table below to find out more about travel credit eligibility, validity, and the amount you may be entitled to.

Depending on your final destination, a delay of one, two or four hours or more entitles you to a travel credit representing 50% of the fare price paid for the delayed journey (excluding accommodation price).

The value of your travel credit is calculated on the basis of the price before taxes that you paid for the journey affected by the delay. If your tickets are for a round-trip, the travel credit is based on the journey (there or back) during which you experienced a delay, and not on the total price of your tickets, unless your train has been delayed in both directions.

This credit is applicable towards the purchase of a new train ticket or any VIA Rail rail pass (e.g. Multi, Youth Pass, Leisure Pass, Canada Pass and Commuter Pass) in the following 6 months, depending on the final destination of the delayed train.
Refer to this chart.

When you arrive at your final destination at the scheduled time, you are not entitled to a travel credit, even if one or more corresponding trains have been delayed along the way.

To claim a travel credit, you MUST surrender your booking confirmation number or ticket receipt (the remaining portion of your ticket) to one of our ticket offices when purchasing your next ticket.

When trains are replaced by alternate transport

In exceptional circumstances (e.g., when track works cause a section of track to be taken out of service), buses may be used to ensure connections between one or more of our stations.

For the portion of the trip made by bus, we will grant you a travel credit equal to 50% of the fare (taxes not included) you would have paid to travel the same distance by train. In Business, the travel credit is equal to half the price you would have paid in Economy class. Depending on the situation, you might be eligible for a partial refund of the accommodation price. Credits are not applicable for trips outside the Québec City–Windsor corridor.

Only the segment of your trip travelled by bus will be considered.

As an example, if you are travelling from Montréal to Québec City and must complete the Saint-Hyacinthe/Montréal leg of your trip by bus, you may obtain a credit equal to 50% of the amount you would have paid (taxes not included) for a journey between Saint-Hyacinthe and Montréal.

When trains are cancelled with no alternative transportation provided

In exceptional circumstances when VIA must cancel a train service and no alternative transportation is provided, passengers are entitled to a full refund with no service charges.

Travel credits and gift cards cannot be used online

However, if you purchase tickets online, you will receive a partial refund for the value of the travel credit or gift card at a ticket office.

In the case of rail passes, if you wish to apply travel credits, late train credits or gift cards, you must buy the rail pass directly at a VIA ticket counter.

Travel credit eligibility for delayed trains

This travel credit chart is provided for your information. Eligibility for the following travel credits also varies according to the length of your journey. If you make a transfer during your trip, the final destination determines the amount and terms of your credit (ex. for a trip from Halifax to Toronto, Corridor terms will apply).

VIA Rail continues to offer travel credits for delays exceeding one hour or trips replaced by alternate transportation when the final destination is in the Québec City - Windsor corridor. In such cases, the travel credit is based on the cost of the portion in the Québec City - Windsor corridor only.

How your credit will be applied

  • A stopover breaks a trip into separate "segments", with each segment treated as a distinct trip when applying credit.
  • In the case of connecting travel aboard the Toronto-Vancouver (the Canadian) train, Toronto is always considered a stopover, and any travel east of Toronto is considered a new segment.
  • In the event that your trip takes place exclusively on The Ocean between Halifax and Montreal, without any connection in the Corridor, there will be no entitlement to a travel credit.
  • For example, if your connecting train to Montréal arrives late, the credit will be based on the Toronto-Montréal segment only.

Québec City-Windsor corridor

Train Delay Credit Grace period
Québec City-Windsor corridor
Credit valid for 6 months
1 hour 50 % 5 minutes
4 hours or more 100 % 10 minutes

Also, if you are a VIA Préférence member, you can choose to receive five VIA Préférence points for every dollar of credit in lieu of a late train travel credit. Simply send your booking confirmation number or ticket receipt for your ticket to VIA Préférence, with a written request for points.

Notice: Please note that VIA reserves the right to cancel its late train travel credit policy when faced by major events not under VIA's control.

*Credits calculated on the basis of Economy class.

Useful information

An agent can help you apply your travel credit to your new ticket by calling our toll-free number at (888-842-7245). Or please present your booking confirmation number or ticket receipt at a VIA Rail ticket office.

  • You may apply your travel credits against train tickets or any other VIA travel product, with the exception of on-board train services (such as meals).
  • You can apply a maximum of one (1) travel credit per new ticket, and a travel credit can only be applied to a single ticket. If it is applied to a ticket of lesser value, the unused portion of the travel credit will be lost.
  • Travel credits apply to tickets purchased with VIA Préférence points, pre-paid tickets, (e.g. Multi Pass, Youth Pass, Leisure Pass, Canada Pass and Commuter Pass).
  • If you’ve travelled using Air Miles reward tickets, or if you've purchased your tickets through a Contra Account, you are not eligible for a late train travel credit. Tickets purchased with ticket vouchers or promotional travel credits are also not eligible for late train travel credits.
  • VIA is not responsible for any inconvenience caused by the delay of one of its trains or missed transfers with other carriers. Transfers with Acadian and Pacific Coach Lines buses, as well as trans-border journeys on VIA/AMTRAK, are not guaranteed by VIA Rail, even if tickets have been purchased through one of our agents.
  • Travel credits are not redeemable in cash, and cannot be exchanged for a reimbursement.
  • Travel credits are not transferable.
  • Please note that travel credits are valid for a period of 6 months. Your new trip may occur after the validity period of the travel credit has ended, as long as the tickets are purchased within the validity period of the credit.
  • As a VIA Préférence member, you may also choose to receive five (5) points for every dollar of credit in lieu of a travel credit. For example, a $100 travel credit will be worth 500 points. To claim points, members must send their original receipt to VIA Préférence and indicate that they are requesting points instead of a travel credit.
  • To claim your travel credit for your next trip, go to one of our ticket offices (you may refer to the list of our stations) or a certified travel agent. For more information, call 1 888 VIA-RAIL (1 888 842-7245) or TTY 1 800 268-9503 (hearing impaired), or contact VIA Préférence at 1 888 VIA-PREF (1 888 842-7733).

1 – I received a notice of change of train number, is my journey cancelled?

If your train is canceled, we will send you a communication to this effect by email, or an agent will call you to offer you alternatives for your trip.

2 – My train is late, can I receive some form of compensation?

VIA Rail grants travel credits for train delays or replacements. These travel credits vary according to the trains, the length of the journey and the final destination.

Consult the page dedicated to the travel credits section to find out the general conditions of eligibility, the period of validity and the amount of the travel credit that could be granted to you.

3 – I have lost my ticket, what can I do?

If you have lost your electronic boarding pass, simply print another copy of your email.

If you have a paper ticket and you notice that your tickets have been lost or stolen, please contact VIA Rail at the toll-free number 1 888 VIA Rail (1 888 842-7245) or TTY 1 800 268-9503 (hearing impaired). You can also go to the ticket counter at the nearest station.

You have more questions? Visit the Bookings FAQ section to find the answers.

*Our cancellation policy includes all travel through May 31, 2022 as well as any travel after May 31, 2022, if the outbound train is on or before May 31, 2022. If you would like to cancel your trip for a full reimbursement, click here.

Questions?

If you have questions that are not answered in these pages or are unsure about the options available to you, please do not hesitate to contact us:

1-888-VIA-RAIL (1-888-842-7245)

1-888-260-9503 (TTY for hearing impaired)

Train Alert Service

By subscribing to the VIA Train-Alert service, you will be notified of delays and of any major schedule changes for your VIA train. Alerts are sent by email or SMS (text messaging).

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