How to Cancel or Change a VIA Rail Ticket

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A VIA Rail train pulls into the station with mountains in the background

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Cancel culture is catching a lot of heat these days. But sometimes, cancellation can be a good thing.

Like canceling your Netflix subscription because your new bae offered to share theirs. Saving money, that’s your style.

Or canceling lunch with family when you’re too hungover to think… probably a smart move.

And being able to cancel travel plans? That’s definitely a good thing, especially with the world being, you know, a hot mess these days.

Luckily, you can easily cancel or change your VIA Rail train ticket if the unthinkable happens and you’re no longer able to travel on the train trip you planned through Canada’s breathtaking landscapes. Because the only thing worse than having to cancel your exciting vacation is not getting a refund.

So, to prepare for that just-in-case scenario, we break down VIA Rail’s full cancellation policies and share everything you need to know about rescheduling or canceling your train ticket.

VIA Rail's Temporary Cancellation Policy due to COVID-19

Due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, VIA Rail has implemented a flexible booking policy that allows all tickets to be canceled for a full refund, as long as the cancellation is requested before the train’s departure time. All change fees are also waived under the flexible booking policy.

This policy applies to all travel through November 15, 2021, as well as travel after November 15, 2021, if the outbound train (a.k.a. the first train in a round trip) is scheduled to travel before November 15, 2021. VIA Rail may extend this policy to a later date, and their website will have the most up-to-date status.

Cancellation and Change Policies by VIA Rail Fare Class

Your ticket’s cancellation and change policy (and any applicable fees) depend on the type of fare you selected when booking your trip. Several policies apply to all tickets, and we will also break down the exact policy for each fare type.

All Fares

  • If you cancel your VIA Rail ticket within 24 hours of purchase, you will receive a full refund to your original payment method.
  • If you reschedule your VIA Rail ticket within the first 24 hours after purchase, no change fee will apply.
  • The ticket must be changed or canceled before the train departs; unused tickets are forfeited and cannot be refunded or exchanged after the scheduled departure time.

Escape Fare

  • Refunds: Escape Fare tickets are non-refundable after 24 hours have elapsed since purchase. However, you can cancel your ticket for a credit worth 50% of the total price paid. This credit is valid for one year and can be redeemed by calling VIA Rail.
  • Changes: A change fee of 50% of the ticket price (minimum $20 CAD) will apply, plus any difference in ticket price.

Economy Fare

  • Refunds: Tickets can be canceled anytime before departure, and a cancellation fee worth 25% of the ticket price (minimum $20 CAD) will apply.
  • Changes: A change fee of 25% of the ticket price (minimum $20 CAD) will apply, plus any difference in ticket price.

Economy Plus Fare

  • Refunds: Tickets are fully refundable if canceled before the scheduled departure.
  • Changes: Economy Plus tickets can be changed with no fee. If changing a ticket to a different itinerary with a higher price, the difference in fare will need to be paid.

Business Fare

  • Refunds: Tickets can be canceled anytime before departure, and a cancellation fee worth 25% of the ticket price (minimum $20 CAD) will apply.
  • Changes: A change fee of 25% of the ticket price (minimum $20 CAD) will apply, plus any difference in ticket price.

Business Plus Fare

  • Refunds: Tickets are fully refundable if canceled before the scheduled departure.
  • Changes: Business Plus tickets can be changed with no fee. If changing a ticket to a different itinerary with a higher price, the difference in fare will need to be paid.

How to Determine Which Policy Applies to Your Ticket

The fare class of your ticket appears on your VIA Rail boarding pass, and so does an abbreviated version of the cancellation and change policy. If you have several tickets on one reservation (like for a round trip), the fare class noted on each ticket will apply to that ticket. In some cases, this means your departure ticket may have a different cancellation policy than your return ticket.

How to Modify Your Ticket

Wanderu account: The quickest and easiest way to cancel your VIA Rail ticket is through your Wanderu user account on our website or on the Wanderu app. At this time, the Wanderu app allows cancellations only; rescheduling to a different itinerary must be done directly with VIA Rail. From the “My Trips” page of your account, open the trip you would like to cancel, and follow the prompts to cancel the ticket, and your refund will automatically process within a few days. If you haven’t created a Wanderu user account yet, you can do so here.

VIA Rail website: VIA Rail’s website also offers quick cancellations and easy rescheduling of tickets. Just enter your confirmation number (found on your ticket), and an authorization email will be sent to the email provided upon purchase to confirm that the ticket is yours. Once authorized, you can proceed with canceling or changing your ticket. If changing your booking, a new boarding pass will be sent to you via email.

By phone: You can call VIA Rail at +1 (888) 842-7245 to speak to an agent and cancel or change your ticket by phone. Make sure to call as early as possible since there may be some time to wait on hold.

Getting Fees Reimbursed with Trip Protection

Wanderu has partnered with Allianz Global Protection to offer an affordable trip protection option when completing your booking. If you opt to add trip protection, that will give you coverage for lost or damaged baggage and access to 24-hour assistance from Allianz during your entire trip.

Trip protection also helps you save money if you have to cancel or change your trip due to things like illness, bad weather, or required work shifts. Although VIA Rail charges cancellation and change fees for most tickets, you can submit a claim to Allianz and get reimbursed for any fees if you had to make the changes due to a reason covered in your policy.

More Cancellation Questions?

No, Uncle Steve, we can’t help you if your nieces say you’ve been “canceled.”

But, if you have any questions about canceling or rescheduling your VIA Rail tickets, we are happy to help. Send us a message at [email protected], chat with our team in the Wanderu Help Center, or reach out to VIA Rail for assistance. And remember to reach out before your train is scheduled to depart!

Before your train departs, you’ll also want to make sure you have the right kind of ID to travel and make sure to score the best deal by booking your ticket on Wanderu, where you can compare all the available bus and train options in one place.

Travel stress? Canceled.

Travel Safely

At Wanderu, we want to make sure you are equipped with all the information you need to plan a safe trip. Please visit our COVID-19 Travel Guide for the latest tips & advisories.

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About the author
Bryn Culbert

Bryn Culbert

A planner at heart, Bryn loves nothing more than researching and creating a detailed travel itinerary. She is partial to quirky museums, hole-in-the-wall coffeeshops, and overstuffed bookstores in the cities she visits.
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