Air Canada

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Feb 6, 2018
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#1
I purchased two plane tickets for Feb 16-19th for me and my wife's wedding anniversary.
My hope was to return on Feb 19th in the evening. There are two flights at 730 - one is AM and one is PM. We accidentally booked the AM flight home and they want to charge us over $500 to switch the flights. That's highway robbery. We don't travel often and we just want to get the correct flight home. I explained to the person on the phone that it was an error on the website and we thought we were booking the PM flight, but they were not having any of it.
Also, the person I spoke to on the phone, customer service was VERY VERY rude. He didn't want to hear any of my complaint and tried to UPSELL me - which I thought was super insulting.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#2
Has it been more than 24 hours since you bought the flights and you bought non-refundable tickets? I assume that you didn't realize the correct time for a 7:30 PM flight is 19:30? You have 24 hours to cancel and rebook a ticket at no charge if you are located in the U.S.

If you booked the tickets yourself, the computer didn't make the error - you did. And there are always fees associated with canceling and rebooking. If you don't travel often, these are things that you may not know but are available on the website for the airline. This is what is on Air Canadas:

International Travel

Refundability depends on your itinerary as well as your fare type. In the case of refundable tickets, a cancellation fee applies:
  • $500.00 - $590.00*
Luckily, this isn't the end of the world - if you don't want to pay the change fees, you'll just get home 12 hours earlier.
 
Feb 6, 2018
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#3
Yes. That's the situation.
And that's precisely my point.
They HAVE the ability to fix a situation like this, re: they're willing to do it within 24 hours. -- but they CHOOSE NOT to fix this issue. It's so simple and easy. But @aircanada refuses.
I think it's unconscionable to treat a consumer like this. THEY KNOW the issue. Come on.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
10,661
11,249
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#4
Did you contact them within 24 hours? That is the DOT rule. That rule was not in existence a few years ago- as soon as you booked you were assessed a fee. We fought for that for passengers for years until the DOT finally heard passengers.

They must allow you to cancel and rebook free if you contact them within 24 hours and you booked more than 7 days before flying.
If you didn’t notify them- the airlines don’t have to do anything.

If you contacted them after- the usually will not refund.

Did you call to cancel within 24 hours? Did you mistakenly book 7:30 instead of 19:30? You didn’t answer that or any of our other questions so we can direct you.

Unfortunately, when you book your own air, you act as your own travel agent and are responsible for what you book.

What we can suggest is going to go to our Company Contacts in too of our page and read the instructions on how to write to Air Canada. Then use the contacts for Air Canada and throw yourself at their mercy asking for a refund.

Don’t criticize, don’t blame. You made the mistake. Tell them you didn’t understand 7:30 vs. 19:30 and you didn’t know that you could have changed it within 24 hours because you are an inexperienced traveler. Ask if they could kindly make an exception and provide the change at no cost.

A well written letter accepting that YOU made the mistake will get you further and perhaps find a sympathetic executive who will make an exception.

Let us know if you contacted Air Canada within 24 hours and they refused. Then you have a different story.
 
Likes: jsn55
Sep 19, 2015
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#5
Air Canada has to cancel a ticket within 24 hours if asked and only if bought over 7 days in advance and from the US website.

Is it possible that the $500 is the change fee and fare difference? I am not sure what the route is and air Canada has different change fees for various destinations and ticket types. I just looked at a random date for New York to Montreal and the earlier flights are the least expensive.

As Neil said the airline flight times are given on the 24 hour clock i.e. Military time and 7:30 am is 730 and 1930 is 730 pm.

Blaming air Canada for user error is not a good strategy.
 
Likes: jsn55

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
10,661
11,249
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#6
Air Canada has to cancel a ticket within 24 hours if asked and only if bought over 7 days in advance and from the US website.

Is it possible that the $500 is the change fee and fare difference? I am not sure what the route is and air Canada has different change fees for various destinations and ticket types. I just looked at a random date for New York to Montreal and the earlier flights are the least expensive.

As Neil said the airline flight times are given on the 24 hour clock i.e. Military time and 7:30 am is 730 and 1930 is 730 pm.

Blaming air Canada for user error is not a good strategy.
It is the change fee. I posted the fees from Air Canada’s website. That is the minimum change fee, it can go up the $590.

As I said- if the writer did not contact Air Canada within 24 hours and doesn’t want to pay it- they can simply come home 12 hours earlier.

If one is not experienced in booking their own air- use a travel agent. If the travel agent made a mistake like this- the Travel agent would be eating the change fee. If you book your own ticket you are responsible for knowing all of the rules when you book. It’s not as easy as it seems to book your own travel.
 
Jan 6, 2015
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#7
It seems then that your objection is related to the complexity of the process. You acknowledge that you can cancel and re-book within 24 hours at no charge. But, you question why they can't just change the flight instead without charging for it. Stated differently, why not accommodate the change in one step instead of two.

Is this correct howiek1?
 
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Likes: jsn55
Sep 19, 2015
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#8
Why is it a two step process within 24 hours (cancel and rebook vs just change) -- my guess is to be able to show compliance with the DOT rule -- the DOT mandates that airlines allows cancellation of ticket and airlines likely just void it out.

I still do not have a grasp as to whether the OP attempted to change the ticket within 24 hours of purchase or only at a later time period.
 
Likes: Neil Maley

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
10,661
11,249
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#9
Why is it a two step process within 24 hours (cancel and rebook vs just change) -- my guess is to be able to show compliance with the DOT rule -- the DOT mandates that airlines allows cancellation of ticket and airlines likely just void it out.

I still do not have a grasp as to whether the OP attempted to change the ticket within 24 hours of purchase or only at a later time period.
And without that we can’t tell our writer the correct way to write the Air Canada letter.
 
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