Air Canada's reservation agent told me there would not be a problem - but there was

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Apr 3, 2018
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#1
On November 26, 2016, I called in to Air Canada’s reservation department to book tickets from Minneapolis/St Paul, USA (MSP) to Santiago, Chile (SCL), leaving on January 11, 2017, and returning in May of 2018. The agent told me that he couldn’t book the return tickets that far out, but that he would book them as far out as he could, and I could call in closer to that date to change them to my desired dates. He said there would be a $200 fee per ticket. We bought the round-trip tickets and left for Chile on Jan 11, 2017.

When I called in November of 2017 to change our flights home, the representative told me moving the tickets out was not possible because there is a one-year limit on tickets. This was not mentioned in my previous interaction with the agent, who knew I was looking for flight dates more than one year apart. I was encouraged by another agent to change the tickets into credit, as that would carry over. Later, I was told that credit also expires one year after the initial flight date.

I have now been misinformed by two Air Canada agents. I never would have purchased round-trip tickets if I had been told the truth about their policies on that initial phone call. I am looking for help to get my family back home to the US this May.

I have spoken to numerous AC representatives, have emailed customer relations, and have had my info forwarded on to the Elite department. Everyone has told me that my concern is not handled by their department, and they wouldn't forward my call or email to a supervisor. I tried contacting Air Canada on Twitter - via both private message and respectful tweet. I have also recently emailed Customer Relations - through both their on-line form, and the contacts provided on your website. It has been over a week with no response.

We can be flexible in our travel times. I already have a ticket booked on AC to get back to MN. I just need tickets for my husband and son - tickets I already paid for and was promised would not be a problem to obtain. I just want what I was promised. What do I do next?
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
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12,444
113
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www.promalvacations.com
#2
As soon as I read your first paragraph, I knew there was going to be a problem and my first reaction was why didn't you just book a one way ticket?

I can't believe that a res. agent gave you such bad advice. We have company contacts on top of our pages. Read the company contacts tab about how to write to the airline and then email the first executive listed and follow the instructions from there.

Let us know what happens.
 
Likes: Warren
Apr 3, 2018
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#3
Hi Neil,

I sent an email to Twyla Robinson, Customer Relations Manager, last week, with no reply. I responded to my original message and this time cc'ed Michael Tremblay, Director of Customer Relations. I have still not even had an acknowledgement of my letter. I followed the instructions on your website, and wrote a kind, clear, and concise email. I also attached a file with all of our information and our flight requests. I am currently in Chile, waiting to return to the US, so sending a letter from here will take a long time. I have a friend in the US who has offered to send a registered mail letter on our behalf. Is that the next step, or should I continue to go down the chain of command listed on your website?

Thanks for your time and for supporting average people like me.

Cheers!
 

Carrie Livingston

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Jan 6, 2015
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#4
Continue going up the chain of command. The attachment may be causing the email to not go through. I would possibly try resending without the attachment and explain that you have documentation to back up your claim.

In this day and age, I think sending an actual physical letter is not necessary except in certain cases.
 
Apr 3, 2018
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#5
Hi Carrie,

Thanks for your reply. I resent the email. How long should I wait at each stage before moving up the chain of command?

Thanks!
 
Apr 3, 2018
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#7
Update: Their customer service team has gotten back to me saying that my case has been submitted to the refunds dept. Note: I didn't ask for a refund, I asked for the 2nd half of the tickets I was promised. I'm waiting for a response before moving up the chain, but I booked a new $1100 ticket for my son to get home with me. They said it would be 5 days to hear back from refunds, but that has long passed. I will give them a few more days before moving up the chain. Grrrr... so frustrating!
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#8
How disappointing this must be. The first rule of airline agents, I've learned, is that they will tell you anything to get rid of you, in person or on the phone. It's just ridiculous. I have a very low opinion of AirCanada based on a disaster of a flight many years ago. I wouldn't trust those people to get me a glass of ice water. The first guy just flat-out lied to you. Sure, you could book a R/T tix and change the return for a change fee. He forgot to mention that you'd pay any difference in fare. I don't know how these people look themselves in the mirror every morning. They'll cancel the existing tix and some day send you a refund for far less money than you paid. I think you'll need to act now to get your boys home with new tix. A/C should apply the original tix cost to new ones, less the fees. You may need to change your own tix so you're all on the same flight. You can go after A/C when all is said & done. We can help you with that, but the chances of gaining any satisfaction here are very small. But, maybe, a miracle will happen and A/C will take care of you properly.
 
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Apr 3, 2018
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#9
Another update:

I got a response after emailing some of the higher-up people, but not directly from them. They promised a prompt response. I haven't gotten one. I know they just want me to give up - and I'm close to doing it - it is just so unfair...