Denied boarding in Budapest by Air Canada

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May 7, 2018
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#21
My Danish passport was reissued during a visit to Copenhagen in December 2013. The Canadians call it "Country of Issue". Besides, the approval and the check-ins ware never an issue before. But thank you for your concern.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#22
I wonder, is the Canadian internal system (the one being checked now) the same system that is used by airline staff? There may be some interface problem between the two.
 
Likes: Neil Maley
May 7, 2018
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#23
Christina, we would be guessing, and I found it better just to ask someone in the know to take a look at it - and fix it. I would be surprised if my case were the only one.

My guess is that there is a master database with much more information than agents need. So, for safety reasons there is an inquiry database for agents and us commoners to check, containing a subset of the master database information. Making sure that these databases stay in sync is key, not very complicated but it must be done right to prevent an oops to cause havoc. While I am an electronics engineer, I am not a skilled database programmer/engineer, but my son is and we talk.
 
May 7, 2018
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#24
Oh, well....the Canadians have given up, so they no longer answer my communication except for acknowledging that they have received my inquiry. They claim that I am approved and (supposedly) that I should nave no problem boarding flights to Canada. However, using the immigration services' own Check-status system, I continue to be told that their issued eTA number and my Danish passport number do not match. On their last communication they surprisingly changed "my" country to USA, they stated that I was approved 2016/2/2, and the form reads under Application Status: Closed. I immediately protested because their Check-status tool still could not find me in their system. Furtermore, the two questions I asked originally: 1) what do I do now, and 2) how do I get reimbursed for their mistake, remain unanswered by Agent Francois, #3XX7. I guess that I will just have to avoid Canada in the future. Or, is there a better idea out there?
 
May 7, 2018
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#25
O CANADA: I'm still trying to resolve this case, so today I called the 1-800-O-CANADA number because the website specifically states that they answer all sorts of questions - including questions about the eTA. The friendly gentlemen I talked to said that he did not understand why their website would say so because they had no way to talk to the immigration people and had no additional information. He even put me on hold to talk to someone else. In the end he advised me to go back to the eTA website and try again. (And yes, I have tried to talk to my Danish embassy people in Ottawa, but they are not allowed to advise about the eTA in any way.)
 
May 7, 2018
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#27
It may be worse, Christina: nobody at immigrations seems to give a hoot.
An immigrations help website ($150) states (free) that Canada immigrations has cut off all telephone calls from outside Canada, i.e. caller ID's from abroad get ignored. Think about it: Canadian Immigration Authorities only answer calls from people who are already in Canada. What an interesting concept!
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#28
It may be worse, Christina: nobody at immigrations seems to give a hoot.
An immigrations help website ($150) states (free) that Canada immigrations has cut off all telephone calls from outside Canada, i.e. caller ID's from abroad get ignored. Think about it: Canadian Immigration Authorities only answer calls from people who are already in Canada. What an interesting concept!
Yup, bureaucrats rule the world. It's astonishing how low we are sinking. Your dilemma is a perfect example of total lack of interest in our citizens, both Canada & the US. Somehow, I thought Canada would be more helpful and willing to assist you unravel this mess. It is VERY frustrating to not be able to help you.
 
May 7, 2018
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#29
So, in the hope of contacting a different Canadian official, I waited a couple of weeks to run the Check tool again. However, I was not surprised to receive a "no match found" return on the website as before. I then reported "technical difficulties" and submitted all my information - again! Love and behold, agent "Sonia" replied and asked for all the same information with screen shots and copy of my passport, which I had submitted once before. Being a good boy, I complied with the request without tempting spicy comments. A couple of days later I was back to agent "Francois" who again suggested that I used a different passport in Budapest (wrong, I have only one passport and used it with two separated boarding agents there) and that I probably did not use the Check tool correctly (wrong, I have used it several times and each time received a :SUCCESS confirmation on the screen). This time he did not email me yet another copy of my approval document with their approval number and my passport number (I have 2 copies already) but he suggested that I apply for a new approval number by filling out their application form and paying a fee of $7 (Canadian, I suppose). Is this is the conclusion of this case?

But: Can it even be legal to apply for a new eTA number when 1) they claim in writing that the old number is still valid, and 2) my Danish passport number is still the same and valid? Even if it gets through, how can I trust that it will work when I board a flight to or through Canada?

It appears that I am out the money and have a choice of becoming a US citizen (no eTA number required) or avoid flying to Canada. Really?
 
Mar 17, 2015
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#30
Since you have in writing to apply for a new number, that is what I would do, if you want to continue to try to resolve this. $7 is not that much to pay so that you have the ability to fly through/into Canada.
I do not know that you can trust it, but right now it is the option you have been given. Clearly there is some sort of technical glitch and I don't know that you won't continue running in circles trying to fix the old eTA number. This is both maddening and frustrating, but at least they offered a possible solution.
 
Likes: jsn55
May 7, 2018
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#31
Thanks Tanya, moral support warms the heart!
But, since the Canadian authorities have repeatedly given me unusable information or ignored my questions, I simply no longer believe most of what they say.
As a consequence, we will be avoiding Canada in any way in the future. Cheat me once, shame on you; cheat me twice...you know the rest.

Per
 
Likes: Neil Maley
May 7, 2018
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#34
Thank you, Lizzie, but it really is not so much about the USD 1,929, it is that the "system" failed, first by telling me (twice, the last time after I was rejected in Budapest) that I am approved for flying into Canada, even though I continue to be rejected, second by not testing the reported flaw as a airline agent or I would have to do it. As an engineer, it galls me to experience this kind of lackadaisical attitude anywhere towards system faults and not being able to influence it even a little bit.

Also thanks to Dave for his suggestion about the Ontario Ombudsman institution, I'll try that; without much hope, though.
 
May 7, 2018
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#35
All right, I give up! After waiting a couple of weeks I took agent Francois up on his "invitation" (his word) to apply for a new eTA number. I waited a while, because I wondered what kind of security system would allow the same valid passport number to be used for a second eTA number. It seems to me that it would only work if "someone" completely deleted the original record{s} of eTA number/passport number combination{s} from the system.

So, I applied again on the website, and it took about 2 minutes for a new eTA number tied to my existing passport to be approved and approval notification to be emailed to me. At $7 Canadian that wasn't bad. After a couple of days I used the "Check Status tool" on their website with the new eTA number and it worked: I am approved!

Since the authorities did not accept responsibility for the "screw-up" I am now left with a bad impression of the system and USD 1,929 poorer..

I did not use the Ontario Ombudsman suggested above, but maybe I will.

Thank you to all who have commented on this thread. Moral support is always welcome even after the fact. I am sure that unless fixed and updated this Canadian system will leave other travellers stranded around the world, Right now I recommend that Canada be avoided by non-Canadian and USA air travellers. Foreigners are clearly left holding the bag and with no meaningful way to complain.