Visualizing hate love for Air Canada

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

No carry-ons, extra security measures and an interesting customs experience. These are the things we have to look forward to on our flight tomorrow to England through the US from Canada.

We combined two tickets, by changing the date of one, so we’re not spending more on flights as we’ve already bought them. But when it comes to common sense, Air Canada has really thrown it out the window.

Here is our flight itinerary:

Here is how our trip will look like

Ottawa and Toronto are a 5 hour drive apart, so we thought, “Let’s just drive to Toronto and pick up the flight to the UK from there.”  Sounds simple: it benefits Air Canada as now they can sell our seats on the San Francisco leg.  It benefits us as we save about 14 hours of air time, don’t have to fly through the states with the increased security (I can just imagine explaining this to the customs guy in the states), and I can see my friend who’s living in Toronto.

Our proposed trip

But Air Canada said ‘NO’.

We’re not asking for a refund for the unused portion and we’ll make our own way to Toronto, so it’s not a route change.  But APPARENTLY it IS a route change.  Their rules state that if you miss any portion of your flight, the whole ticket is void.  I’m not sure when common sense went out the window, but it seems a bit crazy to send us all the way there and back, when they could sell that seat.  Of course, the flight TO San Francisco is with American Airlines.  If we don’t make our connection in San Francisco, do you think Air Canada would void our tickets?

Update!  Good news!

Well, the counter staff at Air Canada have saved us!  She said, “That’s ridiculous!” and told us that we were lucky we got her to serve us.  She said, “I’ll take your money for a change though” and now we’re just flying from toronto tomorrow morning!  YAY!



6 comments

  1. Sam Brown says:

    I have to say, that’s pretty damn ridiculous. Have a safe (but long) trip home guys.

  2. Emily says:

    Yoiks! That is going to be an insane journey but I have to say I’m not in the least bit surprised they wouldn’t let you get out of taking all those legs. Most airlines aren’t really known for their flexibility are they?

    I will have my fingers crossed that at least you make it through security unscathed and make all the necessary connections!

  3. admin says:

    Thanks guys… I too hope we make it home okay too… I heard England’s got some crazy snow too!

  4. comeon... says:

    It looks like you made decisions and now wish for the airline to abide by them. Did you offer to underwrite this for Air Canada? If you have a high enough fare that gives you such latitude and they are not honoring this, shame on them. If you have a lower-fare ticket, there are more restrictions, and those would be yours to absorb. Good luck with your outcome, but don’t blame the vendor!

  5. Andrew Pepperrell says:

    That is completely BONKERS!!! All the sence in the world says that its easier for you, cheaper for the airline, just generally better all around…

    …however what was just said is very true, if you buy low-fare tickets, you generally waive all rights to anything such as ‘transferring’ or ‘altering’ your route. This is to both encourage people to buy normal fare tickets and to lower cost on the low fare tickets. It just so happens that in your case, you are being hit with this way more than a simple flight transfer and they can’t give you an exception (however stupid it is) as that would be opening the flood gates for anybody else.

    Have you offered to pay to update the ticket?

    Either way, have a safe flight back and lets meet up at some! :)

  6. Dave says:

    Well put… Common sense seems to have left the airtravel industry a loooong time ago.. You’ve inspired Nic and I to put together a similar story of our last 48 hours of travel.. Will follow in a few weeks…

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