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Air Canada

Calgary, Canada
2 posts
2 reviews
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Air Canada

Why is Air Canada so inflexible????

I booked a flight from England to Canada return with the assumption that they would allow me to change my ticket with a small fee of $50-$100. Normally this is a none issue and the Canadian site quoted this fee.

Then I found out since I flew out of London I told that I would be charged 120 pounds plus an additional 80 pound special fee to change the dates. On enquiry I am told I should have booked on the UK site and not the Canada site and if I have read the 12 pages of fine print I would have seen these fees somewhere.

Now nowhere on the ticket receipt or website I booked do these fees exist!!!

All that Air Canada did was blame me for the mistake even though I specifically searched for these fees and could not find them. What kind of airline blames their customers for mistakes and refuses to even wave ridiculously expensive fees in place of more reasonable fees to keep clients.

Be aware if you fly this airline, they have lots of hidden fees so READ THE FINE PRINT. Better yet try to fly West Jet or Air Transit and save yourself a very expensive lesson.

Seattle, Washington
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10,857 posts
94 reviews
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1. Re: Air Canada

<<<<Better yet try to fly West Jet or Air Transit and save yourself a very expensive lesson.>>>>>

Yes, because ticket changes for these airlines have no fees. Not.

West Jet change fees:

"A $50 CAD/USD change fee (plus tax, per person) will be charged, based on the type of fare being changed. Any change will be subject to any difference in fare."

Note you will be charged the change fee, plus any difference in fare.

Air Transat change fees:

"Please note that any changes to a reservation will be subject to charges."

The fees exist and are clearly stated on AC's webpage; you just didn't read them. You don't state what type of fare you purchased from AC, but when you choose your fare, you can click on "Fare Rules" which is pretty hard to miss, as it's in red. Change fee for the dummy booking I did was GBP 120.00, which appears to be what you were charged.

It also states:

"THE NEW BASE FARE AMOUNT MUST BE RECALCULATED

USING CURRENT AND APPLICABLE FARES IN EFFECT AT

THE DATE OF ISSUANCE.

CHARGE DIFFERENCE IN FARE PLUS REISSUE FEE."

The extra GBP 80.00 was probably the difference in fare. It isn't "twelve pages of fine print", it's only one page and pretty easily understood.

Not sure why someone told you it made a difference on what webpage you booked. The prices look the same to me. When you purchase a nonefundable ticket, you have to pay to change.

Edited: 10 June 2012, 19:22
London, United...
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27,178 posts
29 reviews
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2. Re: Air Canada

Well said Gracie boo.

Nathan, it looks like you did make a mistake, the info appears readily available. Chalk it down to experience and move on.

However I do have to say, many people do the same thing,,,don't read, don't clarify, make an assumption and then get caught out.

Seattle, Washington
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10,857 posts
94 reviews
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3. Re: Air Canada

All that Air Canada did was blame me for the mistake

<<<<<<<<<<<<

Were they polite? If you wanted to change your flight dates, how could it be AC's mistake?

Canada
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4,720 posts
48 reviews
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4. Re: Air Canada

Good luck flying WestJet to London.

Toronto, Canada
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9,795 posts
37 reviews
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5. Re: Air Canada

The AC site is pretty specific when you sign into it asking what country you live/reside in. In any case, that's a bit of a red herring--whether you booked from the Canadian site or the UK site, AC does charge fees (and they can be quite expensive) for all fares other than their completely flexible and open ones, which are always the highest price ones.

The Canadian site only quotes $50 and $100 fees for same day changes at the airport. The changes are much higher if you actually changing dates.

AC can be accused of a lot of things, but they are pretty transparent on their pricing.

Calgary, Canada
2 posts
2 reviews
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6. Re: Air Canada

No I think I got it bad because I booked on aircanada.ca and they said the details were on aircanada.uk and that you should use the website of the country you are leaving to get all the fine print detail.

But I used the Canadian site since I am from Canada and wanted to pay in Canadian dollars. Now I must have missed the fine print and accidentally hit the agreement button without reading.

More importantly there is no indication of this on the ticket emailed. Had I seen this I would have immediately cancelled the ticket right after the booking which I believe I could have done. However they only indicate a $100 same day flight change fee.

The staff were not rude, they just blamed me for the problem by stating that it was my fault I failed to read the fine print. When you deal with unhappy customers you try to come up with a slightly better reason then that. Furthermore fees need to be properly disclosed on the receipt.

I wonder if the reason they are so inflexible and understanding not because there is little competition right now on the international route, but if West Jet start fly to London more perhaps we will get better customer service.

Seattle, Washington
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10,857 posts
94 reviews
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7. Re: Air Canada

<<<<<<The staff were not rude, they just blamed me for the problem by stating that it was my fault I failed to read the fine print>>>>>>

I am a little confused that you have a problem with this. It was your fault for failing to read what you were purchasing. It doesn't matter if you purchased this on the Canada or UK webpage. You still have penalties to change a ticket, and they are pretty clearly spelled out.

Staff didn't need a "better" reason. The reason was correct and perfectly valid. To be fair, you really can't blame them for your carelessness.

Edited: 10 June 2012, 21:30
NYC/Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
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36,114 posts
35 reviews
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8. Re: Air Canada

I just went to the aircanada.com website. After making a dummy booking I got to a page titled "Review Flight Details" I scrolled down and the third red arrow said, " Review the Fare Rules and Condition of Carriage" AND in this section it clearly said that advance changes are 120 GBP. Sorry Nathan, Air Canada is not responsible for you failure to read.

BTW to move forward from this page, the button you clicked said, "I accept, continue' You should have read what you accepted.

Toronto, Canada
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9,795 posts
37 reviews
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9. Re: Air Canada

The change fees have nothing to do with competition or proposed competition from Westjet. There are actually many ways to fly from Calgary to London--but AC has the direct flights, and is generally cheaper than the alternatives .

Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
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29,257 posts
6 reviews
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10. Re: Air Canada

Just to confirm what rgdlady says. On www.aircanada.CA (the Canadian site), once you have selected both the outbound and return, it says quite clearly, directly below the itinerary and the fare quote -

"Review the fare rules and the general conditions of carriage Departing Flight London (LHR) To Calgary (YYC) - Tango Plus

Return Flight Calgary (YYC) To London (LHR) - Tango Plus

Changes:

* Prior to day of departure - Change fee per direction, per passenger, is £120 GBP plus applicable taxes and any additional fare difference. Changes can be made up to 2 hours prior to departure.

* Day of departure, at the airport - $100 CAD, per passenger, plus applicable taxes (no charge for fare difference) for same-day flights only.

* Flights can only be used in sequence from the place of departure specified on the itinerary.

Cancellations:

* Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable.

* Cancellations can be made up to 45 minutes prior to departure."

So there's nothing wrong at all with Air Canada. No reams of fine print to wade through, nothing hidden, so no excuses. The change fees are right there staring you in the face .... on the Canadian website, long before you get to pay.

Fess up. You didn't read what was starting you in the face, and it's come back to bite you. This is entirely your own fault.