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When is a passenger reimbursement policy not a policy? Ask Air Canada

Beware next time an airline asks for volunteers to forgo a flight... ( Más...

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Dan Chiasson 3
Good luck boys with taking AC to the wall and in exposing their arrogance in a loud and clear manner. The down side is that most travelers already are aware of their negative and obviously confrontational approach to passengers. What we are seeing here is, in my opinion, in the pecking order of business priorities, customer experience falls far behind the accountants and lawyers. Ever wonder how Westjet was able to get off the ground and successful in Canada? Just ask AC and the flying public.
Geo Anas 2
EU has a very good passenger protection (I've never used it) that applies to all passengers flying to, from or through EU ground. I believe it is applicable for Canadian passengers (and of course everyone else) flying on these routes. I suppose he could have solved it faster and get more money back.
ken young 2
Rule number one.....Air carriers will do whatever it takes to minimize expenses and minimize exposure. If that means violating federal or international law with the idea of "let 'em sue" they will.
No amount of commentary to the contrary will convince me otherwise. The airline horror stories where customers are treated like ( synonym for fertilizer) are simply too numerous to ignore.
Rule number two....Always look out for number one. NEVER volunteer to be bumped or delayed. You'll get nothing in return except delayed and inconvenienced. And it will cost you money..
Rule number three. If at all possible, drive.
I am not anti air travel. I like to fly. In fact I think prices are fair and just. Its not that. The problem with air carriers is they have forgotten they are vendors and we are customers.
mikeNY 1
Agreed, very helpful and practical advice, especially when considering ....

a ticket is a "contract of carriage"
-Passenger buys ticket; engages air carrier to provide transportation.
-Air carrier is supposed to fly the passenger to their destination, on the DATE and TIME as included on the ticket.
-If unable to satisfy the terms of the contract, a re-negotiation MUST by honored.
Otherwise, time for the courts.

What good is a contract if one party can refuse to honor the terms of the contract ... at will.

An admirable stance taken by Col. Johnson and Mr Lukacs. The Canadian Transportation Agency needs to hold the responsible party to account ... airline CEOs, driven by greed.
Highflyer1950 1
Interesting that he was able to get back to the departure gate (security) with I assume, a boarding pass (valid the next day) given to him by the board agent when he gave up his option of taking a later flight or be rebooked on another airline. Being a mechanical issue that cancelled the original flight there would have been no reason for him to claim his baggage prior to obtaining hotel/meal voucher from either the gate agent who controls the flight or the board agent who actually boards the flight. Now, I believe AC has customer service desks located inside security to deal with just this type of issue. More to this story than what is depicted, in my opinion.
VKSheridan 0
I was thinking the same. Not discrediting his account, just suggesting when one volunteers to forego their flight for any reason (including honor), the airline is relieved of their obligation to provide room and board and I am surprised they paid.
Geo Anas 1
It's not volunteer in the traditional way, as in volunteering work... if that's what you have in mind. Since they cannot put all passengers to other flights, they asks for volunteers to take the next days flight, to make things easier for them. And of course they are obligated by EU law to provide bed, food, phone calls and compensation.
Dan Chiasson 1
Let us however, not forget, that it was the airline that asked for volunteers. Hiding behind paperwork work and mealy-mouthed statements is NOT a way to ingratiate itself to those that pay their salaries.
Highflyer1950 1
Typically, when away from a maintenance base, some parts can be procured from other airlines who do have a maint base there. However, crew duty day, time to effect a repair and return to service is not just a snap of the fingers. Interesting statement you make "that the airline asked for volunteers" who do you think is going to ask. Do more fact checking and by the way the next time you vacation to the Caribbean for one or two weeks....check the smiles/relief on your faces when any Canadian Air Carrier turns final and lands to take you home. I think you complain too much.
Billy Koskie 1
About a month ago, my wife and I were in Chicago awaiting our flight to Houston. United asked for 2 volunteers to take a later flight and offered $500 per seat travel vouchers. We promptly volunteered. After the plane closed the door, the gate agent gave us our travel vouchers plus $40 in meal vouchers. We used the meal vouchers with no problem. I has since used most of 1 travel voucher to fly my daughter and granddaughter to Houston with no issues.

So, not all airlines act like Air Canada.
Ron Peters 1
Hang the maintenance. The airline asked for people to participate in taking another flight to assist them in handling the circumstances; this young man accepted. There was the contract! A verbal contract at very least. in offering said contract to this young man, AC take on all obligations of that contract and expenses there to. Who cares about the maintenance it is a side issue. There was a verbal offering; accepted... contract completed! Pay up AC!
Ruger9X19 1
I think Air Canada may win this case the issue is maintenance actions in aviation are governed by Federal laws. The company can only preform maintenance in accordance with the parts manufactures written directions, I believe they will be able to prove they performed maintenance per manufacturer specifications at which point a failure of a component could be beyond the scope of their ability to prepare for. They are also bared from flying without replacing the pump by the same set of laws. The failure is literally out of their control. The delay in replacing the failed part is also out of their control as federal laws tie their hands (with good reason). To win Mr. Johnson would have to prove the maintenance to the pump was inadequate and not to the manufactures specifications, I don't think he will be able to prove either.
Dan Chiasson 2
Mealy-words and legalize aside, AC has once again lost focus on what keeps them alive. Their lack of customer focus will both cost them money in legal fees and more so in reputation. When the country's national news agency (ie: CBC) having picked this up, they have already lost in the bigger arena - public perception and opinion. Sh*t like this kills brands over time.
James Carlson 1
They're barred from dispatching that particular aircraft without minimum equipment, of course, but not barred from substituting another aircraft or finding the passengers some other transport.

As the article rightly says, if that's the proper interpretation of the existing law, then the law itself is nearly worthless. What things are actually in their control such that a failure would require reimbursement?
James Carlson 0
If maintenance is somehow beyond their control, as they're apparently claiming, then they've got bigger problems.


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