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Air Canada refuses reimbursement after cancellation

Air Canada refuses reimbursement after cancellation

Old Apr 23rd, 2023, 03:38 PM
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Air Canada refuses reimbursement after cancellation

Seven weeks ago, AC cancelled our original night flight to Rome. We all waited onboard, stuck on the tarmac for three hours. During that time, the captain twice communicated to us all that the reason for the delay was 'because the 2 computers in the cockpit weren't talking to one another'. The last half of that delay saw some AC tech guys arrive to try to resolve the issue. The Captain seemed optimistic then. But he shouldn't have been. Those tech guys were not equal to the task and finally 'in the interests of safety' the flight was finally cancelled.

Then, the subsequent failure of AC to adequately communicate options and instructions to us all was frankly, a shitshow. We were not alone in being astonished that a major carrier, let alone one that very recently had gone through a period of damning media coverage around unprecedented flight cancellations (and flyers furious at being denied any recompense), would ever risk junior staff be in charge of communicating 'what to do til the morn's replacement flight'. Around midnight long line of bewildered flyers lined up at the original check-in counter, awaiting instructions. When I pointed out to AC staff that many of those flyers were Italians whose first language was not English and how using say, a loudhailer for us all to hear instructions might make sense, I was labelled a belligerent. Flyers thanked me for having spoken up on all our behalf.
I won't bore you with the minutiae of how several times, AC staff then incorrectly directed us to do this or that.

We opted to sleep in the airport. There were not enough hours to play with to make hoteling a reasonable option.

The replacement flight left at 9 am. My wife and I eventually lost 230 Euros, including our missed train from Rome to Salerno, plus one night at our Minori rental.
We submitted our claim with all the associated paperwork. Today, AC rejected our claim 'because our flight was cancelled due to weather'. At no point did the word 'weather' appear in any of the messages from The Captain plus the various Air Canada staff who'd tried to deal with the original cancellation.
I have asked AC to further clarify how computer failure and tech crew failure amounts to 'weather.'
Will keep you posted.
I am done. The end.

Last edited by zebec; Apr 23rd, 2023 at 03:58 PM. Reason: embarrassed by our national carrier's attitude towards long-time customers
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Old Apr 23rd, 2023, 03:51 PM
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Are you applying for EU261 compensation?
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Old Apr 23rd, 2023, 05:37 PM
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Tried that AJ, but it seems limited in its scope to assist Canucks---no link to any required 'National Authority'.
I once had a friend who regularly used the word 'weasel' to describe those folks who'd tried to squirm their way out of doing the right and reasonable thing. As things stand, we feel that AC is earning that description.

I am done. the disappointed
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Old Apr 24th, 2023, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by zebec
Tried that AJ, but it seems limited in its scope to assist Canucks---no link to any required 'National Authority'.
I once had a friend who regularly used the word 'weasel' to describe those folks who'd tried to squirm their way out of doing the right and reasonable thing. As things stand, we feel that AC is earning that description.

I am done. the disappointed
Thats terrible.

Its a shame that you are in a position like this.

Ive been in this position before and had to keep pushing it up but eventually got results. I hope you do too.

We’ve flown AC before and found the on board service to be fine though the ground service to be sketchy.

Good luck.


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Old Apr 24th, 2023, 09:31 AM
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Thx both for your efforts to be of some assistance.
How ironic. Last night, I sent an email describing our situation to Canada's Transport Minister. This morn, he just announced his newest proposal: that going forward flyers should never have to prove they deserve recompense--the onus should be on the airlines to prove that they don't have to give any money! That minister may simply be pandering a trial balloon that he knows full well doesn't stand a chance, but still, we are impressed with his vision. Respect to Omar Alghabra! Sir, you have our votes should you ever run for King.
As for AC, one is reminded of the Zappa song 'Flakes'.

I am done. the greed
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Old Apr 27th, 2023, 03:08 PM
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Unfortunately EU261 does not apply since you were flying a non EU airline. If it was an EU carrier you would have been covered. If you were flying from the EU to Canada on AC you would have been covered
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Old Apr 27th, 2023, 03:47 PM
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Thank you to all for the above input. In the haste and fury of tryna get our losses back, I forgot that of course, there were two very likely sources of recompense: Visa card plus travel insurance. As a retired teacher, I've got built-in coverage of the latter sort and we are are now set up to go through them. A recent family tragedy has robbed me of some common sense and the above remedies just did not immediately occur.

Our disappointment however, remains in AC's inability to handle the predictable concerns of all who hoped to fly that night. Rule Number One: repeat customers. They're the whole ballgame.
To be fair to AC: they have offered us (and presumably all other flyers) a one-time 20% discount off base-fare for the next 3 years.

I am done. the end
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Old Apr 29th, 2023, 07:46 AM
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Best of luck. One way or another I hope you get the compensation you deserve.

IME many of the first people you talk to about CS issues seemingly are there to discourage you. I think they are very lazy and dare I say rather dumb. They can't seem to process issues or are disinclined to do so. It's easier for them to have you hang up and leave them alone. I have talked to some whoopers believe me. You just have to keep going up.

Larry
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Old May 2nd, 2023, 01:34 PM
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** Today, AC rejected our claim 'because our flight was cancelled due to weather'. **

People on Flyertalk have access to sites to look up actual reasons, but it seems AC can just claim safety whether mechanical or weather. It's a bit different for the US airlines.

** Rule Number One: repeat customers. They're the whole ballgame.**

The airlines consider repeat customers as the ones that are member in their FF program with status. People flying their airline once a year (even if every year) on vacation wouldn't be considered a repeat customer.


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Old May 3rd, 2023, 05:36 AM
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If you pay for something and don't get it through no fault of your own you get your money back. Anything else is theft. Sue the bastards.
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Old May 9th, 2023, 06:43 AM
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And finally this below mass response, which we (and all other disappointed flyers must have) just got today.
I am done. the politics

'Good day,



Allow me to assure you that your concerns have been noted and that the Government of Canada is committed to improving the air traveller experience for Canadians.



Canada’s Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR) govern the treatment of passengers by air carriers and clarify minimum standards of treatment and compensation that must be provided to passengers based on the level of control an air carrier has over flight disruptions, including those associated with flight delays and cancellations.



In situations where passengers feel they have not been treated appropriately by an air carrier, in all instances, I recommend that they first write directly to the carrier about their experience. If they are not satisfied with the carrier’s response, they may then choose to contact the Canadian Transportation Agency (Agency), which has a mandate to review unresolved consumer complaints against air carriers and to assist consumers to the extent possible. Contact information for the Agency is as follows:



Canadian Transportation Agency

Air Travel Complaints Program

Ottawa ON K1A 0N9



Telephone: 1-888-222-2592

Website: https://rppa-appr.ca/eng.





Recognizing that recent events have demonstrated the importance of ensuring support for consumers and easy access to the APPR, the government is also committed to actively assessing the functioning of Canada’s passenger rights regime to ensure that it continues to meet passenger needs.





Jessica



Executive Correspondence Unit

Transport Canada/Government of Canada'



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Old May 9th, 2023, 01:24 PM
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I hope it's more than lip service.

Good luck though I think as a gesture of good will as well as common sense they would simply refund everyone and not make them go through hoops!
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Old May 26th, 2023, 09:01 AM
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FWIW, today a final email arrived from AC:

'I am sorry you remain disappointed.
Air Canada airplanes are maintained in accordance with the required maintenance program but not all malfunctions, such as this one, can be foreseen or prevented through regular maintenance. The technical fault for your flight was unexpected and all reasonable measures were taken to avoid the flight disruption.
In accordance with the Air Passenger Protection Regulations, compensation does not apply under these circumstances. Unexpected airplane malfunctions may compromise safety and flight disruptions caused by unexpected aircraft malfunctions would be within a carrier’s control, but required for safety.
We hope the goodwill promo code provided to you earlier will encourage you to fly with us again. This is Air Canada’s final position on the compensation, and we are unable to offer further consideration.

Sincerely,
Customer Relations

Air Canada refuses reimbursement after cancellation-ac_logo.png

To serve you best, I kindly ask that you do not change the subject line if responding to this email.


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Old May 27th, 2023, 01:16 AM
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Sorry to hear of your problems zebec. You are not alone! It took my neighbour 36 hours to get back from Edinburgh yesterday on a BA flight that should have taken an hour - Like AC, they state IT issues as the problem - https://www.standard.co.uk/news/lond...-b1083814.html

Like AC, getting compensation out of BA is like getting blood out of a stone. It took my son 18 months to get recompense for a disastrous flight from Sydney to London. Fortunately he apparently inherited my bloodymindedness and eventually got full refund of all out of pocket expenses plus an "ex gratia" payment.

I have a. feeling that most airlines are the same post pandemic as they seek to rebuild their balance sheet by massively raising fares, reducing service and compensations for there screw ups. Despite most having received massive financial support from government (i.e. US!)

I think I am going to get the train everywhere in future - oh wait, they are on strike!
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Old May 27th, 2023, 06:02 AM
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Originally Posted by zebec
FWIW, today a final email arrived from AC:

'I am sorry you remain disappointed.
Air Canada airplanes are maintained in accordance with the required maintenance program but not all malfunctions, such as this one, can be foreseen or prevented through regular maintenance. The technical fault for your flight was unexpected and all reasonable measures were taken to avoid the flight disruption.
In accordance with the Air Passenger Protection Regulations, compensation does not apply under these circumstances. Unexpected airplane malfunctions may compromise safety and flight disruptions caused by unexpected aircraft malfunctions would be within a carrier’s control, but required for safety.
We hope the goodwill promo code provided to you earlier will encourage you to fly with us again. This is Air Canada’s final position on the compensation, and we are unable to offer further consideration.

Sincerely,
Customer Relations

Attachment 8087

To serve you best, I kindly ask that you do not change the subject line if responding to this email.
Sounds like a slap in the face.

Doesn't say much for AC.

Sorry you were treated this way.
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Old May 29th, 2023, 03:27 AM
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This is a good reminder to either buy travel insurance, or accept the risks of a missed connection.

Given the totality of the situation, what does this group think is adequate compensation? Full cost of the non-refundable train ticket and missed lodging?

AC did get the OP to their destination, albeit late. So the flight wasn't really cancelled, just signifintly delayed.

Other posters are warned all the time here on Fodors not to book separate ongoing flights as a missed connection is not protected and the traveler would have to pay for a new ticket on their own. Ditto for buying train tickets in advance. There's gotta be at least one post a week about that.

What if a traveler had booked a luxury cruise and missed that, at a cost of thousands of dollars.... Would AC be expected to pay those actual costs? Some reasonable amount like EU261 rules would be a good starting point.

Unfortunately there is no CA261 or US261 rule, and the EU261 rules don't apply here. I would point to our elected officials for not enacting similar rules nearly 20 years after the EU did...
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Old May 29th, 2023, 05:08 AM
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"This is a good reminder to either buy travel insurance, or accept the risks of a missed connection."

Indeed, personally I never, ever travel without fully comprehensive travel insurance. It is cheap and provides cover for a whole range risks. The vast majority of situations would be covered including the one outlined in the OP. Within specified limits and excesses all out of pocket expenses for travel and accommodation would be covered. Most policies would require the policyholder to pay out and reclaim expenses incurred. As for missing a cruise etc., that too would be covered under most policies under the curtailment or cancellation provisions. Dealing with airlines for compensation always has been and always will be a PITA. Insurance provides peace of mind before, during and after a trip.

Few people in the UK or Europe would travel without it. I can only assume it is way more expensive in the USA?
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Old May 29th, 2023, 05:49 AM
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Folks, understand that our angst was at least as much about AC's utter inability to properly handle the original cancelled flight. Folks who'd paid 'good money' were left to fend for themselves at the airport with conflicting, oft-contradictory instructions from airline staff.
In the shock resulting from having returned from Italy only to discover that my mother had died a week earlier, my hasty attempt to settle these outstanding train/rental losses was clouded---I completely forgot that my wife and I were of course, automatically covered twofold: by (retired teachers) insurance plus credit card coverage. The former has already been submitted.

And I'll also bet that any normal flyer would be insulted to be told such differing excuses for that cancellation: 'Computers'....no, 'weather'...no 'mechanical'.

We will soon take AC up on its good-will '20% off' offer.
I am done. the end


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Old May 29th, 2023, 08:16 AM
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My own experiences with flight disruptions has taught me that the airline staff who are better equipped to deal with an issue like this are the ones on the phone, not those at the airport.

The staff at the airport have to deal with harried or angry passengers, while phone staff have access to the same computers, and there is no line to wait in, and chances are good you'll have more rebooking options than those who have to wait in line.
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Old May 29th, 2023, 01:29 PM
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Crellston, you mention buying travel insurance and mention that it’s cheap. Not in the USA! We have to spend several thousand dollars extra for it on our trips. Wish it were cheap!
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