Oh (Air) Canada…
“Breathing”, my wife Maggie texted me the other night. I had asked her about a strange and very large charge to Air Canada that had flashed an alert on my phone.
When I dug in, she was on the phone with Air Canada trying to change the name of the passenger who was flying to Hartford from Toronto at 7am the next morning. She had accidentally booked the flight for our daughter Tibby to a school program in Farmington in her own name… not Tibby’s.
In the end, after 90 minutes on the phone, Air Canada dug in and said that under no circumstances could the name be changed. It was already an expensive ticket.
But now it would cost $1,400 for that short 50 minute flight back and forth to Hartford – a certifiable disaster. Maggie booked it knowing that it could be canceled within 24 hours.
We spoke, she decided to cancel it and they would drive the 7.5 hours instead and have some more mommy/daughter time… increasingly hard to get with our girls as they enter teenage years.
Whoops, that 24 hour rule doesn’t apply in Canada apparently. So there was no refund.
Tibby boarded her flight as scheduled the next morning and Air Canada gets paid over $2,000 for the two seats she’ll occupy once she has returned later this week.
When an airline comes along that honors honest mistakes from harried parents trying to book flights for their kids, I’ll be sure to ditch Air Canada in favor of that newcomer. They may have gotten our $2,000 (well, $2,100 when you count the $100 change fee Maggie will pay to use the first ticket at some later date, full of restrictions upon restrictions) this week, but at the first available moment we will not use them as a result.
At least they get to say they followed the rules.