Customer Service
COMPLAINT: Preferred Seats Refund

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Old Aug 16, 2012, 4:17 PM
lfstylefreedom lfstylefreedom is offline
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1

My family and I had a round trip flight booked from NY Laguardia Airport to Victoria, BC, with a stopover in Toronto. When we arrived at the airport in Victoria for our return trip to NY, our flight was significantly delayed, causing us to miss our connecting flight in Toronto. Because of this, we were given a choice to either reschedule our flight for the following day, or to board the delayed flight and stay in Toronto overnight. We chose to reschedule the flight until the following day. I had paid an additional fee of $72 per person (4 tickets total for myself, my wife and 2 children) for "preferred seats" on our original return flight, however these seats were unavailable on our rescheduled flight. I asked the ticket agent if we would receive a refund for these unused seats and she assured me that Air Canada would automatically post a refund to my credit card within a few weeks.

The following day, we arrived at the airport in Victoria for our rescheduled flight and, once again, there was a significant flight delay which caused us to miss our connecting flight in Toronto. This time we had no choice but to stay in Toronto overnight and board the first flight to NY the following morning. When we received our tickets for the Toronto-NY flight, the 4 seats were all separate from one another, including the one for my 2-year-old baby daughter! When I asked about giving us seats together, they stated that they had none and that we would have to ask passengers on the plane to switch with us. This seemed like an absolutely absurd request, but we were tired and wanted to get home and thanks to some kind passengers we did indeed get seats together. We finally made it home to NY over 48 hours later, exhausted and frustrated from the entire ordeal. I was forced to miss an entire day of work.

I waited a few weeks before contacting Air Canada about the refund, as the ticket agent did say that it may take that long. I tried calling them, however I was on hold for over an hour on two separate occasions. I lost my patience and just decided to send an email to their refund services department. I received an automated reply stating that they received my email, but nothing after that. I waited another 2 weeks or so before following up again. This time I received a response 4 days later that stated they were working on my request and that it may take an additional 4 business days to process. I waited another 2 weeks and, once again, no reply and no refund. It seems pretty obvious to me at this point that they are knowingly ignoring my correspondence and go out of their way to make it extremely difficult to get in contact with them.

Air Canada has put me and my family through a tremendous amount of undue stress with their horrendous customer service and unethical practices. They treated us like animals, never stopping to consider that we had an infant child traveling with us and that we had to get home so we could get to work. Furthermore, they make it impossible to contact them over the telephone and then completely ignore all email requests. I think I was being more than reasonable by requesting a simple refund for unused services, which they promised to me anyway. I will never again use Air Canada.
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Old Aug 17, 2012, 11:15 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

Small Claims Court... you will absolutely win. I think they think if they ignore you, you will go away. They are probably right 9/10... it is great if from time to time someone stands up to it.
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Old Sep 22, 2012, 8:30 AM
allen09 allen09 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2

It's too sad to hear that you have experienced something like that. Maybe there are also other people out there who have been in the same situation as you.

I have read from an article that a number of parents have noticed some airlines are charging more to sit down with their children, due to favored seating charges. The seating fees are becoming “Sit with your children” charges which has been around for a little while, as a Wall Street Journal article from Nov. 2011 deals with the subject. A plane ticket guarantees that a person has a seat on the plane, but not necessarily the one they want.
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customer service, preferred seat, refund

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