Check-in / Boarding
COMPLAINT: Unreasonable refused check-in/flight

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Old Oct 1, 2017, 4:21 AM
trinidad trinidad is offline
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 1

I had a hugely negative experience with Air Canada this summer, in particular with their check-in manager Elaine at YVR. Mentally traumatic experience for me as I keep recalling that day every day. On July 20th 2017 I arrived to the end of the baggage drop off line at YVR. This was 1 hr 20 mins before scheduled departure time of my flight YVR-Calgary—Toronto-Havana (AC204, AC142 and AC1752). I checked-in online the prior evening and just wanted to drop off my boxed-up bicycle. The line moved slowly as, while there were not too many passengers in the line, there were only 2 Air Canada reps at the baggage drop off, one of them soon leaving for a chat. When it was my turn to drop off my box, 55 minutes before scheduled departure time, the rep told me that the drop off for my flight to Calgary is now closed and she is going re-route me to Havana through Toronto only (instead of Calgary AND Toronto), said she is going to confirm this with manager. I didn’t argue, though was somewhat surprised because, according to the boarding pass I had, check-in closes 45 minutes before domestic flights. This is when I first met this inadequate Elaine, Air Canada check-in manager at YVR. She said I’m going to have to pay $200 for changing flights. No matter how I tried to explain to her that I arrived on time, that drop off should still be open according to the boarding pass, that she managed the check-in process poorly (only a single rep checking-in everyone, while others just chatting), Elaine did not acknowledge those arguments and only became more and more irritated and rude. I asked her to confirm with her own reps that I was here on time (they knew), she said she wouldn’t and that I was late, full stop. She wouldn’t provide a single evidence or reason-based argument for refusing me the flight, instead just saying irrelevant things like “it’s summer busy travel period yeah?”. Yeah, but doesn’t mean you can refuse flight to passenger who arrived perfectly on time. At some point Elaine started being rude, screaming me to go away or pay for the re-route. I feel I need to share my Air Canada experience on as many media resources I can because of the way the airline reps treat their customers. I recommend people steer clear of the airline to help avoid the kind of stress and disappointment I experienced with this check-in person / Air Canada. Problem is not so much in paying extra, but in that nobody could, with evidence in hand, explain why I was charged extra, and in their inadequacy. I suspect the airline had overbooked the flight, this being the genuine reason for not admitting me for the flight I booked.
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Old Oct 1, 2017, 5:32 PM
travelking940 travelking940 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 4

She might not have explained it well, but Elaine was correct.

You were flying to Cuba, which is international, check-in for an international itinerary closes 60 minutes prior to departure, not 45.

She might not have handled herself well either, but she was, technically, correct.
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Old Oct 1, 2017, 5:32 PM
travelking940 travelking940 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 4

The link for check-in deadlines:
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Old Oct 1, 2017, 8:52 PM
akhilnigs akhilnigs is offline
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 1

My compliant to US Dept of Transportation:

I booked three one-way air tickets with Air Canada for my family to travel from New Delhi to Los Angeles via Toronto on August 05th 2017, through a travel portal I noticed an information on ticket stating that “Transit Visa for Canada may be required for traveling on this itinerary.”. On enquiry, portal helpdesk could not provide any information. Since layover at Toronto airport was just 1 hour and visa requirement appeared optional, we ignored this disclosure since my family had to just move into another flight with no wait time. Neither, we received any communication from Air Canada about Transit Visa requirement which was actually mandatory.
However, just couple of hours before flight departure from India, Air Canada officials called up my wife (who was travelling just with two young kids) to inform that they were doing “Trimming” and “since you don’t have Transit visa, we will not onboard you so advise to cancel the tickets immediately”. It was 5:30 PM (India Time), just before closing hours of India’s Air Canada office and official’s tone was highly aggressive and rude instead of empathetic.

Following this, I had to immediately cancel three tickets and make a fresh booking through another Airline on very next day. Though I requested airline to refund me whole ticket amount but I received only 58% amount after few weeks.

My concerns:
• Why Air Canada did not inform about mandatory Transit Visa requirement while booking the tickets?
• Although Air Canada had our contact details but why they chose NOT to inform us until last minute?
• I learnt from some blogs and some personal accounts that it’s not one-off case and many travellers are facing surprises, crisis and financial losses every day. few examples to mention:
o One of my colleague’s aged mother had to return from Toronto to U.K. and take another route to travel to US on her own expenses.
• In their defence, Air Canada officials expect travellers to be aware of all Visa requirements. But they do not acknowledge that this Transit Visa requirement is an exception (it’s required even if you land at Toronto). Neither, airline is taking any steps to keep travelers informed, despite so many cases happening every day.
• It can be inferred from these repeated instances that Air Canada is deliberately hiding this information to do overbooking to ensure 100% occupation and make holes in their victim’s pocket.
• If ticket is booked via some travel portal, Air Canada and portal officials start blaming each other without showing any sensitivity to traveller’s apathy. Why can’t they work together to keep passengers informed?
• Despite all Ombudsman, checks and balances how such unethical malpractices are functioning right under the nose of International Transport machinery?

My request:
• Official investigation of Ticket Booking processes at Air Canada and take appropriate Action to ensure that Air Canada keeps all passengers informed of mandatory Transit Visa requirements for at the time of booking ticket through any channel (i.e. Travel Portals, Direct Air Canada). US/Canada citizens would be exempted anyways.
• Since it takes couple of weeks to get Transit Visa, Air Canada should refrain from issuing ticket to passengers, if they would need Transit Visa and they don’t have sufficient time in hand to secure one, before travel date.
• Help me to get 100% refund of ticket amount.
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