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Air Canada

Air Canada Sues Student Who Purchased Fraudulent Air Fare

Air Canada Sues Student Who Purchased Fraudulent Air Fare
Jeff Edwards

An international student, who says she fell victim to an internet huckster, learned that she has been placed on Air Canada’s no-fly list after traveling on tickets purchased through a third-party broker. The now-banned air traveler says it was only after arriving at the airport that she learned previous travel she had purchased was, unbeknownst to her, obtained with fraudulent credit cards.

It was more than a year later before an Air Canada passenger learned that her too-good-to-be-true airfare find between Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG) was not such a good deal after all. Ann Qian says that it wasn’t until she arrived at the airport only to be told she was banned from flying on Air Canada flights that she discovered her online ticket broker advertising bargain basement airfares was a con man. The 25-year-old student claims that, unbeknownst to her, the tickets she bought to travel to school overseas had in fact been obtained by a broker who had used fraudulent credit card numbers to make the bookings. Now, Qian says, in addition to being persona non grata on Air Canada flights, the airline is demanding she pay more than $24,000 in restitution – more than twice what she originally paid for the airfare.

“They say I’m a liar, but they just don’t want to know the details,” Qian told CBC News. “They just want me to pay the money.”

The international student, training as a pastry chef, says that she is unnecessarily “being treated like a criminal” and accuses the airline of “bullying.” Air Canada officials, however, say that if Qian didn’t know she was flying on fraudulently obtained tickets, she should have. The airline told CBC’s Erik Rankin that making the bookings through an online broker is akin to “buying a television at a bar.”

Qian bought her tickets through an agent she found through the Chinese social media website WeChat. She says that she contacted both the broker and police after learning that Air Canada was accusing her of fraud, but since then, the broker has blocked her and “disappeared.”

Qian’s attorney says that the airline has not only overstepped its authority, but airline officials ‘insistence that she knowingly defrauded the carrier is absurd, given that she traveled on her own name on the disputed flight (and at least three times since). The case will be arbitrated by the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) later this year.

“It took Air Canada more than a year to detect the fraud – so how could they possibly expect the customer to know right away?” Qian’s lawyer, Kalin Che asked rhetorically in an on-camera interview. “It’s unjustified. It’s unreasonable. There’s not grounds for their actions. Air Canada shouldn’t be going after the innocent consumer.”

 

[Featured Image: Air Canada]

View Comments (4)

4 Comments

  1. DragonSoul

    June 4, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    “Qian bought her tickets through an agent she found through the Chinese social media website WeChat. ”

    WeChat is famous, famous, for fraudulent activities. She would have known; all Chinese know that something illegal was going on. They all do it and they are all okay about it. She’s just annoyed because of the fines.

  2. weero

    weero

    June 5, 2019 at 7:15 am

    “he airline is demanding she pay more than $24,000 in restitution – more than twice what she originally paid for the airfare”

    How is 12,000$ a “rock bottom” airfare? All of this makes no sense.

  3. OZFLYER86

    June 5, 2019 at 3:33 pm

    online ticket broker ? That’s what many travel agents are. There is no travel agent licencing in many parts of the world now. Good luck getting anything from a student.

  4. WebTraveler

    June 5, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    I believe her, maybe a little naive, maybe not. If it took Air Canada a year to learn there was a fraud, how could she know?

    maybe WeChat is famous for fraud, maybe it is not. I do not know that. So does she?

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