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AC changed/cancelled my flight. What are my options? (new policy effective Q2 2021)

AC changed/cancelled my flight. What are my options? (new policy effective Q2 2021)

Old Jun 16, 21, 10:04 pm
  #1  
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AC changed/cancelled my flight. What are my options? (new policy effective Q2 2021)

AC cancelled one of my flights and booked me on an alternate 2 hours 40 minutes earlier. I didn't like the new time but also wasn't ready to pick an alternate yet, so I called in and the Concierge agent I spoke to at the time said he'll leave a note that I can choose a different flight at a later date once I'm ready.

A couple days later, the system apparently took my silence as acceptance of the automatic rebooked flight. Now I just called back in to try to change the flight to one day later, and the agent I'm speaking to now is saying that involuntary schedule changes under 3 hours in different does not entitle passengers to a date change free of charge. She does not care for the note by her colleague.

Is this a new rule?

EDIT: The agent ultimately allowed me to make the change but made it a point to let me know she was making an exception and doing me a huge favour.

Last edited by capedreamer; Jun 16, 21 at 10:23 pm
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Old Jun 16, 21, 10:34 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by capedreamer View Post
AC cancelled one of my flights and booked me on an alternate 2 hours 40 minutes earlier. I didn't like the new time but also wasn't ready to pick an alternate yet, so I called in and the Concierge agent I spoke to at the time said he'll leave a note that I can choose a different flight at a later date once I'm ready.

A couple days later, the system apparently took my silence as acceptance of the automatic rebooked flight. Now I just called back in to try to change the flight to one day later, and the agent I'm speaking to now is saying that involuntary schedule changes under 3 hours in different does not entitle passengers to a date change free of charge. She does not care for the note by her colleague.

Is this a new rule?

EDIT: The agent ultimately allowed me to make the change but made it a point to let me know she was making an exception and doing me a huge favour.
The international tariff was revised effective June 3, 2021 and sets a 3-hour limit as the threshold for refunds, in the event of a schedule change outside the airline's control (which is every single change since COVID started, as far as AC is concerned ). For re-booking (whether within or outside of the airline's control) or refunds for changes within the airline's control, it only says re-booking must be done in accordance with APPR. The domestic tariff (revised effective April 29, 2021) doesn't even have the 3-hour threshold, it's just APPR all around.

Because APPR is a frigging joke that was meant to cover day-of-travel delays and cancellations, it offers very little protection in this area.

Here is the relevant page from the APPR website. I've excerpted the key text below within the spoiler feature to keep the size manageable. All bold is from the original. I have added the italics to distinguish the text from the APPR site, but not used the quote feature so that it will be included in quotes when others reply to this post.

Spoiler
 


The bottom line, in your case, is that you could try to refuse the new routing and request a new one because the one they've offered is not "reasonable", but APPR does not define what's reasonable. This is a huge downgrade from the old AC tariffs.

As for whether she was doing you a favour, not necessarily, but it's unclear what internal guidelines AC has set to allow agents to determine what will be "reasonable" under APPR. If they have set a 3-hour limit, that's bloody awful.
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Last edited by Adam Smith; Jun 16, 21 at 10:40 pm Reason: Fixed formatting
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Old Jun 17, 21, 4:25 am
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One reason airlines like it when you book direct with them is that they maintain control of your ticket and can make unauthorized changes like this and then just let you know. Or not.
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Old Jun 17, 21, 5:48 am
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Originally Posted by Adam Smith View Post
The international tariff was revised effective June 3, 2021 and sets a 3-hour limit as the threshold for refunds, in the event of a schedule change outside the airline's control (which is every single change since COVID started, as far as AC is concerned ). For re-booking (whether within or outside of the airline's control) or refunds for changes within the airline's control, it only says re-booking must be done in accordance with APPR. The domestic tariff (revised effective April 29, 2021) doesn't even have the 3-hour threshold, it's just APPR all around.

Because APPR is a frigging joke that was meant to cover day-of-travel delays and cancellations, it offers very little protection in this area.

Here is the relevant page from the APPR website. I've excerpted the key text below within the spoiler feature to keep the size manageable. All bold is from the original. I have added the italics to distinguish the text from the APPR site, but not used the quote feature so that it will be included in quotes when others reply to this post.

Spoiler
 



The bottom line, in your case, is that you could try to refuse the new routing and request a new one because the one they've offered is not "reasonable", but APPR does not define what's reasonable. This is a huge downgrade from the old AC tariffs.

As for whether she was doing you a favour, not necessarily, but it's unclear what internal guidelines AC has set to allow agents to determine what will be "reasonable" under APPR. If they have set a 3-hour limit, that's bloody awful.
Thanks for this! Very helpful.
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Old Jun 17, 21, 8:00 am
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If the itinerary involved a US point, then DoT specifically prohibit CoC from being retroactive applied.
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Old Jun 17, 21, 8:47 am
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I had an agent reference the 3 hour rule recently on a domestic schedule change and would not even allow a change to an earlier flight on the same day without repricing the ticket. Had a YYZ-YYC where the flight got moved ~1 hour later. I was OK with earlier, but not OK with later, so I called to ask to be moved to the earlier flight. Agent said that because the flight change was <3 hours, it would have to be a voluntary change and would need to pay fare difference at the current prices. I asked them to escalate and they put me on hold and came back and confirmed that they can't deviate from the 3 hour policy and if I wanted to switch to the earlier flight due to the schedule change, it would be a voluntary change with associated fare difference. AC was being unreasonable IMO so I just cancelled the ticket.
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Old Jun 17, 21, 9:52 am
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Originally Posted by seawolf View Post
If the itinerary involved a US point, then DoT specifically prohibit CoC from being retroactive applied.
US was indeed involved.
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Old Jun 17, 21, 9:55 am
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With out opening up the whole APPR debacle again, based on Adam Smith 's analysis, I wonder how "event" is defined here during COVID times:

If that flight would not depart within 48 hours of the end of the event that caused the delay or cancellation,
I'm assuming that AC interprets "end of the event" to refer to the original flight time?
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Old Jun 17, 21, 2:03 pm
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Originally Posted by keitherson View Post
One reason airlines like it when you book direct with them is that they maintain control of your ticket and can make unauthorized changes like this and then just let you know. Or not.
what is a better option?
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Old Jun 18, 21, 7:28 pm
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Originally Posted by gcashin View Post
I had an agent reference the 3 hour rule recently on a domestic schedule change and would not even allow a change to an earlier flight on the same day without repricing the ticket. Had a YYZ-YYC where the flight got moved ~1 hour later. I was OK with earlier, but not OK with later, so I called to ask to be moved to the earlier flight. Agent said that because the flight change was <3 hours, it would have to be a voluntary change and would need to pay fare difference at the current prices. I asked them to escalate and they put me on hold and came back and confirmed that they can't deviate from the 3 hour policy and if I wanted to switch to the earlier flight due to the schedule change, it would be a voluntary change with associated fare difference. AC was being unreasonable IMO so I just cancelled the ticket.
I was in the exact same situation, also on YYZ - YYC. I called in last week, asked to be switched to the earlier flight, and the agent happily did it without any pushback. Maybe I got lucky? I would have been really annoyed if AC had refused after they changed the schedule.
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Old Jun 19, 21, 3:19 am
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Originally Posted by cruisegus View Post
what is a better option?
Travel agent
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Old Jun 19, 21, 3:23 am
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Would a TA be able to break AC policies/tariffs without getting a debit memo?
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Old Jun 21, 21, 7:59 pm
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Originally Posted by canadiancow View Post
Would a TA be able to break AC policies/tariffs without getting a debit memo?
No, but your ticket doesn't get reissued automatically so everything needs to be confirmed

But sure, if you book tickets intending to break tariffs and policies, go book it yourself
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Old Aug 16, 21, 8:06 am
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Air Canada Cancellation, Rebooked to other airline (Downgraded from Premium E to E)

I was booked on "City in USA" - YYZ - "City in Asia" on Air Canada Premium Economy class.
Fifteen hours before the flight, I got an email saying that my flight "City in USA" to YYZ was canceled due to crew constraint.
I called the AC customer service and was on hold for 1hr 45minutes. I was rebooked to Economy class of other airline flight which does not have premium economy class.
I knew it would be a long shot. But I argued that I would like to be upgraded to Business if there is no premium economy class. The agent talked to his supervisor and I was told No. I am glad I made to my final destination safely. However, I think at least I need to get a partial refund for the price I paid for the AC Premium Economy.

I do not travel AC often. Therefore, I do not have knowledge about the refund request.

My questions are
1. How can I request the refund? Is this something AC would be willing to provide refund? How quickly does AC reply?
2. I would like to get refund to my credit card, not voucher/e-ticket. How does AC handle the refund process?
3. How does AC calculates fare difference of Premium E and E of one-way in an international round trip ticket?

I am a Premier Platinum on United (Star alliance gold)
Thanks in advance.
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Old Aug 16, 21, 8:33 am
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AC only provides actual PE service on a few routes between US and Canada. What was the "City in the US"? We're you actually booked in PE on the NA segment?

In terms of your questions, they may provide a refund (although doubtful), but it would be prorated and therefore an extremely small amount. You might get better value with a comp voucher and/or discount code.

Edit to add - I assumed that you were rebooked in Y to YYZ, and still picked up your PE flight. If so, my first question may not be relevant.

Last edited by ChrisA330; Aug 16, 21 at 8:41 am
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