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Unable to Cancel Prior to Departure Due to Lack of Service/Response - Now What?

Unable to Cancel Prior to Departure Due to Lack of Service/Response - Now What?

Old Jan 8, 22, 10:56 am
  #1  
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Unable to Cancel Prior to Departure Due to Lack of Service/Response - Now What?

Hi All,

Wanted to know what's the best course of action in this situation:
2 days prior to my award flight (flying EY), I tried to cancel my award flight due to inability to take the flight. But the website wouldn't let me cancel, and I was not able to reach the call center, and I tried reaching out to AC via Twitter DM for assistance. None of those options resulted in anyone able to assist. Of course, the departure time came and went, and I'm trying to figure out what to do now. My last attempt at the phone was over an hour before I had to go into a meeting; and another attempt had me give up as well. I've also DM'ed them 4 separate occasions, each a day apart, in hopes of someone can address this.

Anyone have a better result?

Thanks.
luv2ctheworld is offline  
Old Jan 8, 22, 11:15 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
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Have you tried FB Messenger? Always gotten prompt responses if your looking for general help.

But I suspect you need to get a good book and speakerphone and sit on hold for Aeroplan. I had to call a few times this week via the SE desk and the wait was under a minute so surely the main number isn’t more then half an hour? They really need to process a refund for your ticket. I have had “no shows” be forgiven and refunds issued but they certainly don’t have to (and those were I think mostly passes where they just put the credit back in). Hopefully you took a screen shot of the error when you tried to cancel?
yowcat is offline  
Old Jan 9, 22, 10:58 am
  #3  
formerly known as DeltaNYC
 
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Have you kept proof of your attempts to reach them and your inability to cancel the booking on the website? I hope they do right by you but I think it will be an uphill battle because technically you no-showed.
Far Siren is offline  
Old Jan 9, 22, 11:58 am
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by Far Siren View Post
I think it will be an uphill battle because technically you no-showed.
​​​​​​
Q: OP asked "Now What?"

A: OP can work on re-earning points or transferring more from a credit card program to Aeroplan.

If their call center is still operating and accepting calls 17 hours a say, it is a reasonable assumption that a customer can make the time to get though to them, even with a 2-3 hour hold.

Nowhere does Aeroplan advertise to hang up after an hour if a caller gets bored or busy with a call, nor do they say they will accept such requests via social media or DM.
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Old Jan 9, 22, 2:59 pm
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by yowcat View Post
Have you tried FB Messenger? Always gotten prompt responses if your looking for general help.

But I suspect you need to get a good book and speakerphone and sit on hold for Aeroplan. I had to call a few times this week via the SE desk and the wait was under a minute so surely the main number isn’t more then half an hour? They really need to process a refund for your ticket. I have had “no shows” be forgiven and refunds issued but they certainly don’t have to (and those were I think mostly passes where they just put the credit back in). Hopefully you took a screen shot of the error when you tried to cancel?
I'm glad the SE line is working out well, however as an E50k I waited on hold 2h10m on Friday to speak to an agent which I think is simply ridiculous.
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dr_torch is offline  
Old Jan 9, 22, 8:57 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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I had a somewhat similar situation related to IRROPS and a rebooking. I could not get through no matter what I tried. The SE line was an over 2 hour wait on Thursday evening. I don't know how long it actually was because it just disconnected twice while I was on hold.

In the end I booked myself a paid ticket that resolved the problem and then called the SE desk the next day while at the airport. They were totally unhelpful and the agent said "it seems like you made an expensive mistake". I emailed customer service and got a call back within an hour. The nice person had investigated the issue and I believe read the extensive email with screenshots etc that I had sent to the SE e-mail and concierge the evening prior while on hold (neither of which generated a response). They agreed with me and undid/redid things to make it all work it.

It was very stressful tbh. The SE agent was suggesting I was out the 11k that was required, but in the end it all worked out.

I can totally understand AC wanting to cut back on the number of humans they need at phones to deal with issues. I support it, but the web/mobile tools need to be rock solid first. Things like being able to cancel, handle IRROPs, etc shouldn't disappear so easily.

Last edited by Adam Smith; Jan 9, 22 at 10:44 pm Reason: Remove non-public information
eastcoastcan is offline  
Old Jan 9, 22, 11:16 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by expert7700 View Post
​​​​​​
Q: OP asked "Now What?"

A: OP can work on re-earning points or transferring more from a credit card program to Aeroplan.

If their call center is still operating and accepting calls 17 hours a say, it is a reasonable assumption that a customer can make the time to get though to them, even with a 2-3 hour hold.

Nowhere does Aeroplan advertise to hang up after an hour if a caller gets bored or busy with a call, nor do they say they will accept such requests via social media or DM.
How refreshing to see a FTer be supportive of unreasonable hold times and poor customer service.

I am glad to see you find it acceptable to spend your time on hold for hours at a time. As well as equate a call centre operation with hundreds of employees providing service, to a single person's time being spent on hold, as a customer no less. With your logic, it would probably seem perfectly acceptable to drive to the airport to get service at the ticket counter as well.

For most normal people, being on hold for multiple hours while in a foreign country is not a viable option.

And it does in fact indicate on AC's Twitter page to contact them via DM for support; a fact you probably don't realize... along with the fact most people wouldn't consider staying on hold for multiple hours acceptable; especially when their website failed.
luv2ctheworld is offline  
Old Jan 10, 22, 9:13 am
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by dr_torch View Post
I'm glad the SE line is working out well, however as an E50k I waited on hold 2h10m on Friday to speak to an agent which I think is simply ridiculous.
Yikes. I agree 100%. I'm surprised that the delta is so much unless I just got lucky at the times I called when they were quiet vs when you are called. I would have assumed the delta less.
yowcat is offline  
Old Jan 10, 22, 9:13 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by luv2ctheworld View Post
How refreshing to see a FTer be supportive of unreasonable hold times and poor customer service.

I am glad to see you find it acceptable to spend your time on hold for hours at a time. As well as equate a call centre operation with hundreds of employees providing service, to a single person's time being spent on hold, as a customer no less. With your logic, it would probably seem perfectly acceptable to drive to the airport to get service at the ticket counter as well.

For most normal people, being on hold for multiple hours while in a foreign country is not a viable option.

And it does in fact indicate on AC's Twitter page to contact them via DM for support; a fact you probably don't realize... along with the fact most people wouldn't consider staying on hold for multiple hours acceptable; especially when their website failed.
I don't think anyone here thinks it is reasonable. Unfortunately, that's the world we're in... Aeroplan for whatever reason refuses to allow changes online (a feature most other programs have). They also have un acceptable hold times.
entropy is online now  
Old Jan 10, 22, 11:08 am
  #10  
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@luv2ctheworld, sorry to hear about your crappy experience.

I think the point that @expert7700 was trying to make - and let's remember, surely we should be united against the common enemy... the Judean People's Front! Or, AC... - is that, regardless of whether you had a good reason, by not cancelling your ticket, you've no-showed, and technically, under the terms of the tariff, have forfeited what you paid for it.

To get your points back*, you are dependent on either (a) a goodwill gesture from AC or (b) legal action. I'm not on Twitter, so I won't comment on the efficacy of that method of support. What I would suggest you consider is going to the customer service web form and submitting a request for a refund. State your case and timeline clearly and concisely - you tried cancelling online but couldn't, you attempted to cancel your ticket on X occasions, you DMed them on Twitter at these dates and times, you tried calling in and waiting on hold for so many minutes at those times (you should keep documentation of this). Don't turn it in to a long rant about how AC is a terrible airline and how badly they treat their customers and how you'll never fly them again. Not to say you can't point out that their customer service standards are unacceptable - you should, as it's important to your argument - just that you're more likely to have success with a respectful and direct approach than a rant. But the bottom line would be to request that they refund because their customer service failures made it impossible to cancel the ticket - using a reasonable amount of effort - before departure.

That being said, I don't necessarily agree that you should get a refund. We're in one of the worst phases of the pandemic when it comes to impact on travel, and many of us have spent far more than an hour on hold trying to cancel tickets so that we didn't end up in this situation. Many of us have gotten up early, stayed up late, ducked out of meetings, whatever, to get that done. Plenty of us have waited an hour or more to change a ticket before the pandemic. Yes, it sucks, and if the online cancellation had just worked properly (which it should), you wouldn't have been in this mess. But you ultimately made the choice not to invest the time in getting the ticket cancelled, and the consequence may be forfeiting the points.

If AC doesn't refund you as a goodwill gesture, I have no idea what your likelihood of success is in pursuing any kind of legal action.

I wish you luck in your battle, and hope you'll keep us up to date on the process and the outcome.

*Even though you no-showed the ticket, you may still be entitled to a refund of some of the cash fees/taxes that you paid
Adam Smith is offline  
Old Jan 10, 22, 12:00 pm
  #11  
 
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I reached out to AC's media-relations team on this topic on Thursday and have not received a response.

​​​​​​...other Canadian airlines who received the same request have been promptly forthcoming with information.
YOWgary is online now  
Old Jan 11, 22, 9:54 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by Adam Smith View Post
and let's remember, surely we should be united against the common enemy...
I love the reference to the People's Front of Judea.
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yrp is offline  
Old Jan 11, 22, 1:29 pm
  #13  
 
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Well, here's AC's response to my inquiry.

Originally Posted by YOWgary
Is there any provision made for customers who need to change or cancel flights - whether due to [COVID] infection or otherwise - but are unable to get through to the call centre before departure? Are these a no-show / forfeit situation?
As with many carriers, our call centre times are elevated due to both increased call volumes and the complexity of the queries, with customers looking for regulatory and travel information. To assist our customers, we have recalled all available call centre employees and we have been hiring and training more agents.

But it is important to note that customers who wish to modify or cancel a flight can do so via our website. Customers also have options to make changes and request refunds or travel credit vouchers if their plans change. We have put in place several online tools to enable customers to initiate these changes. (Please note that if a customer booked through a travel agent originally, they must contact the travel agent, as the travel agent controls their file.)

To further assist our customers, many of whom call for information about government regulations and entry requirements, Air Canada has developed a Travel Ready hub. It is an interactive, online tool that makes it easy and quick for our customers to obtain all of the essential travel information. In particular, the portal allows customers to review the entry requirements for each country on their itinerary, including connecting countries, and takes into consideration trips with an Air Canada partner carrier. The hub is accessible at aircanada.com and on the mobile version of the Air Canada website.
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Old Jan 11, 22, 1:53 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by YOWgary View Post
Well, here's AC's response to my inquiry.

But it is important to note that customers who wish to modify or cancel a flight can do so via our website.
Unless, you know, they can't
Adam Smith is offline  
Old Jan 11, 22, 2:07 pm
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by Adam Smith View Post
Unless, you know, they can't
You are, of course, correct, but I don't really get the sense that going back to them with examples is going to generate a terribly different answer.
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