Travel

Air Canada employee says staff trained to 'dupe' passengers at risk of being bumped from oversold flights

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 13th, 2019 11:33 am
Deal Addict
Oct 18, 2014
1661 posts
653 upvotes
Tokyo
StatsGuy wrote:
Feb 12th, 2019 8:22 am
But I understand the need for overbooking as a yield management tool but it seems of the major airlines Ive flown on and hear about from TAs and other frequent travelers, it does seem AC is very "aggressive" in overbooking and quite poor at handling pax who are bumped.

Yes having higher fare bucket and status means being bumped is much lower chance but the airline despite the "cheap" fare or not pay for assigned seat did sell a commitment to a purchaser to fly them to their destination on a particular flight (yes the t&c have lots of clauses)

Overbooking is standard practice but AC is quite terrible in CS generally and how they handle issues when it arises and make stressful situation for all even worse

I've dealt with CS numerous times from various airlines and AC is quite bad and I have status with them and get the special number to call already whereas I had no status and always gotten very good resolution from the likes of CX/BR and etc
If I'm not mistaken, I believe they have 24 hours to get you to your destination or something along those lines. What would help consumers is if AC put a big disclaimer in red on their website, that selecting this fare and/or not paying for increased seat selection will increase the probability to get bumped. Obviously from a marketing perspective that might scare customers away to competitors etc..

CS is terrible (especially for non-status), and is the race towards the bottom . One thing for sure is that consumers have voted with their wallets, and want lower prices. Even after the David Dao incident, United market cap has increased as more flyers book with them.

AC is finally profitable after years of operating at a loss under Robert Milton. The "good ol' days" when they had First class, generous perks for status flyers, all at the expense of tax-payers (crown corp), whom most could not afford to fly as it was expensive.
Newbie
Nov 26, 2012
28 posts
17 upvotes
Toronto
Thanks for the explanations everyone. Even though I flew enough the last year to be tired of it at this poin, I feel like I learned so much in this thread lol.

I do feel bad for people that get affected by this as they are probably infrequent flyers who really need to get somewhere but also have no idea about how to fly. I always assumed most everyone does what I do (check in exactly 24 hours in advance,) but I guess not. I do count on most people being too cheap to pay for advanced seat selection which I always do on peak season fights (summers, christmas).
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jun 26, 2011
1626 posts
353 upvotes
13inches wrote:
Feb 11th, 2019 2:38 pm
My own story about this:

August 2009, a group of four of us are flying home from Calgary to Toronto, economy on AC. I was the first of us to check-in online in the morning and got my assigned seat. The other three did not get seat assignments. We get all the way to the gate and eventually the three of them (and a few others) get paged..... and upgraded to business class. So I had to sit in cattle class while they enjoyed their free food and drinks for the trip home. I'm still bitter about it.

Coincidentally the gate agents later asked for volunteers to give up their seat and I inquired, however the juice was not worth the squeeze. Which kinda sucked to say no since the couple who were hoping to get seats were standing right by the desk when I chose to pass on the offer.

Just goes to tell you anything can happen, though the likelihood of that is, of course, very slim. Still, I would prefer to know with certainty I'm on a plane vs maybe not getting on with a slim chance of upgrade.
Moderator
User avatar
Jul 5, 2004
23448 posts
2987 upvotes
13inches wrote:
Feb 11th, 2019 2:38 pm
My own story about this:

August 2009, a group of four of us are flying home from Calgary to Toronto, economy on AC. I was the first of us to check-in online in the morning and got my assigned seat. The other three did not get seat assignments. We get all the way to the gate and eventually the three of them (and a few others) get paged..... and upgraded to business class. So I had to sit in cattle class while they enjoyed their free food and drinks for the trip home. I'm still bitter about it.

Coincidentally the gate agents later asked for volunteers to give up their seat and I inquired, however the juice was not worth the squeeze. Which kinda sucked to say no since the couple who were hoping to get seats were standing right by the desk when I chose to pass on the offer.
AC typically doesn't do this anymore. They'll upgrade others who have status instead of offering it to someone without a seat. They've also been known to deny boarding to people even though there are empty seats in business class. They want business class to be exclusive. Those seated in business class also tend to complain if they see someone upgraded without paying/having status. Just read some threads on flyertalk to see what I mean.
Member
Nov 28, 2017
334 posts
273 upvotes
I'm all for dumping on Air Canada, but this really sounds like employees with an axe to grind.

Top