Travel

Air Canada cancelled flight between Toronto and HK in March

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 19th, 2020 3:45 am
Jr. Member
Feb 28, 2006
156 posts
98 upvotes
Absolute wrote: I don't disagree at all - companies get away with these things because people aren't willing - or in such a large country with few transportation options, able to - boycott them to force change. They're big, one of the only options, and they knew it. It's why those new "Canadian Air Traveler Rights" were written the way they were; the original versions protected PAX, the final versions have the airlines fingerprints all over it. Fairness doesn't matter to AC - look at the CBC articles about those same passenger protection rights, where a husband was given money due to a delay, while they told his very own wife on the same flight that it wasn't eligible for compensation. Kinda a comedy, if it wasn't screwing over customers.

You're right about the publicity and outrage they want to avoid, but regarding the conditions of what the OP bought, as I mentioned, they state in there that the airline can make whatever changes they want, providing they get them from point A to point B. Those conditions aren't fair - they're legal-speak and burried deep, but it wasn't a change of agreed upon conditions.

I'm all for the OP posting, but that's why I wrote only after the OP said "All I want is to get their customer service". If the OP said they also wanted to vent, see if someone else experienced the same thing, wanted to confirm AC can legally do this, or ask for ways to publicize the issue and speak to journalists, etc., then awesome! If the OP did only want that... then our approach of advising them of ways to contact AC, and how they can legally do this (so they don't get AC on the phone, and claim it's illegal, not allowed, etc. which would immediately cause the CSR to hang up or invoke their legal department for protection) has accomplished their goal.

I'm probably more biased, spending more time on planes and dealing with airlines than most people on here, where I've seen how little we can change as individuals, and that the best policy is to talk to the CSR as friends, asking for help, and ensuring you don't talk in anger/frustration or ask them to do something impossible.
I totally agree that it's best to be friendly to CSRs and to work with them on finding a solution. They're just employees and have no power on company policy, and they are not out to get you. In fact, I think that is generally the best way to conduct ourselves in life, to be cordial with people and give them the benefit of the doubt, unless they are personally rude to you. I do a lot of traveling myself and ran into my share of problems, and I always thank and show my appreciation to the CSRs and agents that try to help me. And usually they do try their best to help you.

But yeah the state of the airline industry, the system itself, is very flawed, and Canada even more so due to the lack of competition. They try to get away with as much crap as possible in their legalese agreements and conditions, and they know it; that's why if you ask and push a little they usually offer something to you, it's just that you have to play the game, and it's not consistent with what others can get. I think despite the seemingly impossibility of changing the state of things, we shouldn't settle, we all just want to be fair to both them and for ourselves.

And I see OP got it worked out, glad it did!
Sr. Member
Jan 30, 2013
762 posts
118 upvotes
RICHMOND HILL
Marzipan wrote: Looks like you bought a cheap ticket and got around the terms of the ticket. Now, hope not, but what if Mom has to go into quarantine for 24 days? Do we have to make an exception?
what quarantine?
Sr. Member
Jan 30, 2013
762 posts
118 upvotes
RICHMOND HILL
Marzipan wrote: Looks like you bought a cheap ticket and got around the terms of the ticket. Now, hope not, but what if Mom has to go into quarantine for 24 days? Do we have to make an exception?
what quarantine? Evacuees from Wuhan has to go thru quarantine of 14 days.
Wuhan person who somehow escaped and lands here faces no quarantine at all right now.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 9, 2003
18263 posts
2715 upvotes
Langley
cheapshopper wrote:
My issue was they change the route at their will just to protect their profit. Yes, under T&C they CAN do this, but doesn't mean is right thing to do.
I don't blame them at all.

It's not a trivial cost. It's a few lbs of fuel per second. What a huge waste it is when there's barely anyone on the plane.

A connection is not the end of the world.

I get that it sucks for your mother, but I would do the same thing if I was at AC.

And as you now know, if someone wants to rebook or cancel, they will do everything within reason to accommodate you.
Member
Aug 3, 2017
306 posts
176 upvotes
Glad you got it fixed up. IMO the only valid complaint you have is the ridiculous AC wait times. Airlines adjust routes all the time for economic reasons. Long routes that are expensive to fly are often the first to go, just like the cancellation of an AC to Australia route I saw this week.
Sr. Member
Oct 3, 2013
945 posts
1169 upvotes
cheapshopper wrote: Based on comment here , I think most people didn't read the REASON of WHY they cancel the "Direct Flight" and WHY I have issue with this change.

My issue is not because they cancel those flight, the issue is WHY they cancel them.

If the reason is to control the virus, I am 100% in support of this action.

However, it is NOT. AC do this just to protect their profitability.

The only reason they cancel those direct flight is to "Consolidate" all the passengers of flying to Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, etc all into single flight to Vancouver, because the demand is lower now.
This is 100% just for their benefit, NOT an action to benefit public safety.

All I want to get to their customer service is to see if there are seat on flight like Feb 27, 28, 29, etc that we move to it.

I have friend got to CS yesterday, he been told his direct flight on Mar 9 is cancelled, but they Don'T know which flight they will put him on.
It MAY OR MAY NOT be the same day, he will only be notify 72hrs from his new flight that which flight they will put him on. It could be Mar 7, it could be Mar 8, , It could be Mar 11, It could be Mar 14. No one know. Again, he will have 72 hours notice.
So, it mean: I just change your return flight to whatever we have room because I want to protect my profit, I set the date of your travel, take it or leave it.

Now how is this acceptable?
Hey, I have a business idea. Let’s go into it together. My plan is to invest all our money so that we get negative returns and eventually go bankrupt.

Does that sound like a good idea?

We live in a capitalist world. Everyone is here to make money, airlines included. Is it unfair? Absolutely. But unfortunately that’s reality.
Deal Addict
Dec 20, 2018
2460 posts
1771 upvotes
Firebot wrote: Air Canada is a private airline with shareholders to protect.

Be thankful we have a clown PM who is thinking more about his image than worrying about protecting Canadians as best as possible. Air Canada is doing what should be a federal government decision, but we have a weak leader.

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Simply because our govt makes decisions based on scientific emperical based evidence and listening to experts so we haven't put up unnecessary and ineffective travel bans

Of the jurisdictions listed

I mean do you go see a doctor and other health care professionals when you're sick or go find a politician or businessman?

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanc ... 1/fulltext

countries cannot implement additional health measures exclusively as a precaution but must rather ground their decision making in “scientific principles”, “scientific evidence”, and “advice from WHO”.1 Many of the travel restrictions being implemented during the COVID-19 outbreak are not supported by science or WHO. Travel restrictions for these kinds of viruses have been challenged by public health researchers,4, 5, 6 and WHO has advised against travel restrictions, arguing they cause more harm than good.7, 8

Some countries argue that they would rather be safe than sorry. But evidence belies the claim that illegal travel restrictions make countries safer.4, 5, 6 In the short term, travel restrictions prevent supplies from getting into affected areas, slow down the international public health response, stigmatise entire populations, and disproportionately harm the most vulnerable among us. In the longer term, countries selecting which international laws to follow encourages other countries to do the same, which in turn undermines the broader rules-based world order. Effective global governance is not possible when countries cannot depend on each other to comply with international agreements.13
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Deal Addict
User avatar
Nov 28, 2007
3075 posts
999 upvotes
Whitehorse, YT
quantized light wrote: I totally agree that it's best to be friendly to CSRs and to work with them on finding a solution. They're just employees and have no power on company policy, and they are not out to get you. In fact, I think that is generally the best way to conduct ourselves in life, to be cordial with people and give them the benefit of the doubt, unless they are personally rude to you. I do a lot of traveling myself and ran into my share of problems, and I always thank and show my appreciation to the CSRs and agents that try to help me. And usually they do try their best to help you.

But yeah the state of the airline industry, the system itself, is very flawed, and Canada even more so due to the lack of competition. They try to get away with as much crap as possible in their legalese agreements and conditions, and they know it; that's why if you ask and push a little they usually offer something to you, it's just that you have to play the game, and it's not consistent with what others can get. I think despite the seemingly impossibility of changing the state of things, we shouldn't settle, we all just want to be fair to both them and for ourselves.

And I see OP got it worked out, glad it did!
Ok. So to take this out of the realm of a general rant let's be specific. Are you able to name one Canadian requirement that should be scrapped?
Jr. Member
Feb 28, 2006
156 posts
98 upvotes
Marzipan wrote: Ok. So to take this out of the realm of a general rant let's be specific. Are you able to name one Canadian requirement that should be scrapped?
Ok I'll entertain this a bit.

First off, a lot of the problems would be gone if there is fairer pricing. In a lot of countries, train tickets have fairly consistent prices for example. You could buy a train ticket and everyone else will get the same price if they buy at the same time. And you get the same prices if you buy it at other vendors. There isn't shenanigans where you get vastly different prices at different times of days from different vendors. And in many places you could change or cancel tickets at any time with no fee. Another example is buying a product with a MSRP.

A specific example: if you look at the conditions, Air Canada can rebook or cancel your flight up to 15 days of your flight at their will with no compensation if it's a situation within their control. That short notice will always means the traveler has already committed with their travel plans and it will be completely disrupted. And yet if you want to rebook or cancel a mere 24 hours after you book, you have to pay a change fee plus almost always a major ticket difference (due to the pricing). This is the sort of unequal treaty that is customer unfriendly and unfair. A much fairer agreement for example is if both the airline and the customer can change or cancel their flight at no fee/ compensation if it's at least 90 days before the flight, and with a fixed and fair fee/ compensation after, both sides getting the same conditions.

If we comb thru the rest, there will be more we can find, but I'll digress.
Deal Addict
Jul 7, 2017
3780 posts
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SW corner of the cou…
If you mother can wait, she could get on a freighter for Vancouver. CMA-CGM could have sailings available, then take the train ome from Vancouver. If she can wait a bit more, get to Yokohama somehow, take a cruise ship to Vancouver then train home.
Cream rises to the top. So does scum.
Deal Addict
Jun 15, 2015
2538 posts
1691 upvotes
Mississauga, ON
quantized light wrote: Ok I'll entertain this a bit.

First off, a lot of the problems would be gone if there is fairer pricing. In a lot of countries, train tickets have fairly consistent prices for example. You could buy a train ticket and everyone else will get the same price if they buy at the same time. And you get the same prices if you buy it at other vendors. There isn't shenanigans where you get vastly different prices at different times of days from different vendors. And in many places you could change or cancel tickets at any time with no fee. Another example is buying a product with a MSRP.

A specific example: if you look at the conditions, Air Canada can rebook or cancel your flight up to 15 days of your flight at their will with no compensation if it's a situation within their control. That short notice will always means the traveler has already committed with their travel plans and it will be completely disrupted. And yet if you want to rebook or cancel a mere 24 hours after you book, you have to pay a change fee plus almost always a major ticket difference (due to the pricing). This is the sort of unequal treaty that is customer unfriendly and unfair. A much fairer agreement for example is if both the airline and the customer can change or cancel their flight at no fee/ compensation if it's at least 90 days before the flight, and with a fixed and fair fee/ compensation after, both sides getting the same conditions.

If we comb thru the rest, there will be more we can find, but I'll digress.
Nothing you mention above is specific to Air Canada nor all Canadian airlines. This is common practice for any airline ... worldwide. Don’t get me wrong, AC has their monopoly and gets away with a certain level of BS given they have to service certain routes (which drives up the price). But you can’t ignore the fact we live in a geographically large country (fuel = $$) with a small population so a more competitive market is harder to come by in Canada.

Travel is not a tangible product or MSRP. If a new model car sits on a lot and is sold either today or 3 weeks from now. The cost of the car sitting on the lot has a minimal impact to the dealer and the product is the same for the buyer. Which country are you referring to in regards to train travel? With my experience even in Europe with a extensive rail system the prices fluctuate based on dates / schedules. Even some amusement parks change their pricing depending on what day you visit (but generally the rides - entertainment are all the same).

The ”shenanigans” as you say really comes down the principle of supply and demand. If there is demand for travel at a certain time of the year the price goes up. Less demand - price goes down. How would any business be profitable if they were forced to sell something at the same price all the time? Who or what would regulate what is the ”fair” price?

As a consumer you can certainly change / cancel your ticket with or without penalty (even after 24 hours) based on the class of service YOU choose (if you are paying the lowest price you will be more restricted- example a basic fare). It’s kind of like buying (extended or comprehensive) warranty on a product... it’s a choice. You may or may not use it- but you are given the option and merely purchasing protection. The “change fees” or “cancellation fees” are outlined when you buy the ticket. The “difference in fare” you are forced to pay goes against your argument of ‘fairness’. If you bought a ticket 6 months ago for $800 to travel on (example) Feb 17. And I bought a ticket for $500 to travel to the same place tomorrow but now I want to change it to your flight on Feb 17 (but now that flight is $1000) shouldn’t I have to pay (at minimum) what you paid ($800) and then some?

In regards to schedule irregularities (I assume you are referring to schedule changes?). In all due respect you don’t sound well travelled if you believe only in Canada that an airline can modify the flight schedule (because they feel like it). Schedule changes happen all the time ... all airlines ... 6 months ... 1 month .... 48 hours from the flight. Depending on how great the modification is (sometimes it’s as trivial as a few minutes to several hours or days) you are ALWAYS entitled to the option of a refund if the new time doesn’t suit your plans (as per their tariff). There’s hundreds of variations to what the outcome of schedule changes and how it affects passengers’ plans and what recourse you have but there are certainly options available (with pretty much every airline). I don’t know if you are getting confused with flight “delays” or “cancellation” as that is a different ballgame all together.

...not defending or cheerleading AC (trust me I’ve shaken my head several times at the complete BS that they’ve ignored and only rectified once it hit the media) but what you are pointing out is not specific to AC or to Canadian airlines.
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Nov 28, 2007
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quantized light wrote: Ok I'll entertain this a bit.

First off, a lot of the problems would be gone if there is fairer pricing. In a lot of countries, train tickets have fairly consistent prices for example. You could buy a train ticket and everyone else will get the same price if they buy at the same time. And you get the same prices if you buy it at other vendors. There isn't shenanigans where you get vastly different prices at different times of days from different vendors. And in many places you could change or cancel tickets at any time with no fee. Another example is buying a product with a MSRP.

A specific example: if you look at the conditions, Air Canada can rebook or cancel your flight up to 15 days of your flight at their will with no compensation if it's a situation within their control. That short notice will always means the traveler has already committed with their travel plans and it will be completely disrupted. And yet if you want to rebook or cancel a mere 24 hours after you book, you have to pay a change fee plus almost always a major ticket difference (due to the pricing). This is the sort of unequal treaty that is customer unfriendly and unfair. A much fairer agreement for example is if both the airline and the customer can change or cancel their flight at no fee/ compensation if it's at least 90 days before the flight, and with a fixed and fair fee/ compensation after, both sides getting the same conditions.

If we comb thru the rest, there will be more we can find, but I'll digress.
That suggestion in bold above would be subject to abuse by customers. They would just book and keep monitoring for a better price then grab it and ask for a partial refund all for no fee. The airline needs compensating for booking changes and it is the traveler who benefits who should pay, not the airline nor everyone else via higher base fares.
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Feb 28, 2006
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BrunetteGirl wrote: Nothing you mention above is specific to Air Canada nor all Canadian airlines. This is common practice for any airline ... worldwide. Don’t get me wrong, AC has their monopoly and gets away with a certain level of BS given they have to service certain routes (which drives up the price). But you can’t ignore the fact we live in a geographically large country (fuel = $$) with a small population so a more competitive market is harder to come by in Canada.

Travel is not a tangible product or MSRP. If a new model car sits on a lot and is sold either today or 3 weeks from now. The cost of the car sitting on the lot has a minimal impact to the dealer and the product is the same for the buyer. Which country are you referring to in regards to train travel? With my experience even in Europe with a extensive rail system the prices fluctuate based on dates / schedules. Even some amusement parks change their pricing depending on what day you visit (but generally the rides - entertainment are all the same).

The ”shenanigans” as you say really comes down the principle of supply and demand. If there is demand for travel at a certain time of the year the price goes up. Less demand - price goes down. How would any business be profitable if they were forced to sell something at the same price all the time? Who or what would regulate what is the ”fair” price?

As a consumer you can certainly change / cancel your ticket with or without penalty (even after 24 hours) based on the class of service YOU choose (if you are paying the lowest price you will be more restricted- example a basic fare). It’s kind of like buying (extended or comprehensive) warranty on a product... it’s a choice. You may or may not use it- but you are given the option and merely purchasing protection. The “change fees” or “cancellation fees” are outlined when you buy the ticket. The “difference in fare” you are forced to pay goes against your argument of ‘fairness’. If you bought a ticket 6 months ago for $800 to travel on (example) Feb 17. And I bought a ticket for $500 to travel to the same place tomorrow but now I want to change it to your flight on Feb 17 (but now that flight is $1000) shouldn’t I have to pay (at minimum) what you paid ($800) and then some?

In regards to schedule irregularities (I assume you are referring to schedule changes?). In all due respect you don’t sound well travelled if you believe only in Canada that an airline can modify the flight schedule (because they feel like it). Schedule changes happen all the time ... all airlines ... 6 months ... 1 month .... 48 hours from the flight. Depending on how great the modification is (sometimes it’s as trivial as a few minutes to several hours or days) you are ALWAYS entitled to the option of a refund if the new time doesn’t suit your plans (as per their tariff). There’s hundreds of variations to what the outcome of schedule changes and how it affects passengers’ plans and what recourse you have but there are certainly options available (with pretty much every airline). I don’t know if you are getting confused with flight “delays” or “cancellation” as that is a different ballgame all together.

...not defending or cheerleading AC (trust me I’ve shaken my head several times at the complete BS that they’ve ignored and only rectified once it hit the media) but what you are pointing out is not specific to AC or to Canadian airlines.
I'm pointing out problems with the airline industry as a whole yes, not specific to Canada. Canada is just more susceptible to it because of lack of competition. I think we can all agree that monopolies are not great for consumers, if there are smaller players that are willing to disrupt the field, it could be a lot better.

Supply and demand applies to all industries, it's not just airlines. Sure it's arguable that airlines have more risk compared to others, but tons of companies fail or lose a lot of money due to products not selling and sitting on shelves. And yet a lot of them do fine with more stable pricing. There's always risk, and part of that risk is built into the pricing.

I'm not saying flight prices should always be the same at all times. Fair pricing and fairness in general is about setting customer expectations, transparency, applying what we would call logic and common sense, and having fair and equal conditions to both sides. For example, prices going up as the date nears is fair, because we all know and expect it, and everyone gets the same treatment, there's no surprise. Same applies if certain times of year is more expensive. If I buy a ticket at a travel agency, and you buy a ticket online at a flight search site around the same time, and we pay different amounts, that's not great. Or you search the same flight an hour later and it's more expensive. That's because we know that if it's the same flight, we don't expect it to cost different if you buy it elsewhere. We know that while there is risk, the price is not so volatile that it changes by the hour in normal circumstances.

Yes they offer other classes of service that allows change or cancellation. But that's at a huge premium, sometimes double the cost, and logically we know it would not cost them that much to allow cancellations. The pricing does not reflect the risk they're taking, and that's why the average customer would think it's not a fair price and would not pick it. I'm not saying airlines must offer options at a loss, there is a lot that can be win-win, or at least beneficial to customers at minimal cost to them. Instead, they are squeezing every penny out with what they can get away with.

Just because there is a status quo, doesn't mean it's fair. We just got accustomed to it and put up with it because we feel that there's nothing we can do about it as an individual.
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Feb 28, 2006
156 posts
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Marzipan wrote: That suggestion in bold above would be subject to abuse by customers. They would just book and keep monitoring for a better price then grab it and ask for a partial refund all for no fee. The airline needs compensating for booking changes and it is the traveler who benefits who should pay, not the airline nor everyone else via higher base fares.
And what's wrong with that? Unlike the pre-internet days, online booking is automated and it costs very little to execute nowadays. If you buy something normally and it's cheaper later, for a lot of things you can get a refund, even though a lot of times they use an employee's time if it's retail. And yet we expect that to be the norm.

Secondly, if pricing is more stable and fair, the cases where this would happen would be minimized.

And thirdly, if it really costs them that much for them to rebook, then they should provide the same level of compensation if they rebook flights arbitrarily under the same conditions, it can be even more costly and disruptive to the customer too. It's only fair if they happen to break their side of the contract.
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Dec 20, 2018
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quantized light wrote: I'm pointing out problems with the airline industry as a whole yes, not specific to Canada. Canada is just more susceptible to it because of lack of competition. I think we can all agree that monopolies are not great for consumers, if there are smaller players that are willing to disrupt the field, it could be a lot better.

Supply and demand applies to all industries, it's not just airlines. Sure it's arguable that airlines have more risk compared to others, but tons of companies fail or lose a lot of money due to products not selling and sitting on shelves. And yet a lot of them do fine with more stable pricing. There's always risk, and part of that risk is built into the pricing.

I'm not saying flight prices should always be the same at all times. Fair pricing and fairness in general is about setting customer expectations, transparency, applying what we would call logic and common sense, and having fair and equal conditions to both sides. For example, prices going up as the date nears is fair, because we all know and expect it, and everyone gets the same treatment, there's no surprise. Same applies if certain times of year is more expensive. If I buy a ticket at a travel agency, and you buy a ticket online at a flight search site around the same time, and we pay different amounts, that's not great. Or you search the same flight an hour later and it's more expensive. That's because we know that if it's the same flight, we don't expect it to cost different if you buy it elsewhere. We know that while there is risk, the price is not so volatile that it changes by the hour in normal circumstances.

Yes they offer other classes of service that allows change or cancellation. But that's at a huge premium, sometimes double the cost, and logically we know it would not cost them that much to allow cancellations. The pricing does not reflect the risk they're taking, and that's why the average customer would think it's not a fair price and would not pick it. I'm not saying airlines must offer options at a loss, there is a lot that can be win-win, or at least beneficial to customers at minimal cost to them. Instead, they are squeezing every penny out with what they can get away with.

Just because there is a status quo, doesn't mean it's fair. We just got accustomed to it and put up with it because we feel that there's nothing we can do about it as an individual.
How is it not fair? You have choice on what type of ticket/flexibility to buy. You can buy your ticket whenever you want at whatever price you want

Pricing is very fair for air travel and very transparent, it's all supply and demand with lots of airlines and booking sites and different levels of service

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