Travel

Canadian airlines scamming consumers again as hoped-for bounceback in demand fizzles

  • Last Updated:
  • Sep 20th, 2020 6:58 pm
[OP]
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Jan 7, 2002
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Canadian airlines scamming consumers again as hoped-for bounceback in demand fizzles

Canadian airlines cancelling flightsscamming consumers again as hoped-for bounceback in demand fizzles
Air Canada and WestJet have cancelled 439 flights this month alone...

"Even though [Air Transat] knowingly chose to cancel my rebooked wedding group, they still won't give us a refund," Farrell said, noting the airline is again offering credit...

"The airlines in my opinion are taking advantage big time of this and stomping on the little people just because they can. The government needs to step up and tell these airlines to give people their refunds."
The reason I changed the title to say "scamming" is because that's what this amounts to. Offer a bunch of flights for which would-be passengers make reservations and then pay up-front in full. If the flights aren't full enough to be profitable, then cancel them, holding on to the money the suckers paid in good faith. All this with the legal backing of Ottawa.

If that's not a government-sanctioned consumer scam then I don't know what is.
veni, vidi, Visa
31 replies
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Nov 2, 2005
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The position of the Canadian airlines and our government is pretty clear. The precedent has been set and it's been very well publicised. Anyone booking future flights after the initial round of cancellations should have been aware that they were likely giving the airline an interest free loan.
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Nov 24, 2013
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Charge-back is the answer. It has worked for me and a lot of others as well.
Deal Addict
Mar 16, 2007
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Many of us keep telling others to stop giving these interest-free loans to Air Canada and others. People don't listen, and are not smart enough to make the right decisions for themselves.
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Jul 26, 2018
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Canada, eh?
lpin14 wrote: Charge-back is the answer. It has worked for me and a lot of others as well.

That worked during the beginning of the pandemic but I've been hearing more and more stories about banks refusing to do the chargeback or open a case because the passenger got a voucher. Neutral Face
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May 10, 2005
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Airlines have always changed schedules and have noted that on their fare regulations.
Thing is, they are now canceling flights primarily because of lack of demand. No sense flyng to a destination 2 or 3 or more times a week if the aircraft is only 1/4 full..
"hoping that the government will loosen up some of its restrictions. And that's not been the case," he said.
Now, airlines are cancelling the half-booked flights and consolidating passengers on remaining ones to cut costs."

A pure business decision.
The Government cannot give to anybody anything that the Government does not first take from somebody else.
[OP]
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Jan 7, 2002
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Pete_Coach wrote: Airlines have always changed schedules and have noted that on their fare regulations.
Thing is, they are now canceling flights primarily because of lack of demand. No sense flyng to a destination 2 or 3 or more times a week if the aircraft is only 1/4 full..
"hoping that the government will loosen up some of its restrictions. And that's not been the case," he said.
Now, airlines are cancelling the half-booked flights and consolidating passengers on remaining ones to cut costs."

A pure business decision.
All of which assumes the airlines are taking reservations and accepting full payment for them in good faith.

Based on the airlines' track record throughout the pandemic, as well as over the years prior, that's an assumption that many people simply refuse to accept.

If the airlines wanted to belie the mistrust they've engendered they could start by offering full refunds on cancelled flights, if not going back to the beginning of pandemic-related cancellations, then at least going forward until the pandemic becomes history. Of course that will never happen. Hence the public will continue to distrust the airlines and continue to avoid all non-essential air travel--at least on Canadian airlines.
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bylo wrote: All of which assumes the airlines are taking reservations and accepting full payment for them in good faith.

Based on the airlines' track record throughout the pandemic, as well as over the years prior, that's an assumption that many people simply refuse to accept.

If the airlines wanted to belie the mistrust they've engendered they could start by offering full refunds on cancelled flights, if not going back to the beginning of pandemic-related cancellations, then at least going forward until the pandemic becomes history. Of course that will never happen. Hence the public will continue to distrust the airlines and continue to avoid all non-essential air travel--at least on Canadian airlines.
Key words..."assumes", "assumption".
Lots of folks crapping on the airlines and yet, the actual flights that are cancelled are unknown at this time. Also "assuming" the flights cancelled are still available, but on a different day.

The refund issue is separate to this announcement of cancelled routes. If there is not enough demand, there is no reason to have as many flights to that specific destination.

The "track record" of airlines during the pandemic has been what has been allowed by governments...all governments all over the country and the world.

The public is going to have to come to grips with the travel industry in general. Things are not the same as it was, throughout the world and it may be a while before they gets back, if ever.

Inconvenience to the traveler is not a scam, it is today's reality
The Government cannot give to anybody anything that the Government does not first take from somebody else.
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secretalcoholic wrote: That worked during the beginning of the pandemic but I've been hearing more and more stories about banks refusing to do the chargeback or open a case because the passenger got a voucher. Neutral Face
It's worth a shot. Really depends on the credit card as well. Some (TD for me) have been pretty good and others, I have heard, not so much. I initiated charge-backs quite a while after the beginning of the lockdown in March and they were all processed without any issues.
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lpin14 wrote: It's worth a shot. Really depends on the credit card as well. Some (TD for me) have been pretty good and others, I have heard, not so much. I initiated charge-backs quite a while after the beginning of the lockdown in March and they were all processed without any issues.
TD has gotten as much bad publicity as other.
Thing is, there are lots of circumstances to getting a charge back. Lots of ways to buy tickets and lots of restrictions and regulations and rules for those purchases. Some are easy and many are not.
A great many people learned a great deal about buying airline tickers during this pandemic. Hopefully they will pay attention to what/how/ they are buying them next time.
The Government cannot give to anybody anything that the Government does not first take from somebody else.
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Apr 24, 2017
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I said months ago that once the voucher scam was green lit, airlines would sell tickets for flights that they knew would never leave the ground. Canceling flights now is not due to an emergency Covid situation. Its due to airlines throwing out a bunch of fake options, collecting the money and then bailing on those options because there’s no penalty in doing so. It truly must have been an accidental genius that devised this plan seeing as how the consumer loses. Again.

I’d be wary of anyone that says airlines were always selling ‘maybes’. Pre Covid, if your flight was cancelled because it wasn’t full enough, you got a refund. Period.
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Pete_Coach wrote: TD has gotten as much bad publicity as other.
Thing is, there are lots of circumstances to getting a charge back. Lots of ways to buy tickets and lots of restrictions and regulations and rules for those purchases. Some are easy and many are not.
A great many people learned a great deal about buying airline tickers during this pandemic. Hopefully they will pay attention to what/how/ they are buying them next time.
After all was said and done, TD and Expedia treated me quite well. Spanish hotels, airline, and attractions treated me well.

I will NOT be giving any future business to Air Canada and Lufthansa
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lpin14 wrote: After all was said and done, TD and Expedia treated me quite well. Spanish hotels, airline, and attractions treated me well.

I will NOT be giving any future business to Air Canada and Lufthansa
Yeah, each circumstance is different and putcomes are different.

I got all my money back from Air Canada (with connecting flights on TAP and Lufthansa) for the trip to Portugal and Spain and Frankfurt but I had all sorts of problems with Intercontinental Hotels in Lisbon and Madrid. I am a Platinum Elite member with IHG.

I accepted vouchers for my trips to LA and San Diego.

I just had to cancel out trip to Hawaii at Christmas and Air Canada is giving me refund as we speak. The Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resorts is also giving refunds (it is actually complete closed right now, as is the Hilton Garden Inn Waikiki Beach).

I dealt directly with the airlines and hotels.

2020 sucks...no travel and have been sitting at home for the whole year :(
The Government cannot give to anybody anything that the Government does not first take from somebody else.
[OP]
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benjicash wrote: I said months ago that once the voucher scam was green lit, airlines would sell tickets for flights that they knew would never leave the ground. Canceling flights now is not due to an emergency Covid situation. Its due to airlines throwing out a bunch of fake options, collecting the money and then bailing on those options because there’s no penalty in doing so. It truly must have been an accidental genius that devised this plan seeing as how the consumer loses. Again.

I’d be wary of anyone that says airlines were always selling ‘maybes’. Pre Covid, if your flight was cancelled because it wasn’t full enough, you got a refund. Period.
I was predicting the same thing in previous threads about getting refunds on pandemic-based cancellations. So were others in the media. That's one reason why I posted this thread in the first place, i.e. to highlight that this is exactly what's happening.

There's no way I'd buy a ticket now on a Canadian airline, especially when I can get the same flight code-shared on an EU airline that's governed by EC-261. Even LH now gives full refunds on cancelled flights, even though they seem to be dragging their heels. So why would anyone give their money to AC or WS and limit their options?

@Pete_Coach seems to think this isn't a scam on AC's and WS's part. That doesn't pass the reasonableness test, at least for overseas flights where they face competition from carriers that do offer full refunds on cancelled flights. If AC and WS were acting in good faith they'd voluntarily offer cash refunds on upcoming overseas flights instead of relying on Canadians to not notice the difference in refund policies. To me that smacks of acting in bad faith. It's also lousy business sense because giving customers the option of a full refund would (a) encourage them to book on AC/WS rather than code share and (b) help repair the considerable PR damage caused by their earlier intransigence.

They could easily explain the change in policy by saying that their flight schedules for 2020 before the March lockdowns were based on traditional patterns, that no one anticipated the financial devastation this would cause them, etc. That's why they couldn't offer refunds. But now with a greatly reduced schedule and the need to encourage people to book flights in the face of uncertainty they're in a better position to offer full refunds, etc. They acknowledge this anyway by offering free COVID-19 health insurance.

Instead the greedy bastards continue to scam consumers, aided and abetted by the weak-kneed politicians in Ottawa.
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bylo wrote: I was predicting ....
There's no way I'd buy a ticket now on a Canadian airline, .....

@Pete_Coach seems to think this isn't a scam on AC's and WS's part. That doesn't pass the reasonableness test, at least for overseas flights where they face competition from carriers that do offer full refunds on cancelled flights. If AC and WS were acting in good faith they'd voluntarily offer cash refunds on upcoming overseas flights instead of relying on Canadians to not notice the difference in refund policies. To me that smacks of acting in bad faith. It's also lousy business sense because giving customers the option of a full refund would (a) encourage them to book on AC/WS rather than code share and (b) help repair the considerable PR damage caused by their earlier intransigence.

They could easily explain the change in policy by saying that their flight schedules for 2020 before the March lockdowns were based on traditional patterns, that no one anticipated the financial devastation this would cause them, etc. That's why they couldn't offer refunds. But now with a greatly reduced schedule and the need to encourage people to book flights in the face of uncertainty they're in a better position to offer full refunds, etc. They acknowledge this anyway by offering free COVID-19 health insurance.

Instead the greedy bastards continue to scam consumers, aided and abetted by the weak-kneed politicians in Ottawa.
Bottom line is that you do not know what flights have been cancelled. You are making broad based assumptions and claims. Lots of talk but no evidence.

You have no idea if anyone has purchased ticket on those cancelled routes and you have no idea if there are other flights, the same day or next day to those destinations and you do not know if anything has been offered if tickets have been purchased.

You can call it what you want and if scam makes you feel superior and a wiser business executive , so be it but, the bottom line is you have no idea what is cancelled and what is not cancelled and what the alternatives are.

You also do not know if anyone is getting or not getting refunds on the recently announced flights. You are living in the past. That was then, this is now....and you know the details? If so, please share them.

As for you taking other airlines for international flights, go for it. Take a code shared flight and still sit on Air Canada aircraft...that'll show them LOL Oh and, if you need to fly within Canad, find that code shared flights LOL Air Canada has cut loose many of it's partner airlines.

Their schedule is made for demand and if the demand is not there, no sense flying that route or that many flights on that route. That is business, not scam or just to piss you off. LOL

Bitterness seems to have enveloped logic. LOL
The Government cannot give to anybody anything that the Government does not first take from somebody else.

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