Travel

Outrageous Air Canada flight rescheduling fee!

  • Last Updated:
  • Jan 5th, 2018 10:08 am
[OP]
Newbie
Feb 25, 2007
44 posts
5 upvotes
Toronto

Outrageous Air Canada flight rescheduling fee!

Hi all,

Wondering if anyone can steer me in the right direction on this.

I booked a flight for Pearson to Houston on Dec 24 over the phone. Originally I booked online but had credit card rejected and suspended. Had that cleared up after.
Today, upon things returning to normal after a busy holiday, I doubled checked my booking itinerary and noticed wrong departure date. I thought I booked for Sun Feb but noticed it was for Mon Feb.
I thought things were right but didn't check the PDF attachment. When I called today, I found out change charge would be for $800!!! Total flight cost Tango round trip for 2 adult + 2 kids were $1700. Why the outrageous fee???

It's only been 1 week and the 24 hour non-refundable fee I get but I'm just rescheduling 1 day earlier in well advance notice.
I filed a online web complaint form but just wondering if any course of action I could take. Unfortunately my credit card doesn't have any flight interruption coverage.
Asked for the audio recording to see if I made any reference to Sunday. I didn't think Monday flight info would be the same Sunday (flight /time/cost).

Who determines these rates? This is just insane! Any suggestions on how to handle this matter? I'm going to have to fork over the fee cost but not pleased how this went about.
I know there was some fault on my part. There was no mention of the penalty fee structure, only 1 line fine print details regarding 24 hour finalization, in the end of the PDF attachment.

Thank you for reading my rant.
Last edited by jakeman on Jan 2nd, 2018 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
34 replies
Jr. Member
Apr 3, 2007
162 posts
62 upvotes
The rescheduling fee is "regular" if the ticket you bought were the discount tickets. I faced a similar issue before, so ended up buying a one-way ticket and it was cheaper than paying the rescheduling fee. It doesn't really matter if you change the flight a day or a week or even a month earlier, a change is a change.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
May 9, 2009
5991 posts
1832 upvotes
Montreal
You booked the cheapest fare class (Tango). There's a change fee of $200 per ticket. High change fees for low fare class are pretty standard across the industry.

The change fee was clearly visible when you first went through the booking online. And as you mentioned, it was also outlined in the documentation sent to you after booking on the phone. You had 24 hours to look over the documentation and make a change - you didn't and that's on you.

Unless the call recording demonstrates the agent made a mistake or someone at AC is feeling generous and waives/reduces the fees, you're probably out of luck on this one.

Image
Deal Fanatic
Feb 15, 2006
8759 posts
3209 upvotes
Toronto
13inches wrote: OUTRAGEOUS!
It's not outrageous. It's been that way for a long time.

You don't like the rule of booking the lowest fare, don't book. If you want lower change fee, book the higher fare.
[OP]
Newbie
Feb 25, 2007
44 posts
5 upvotes
Toronto
Thanks All! Thread can be closed.

I just wish there was more human compassion and not just a business with only $ in mind. You know, actual customer service : p Looked at business class tickets, 1-way trip for $1700/per person which was out the question.

Some review & regulation by a govt body would be welcoming just like they've done with the cell phone industry. Wish there was more competition with the CDN airline industry.

Thankfully, after making another plea with AC, another agent was kind enough and understanding and restored faith back to humanity : ) All is well again! She made the changes without the penalty charges.

In the future, for anyone with my dilemma, never hurts to try again and state your case. Just hope you get someone who cares instead of the *bleep* person I got first time.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
May 9, 2009
5991 posts
1832 upvotes
Montreal
jakeman wrote: Thanks All! Thread can be closed.

I just wish there was more human compassion and not just a business with only $ in mind. You know, actual customer service : p Looked at business class tickets, 1-way trip for $1700/per person which was out the question.

Some review & regulation by a govt body would be welcoming just like they've done with the cell phone industry. Wish there was more competition with the CDN airline industry.

Thankfully, after making another plea with AC, another agent was kind enough and understanding and restored faith back to humanity : ) All is well again! She made the changes without the penalty charges.

In the future, for anyone with my dilemma, never hurts to try again and state your case. Just hope you get someone who cares instead of the *bleep* person I got first time.
You got lucky! Congrats! Nice to hear there was a happy ending here.

Just to be clear, these fees aren't limited to the Canadian airline industry. In the US, AA, Delta and United all charge $200 USD to change domestic flights in the cheapest fare classes. European airlines are a lot better, though, with some not charging any fee and many charging 50 euros or less.
Deal Addict
Jul 14, 2006
2314 posts
3115 upvotes
Arrgh wrote: It's been that way for a long time.
Therefore it should never change!
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
15191 posts
12345 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
jakeman wrote: Thanks All! Thread can be closed.

I just wish there was more human compassion and not just a business with only $ in mind. You know, actual customer service : p

Looked at business class tickets, 1-way trip for $1700/per person which was out the question.

Some review & regulation by a govt body would be welcoming just like they've done with the cell phone industry. Wish there was more competition with the CDN airline industry.

Thankfully, after making another plea with AC, another agent was kind enough and understanding and restored faith back to humanity : ) All is well again! She made the changes without the penalty charges.

In the future, for anyone with my dilemma, never hurts to try again and state your case. Just hope you get someone who cares instead of the *bleep* person I got first time.
CONGRATS you got lucky

But the rest of your post is ill informed

(and now bordering on some idea of entitlement...
so someone was nice enough to waive the fee / let you off the hook
CAUSE YOU SCREWED UP ... BY NOT CHECKING YOUR CONFIRMATION / DOCS
And you believe it’s NOT YOUR FAULT but the airlines ... and stating a lack of Customer Service)

Seriously ???

You should be GRATEFUL someone in CUSTOMER SERVICE took pity on you

Talk about BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU

:facepalm:
psyko514 wrote: You got lucky! Congrats! Nice to hear there was a happy ending here.

Just to be clear, these fees aren't limited to the Canadian airline industry. In the US, AA, Delta and United all charge $200 USD to change domestic flights in the cheapest fare classes.
European airlines are a lot better, though, with some not charging any fee and many charging 50 euros or less.
This.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Aug 3, 2006
4458 posts
1039 upvotes
jakeman wrote: I just wish there was more human compassion and not just a business with only $ in mind. You know, actual customer service : p Looked at business class tickets, 1-way trip for $1700/per person which was out the question.

In the future, for anyone with my dilemma, never hurts to try again and state your case. Just hope you get someone who cares instead of the *bleep* person I got first time.
So your definition of customer service means "Ignore the mistake I made myself and give me what I demand"?
The first person was following the very clearly stated Air Canada policy to which you agreed to.

Stop being a whiny baby. You're completely ungrateful. Thread should stay open.
Penalty Box
Feb 22, 2016
4676 posts
4187 upvotes
PointsHubby wrote: CONGRATS you got lucky
But the rest of your post is ill informed
(and now bordering on some idea of entitlement...
so someone was nice enough to waive the fee / let you off the hook
CAUSE YOU SCREWED UP ... BY NOT CHECKING YOUR CONFIRMATION / DOCS
And you believe it’s NOT YOUR FAULT but the airlines ... and stating a lack of Customer Service)
Seriously ???
You should be GRATEFUL someone in CUSTOMER SERVICE took pity on you
Talk about BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU
And I wanted to add, just because the OP got lucky this time, rest assured if this happens again Air Canada will have noted this incident and will not be as generous.
I've worked in customer service before (for a credit card issuer). Sometimes we can bend the rules for you, if you're a good customer or as a one-time goodwill gesture. This does not mean the rules of the contract you agreed to don't apply to you. We WILL hold you to those rules next time. One of the most enjoyable aspects of working in a CS role was giving a nice firm NO to entitled jerks, as well as bending the rules for good customers who don't give me attitude.
Last edited by EastGTARedFlagger on Jan 2nd, 2018 9:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Friendly reminder #1: Keurig cannot properly brew coffee. Get a Nespresso or a French press. You can thank me later.
Friendly reminder #2: Price matching is NOT the law. Never was, never will be. Nobody can stop you from shopping elsewhere.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 15, 2006
8759 posts
3209 upvotes
Toronto
OP got lucky, very lucky. But don't expect a CSR to take pity on you in the future, for your own mistakes, especially after a week.
13inches wrote: Therefore it should never change!
A fool would think so.
[OP]
Newbie
Feb 25, 2007
44 posts
5 upvotes
Toronto
some people here are pretty cynical. Makes asking for help or guidance pointless.

I accept some fault for not checking in timely manner. I shouldn't have made the rash purchase so quickly. Like you or someone you know never made a mistake?
I haven't flown in the last 10 years and not familiar with the caveats of flight booking and respect to penalty.

I was simply asking if charges could be reduced as the fare Vs penalty didn't seem fair.

Instead of attacking and reminding poster is to blame, why not be helpful?

Thought this was a place to share ideas and help others but some people don't share those sentiment.

Anyways, nothing more to add, think what you will, I'm done commenting.
Deal Addict
Aug 31, 2017
4114 posts
2015 upvotes
People here are indeed cynical and it's no wonder why corporations take advantage when you have customers who support these policies. So, I suppose if Rogers/Bell/Telus charged $200 a gigabyte that would be cool, because it's in their policies and you signed up for it. Or for a real life example, the exorbitant overage charges they used to have until regulation came in.

Change the mindset, change the culture.

OP I'm glad it worked out for you.
Penalty Box
Feb 22, 2016
4676 posts
4187 upvotes
jakeman wrote: some people here are pretty cynical. Makes asking for help or guidance pointless.
If Air Canada truly wronged you (they didn't), we'd all be on your side.
Plenty of threads about people getting screwed by Trashcan and Sunwing and you'll get maybe 50% pity and 50% "you get what you paid for, next time fly somebody else".
In this case you got 100% "you get what you paid for" (since you went cheapest and didn't do your homework as to what that entails).

Just take it all as a lesson learned. Remember the phrase The big print giveth and the small print taketh away. And live by it ALWAYS, especially when dealing with airlines.
Friendly reminder #1: Keurig cannot properly brew coffee. Get a Nespresso or a French press. You can thank me later.
Friendly reminder #2: Price matching is NOT the law. Never was, never will be. Nobody can stop you from shopping elsewhere.
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
15191 posts
12345 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
Maybe people would not have come across as quite so cynical... IF

You had not come across as quite so entitled

You were clearly in the wrong... you weren’t GRATEFUL of what was done for you

Saving you $ 800

Then again, maybe $ 800 is not a BIG DEAL to you
It certainly is a BIG DEAL to others

And it SEEMED a big deal when you were begging for forgiveness

Not so much though, once the $ 800 was in your pocket and not the airlines

Pure & simple...

IT WAS YOUR MISTAKE... not the airlines
You should be grateful, kinder to the CSR who saved you that money
Deal Fanatic
Feb 15, 2006
8759 posts
3209 upvotes
Toronto
People are not cynical. People are responding to your situation and your attitude. You used the title "Outrageous Air Canada flight rescheduling fee!"

But it's not outageous, as you should've understand and should agree by now.
jakeman wrote: Why the outrageous fee???

..I filed a online web complaint form but just wondering if any course of action I could take. Unfortunately my credit card doesn't have any flight interruption coverage.

Who determines these rates? This is just insane! .. There was no mention of the penalty fee structure, only 1 line fine print details regarding 24 hour finalization, in the end of the PDF attachment.
You indicated your CC does not have flight interruption coverage. But this is not a flight interruption situation.

You also used the word "insane", and stated "There was no mention of the penalty fee structure", which is also not true. Someone immediately pointed you to the actual rules.
jakeman wrote: some people here are pretty cynical. Makes asking for help or guidance pointless.

I accept some fault for not checking in timely manner. I shouldn't have made the rash purchase so quickly. Like you or someone you know never made a mistake?
I haven't flown in the last 10 years and not familiar with the caveats of flight booking and respect to penalty.

I was simply asking if charges could be reduced as the fare Vs penalty didn't seem fair.

Instead of attacking and reminding poster is to blame, why not be helpful?

Thought this was a place to share ideas and help others but some people don't share those sentiment.

Anyways, nothing more to add, think what you will, I'm done commenting.
After you got lucky with the CSR who made an exception for you and did not charge you, you were ungrateful and continued to whine.

Saying you haven't flown in the last 10 years and not familiar with the caveats of flight booking... Well, the person buying the ticket still has responsibility, right?

People not being helpful? People have been helpful, trying to educate you. At least take this as an opportunity that you learned the rules about buying the cheapest ticket, and most importantly learn to take responsibility rather than trying to make excuses or blame others.
Deal Addict
Feb 25, 2007
1283 posts
745 upvotes
Ottawa
As a frequent flyer, I'm happy there is some (if unpredictable) compassion in the system for genuine errors by clueless travellers. And while some people love criticizing Air Canada, it does often have more compassion than other airlines, e.g. some of the U.S. majors.

OP, I think part of the reason you're getting some rather critical reactions in this thread is the language you're using. "Outrageous" in the title; "insane" in the text; "*bleep* person" who didn't bend the rules for you first time around. You'd get a lot more empathy if you had posted with a bit more humility and apology rather than outrage. Nevertheless, happy it worked out.

It's worth noting that at $1700 for 4 of you, Air Canada is extremely likely losing money on your tickets. The only reason it's worthwhile for them is that it's losing $1700 less than if those seats flew empty. They need to sell lots of tickets at the higher fares @psyko514 posted, and that you didn't want to pay. So that enough people, travelling for business and sometimes for leisure, don't just jump on the rock-bottom cheapest fare, the airlines put in restrictions on travel time, length of stay, and especially fees if you want to make changes. Rock bottom fare = higher fees, as most travelers know, and as you would have seen (in time to cancel without penalty) had you read what you received. If too many more people were given exceptions like you were, price differentiation between low and high airfares would shrink, and on average a lot of us would pay more. A $200/ticket change fee for rock bottom fare tickets is not unusual.

The best analogy I can think of is the freeway exit near my house. There's one lane that turns left on the road at the end, and one right. At certain times of day the right turn lane is jammed. Even though it's clearly marked, sometimes motorists will amble along the left turn lane for a while before realizing they're in the wrong lane, and then bud in where someone lets them in to the right, gaining time over those dutifully lined up and sort of clogging the intersection until someone lets them in. If they look sufficiently clueless and apologetic, no one is upset to let them bud in. But they'll get a much sterner reaction if they look as if they planned it that way to avoid waiting their turn, or if instead of an apologetic wave they would give everyone around them the finger. And it goes without saying that it would be hopelessly clogged if both lanes regularly could turn right.
Deal Addict
Oct 18, 2014
1959 posts
852 upvotes
HK
OP is definitely lucky.

Even as an SE100K who books last minute full Y fares, I have never ever gotten the change fee/fare difference waived.

If the CSR gets audited, they s/he would need to explain why they did that.

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