I recently cancelled a flight with Air Canada for travel from St. John's, Newfoundland to Halifax, Nova Scotia.
I had been on line and was booking an identical flight (I travel this route 10-12 times per year) for March 14, 2012 when I remembered that I had a credit on file with Air Canada. I logged into my Air Canada account only to find there was no record of the credit so that I could apply it to the new booking (Westjet incidentally accommodates this type of itinerary management).
The total cost for the new flight was approximately $118 using the current promotional code.
I proceeded with the booking with an Air Canada agent following a 20 minute wait on the phone. By the time the agent had "crunched" all the numbers taking into account my credit, change fee etc... he announced that I had to pay approx $118. The $151.56 I had paid for the original ticket had vanished and I was still paying $118!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I questioned the math that vaporized my credit and he broke it down for me. It basically amounted to losing $75 to the change fee and that I did not have access to any fares that had "promotional codes" using my credit. I could only use my credit against regular fare travel. Having a $75 change fee and holding the credit rather than cashing it out is a big enough "kick in the teeth" but not being able to use it like cash for any booking feels like theft.
To further aggravate, I prepared a message similar to this one on Air Canada's "public relations" department link on their web page only to have 15 minutes of typing go to waste when the service "reported an internal server error" after hitting the "submit" button. i had to complete and re-type the whole thing. I believe the message was rejected because I had put letters in the box for the form page where the flight number goes. The submission was accepted on the second attempt when completed without letters in the box.
I am very angry and disappointed that Air Canada has chosen to adopt such ethically and morally reprehensible policies that "rip-off" the very customers that have remained loyal and supported them throughout the years.
Customers must make themselves fully aware of Air Canada's policies so that they can better evaluate their travel options and be prepared for what may well happen to their money if they have to cancel a flight with Air Canada.
a disappointed customer,