Thursday, March 12, 2009

Air Canada Transcribed

Some people like details about retail horror so that they can learn. I am not one of these people, but it might help me vent a bit:

  • I purchased, online, a flight on Air Canada for late June for $660. An error code came back after submittal.
  • AC agent #1 tells me that some credit card companies in the US are charging a "foreign company transaction fee" and that I need to call my card company and agree to a 2% fee.
  • The Visa company says this is not true. Call back the airline and tell them "to run it through again".
  • AC agent #2 tells me that AC agent #1 is wrong. What happened was that the fare was removed during my transaction. The fare is now $800. I demand that the previous transaction be voided, that I receive the original fare plus $100 off for being on the phone for 30 minutes.
  • AC agent #2 tells me I am not a customer at this time. Nothing can be done. I tell agent that I have a frequent-flyer account and have bought many times before: I am indeed a customer. No dice.
  • I explain to AC supervisor that AC agents are telling me contradictory things. She agrees with AC agent #1, citing Bank of America. I tell her that BoA is not my credit card company and that my Visa company does not process such a fee. I want to know if I can get the same flight by "running it through again" as instructed. Confusion.
  • After several minutes, the AC supervisor offers me the same flight for $660, but cannot speak to which transaction will be used. I explain that I am frustrated that I might be charged twice and that everyone has a different story.
  • After an hour in total, I pull the switch and tell the AC supervisor:
I am not mad at you personally, but I pity you for being involved in an infrastructure that is so amazingly incompetent. I hereby announce my severance from Air Canada and though I am not sure how I am going to get home this summer, I can assure you that it will not be through your airline. I will monitor the open authorization on my credit card and sincerely hope that I need not speak with you again.
A final call to the credit card company revealed that I have an open authorization on my account that cannot be removed or disputed until a charge is actually posted. Most likely, it will not be posted. If it is, I can dispute it.

That is one busy lunch hour (or 90 minutes), let me tell you.

ps. I don't think I could ever do business travel. I hate the logistics of flying more than I can describe.


KymberlieBlu said...

what a waste of your time! you should just hire me. i love to do that stuff. yeah... i'm weird that way.

Colleen said...

Remind me never to make you my partner on the Amazing Race. Airplanes stress you out way too much. I think only Jennifer can be my partner - every situation has already happened to her and it never seems to phase her. Hey Jen, wanna win a million bucks?

CaptainCanuck said...

@Kym. Ha ha... I need a travel concierge!

@Colleen. True, I do get stressed out but I have a long, painful history with Air Canada which has accumulated over time.

Jennifer said...

Try American Airlines. They've had pretty good prices lately. (And I personally have never had a problem with them!)