Saturday, February 14, 2015

Battle of the Airline Compensation Giants - Air Canada vs. United Airlines Round 2

Well, as I sit and wait... and wait... and wait... for Air Canada to at least tell me they are at minimum going to refund the business class upgrade I paid for but did not get to enjoy, save the short flight on one of those smaller South American planes - the Brassiere 190.

UPDATE: As of Friday 20-Feb-2015 I have not heard anything further from Air Canada. They continue to rack up interest while keeping my hard-earned upgrade dollars. It's over a month since I first emailed them for a refund.

UPDATE 2: As of Monday 2-Mar-2015... I have STILL not heard anything further from Air Canada. I replied to the customer support email that I received with the discount code and asked for help but 10 days has passed and I haven't received any reply.

I was given a little business card by a flight attendant on a recent unrelated trip that has a phone number for Refund Services. 204-941-2851.

I called it and guess what? It's only a recording telling you to go the the website to contact them and for 'valuable information'. This would be the same website that I used to file the initial complaint almost six weeks ago.

The same useless website that I have gotten absolutely nowhere with.

Here's the reply I got:
2-Mar-2015

*****************Do Not Reply to this email*************************
 An Air Canada Refund Representative will review your email and reply as soon as possible. If review determines that you are entitled to a refund, please allow a minimum of 3 weeks (unless otherwise stated by applicable law) for your refund to be processed. We are currently processing refunds sent in the week of Jan 26 2015
Thank you for your patience 

What do I do now??? Should I talk to my credit card company and have the upgrade charge disputed?

Dear God this is no way to treat a customer of 40 years. I have spent literally thousands of dollars per year with Air Canada. It's really quite pathetic and incredibly frustrating.


Meanwhile, United aka U Bite It Airlines has come through with an olive branch.

More specifically, 50 olive branches:
30-January-2015

Dear Mr. Flusher,

Thank you for contacting us at United Airlines Customer Care Department. Please forgive the delay in our response.

I am sorry to learn of the problems that affected your travel on UA 565 January 09, 2015 from Chicago, IL to Las Vegas, NV.

Please be assured we do understand your concerns, which have been documented for further review.

In appreciation of your feedback and patience, please enjoy the $50 electronic travel certificate that will be emailed to you under separate cover within 3-5 business days.

I hope your next experience will earn a positive review.  Thank you for choosing United.

Regards,

Asra Hasan
Customer Care


The unfortunately named Mainliner. Unless you are Keef Richards.
The same day, this arrived:
30-January-2015

Thank you again for taking time to let us know about your recent experience with United Airlines.

An Electronic Travel Certificate has been issued to Royal Flusher valid towards the purchase of one electronic airline ticket, where eligible, on United up to $50.00.

Redemption information - Total Value: $50.00  Promotion Code: 88UA6969   PIN Code: U8AN8NCH1  Issued Date: 1/30/2015  Expiration Date: 1/30/2016  Original Ticket Number: 201520142013

The reference for this item is: 123123123


I think United handled this very promptly indeed. I contacted them on 21-January and by 30-January, my pants were full and -itis with fifty United Fly-Me Dollars.

So when - and if - I ever buy a ticket on United, in the next year, I can save fifty dollars. It is not lost on me that I have to purchase from them, thus probably giving them more profit, in order to make use of the voucher, just like the percent off Air FU Canada vouchers I got (which also expire in a year - WHY???? Just WHY do they need to expire? The nasty event which precipitated the discount happened. It's over. There is no best before date on my bottled in outrage!).

I guess this $50 thing would be useful if I ever bought tickets on United, but I don't. I think this one is probably going to simply expire.

Should I email them back and explain that they should give me something useful?