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Sunday, February 8, 2015

Battle of the Airline Compensation Giants - Air Canada vs. United Airlines Round 1

Here are some updates that I'm sure you'll be thrilled to read about. First things first, how is that annoying foot problem? (Not the smell, the pain one). I am almost certain I have sesame-itis. There are these small sesame bones at the base of the big toe and when anything gets inflamed, you stick -itis on it. Swollen appendix? Appendicitis. Inflamed sesame bones? Sesame itis. Swollen Dick?


(C'mon people, have some class!!!)

One more - inflamed soul singer?

Otis-itis Redding.

I did some reading on that wonderful place, The Internet. It took me 90 seconds to learn of a possible cure/treatment that I could try right away. It also took another 5 hours looking at pictures of cats, reading listicles, and watching variations of the Numa Numa song on Youtube before I tore myself away from The Internet.

I cut a little pad from moleskin and afixed it to the underside of my trusty Spenco Sorbothane insoles, which had saved me from excruciating walking pain in Vegas.

The idea of the pad is to re-distribute weight to the rest of the ball of the foot, thus relieving the crush, and subsequent itis, of the sesame bones.

Trusty Spenco Sorbothane insoles. How could I have forgotten thee??!
There are some professionally made models of pad out there, but I have yet to find them. And if I did, I'm not sure I could pass myself off as a dancer. Still, they might be worth a try.

Anyway, I made my little pad, figured out where to place it and stuck it to the underside of the Wondersole Spenco Sorbothane insole (left foot).

Holy shit. I had virtually instant relief! Because my sesames weren't getting as crushed. Always a good thing for ones sesames. Within about three days I was walking normally, and able to move my big toe without much pain.

And, my eye thing was conjunctivitis, simply cured by the drops I got a subscription for from the walk-in clinic the day after I got home. Half of them went in my eyes, even, and my forehead has never looked so clear.

But what has all this got to do with the Battle of the Airline Compensation Giants?!

Nothing at all. But I know my readers don't like loose ends.

Now, as you may recall if you read the air travel debacle post at the start of my trip, you will recall these important fun facts:

- I got up 3:00am after 2 hours sleep and motored, panic stricken, along unploughed lanes and highways to the Aerodrome through 4 inches of snow
- The flights out of Flusherville were delayed almost four hours.
- As a result I missed my Pearson to Vegas direct flight on Air Canada Rouge
- I got rerouted to Chicago and flew for an hour and a half in business class there. The Chicago to Vegas leg would be in economy, on United. I had paid for a business class upgrade.
- We were delayed in Chicago due to a broken tail light on the plane. When we left there was no real food to buy on the plane, and not enough water
- I arrived in Vegas 20 hours after I got up.

I'd paid $220 good Canadian Loonies for a first class upgrade from Toronto to Vegas and I had gotten stiffed on most of the ride. I was not impressed.

A savvy traveler never lets Air Fuckyou Canada get the upper hand. Or U-bite-it Airlines either, for that matter.

It is time to see which of these mega-Airlines would deal with my complaints the best. It's the Battle of the Airline Compensation Giants!

I lobbed the first volley. Pulling out all the stops, I composed and sent a very strongly communication to Air Canada:


Subject:  Business Class Upgrade not received
Message:  My ticket was AC7251 YGK to YYZ, then AC1851 YYZ to LAS. I upgraded to business class for AC1751.

AC7251 was 4 hours late. I was rebooked on AC7399 to ORD and then on UA565 from ORD to LAS.

(RF: Note the savvy airline lingo jargon... this should improve chances of a sweet compensation deal!)

I was told in Toronto that they could not book me in business class ORD to LAS.

In Chicago, UA told me that they could not honor AC's upgrade, that it had was ACs ticket and they would have had to upgrade me in Toronto.

This was frustrating, to say the least.

UA565 boarded, and was subsequently deplaned due to mechanical issues - broken nav lights. Another plane was found and we arrived in LAS at 8:30pm local time.

For this four hour flight, UA left without galleys loaded, and had insufficient water on board and no meals. My dinner was a 2 oz. tube of hummus. Not the business class treatment I was hoping for when I paid for the upgrade. :)

In all, I arrived in LAS 9 hours later than my original flight. Needless to say it was a tiring, difficult, frustrating day of travel. From the time I left my home it was a 20 hour journey.

I would like compensation for my business class upgrade purchase in the form of an upgrade voucher to be used on my next long haul trip. It would be nice if it was return, to compensate for the horrible day I spent. And the hummus dinner.

Your prompt attention is appreciated. Here's a copy of the email receipt: (receipt followed)

Here's the first reply I got:


Thank you for contacting us.

This is to confirm that we have received your  correspondence and there is no requirement to re-submit your information. Our processing time is currently 15 business days for general customer concerns, 20 business days for baggage related issues and up to 4 weeks for baggage tracing. We will make every effort to respond sooner.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as you await our response.

***Please do not reply to this email, it is an automated response.***

All I can say is God Help You if Air Canada has lost your luggage. FOUR WEEKS to find it? I think I'll put a salmon in an extra bag next time and tear the tags off of it before it goes down the chute.

Meanwhile, I went after United U-bite-it Airlines with the same vigor.


Subject: Airport Experience
Reply: Not applicable

Message: I was very unhappy with how United handled this flight. Specifically, we boarded the plane, then there were mechanical delays - nav lights out, which had to be replaced. We replaned. We were given the impression that they'd fix it soon and we'd be on our way. Long story short, they had to find another airplane. By the time we left for LAS we were 4 hours late.

They left ORD without the galleys being transferred from the previous plane. The captain made numerous announcements saying they were waiting for them and had called multiple times to request them.

In the end the flight left without the galleys. There was insufficient drinking water for the passengers. The drinking water ran out. There were no meals on board.

I bought a $5 hummus snack. Crackers, which I didn't want, and 2oz of hummus. I told the F.A. that they should be giving these out, not charging.

Later I went to the head and saw a F.A. eating about three or four of these tubes of hummus from the snack packs, greedily squeezing the brown goo into their hungry maw like a degenerate, starving astronaut. Nice that the customers can suffer and pay for snacks for their meagre dinner, but the F.A. can snarf them down for free in the galley.

I was not impressed.

Note that my ticket was on Air Canada AC1851 (the ticket number cited is
an AC one, I can't find a UA ticket number on my stub.)

I was reticketed on AC to Chicago and UA to LAS. I had paid for a bus.
class upgrade, but UA would not honor it.

Meanwhile, AC in Toronto told me to speak to UA in Chicago.

Overall, it was a very long day for me.

But I thought it was terrible to have a 4 hour delay, charge for snacks,
have insufficient water and no meals on board for a 4 hour flight, and
then witness the F.A. eating what little food there was for free.

What can you do to improve my perception of UA?

Thank you.

It's on!



    1. degenerate, starving astronaut????


    2. "greedily squeezing the brown goo into their hungry maw like a degenerate, starving astronaut" Brilliant Flusher!
      I must have read that line 5 times and it just keeps getting funnier. Looking forward to hearing how the airlines compensate you for putting you through all that bullshit.


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