An entrepreneur who paid more than $ 1,000 to Air Canada for a Montreal-Paris return trip canceled due to the pandemic ended up with a travel credit worth … $ 47.
By including a portion of the taxes that were reimbursed to him, Alexandre Fortin recovered the sum of $ 170.73 in all, whereas he had paid $ 1,059.47 for his ticket a year ago.
“I needed a few seconds to breathe”, confides Mr. Fortin to the Newspaper by recounting his conversation with the Air Canada call center attendant.
“If they had kept $ 200 out of $ 1000, I would not have made any case, but this is completely absurd,” he adds.
A frequent traveler for business, Alexandre Fortin graciously accepted the credit offered to him by Air Canada last spring when he had to cancel his trip to France. He did not know then how convoluted the rules of the biggest airline in Canada are.
Air Canada ticket prices are made up of several elements. In the case of Mr. Fortin’s Montreal-Paris-Montreal trip, it included the “base fare” of $ 47, “carrier surcharges” of $ 570, seat selection fees of $ 300 and various taxes totaling $ 142.47.
He must pay an additional $ 1,749
This week, the businessman has booked a Montreal-Calgary return trip that he will do next month for his company. When he said he wanted to use his credit from last year, he was told that only the base fare of $ 47 was applicable to his new ticket. Result: his new flights cost him the tidy sum of $ 1,749.
The credit for the $ 300 seat selection fee can only be applied to a new seat selection for an international flight, it was explained.
“It’s laughing at the world,” protests Alexandre Fortin.
As for the “carrier surcharges” of $ 570, the Air Canada employee falsely told Mr. Fortin that it was “the gasoline tax that the government charges the airline”.
On its website, Air Canada indicates that it is a sum it collects to cover expenses such as fuel and navigation services. These supplements are part of “air transport costs” in the same way as the base fare.
In any event, the attendant told Alexandre Fortin that it was impossible for her to recover this sum, which represents more than half the price of the ticket.
“However, I didn’t burn a lot of fuel to go to Paris: I didn’t go! He says.
“It’s really annoying. If I treated my clients like this, I would be closed for a long time. “
” This is theft “
Gabor Lukacs, president of the defense organization Air Passenger Rights, argues that Mr. Fortin could force Air Canada to reimburse him based on European regulations.
But that does not prevent him from shooting red balls on the Montreal transporter.
“Air Canada is acting illegally,” he says. What they are doing is stealing. “
A spokesperson for the company, Pascale Déry, declined to comment on the case, citing respect for the confidentiality of its customers.
Remember that Air Canada keeps billions of dollars paid by travelers for flights canceled due to the coronavirus. Ottawa promises to demand that airlines reimburse their customers before helping them.