Air Canada promised a $120 reimbursement — how can we get it?

Air Canada isn’t a complaint magnet for readers of this site. In fact, it has a pretty good reputation for resolving issues quickly and amicably. So the recent experience that Barbara Scott, and our advocates, had with the airline has left us scratching our heads.

When Air Canada canceled Scott’s flight to Toronto, another wasn’t available until the following morning and Scott found herself stranded in Philadelphia overnight. The airline details what it will do to assist passengers in such circumstances on its website, and did offer her a hotel voucher for the night. But, as she wrote us, there was a hitch.

“The only hotel that the gate agents said they could give us a voucher for was 40 minutes from the airport, with no shuttle service,” she wrote. “This was completely unacceptable since we were rebooked on a 6:30 a.m. flight the next morning, which meant we would have to leave for the airport at 3:45 a.m., assuming we could find transportation at that hour.”

So Scott started looking for another option.

“I checked all the hotels with 24-hour shuttle service to the airport and could not find anything available except at the Airport Marriott. The gate agents told us that we should book the room, submit a receipt and hope that Air Canada will reimburse us,” she recalls.

Problem solved? Sadly, no.

Turns out that a night at the airport Marriott on that particular evening cost $437 — apparently a bit more than the airline had in mind. Instead, Air Canada offered her $120 “as a gesture of goodwill” toward her hotel costs that night and a $150 (CAD) voucher toward future travel on the airline.

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Scott wasn’t feeling the love. As she pointed out in her response to the airline: “…$120 is barely enough to cover the cost of an airport hotel room when it is booked weeks in advance.” She also noted that the flight cancellation caused her to forfeit another $200 for a reservation guarantee she had for a room in Toronto that evening.

When the airline wouldn’t budge, and even the $120 reimbursement that it offered never arrived, Scott reached out to our advocates, who contacted Air Canada on her behalf.

And what did we hear back?

Crickets.

No response at all. That’s a big surprise to us from an airline with a decent record for handling customer complaints.

Scott could try using the Air Canada executive contacts at our advocacy site to continue pleading her case. She might also benefit from checking out the FAQs on our website on how to resolve a consumer dispute.

As good as our advocates are, sometimes even we can’t get a company’s attention. In this case, we’d like to think this was just an oversight. Hey Air Canada, if you’re out there, will you prove us right?

Dale Irvin

Dale Irvin is a semi-retired writer and editor, now living in south Florida after three years roaming around North America in an RV. You can read about those adventures at fabulousfifthwheel.com.

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