'Appalling': Woman bumped from Air Canada flight misses $10,000 Galapagos cruise


B00Mer
#1
'Appalling': Woman bumped from Air Canada flight misses $10,000 Galapagos cruise



With airline bumping a hot topic these days, CBC News has heard from many Canadians wanting to share their own sagas.

Vicki Russell's story stood out.

She missed a $10,000 dream cruise of the Galapagos Islands because she was bumped from an overbooked Air Canada flight.

"I was so upset, I thought I was going to cry," Russell said from her home in Toronto. "Air Canada caused me to miss the trip of a lifetime."

The retired lawyer had always wanted to witness the unique wildlife in the Galapagos. She decided that this year she'd finally make her lifelong dream come true.

After doing extensive research, she booked a National Geographic tour with New York-based Lindblad Expeditions.

It included a round-trip Air Canada flight from Toronto to Miami. In Miami, she would meet up with the tour group and continue on to the Galapagos, off the coast of Ecuador. Everything had been booked more than two months in advance.




On April 1, Russell checked in shortly after 8 a.m. for her 10:55 a.m. Air Canada flight.

Her plans started unravelling about two hours later when she spoke with an Air Canada agent at the boarding gate. Russell says the agent informed her that the Miami flight was overbooked and that she wasn't getting on board because she didn't have a valid ticket.

Russell was dumbfounded because Air Canada had already issued her a boarding pass and checked her luggage for a $25 fee.

"It was extremely upsetting," she said. "The woman could not have been more rude, hostile. In all my years of travelling, I have never had a travel person treat me so badly."

Russell says she stressed to the agent that time was of the essence because she had a connecting flight that evening in Miami and then a cruise to catch.

She also showed the agent her travel documents and managed to contact the tour company to email her a receipt, proving that she had indeed paid for her airline ticket.

But by then, the gate had closed and the flight was already full.

"I was so distraught," said Russell.

Running out of time

She informed the agent she urgently needed another flight to Miami or she'd miss her Galapagos cruise. Russell says the agent directed her to Air Canada customer service in another section of the terminal, where she had to wait in line for help.

By the time she got to speak with customer service, Russell says she learned it was too late to get another Air Canada flight to Miami to make her connection.

She didn't get her checked luggage back until 2 p.m. too late to book a flight herself on another airline.

"They could not have cared less," Russell said of the Air Canada staff. "Time did not seem to have any importance to them at all."



Russell was devastated when she realized she was going to miss her cruise.

She believes if Air Canada had informed her at check-in that she was being bumped, she would probably have had time to book another flight.

"The series of errors that they made, their lack of apology, their disinterest in helping me is appalling," she said.

'Regrettable situation'

Air Canada confirmed the flight was oversold and says its staff made every effort to find Russell another flight so she wouldn't miss her cruise.

"Our agents worked hard looking for options," spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick said in an email to CBC News.

"This is a very regrettable situation and we are sorry we were unable to do more to help this customer get to her cruise."

Fitzpatrick didn't address Russell's claim that she'd been accused of not possessing an airline ticket.

Russell filed a complaint with Air Canada on April 2. It begins with the statement: "Air Canada shattered my dream vacation." She's since received a cheque for $800 compensation.

Russell had paid $10,320 for her trip, including $430 for her round-trip Air Canada flight.

She says Air Canada should foot the bill. She also wants an apology and explanation from the airline for the way she was treated.

Air Canada said it continues to review the file.

Meanwhile, the tour company has come through with a promising offer. CBC News contacted Lindblad Expeditions and explained why Russell missed her cruise.

The company said it will book another expedition for Russell, covering all costs except her flight to Miami.

"Absolutely fabulous," Russell said of the news, "totally thrilled, excited, relieved."

She says she's still waiting for a personal apology from Air Canada. She plans to rebook her trip in May and says this time she'll fly to Miami on a different airline.

source
 
bill barilko
#2
Lindblad is a quality operation-I wonder didn't cancellation insurance cover anything?
 
captain morgan
#3
It sure makes you wonder
 
taxslave
+2
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by bill barilkoView Post

Lindblad is a quality operation-I wonder didn't cancellation insurance cover anything?

Not really the point. There is no excuse for overbooking flights. You pay for a ticket you should be on the plane. Having had to fly Air Canada for work for a couple of years they are at the bottom of my use list. Disorganized and ignorant staff.
 
Tecumsehsbones
+4
#5  Top Rated Post
Corduroy said this briefly. Here's the longer version.

Airlines say that they have to overbook because people don't show up for flights. So what? You already have their money, and flying with empty seats actually produces a small but real decrease in operating costs (a lighter plane is cheaper to fly than a heavier one).

Whimper the airlines "But we have to refund the no-shows' tickets." Answer: 1) you don't, you give them partial refunds on future flights and keep the money, and 2) you don't "have" to refund them. It would be just as easy to say "You bought the ticket. Show up or don't, we're keeping the money. If you don't like that, feel free to buy travel insurance (from our wholly-owned subsidiary)."

Whine the airlines "But that will make passengers unhappy and angry!" Yeah, like bumping doesn't?

The real failure here is a failure to re-think the alleged logic behind overbooking.
 
Jinentonix
+2
#6
Lindblad: Despite Russell missing her cruise through no fault of theirs, they still booked another expedition for her at their cost, less the flight to Miami. Class Act.

Air Canada: Causes Russell to miss out on a $10,000 expedition, offers her $800 for the "inconvenience". Ass Act.
 
petros
-1
#7
You people are still going on about this?
 
Tecumsehsbones
+2
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

You people are still going on about this?

Thanks for your meaningful, well-considered contribution. Clearly the product of a trained mind.
 
petros
#9
These "tragic" incidents and the "horrific" tales of heartbreak fall into the "yeah? whatever" file.

Getting bumped from a flight is no big deal.

People get bumped from flights that are overweight too because of lack of passenger common sense.

Is that heartbreaking too?
 
Corduroy
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

The real failure here is a failure to re-think the alleged logic behind overbooking.

 
petros
#11
Wrong Marx...

'80s heartthrob Richard Marx helps subdue unruly airline passenger - CNN.com (external - login to view)

 
Twila
+2
#12
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

You people are still going on about this?

Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

These "tragic" incidents and the "horrific" tales of heartbreak fall into the "yeah? whatever" file.

Getting bumped from a flight is no big deal.

People get bumped from flights that are overweight too because of lack of passenger common sense.

Is that heartbreaking too?

We know it's hard for you to understand that other humans have valid feelings and that those who've possibly saved up for a very long time would prefer to not loose there $10,000 dream vacation. Maybe one day we'll all get to talk about your unfortunate situation the way you talk about others.
 
Jinentonix
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

These "tragic" incidents and the "horrific" tales of heartbreak fall into the "yeah? whatever" file.

Getting bumped from a flight is no big deal.

People get bumped from flights that are overweight too because of lack of passenger common sense.

Is that heartbreaking too?

Yeah, yeah. She should have just shut up and accepted the $800 insult as compensation for her $10,000 loss. I'm sure if an airline tried to f*ck you over for the better part of $10,000 you'd just take it like a bytch, right?
 
petros
#14
Nope, I fly often enough to accept the reality of flying.

Would you be a bitch and bump a 14 year old girl on a ringette team off to play in a national championship because their gear made the plane too overweight to take off during a heavy snowfall in Winnipeg when all you had to do was wait 2hrs?
 
Corduroy
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by TwilaView Post

We know it's hard for you to understand that other humans have valid feelings

When you break it down, this is the primary division of all political philosophy.
 
petros
#16
Maybe it's reality. I think your not getting enough O2 up your high horse.
 
Twila
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Maybe it's reality.

maybe it's your sense of entitlement...


Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

I think your not getting enough O2 up your high horse.

There's no way for you to know since you haven't the faintest comprehension about human behaviour or empathy.

Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Nope, I fly often enough to accept the reality of flying.

Would you be a bitch and bump a 14 year old girl on a ringette team off to play in a national championship because their gear made the plane too overweight to take off during a heavy snowfall in Winnipeg when all you had to do was wait 2hrs?

she isn't over weight. maybe you ought actually read the story.
 
petros
#18
Im entitled to fly?

Do you cry when you buy any other product and it doesnt stand up to your hopes and dreams?

Is that all you have to say for yourself or are you going to be like Neil Young and write a protest song when you buy a fax machine on the phone and it turns out to be a Piece of Crap?

Piece Of Crap"

Tried to save the trees
Bought a platsic bag
The bottom fell out
It was a piece of crap

Saw it on the tube
Bought it on the phone
Now you're home alone
It's a piece of crap

I tried to plug in it
I tried to turn it on
When I got it home
It was a piece of crap

Got it from a friend
On him you can depend
I found out in the end
It was a piece of crap

I'm trying to save the trees
I saw it on TV
They cut the forest down
To build a piece of crap

I went back to the store
They gave me four more
The guy told me at the door
It's a piece of crap
 
Twila
#19
your sense of entitlement. nothing said about flying.

deflect as you like.
 
petros
#20
Uh huh.

Is that the best you've got?
 
Twila
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Uh huh.

Is that the best you've got?

It's all you're worth.
Last edited by Twila; 2 days ago at 02:39 PM..
 
petros
#22
I guess that really is all you've got.
 
MHz
#23
Is that one of those tours where you have to stay on the boat and cannot interact with anything at the site??
 
bill barilko
#24
It's important to note that the numbers being thrown around mean nothing '$800' isn't eight one hundred dollar bills or even 40 x $20 it's a 'voucher' good for very little.

You can't just turn around use it it for your next trip you have to meet 'certain conditions' as per the airline's wishes-this is known as 'fencing' and I have seen vouchers that are useless as teats on a bull because of it.

Quote: Originally Posted by MHzView Post

Is that one of those tours where you have to stay on the boat and cannot interact with anything at the site??

Galapagos tours are all like that-very tightly controlled on land anyway-maybe you could swim with Sea Lions but that's about it.
 
Bar Sinister
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Maybe it's reality. I think your not getting enough O2 up your high horse.


And maybe it is because your head is always so far up your arse that you don't get any oxygen at all.
 

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