October 25th, 2020

City man left up in the air by Air Canada’s impending departure


By Nick Kuhl on March 14, 2020.

Tim Kalinowski


Lethbridge Herald


tkalinowski@lethbridgeherald.com


One local Air Canada customer says he is not getting any response to 
his calls about whether or not he can get a refund on his ticket.
Lethbridge businessman Michael Thompson had booked a ticket through 
Expedia to fly from the Lethbridge Airport to a conference in St. 
John’s, N.L., on April 1 with WestJet and to fly back with Air Canada 
on April 5.
With Air Canada announcing on Thursday it would be halting service to 
Lethbridge as of March 31, Thompson attempted to call the company’s 
customer service line to inquire about the state of his ticket.
“I already paid for the flight, but if I call Air Canada their 
customer service line doesn’t even allow you to stay on hold,” he 
says. “It just directs you away. I had booked through Expedia, and 
when you call the Expedia line the same thing happens. There is no 
method for contacting them other than email because they have shut 
down all vocal communications. As of right now, there has certainly 
been no communication (from Air Canada) and no refund.”
Thompson still intends to fly out to the conference as scheduled, but 
with no sure way back it leaves him limbo as to what he should do. He 
acknowledges there are larger forces at work in with the COVID-19 
situation, but he would still like an answer from the airline one way 
or another.
“There is a good chance the event I am attending may be cancelled 
anyway, and that I may not be going anyway,” he admits, “but that has 
not occurred as yet.”
Thompson also admits he has anxiety about taking the trip which has 
nothing to do with the state of his Air Canada ticket.
“I am a little nervous,” he says. “Even though I am a young, healthy 
person, I know I could catch it and pass it on to other people, and 
they could be casualties because of that. So, yeah, I am nervous. I am 
not sure whether they are stopping domestic travel or not at this 
time, but certainly I have to take that into account.”
Passenger airlines have often served as the global economy’s canary in 
the coal mine when world events of significance happen, and this time 
the COVID-19 situation is likely no different, acknowledges Thompson, 
but he still would, minimally, like to get someone from Air Canada on 
the phone.
“I heard Mayor Spearman mention in the paper that a stoppage of 
service to Lethbridge has happened before, and it has cut back in 
situations when there is a bad economic climate for air travel. So 
perhaps Air Canada will be back in a year — I think time will tell. 
But for the time being, I just need to know whether I am getting a 
refund, whether I am getting re-booked, whichever the case is, so I 
can move forward with my own plans.
Follow @TimKalHerald on Twitter

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John P Nightingale

AC , admittedly is in the middle of C19 and dealing with multiple factors as a result. But common decency and acknowledgement should be a given.
I too am booked to Calgary and onward returning Calgary to Lethbridge .
My electronic ticket still indicates all is well and even advises that “only ** days left for the flight…”
Airport staff are helpful but cannot process any ticket changes or suggest alternatives other than making ones own way to Calgary for the onward flight. I am not even sure the connecting flight will be acknowledged.
At this point cancelling seems to be the only option. Even that is thwart with obstacles. Attempting to simply change departure and return dates is stymied by the ACs web site.
Stressful times indeed, MADE WORSE BY THE AIRLINE’S NON FUNCTIONAL CUSTOMER SERVICE, BE IT PHONE (NOPE), MESSENGING (NOPE), EMAIL (NOPE).
Inconvenience from the fallout from C19 I can understand and accept. AC’s complete and repetitive failure to deliver anything close to respect for its customers is appalling and shameful!