In 2008 my husband (quadriplegic) and I were leaving Honolulu to head back home. As it is difficult for my husband to be seated in the coach area of the plane, we approached the Air Canada ticket booth and told them we would like to be updated, and that we were willing to pay fuly for this. We wanted to sit in either the business class or first class so I could stretch out my husband's legs, which would make the flight more comfortable for him.
At the ticket counter, we were told there were seats available in business/first class but that the supervisor could only upgrade us. The supervisor came over to the counter and started talking to us. We're professional and presentable people, but that shouldn't really matter. The supervisor started typing something on her screen and then informed us we couldn't upgrade because we bought our tickets on the internet and they were for the coach area.
I kept my cool but asked the supervisor why the previous agent told us we could do it, only to have her tell us we couldn't. All I could think of was that the supervisor thought my husband would be a nuisance to the other clients. That would have not been the case. We would have been loaded first, and with minor assistance from any of the airline staff would be enough to help my husband into his seat.
Four years later, I still remember this and it really infuriates me. I never did contact Air Canada because I think I would have lost it with them. Instead, we avoid Air Canada now for all of our flight needs, as do our friends after hearing our story.
For the life of me, I can't understand why Air Canada turned down our request and our offer to pay the full upgrade amount. What other business in this day and age would turn a customer away who would want to pay more money for the company's product. NO WONDER Air Canada is consistently bailed out of financial trouble by the Canadian Government (of course tax paper money).