Report: #926899

Complaint Review: Air Canada

  • Submitted: Mon, August 13, 2012
  • Updated: Tue, August 14, 2012
  • Reported By: Kipawa — Battle Ground Washington Canada
  • Air Canada

    Honolulu, Hawaii
    United States of America

Air Canada Refuses to let quadriplegic and wife upgrade to business or first class even though they offered to pay Honolulu, Hawaii

*Consumer Comment: You bought a coach ticket and that is what you got! NO RIPOFF HERE!

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

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).
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#1 Consumer Comment

You bought a coach ticket and that is what you got! NO RIPOFF HERE!

AUTHOR: Jane - (U.S.A.)

I don't mean to sound insensitive to your husband's needs but you purchased a ticket for coach and that is what you got.  You ASKED for an *update* (upgrade?) and you did not like the answer (which was "NO").  This is not a rip off.

Maybe there were other flyers on the plane who were more worthy of an upgrade then you were, based on status with that carrier (Frequent flyer points, class of ticket purchased, etc.).

Futhermore, many of the  'super saver fares' that are purchased from discounted web sites (such as Pr*celine, exped*a, etc) do not have fare information included with your reservation (on the airline's computers). The manager at the gate is not privy to the price you paid for your ticket when you make the purchase from one of those websites.

Without knowing what you paid for your ticket, it would have made it impossible for that manager to quote you a figure on an upgrade- even if he could have done so. 

Often times a ticket purchased from a discounted site is sold with multiple restrictions. One of the most popular restrictions states that NO CHANGES can be made to the ticket without going thru the website where the purchase was originally made (and usually paying a HEFTY FEE). You don't have to take my word for this, look it up for yourself, or better yet, call the customer service on the site were you made the purchase and ask them about changes, upgrades etc.

With that as a backdrop, the only other option would have been to give you a FREE upgrade. The airline does not owe you that.



Was your husband disabled when you purchased the tickets?

If so, then you KNEW his condition. Why didn't YOU pay for the upgraded ticket then? No one denied you access to purchase a first class seat when you purchased your coach ticket.  


The truth of the matter is that EVERYONE on the plane would PREFER to sit in an upgraded seat, but not everyone is willing/able to pay to do so. If you were RETURNING from Hawaii, then you obviously had to FLY to get there. It sounds to me as if you got a FREE upgrade going TO Hawaii and you felt as if you were entitled to one on your return flight. 

If that was not the case and you flew coach INTO Hawaii, then you KNEW how uncomfortable he was and should have made the appropriate arrangements to change your ticket PRIOR to the day of departure. YOUR FAILURE TO DO SO IS NOT THE FAULT OF THE AIRLINES, nor should they be accused of 'ripping you off', because YOU picked your pocketbook over his comfort.  

You asked for a freebee and they said no and FOUR YEARS later, you accuse them of ripping you off.  You sound quite irrational to me. In general, the passangers that pay/fly the least, complain the most. I am sure that this airline appreciates your decision not to fly with them.

Poor planning on your part is not a rip off.

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