The Squeaky, Public Wheel Gets the Money Back

man riding on vehicle with trailers

I’m going to give you the conclusion before I start the story: I finally received compensation for my delayed suitcase in Palm Springs. But I’m not thrilled with the way I had to go about it.

It’s not my practice to rush to social media when something goes wrong. Something will always go wrong! That’s sort of what life is. A series of delights and mishaps that we figure out how to navigate. I don’t expect perfection in anything. I’d rather talk to the manager of a restaurant than blurt about how bad the food was. It’s kinder. When something goes awry, I pivot. Taking a plane anywhere these days requires FPM – Frequent Pivoting Miles. But after weeks of useless phone calls, including discussions with supervisors, I never thought I’d finally get satisfaction from Air Canada by going to social media with my frustration.

My tweet reads: So, I'm sick of calling Air Canada once a week to ask where my refund is. It's been more than 60 days - they said 30. It's been escalated thrice! I need a tip or a hack. More than a phone call, less than dumping manure on their lawn. Ideas?

This case concerns my trip to Palm Springs in mid-January when my checked bag didn’t arrive for three days. Twenty-five responses on X looks impressive until you realize that about one-third were scam bots claiming to be AC reps. I blocked them immediately. Another was a troll trying to draw me into an argument. More than anything, these trolls want a response of any kind. So I block them too. The rest of the comments ranged from helpful to basic.

None of them mattered in the end because Air Canada reached out on X. In about three minutes they were able to tell me that my refund claim was denied because I hadn’t paid extra for my bag. The fee was included in my flight cost. No one could have explained that weeks ago?

Okay, I said, but what about the compensation I applied for? I was on the trip partly to host an event and without my outfit, I had wear borrowed clothing. Then on day three, I finally needed to go shopping. What about that?

Air Travel Turbulence

It’s a rough ride for airlines lately as far worse things have happened than lost luggage. Perhaps the most notorious was bolts missing from on an airliner door that blew out mid-flight.

Meme shows a young woman looking embarrassed. Text: There are no mistakes save one. The failure to learn from a mistake. Robert Fripp. (Guitarist from King Crimson)

Air Canada recently tried to weasel out of paying a man by claiming its own website chatbot was a “separate legal entity” from the company The customer had booked a flight for his grandmother’s funeral after the Artificial Intelligence chatbot told him he would get some of his money back. All he had to do was apply within 90 days. But when he did apply, he was turned down. Air Canada tried to claim that he should have called the airline to get the right information.


Wisely, a tribunal saw through it and awarded the man his money back plus damages.

Ducking Responsibilities

Now that Lynx Air has closed shop, there’s one less airline to let us down. Ticket costs are outpacing inflation and you can literally watch a flight’s price go up online while you figure out which one to book. It’s nutty. I’ve been trying to book a weekend away for me and Derek this fall. Even when I set my browser to “incognito” mode it made no difference. If you think I’m a little sour on flying right now, you’re right. Between Westjet’s stupid replacement flight and my tussle with Air Canada, I’m happy to keep both feet on the ground for a while.

Did I mention that Air Canada failed to recognize my Aeroplan account, so I didn’t even get points on my flight?

I do try to travel with a carry-on only but this time was different. Still, when you get on board with your “one carry-on and one personal item”, you see how many others have a purse, a bag, a pillow, a fanny pack and who knows what else. Finally, US airlines are cracking down on the number of items taken onboard. Now, passengers will have to either consolidate their items into one or check what they can’t pack. Maybe Canadian carriers will follow suit.

Meanwhile, Sebastian Maniscalco knows a thing or two about airports. I love this short rant. He stars in the dark/funny series, Bookie, and travels the world as a stand-up comic. Enjoy.

1 thought on “The Squeaky, Public Wheel Gets the Money Back”

  1. I love this part: “That’s sort of what life is. A series of delights and mishaps that we figure out how to navigate.” Wise and funny!

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