Air Canada Marketed - United Operated - SDC then return cancelled

Discussion in 'Star Alliance' started by ericb, Aug 6, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. ericb

    ericb Silver Member

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    So my friend used an OTC to book a Air Canada marketed/UA operated roundtrip SFO-YVR this weekend. I was also going, and to get arrivals closer to each other he was able to get a confirmed seat on an earlier Air Canada operated flight, even though his original outbound was operated by UA. I was a little surprised the Air Canada desk could do this, and the fact they did it for free was even more impressive.

    We checked in today for the return flight at YVR (both on the same flight, different PNRs), and he gets bounced between UA and AC because AC thought the record was still valid and he needed to go to UA to print his BP and UA had cancelled his return as a no-show and couldn't even find him in the system.

    The agents at both desks were not very helpful (the UA one in particular was downright rude to the AC agents) and their "solution" was to put my friend on standby for both the UA flight he was supposed to be on (which was way oversold now) and an AC flight 90 mins later. I asked about what happens if he doesn't clear standby on the last flight and they said he'll have to take the next morning flight without compensation/hotel voucher.

    So three questions:

    a) Who's at fault here? Is it a SHARES issue, or a wayward AC agent at SFO rebooking passengers from partner metal onto their own? My solution would be to confirm him to his original flight (if possible) and let VDB work it out. At worst, it's treated like a IDB and he gets compensation and a hotel voucher and takes the next morning flight out. Standby seemed like a cop-out "don't want to do the heavy lifting" option and I can't believe both airlines standing at the same desk told him to sleep on the floor due to their own goof (UA and AC walked 50 ft between the two desks no less than 3 times). Magically, after boarding, there were 8 empty seats on the plane, so maybe we were fortunate that a large group cancelled last minute or there are serious issues with inventory management.

    b) Is this legal regarding the terms of the contract of carriage? I can't imagine the NTSB would rule in favor of the airlines on this one since my friend had a confirmed seat on both flights, already had flown the outbound with no upcharge or new ticket issued (as far as I could tell) and had basically done as he was told throughout the whole process. What are his rights here?

    c) Is it worth complaining to UA or AC (assuming they don't point the finger at the other like they did in person?) I'm less worried about the technical glitch or the "more than helpful" SFO AC Agent than the unprofessionalism of the YVR ticketing agents.


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