After traveling in Europe for nearly two weeks, I returned home to find a certified letter from Aeroplan delivered by FedEx.
Here’s the unedited letter, concerning my cancelled first class tickets on SWISS:
Dear Mr. Klint:
Thank you for your letter regarding your recent Aeroplan flight redemption on SWISS Air. I have attempted to call you regarding your letter but you have yet to return my calls.
As you know, SIWSS First Class seats are not typically available for Aeroplan redemption travel. This restriction to SWISS First Class seats has been in effect since 2013 and appears on Aeroplan’s website https://www.aeroplan.com/use-your-miles/flight-rewards-chart. As you mentioned, some members, such as yourself, were able to erroneously reserve the restricted seats during a short period. Aeroplan, in collaboration with the airline carriers, Air Canada and SWISS Air, worked together in finding alternative flights to replace the inhibited seats so that members would not sustain further inconvenience at time of travel.
I can appreciate your frustration when the SWISS First Class seats were unexpectedly cancelled without notice. Our records confirm that you were originally booked to travel from Zurich to Los Angeles on a SWISS Air First Class flight. My understanding, from the Aeroplan Supervisor that spoke with you, is that the issue was resolved on December 12, 2017 when you agreed and accepted re-routing to the same destination in Business Class with a connection in Toronto. The Aeroplan Supervisor offered to make future changes on the booking without any fees (if the direct flight became available before your travel date). Upon further review of your reservation, we noticed that you cancelled you reward tickets on December 31, 2017. These flight reward tickets remain available for future use (up to one year from the original ticket issue date).
If you would like to discuss and reconsider the options made available to you by Aeroplan in securing new flight options or refunding you unused reward tickets at no fee, please do not hesitate to contact me directly, and I will be happy to assist.
First, I appreciate the tone of this note. It is not at all condescending like the SWISS correspondence. Furthermore, it concedes that while SWISS First Class is not “typically available” there are instances in which space is booked and confirmed. It also concedes my reservation was cancelled without notice.
Second, however, it gets many facts wrong. While I may have missed some calls during my travels to eight countries over the last two weeks, to my knowledge I did not receive a call, text, or voice message from anyone at Aeroplan. Additionally, while Aeroplan is correct that I had a conversation with an Aeroplan supervisor on 12/12/2017, I did not agree or accept any re-routing in business class. To the contrary, I insisted that the original routing be honored. I wrote about the call immediately after and posted my thoughts here.
> Read More: Aeroplan Called Me
I now have single and senior-level point of contact at Aeroplan. I’ll certainly be reaching out to her and will keep you apprised of the progress I make.
Thanks Matthew for keeping us posted.
That is NOT a certified letter.
A certified letter is letter sent through the Post Office that requires one to complete a green card that is then sent back to the sender certifying that the letter has been received. Instead, they used FedEx to send you a letter.
Clearly, however, they are trying to memorialize their narrative that you agreed to the change, and that you aren’t returning their phone calls. You should respond point by point briefly and politely where you disagree. It’s likely that the calls were recorded, of course. You may want to request that they preserve the recording of the calls and request a copy.
Fedex offers similarly services.
@Brian: I always thought of “certified letter” as a letter delivered that required a signature.
It should be obvious to you by now that they aren’t going to give you anything. Swiss does not see you as a victim, quite they contrary, they see you as a blogger looking to exploit and amplify mistakes. Aeroplan might send you consoling letters, but that’s all they will offer.
So if you do as you publicly threatened to do, and sue, what do you claim are your damages? They refunded your miles, so no damages there. Did you book hotels that you later had to cancel and pay fees for? If not, no damages there. The fact that you chose to purchase a first class ticket yourself, well after the fact, despite many other cheaper cash/award options, does not mean that equates to damages, as I’m sure you know from your law studies. I fail to see what you hope to get out of this ordeal, except page views and validation of your feelings of victimhood.
You must have skipped the semester they taught Remedies in law school lol.
Courier spelled wrong.
Or is that the French way of spelling it?
Ding! Ding! Ding!
We have a winner. Courier (En) translates as Courrier (Fr). Seems like some Canadian got confused…
Matthew, you know that I’ve been supporting you this whole time, through and through. You know that I believe everything that you say is your version of the truth, and I’m sure that you aren’t doing this to just “get clicks” or to “get sympathy” or anything else.
But I do need to ask you one question. Is there any chance, no matter how remote, that Aeroplan truly sees the conversation you had on December 12, and anything you might have said on that call, as having accepted their offer? You probably did not intend to do this, you probably never wanted to, but please think about that conversation for a long minute. No matter how innocent you think you are, you might have said “OK” to Aeroplan or something of the like, and they might have assumed that you were satisfied.
I personally prefer to lay my facts straight before throwing the accusations that you suggest down, as this is no joke of an endeavour that you’re undertaking with them. I have no doubt as to your intentions or goals, you’ve made that perfectly clear, but there are two sides to every story, and there might be something that was misinterpreted.
It appears to me that you instructed the agent to leave the itinerary in tact, even if you outright stated you would not fly on it. It may be wise to clear that up with the agent at the senior level, because it is probable that the agent did not know the extent of your conversation with Mindy and assumed (incorrectly but reasonably) that you intended to keep your reservation in tact.
I whole heartily agree with what you wrote, if there is a misunderstanding in the phone conversation on December 12, and the call was recorded, Aeroplan should share it with Matthew. Problem resolved.
Hi Alan, thanks for your comment and for allowing me to elaborate on my phone call of 12/12. I can unequivocally say that I told the agent I would not fly the proposed routing. For convenience, I told her she could leave the reservation intact as we worked toward a first class SWISS resolution.
I do hope Aeroplan recorded the call and has reviewed it, because I am 100% confident my intentions were clear.
Matthew, you may be aware that ALL calls to Aeroplan are recorded in case you get into he-said-she-said.
I honestly stopped flying Star Alliance (I’m Canadian so Air Canada WAS my go-to airline) because of the high carrier-imposed surcharges. A RT economy flight to Europe is 60000 miles, which is fine, but then you have to pay 400 dollars in surcharges! Screw that!
You clearly have no idea how to use Aeroplan.
Truly fascinating to watch this develop. Some brilliant comments and suggestions. Some batsh*t crazy replies. Guess it is the nature of the internet.
It seems to me that there are a couple of holes in the Aeroplan letter. First, “SWISS First Class seats are not typically available for Aeroplan redemption travel.” “Typically” does not mean always. It certain leaves open the possibility that there may be special times when such seats are available. Next, I believe that the statement “As you mentioned, some members, such as yourself, were able to erroneously reserve the restricted seats during a short period.” conflates several concepts. Since I am not an Aeroplan member, I have not followed these events in minute detail, but I recall you pointing out that first class seats are not usually available, but this might be an exception. Further, making the reservation was not due to an “erroneous” action on your part. My thoughts, FWIW.
Excellent points John. Thanks for your comment.
Perhaps linking to the Aeroplan cancelling and refusals is their parent company’s troubles with their two main businesses being pulled out from underneath them – they are paying Sainsbury’s to take the UK Nectar program back off them, and with AC resuming an in house program they are up sh*t creek and will need to save cash anywhere they can.
Reading this makes me wish that there were no mileage or points programs. Imagine all of the things that could be accomplished on this planet if all the energy directed at sitting in first class and business without paying and grifting the points system was directed at something less self indulgent.
What’s the progress on this matter, Matthew?