The SWISS First Class award saga may now be in the trench warfare stage. Last week, I received an updated itinerary from Aeroplan without any other notice or explanation. Yesterday, I received a phone call from Aeroplan.
> Read More: Aeroplan Rebooks Me on Air Canada…Without Notice
Note, Aeroplan did not just call me out of the blue. I had to reach out to my PR contact and ask for a phone call. Recall that Aeroplan promised to reach out to everyone in the “next few days” and a whole week transpired before I made this request.
My point was not to pull the blogger card to get preferential treatment, but to better understand Aeroplan’s pulse on the situation. Since the last public statement, Aeroplan has not answered any of my follow-up questions.
My phone rang. It was an agent named Mindy. She was very kind and seemed unaware that I have written about this issue extensively. She explained that I had been rebooked on Air Canada in business class. Furthermore, she triumphantly stated she had been able to eliminate my overnight layover in Toronto. Now I only have a 6.5 hour layover…with baby Augustine.
My Questions to Aeroplan
I started asking questions about what really happened. She claimed she had no idea — that it was beyond her pay grade. She only confirmed that SWISS cancelled the space and repeatedly stated it should never have been bookable in the first place. At one point she stated that the reservation never confirmed, but I corrected her: the reservation ticketed and confirmed and showed as valid on SWISS.com for 24 hours.
Next, I pointed out that Aeroplan had rebooked some passengers in revenue business class on the same SWISS flights that were cancelled. She claimed that such rebookings were completed only for a tiny handful of passengers before the problem was better ascertained. She also claimed that SWISS cancelled those revenue tickets as well (that seems far-fetched…).
Finally, I asked whether Aeorplan and Air Canada were working together to pressure SWISS to re-instate the tickets. She again passed on the question, stating she was not privy to such discussion.
I ended the call by stating my objection to the unilateral cancellation. She offered to cancel the itinerary and send my points back to American Express. I told her to leave the reservation intact for now, though I would not fly on the current routing. She stated that she had scoured award space for first class options but there were none.
Just another update for you. I will continue to update you as this case transpires. My game plan for now is to wait for the DOT to address my complaint. If that does not occur before my travel date, the plan remains to fly home on another routing (even if it is via another Aeroplan ticket).
I’m surprised they didn’t have a manager or higher up call, instead they just had a regular call center agent make the call… Seems like Aeroplan doesn’t care or they just gave up on this issue.
I thought that each alliance has liasons for arbitrating these sort of issues. Swiss isn’t paying by the rules, Aeroplan is trying to pass the consequence onto the customer, and the entire alliance loses reputation in the process.
Except Swiss IS playing the rules it had laid out to partner carriers. It’s stated right on the Aeroplan award chart: SWISS First Class is not available for reward travel. Swiss did err by distributing O class to external systems but they are probably contractually protected somewhere in their agreements with Star and partner carriers. Aeroplan is to blame for this, and the whole situation has been handled extremely poorly. I’m just glad I didn’t book one of these, as I’d be furious.
This argument is not persuasive. The space was offered clearly on the website. Why should that outweigh the fine print on the award chart? There was contradictory information. Why should the fine print overrule what was exactly offered? Why is Aeroplan to blame when this was offered to other sources as well, like United? SWISS offered it…
And let’s breakdown the language, shall we?
“SWISS First Class is not available for reward travel.”
it says “available” not “permitted”. And clearly, the space was available. It is not Aeroplan that blocks SWISS, but SWISS that fails to release space to Aeroplan. But on this occasion, as they did last year, they did.
Thus, this language is meaningless.
“it says “available” not “permitted”.”
Many, probably most people, who are not familiar with legalese do not realize that there is a big difference between “available” and “permitted”.
If the fine print said “SWISS First Class is not PERMITTED for reward travel.” then Swiss would be bulletproof. However, since they did not, they can be sued for this.
Sue them Matthew!!!
You answered your own question. Look at UA’s award chart, there is no reference to this LX restriction the way it is clearly noted on Aeroplan’s: http://mileageplusupdates.com/images/United-Award-Chart.pdf
Debating the meaning of ‘available’ in this context is just grasping at straws. Hopefully this battle is worth it to you, good luck.
ambiguities and technicalities exist for a reason. they chose to make such fine print, now they have to abide by it. that makes an enormous material difference. acting like it doesn’t is the task of the intellectually inadequate
just took a contracts exam today…this is great. you’re so right and this could literally be a case study for breach.
Why haven’t you sued Aeroplan as you threatened (like a petulant child)?
And why hasn’t Aeroplan banned you as you deserve?
@Why aren’t you banned yet?
If I flush, will you go away?
“My point was not to pull the blogger card to get preferential treatment, but to better understand Aeroplan’s pulse on the situation.”
Go get ’em Matt!
This is such a cluster f$#@. Makes me happy I couln’t find availability for either of my Europe trips. I am not one that normally jumps on the lawsuit bandwagon…..but I really hope you (and others) take AC and Swiss to task to get tickets that are acceptable to you. I don’t think that AC should be on the hook for a revenue 1st/Busines class ticket on LX….but think they need to work with customers as much as possible.
Just out of curiosity, are there any AC J itineraries you would find acceptable? There aren’t a whole lot of ZRH-Canada-LAX options out there that look appealing. Only a ZRH-YYZ-LAX w/ 2h45m layover looks doable.
Matthew, have you threatened lawsuit to Aeroplan yet? It appears to me that your end goal is to fly on the stated itinerary and settle this amicably, not to take it to court. I find that when people are responded with threats, they are more likely to act on them before the situation goes to court. You just never know what people can do when given the proper incentive, and being a little bit rude does less harm to your own reputation than it would to Aeroplans reputation if they lost a lawsuit from someone with your track record.
Just keep your words – SUE Aeroplan and not hide behind what DOT may do or may not do.
Do what you claim instead of making all sorts of excuses including the pathetic argument of “available” versus “permitted”. What LX did allow last year, does not hold any weight whey it should allow this year. If they have lost a lot of money on last year’s fiasco, how would they do the same and therefore lose money, again? Just so those who jumped on an IT glitch would get what they wanted but not actually allowed.
Even if you may not have much of integrity to begin with, at least you should keep some of your words especially when you so BOLDLY claim you will SUE Aeroplan if your family is not flying a ZRH to LAX directly in F class. It looks like this aint going to happen – that is, you and your family will be flying F, nonstop direct ZRH – LAX. So why not SUE Aeroplan? If you truly think you have a case?
@mia: Patience. It’s a virtue.
Who are these people who come on here and defend effing Aeroplan and SWISS?!?
You lot almost certainly were the type that were hall monitors in HS . You probably told on those having keg parties in college.
OH, and you almost certainly are all virgins now.
This is a website for folks who like to game the miles and points hobby. WTF ARE YOU ON ABOUT?!?!?!? Why don’t you frequent the “lonely pedantic narc” blog instead of this one.
“Meh…I hope you get banned by Aeroplan”
You nerds come on here and scold people for taking advantage of a clearly legal sale on the website of A F-ING CORPORATION FFS.
What do you expect the DOT to do? They have no jurisdiction in Switzerland or Canada and I’m pretty sure that when you entered into that contract with Aeroplan that it would have had a clause in it binding you to Canadian jurisdiction, meaning that the contract was formed in Canada. If they tried to make a ruling against a company either company they would be breaking international laws and treaties. In effect it would be seen as an attack on a countries sovereignty. Some how I don’t think the DOT is going to cause an international incident to get you your award ticket that was rightfully cancelled within the parameters of the contract that you entered. But then again you Americans do think you rule the world.
Google “long-arm statute”
It would be a stretch for long-arm statute to apply in this situation given that neither company is based in the US and the contract was formed in Canada. The only connection to the US is you which isn’t really good enough for long-arm statute to apply.
It will apply. 100% guaranteed.
dude… don’t try to be a google lawyer.. you’re wrong. they do substantial business in the US and it only takes one judge who wants to protect US citizens against a clear case of intl bad faith
I’m hard for you.
Why aren’t you considering eu 261 cancellation and or downgrade compensation in addition to DOT complaint? It specifically covers award tickets. That’s my plan (to pursue both)
Switzerland isn’t in the EU.
The EU261 specifically includes Switzerland as part of the agreement:
“EU means the 28 EU countries , including Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Réunion Island, Mayotte, Saint-Martin (French Antilles), the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands as well as Iceland, Norway and Switzerland”
I tend to agree with J. Considering they had a low-level staffer call you who wasn’t empowered to do anything, sure sounds like Aeroplan is telling you to pound sand. I’d be preparing for Plan B.
@Matt, Meosh, you seem to assume that the agent’s call was in response to reaching out to PR. It might have just been Aeroplan going down the list and finally getting around to calling you, without PR’s involvement… let us know, if PR follows up – or if this was it…
I read on a blog/message board a claim that Swiss’ agreement with Aeroplan explicitly prohibits the latter from booking First Class tickets. While I can’t verify that, it would explain why Swiss didn’t cancel LH M&M or UAMP F tickets.
A possible chain of events could have been that Swiss accidentally released award availability, UA/LH/Aeroplan all booked tickets, but because Aeroplan was not allowed to do it based, Swiss was firm on their contract language and cancelled Aeroplan tickets (Aeroplan’s fault), but not LH/UA (Swiss’ fault). So, that would make Aeroplan responsible for resolving this…
@Matthew I’m in largely a similar position as you.
What’s the best way for all consumers with involuntarily cancelled/downgraded tickets to maximize our collective bargaining power?
ooooooh i like the sound of this. what say you, Matthew? wanna lead the class action?
unfortunately wasn’t on my exam today
Hi I was wondering whether this situation was resolved and if you received compensation?
I recently went to take a flight booked with Aeroplan, but when I showed up to take my flight the airline a said my reservation had been cancelled. When I finally reached Aeroplan, they admitted that they had made a mistake and booked me on a flight the following day. They said upon return from my trip to call them regarding compensation. I have just spoken with them and they want to give me just 2000 points, absolutely nothing compared to the hassle it caused and extra money I ended up having to spend (missed hotel reservations, taxis to and from airport to city, etc.).
I would love to hear if you have any insight.
Still not resolved.