Aeroplan has passed off blame on SWISS for the cancellation of hundreds of first class award tickets, including my own.
Let’s unpack Aeroplan’s latest public statement.
A small number of first class bookings were made using Aeroplan miles on SWISS; those bookings should not have been possible, as we know SWISS policy does not make its first class seats available to Star Alliance partners.
Here’s the logical disconnect. SWISS DID make these seats available to Star Alliance partners. Even if it was for mere moments before shutting off, seats in first class were made available across a number of dates. These seats were not offered at mistaken prices, but at advertised prices. This was not a mistake fare by any stretch of the definition.
Aeroplan’s award chart says SWISS First Class bookings were not available, but its search engine offered SWISS First Class space. Why should the fine print on the award chart take precedence over what Aeroplan offered on its online search engine, confirmed, and ticketed?
Those bookings were subsequently cancelled, though not by Aeroplan.
Aeroplan points it finger at SWISS, saying it did not cancel the ticket. This further undermines the argument that Aeroplan does not offer SWISS First Class award space. Aeroplan is saying it did not cancel the space and would not have, but for SWISS. If, by policy, Aeroplan does not offer SWISS First Class space, why didn’t it correct its own mistake?
However, we and our partner Air Canada are working to quickly assist our affected members in line with our regular process.
There is no regular process. Language in the T&C that seems to protect Aeroplan from any sort of award cancellation may or may not stand in a court of law. We may soon find out.
Over the next few days, our agents will be contacting each member to personally arrange first or business class redemptions on another Star Alliance carrier or to reinstate miles free of charge.
Thus far, Aeroplan has only offered alternate accommodations on a space-available basis. It has not even offered to work with its ticketing partner Air Canada to open space. This is unacceptable.
We apologize for the inconvenience that this has caused, and will work with Air Canada and SWISS to ensure that our members do not encounter similar issues in the future.
This doesn’t help the many, myself included, who now find themselves with no ideal trip home.
Next up: two possible routes for averting a lawsuit with Aeroplan. To preview that post, I’ll just say that while I am prepared to file a lawsuit, it remains my desire to work out this situation amicably. I’ll outline my two-prong method for going forward.
Matthew, I admire your steadfast pursuit of due process throughout this whole fiasco. Whether or not we as credit card crunchers and mileage chasers “deserve” to fly on Swiss’s “pure” first class cabin and hobnob with the “real” elites, it’s still absolutely unacceptable to cancel tickets unilaterally. Fuck the haters.
You have any insight how this works in Canada? I am guessing you can’t sue them in Canada but a Canadian who took advantage of this offer would have to seek redress in a Canadian Court. Wonder if they offer different settlements based on location of aggrieved party.
What would you suggest as a course of action for someone who’s flights are in 3 weeks from now and doesn’t really have time for the long game?
I’m in the same boat. Will address this later today.
I’ve read elsewhere that only Aeroplan is canceling their tickets — is that true? If United is keeping their’s that is a really interesting data point.
Also, “Those bookings were subsequently cancelled, though not by Aeroplan.” is a really interesting statement, because it does not actually say SWISS canceled them, only that Aeroplan did not. Entirely possible that SWISS asked and/or threatened Air Canada and got Air Canada to cancel them, leaving Aeroplan to deal with the fallout.
I have not seen a United-issued ticket canceled. It does appear that Miles & More issued tickets were cancelled.
Lucky did indicate on Twitter that he is aware of some non-Aeroplan tickets that were cancelled.
Your arguments are sound Matthew. Sue them! If one of us accidentally made a mistake we would have to pay for it no matter what, but big companies think they can make mistakes and the customer is the one who has to pay the price/suffer the consequences.
Matthew, calm down.
Devote the time you would have spent on a lawsuit toward being with your family.
Prioritize, gain perspective, and grab the next deal.
Will you represent yourself? Can you sue in California where you live or must it be in a Canadian court? I agree with you completely in that if YOU made an error such as a wrong date or an incorrectly spelled name on the ticket, Swiss would tell you to pound salt. This is a legitimate legal issue.
If litigation becomes necessary, I intend to litigate from California.
LX was sued in TX over the RGN fares back in 2012. And they don’t even fly to TX. It is amazing what determination can do for the travelers.