A Calgary man has set off a debate on Twitter about Air Canada's voucher-transfer policy after discovering that he wouldn't be able to transfer a voucher for a flight to his wife since they don't share the same last name.
In an email to The Canadian Press, Air Canada said they allow the transfer of vouchers to anyone they wish, but not all transfers can be done over the phone, as Turner was attempting to do. Documents must be provided in order to avoid fraudulent use, the airline says.
[ View the story "Calgary man blasts Air Canada over voucher policy" on Storify] Calgary man blasts Air Canada over voucher policy A Calgary man has set off a debate on Twitter about Air Canada's voucher-transfer policy after discovering that he wouldn't be able to transfer a voucher to his wife since they don't share the same last name.
CTVNews.ca· Tue, Dec 31 2013 09:41:09
Author Chris Turner blasted Air Canada in a series of tweets about the policy,which the airline says is to protect against fraudulent use ofvouchers.
Air Canada says it only permits the transfer of vouchers tofamily members as a courtesy to customers. But under that policy, vouchers must betransferred before the travel period and to family members with the same last name.
Turner wastold that in order to get around the situation, he would have to pay for theticket to New York for his wife in full and apply to be reimbursed after theflight.
Turner's tweets caught the attention of his 5,000 followers,as well as Air Canada's 150,000 plus followers.
Hey @AirCanada -- your (very helpful) phone rep tells me I can't transfer a voucher to my wife pre-flight BECAUSE SHE KEPT HER NAME. Really?Chris Turner
@theturner Hi Chris, vouchers can only be transferred to another family member before travel if they have the same family name. /ccAir Canada
@AirCanada Yup, got it. Maybe let your bosses know that those of us who are not married to June Cleaver find this deeply insulting.Chris Turner
So I'll have to charge this flight, carry cost, reimburse later. Can I expense the interest to @aircanada's Dept of 1950s Preservation?Chris Turner
@AirCanada And yet data systems in every other facet of our lives overcome this hurdle. e.g. I'll be charging flight to a JOINT credit card.Chris Turner
@theturner Hi Chris, this is to prevent fraudulent activity while using vouchers. /ccAir Canada
@AirCanada Noted. You can see how this institutionalizes a lower quality of service to women who kept their maiden names, though, yes?Chris Turner
Sorry to eavesdrop @AirCanada @theturner, but that's a terrible policy. Name change traditions vary widely: Quebec, same-sex marriage...oceans initiative
@AirCanada Not to mention the ones from cultural traditions where identical surnames never happen?Chris Turner
One more @aircanada surname clarification: I'm told I will be able to use the voucher AFTER the flight. I.e. I will be reimbursed.Chris Turner
@AirCanada Which is to say after the charge has sat on a credit card gathering interest. Lowering the value of the voucher. See what I mean?Chris Turner
What's at issue here with @aircanada is that if @hilksom had changed her last name, I could've redeemed the voucher when I booked.Chris Turner
Instead, I'll now have to pay in full, submit docs post-flight, and then wait on what I'm sure is a lightning-quick @aircanada response.Chris Turner
@SnowHydro @AirCanada @theturner This happens to husbands with husbands too.AndrewWoodrowButcher
@gillianfitz @theturner like tickets,vouchers are non transferable. We permit the use of a passenger's voucher by direct family members(1/2)Air Canada
@gillianfitz @theturner as a courtesy to that passenger (Hence the same name policy) - This also helps stop fraudulent use of vauchers (2/2)Air Canada
It wasn't long before others onTwitter chimed in, sparking an online debate about the voucherpolicy:
Anyone else notice @AirCanada's ticket transfer policy discriminates against same-sex married couples, who rarely share a surname? #LGBTSean Munger
@theturner @aircanada Awful Policy. Just awful, what is this 1913?James Messecar
@AirCanada @theturner That excludes pretty much ALL married women in Quebec. Congratulations!Benoît LeBlanc
Seriously @AirCanada if you transfer something of value to your customers they should do what they want with it. #fail無門 Mumon7
Hey @AirCanada Times have changed. It's 2014, NOT 1914. #changeyourpolicy #AirCanadaAllan Schroeder