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.