Sometimes, you have to put your money where your mouth is.
In what seems like so long ago, I promised:
But mark my words: my family will fly in SWISS First together to end our holiday trip to Germany. If Aeroplan and SWISS want to play games, they will regret it.
I’m following through on that promise.
In my demand letter to Aeroplan over my cancelled SWISS First Class award tickets, I provided a deadline to respond by December 29, 2017. Last Friday came and went and I heard nothing.
After weighing my options, I opted to purchase my tickets home from Zurich to Los Angeles in SWISS First Class, exactly as planned.
Spending thousands of dollars on three airline tickets is quite a gamble…this was a serious financial decision for my family that I did not take lightly.
But this will bolster my case against Aeroplan and actually tidy it up quite nicely: I will now be seeking precise compensatory damages instead of travel on SWISS on a nebulous future date.
Why SWISS First?
Why SWISS First? I’ve been over this before, but the reason I wanted this particular flight in this particular class of service for my family:
- Fly nonstop with my 14-month old son, Augustine.
- Enjoy plenty of room to spread out: a toddler does not sit still for 12 hours and the first class suite will give Augustine room to play in without disturbing others. Even a business class seat would not offer this amount of wiggle room.
- Three checked bags each. We are bringing a piece of antique furniture and all our favorite German products home to last us for several months. Business Class would only have afforded us two bags each and I don’t want unnecessary transfers with family heirlooms.
- No viable alternate. The proposed alternate solution was unacceptable: not just because Aeroplan’s business class seats are geared for solo travelers instead of families, but because the ~7 hour layover in Toronto followed by another 5-hour flight to Los Angeles was not at all practical.
- Personalized service. I contracted for the personalized service of a proper first class cabin. This is what I chose this flight for my family, transferred the points from American Express to Aeroplan, then completed my booking with Aeroplan.
The five reasons above are why I bought this particular flight. This is also why any proposed alternative simply will not work.
But the bottom line is this: Aeroplan sold me a ticket in SWISS First Class. It debited my account 70,000 miles per ticket and charged my credit card for the government taxes. The reservation processed and ticket numbers generated. Seat assignments were reserved on SWISS’ website and the reservation held steady for more than 24 hours. For Aeroplan (or SWISS or Air Canada) to later determine the reservation was not valid is simply not acceptable. This was not a mistake fare: the price paid was not an error by any definition.
Now I plan to recoup the money I paid for my tickets home and hope that will not require a protracted court battle in order to achieve. If you’re reading this Aeroplan, please do not make this difficult.
Stay tuned for a full flight review of SWISS First Class from Zurich to Los Angeles. I’m confident this flight won’t be cancelled…