Fredericton woman questions Air Canada's reason for revoking airline ticket

A Fredericton woman is angry Air Canada told her her ticket had been revoked just minutes before she tried to board a flight to Toronto — and then kept her waiting for an explanation and refund for another two weeks.

Victoria Boer and her husband Scott had checked their luggage and cleared security for the first leg of their trip to Las Vegas on Feb. 18 before she heard her name being paged at the Fredericton International Airport.

That's when she learned her ticket had been revoked the night before — after she had checked in online and paid to upgrade their seats — and no one could tell her why.

"The lady at the desk said, 'I'm sorry but your ticket's been revoked,'" said Boer. "I'm like 'revoked, what are you talking about?' and she's like, 'I don't know. I can't tell you why Air Canada won't let you on the flight.'"

Ticket booked in December

Boer, who travels frequently with Air Canada for business, booked the ticket online Dec. 8, 2016 and said her husband booked his a few minutes later, meaning they had different confirmation numbers.

She is puzzled that she was able to check her bags and get through security on Feb. 18 if the ticket was revoked the night before, as she was told.

"Nobody was able to tell me anything."

Boer was told her only option to get on the flight was to buy another ticket for $700.

She questions if what the airline did was legal and wondered how many more people it has happened to.

"I mean, at the last minute, charge again, and not give them a reason why you're not letting them on a flight."

No answers

When she arrived at the Toronto airport, Boer still couldn't get answers for the decision to revoke the ticket — but she discovered she hadn't received a refund for the original ticket and the only way to get her money back was to apply for a reimbursement.

"So that day, February 18th as I'm sitting in the Toronto airport I applied, called them again, nobody again could give me any answers as to why again it was revoked."

Boer contacted Air Canada three more times after returning from her week-long vacation but could still not get any answers.  

'Mistaken information'

After contacting CBC News Thursday, Boer received an email confirmation that the amount for the first ticket had been reimbursed to her credit card. 

Media relations manager Isabelle Arthur told CBC News via email that the entire episode was the result of a mixup.

"This unfortunately was the result of mistaken information that the credit card was fraudulent. We are truly very sorry about this and the delay in refunding her tickets. We will contact Ms. Boer to ensure this does not happen again and apologize," wrote  Arthur.

While Boer says it's an answer she's not happy with and she received some compensation, she wonders why Air Canada was able to give answers to the media and not her.

Unreasonable to buy ticket twice

Gabor Lukacs says he's heard of similar incidents happening more often with Air Canada and it's something the Air Passengers Right network is trying to resolve.

"I am adding to the long list of issues that I am seeing going wrong with Air Canada," said Lukacs, who founded the network. "This is an issue I'm seeing with Air Canada specifically." 

Lukacs says when it's happened to other passengers, the airline has said tickets were revoked if a ticket was purchased using a credit card in someone else's name.  

"Even though there's nothing untoward with a friend buying you a ticket, that seems to be triggering some of those security concerns."

Boer says that should not have happened to her, because the credit card was in her name.

Lukacs agreed, saying it was completely unreasonable that a person was expected to pay for the ticket twice.