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Letters  

Suggestion for airfares

I have a few ideas (about airline fares and refunds) that I feel make sense.

I tried sending them to Gabor Lukacs (president of the Air Passengers Rights organization) but my email wasn't deliverable for some reason. Maybe it'll find it's way there from here.

Why would any business require a 100% commitment from a customer, far in advance, when it is, all too often, unable to reciprocate with delivery of the product and often leave the customer stranded, and occasionally destitute far from home.

With each (non-refunded) ticket purchase, what multiple of the original price needs to be kept on hand by the customer before it actually turns into the flight home you thought was taken care of? Five times? Seven times?

What a business model—get 100% of the customer’s money up front, fail to deliver and be permitted the added benefit of retaining those funds until you run out of excuses. (Customers) are permitted to file a claim with a group without teeth or the will to use them.

I suggest a shift to a 20% to 25% deposit, with the balance due at check-in, with the deposit being refundable in most cases unless the customer cancels without notice.

If any retail establishment, including the corner store, can refund or reverse a debit or credit transaction in under 20 seconds, I'm sure airlines have access to similar technology.

I believe an argument was made that so many refunds could not be made in such a short time. I find it curious that I've yet to hear of any serious bottlenecks processing any volume of incoming payments. The funds are out of your pockets and into their coffers at a speed that would impressed Stephen Hawking.

When tariffs preclude refunds and stipulate flight credits or vouchers, let's differentiate a bit. A flight credit should be a credit for the original product with no change in price—you purchased a flight from Vancouver (YVR) to Winnipeg (YWG) and that is what you are entitled to. If you paid for a red Mustang coupe, you won't take a purple Lada unless you chose to.

If, however, the original product no longer suits your needs, then, at your option, the dollar value would be your voucher value, with a reasonable expiry limit, such as 2ears.

R.G.Ardies, Oliver



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