Flight Center Rant!
by Not Happy
(Edmonton Alberta Canada)
My recommendation to anyone reading this is not to waste your time with the Flight Centre and use another travel agent; booking yourself would even be less hassle!
My friend went into the Flight Centre in City Center Edmonton Alberta, Canada on June 06th 2012 to book a round trip to Germany. She informed the lady working that she had never flow internationally and that she had not even been on a plane in years. The agent working never even bothered to mention insurance for her tickets let alone bother to educate her on what it would cover. She did however make sure that my friend signed a form DENYING the insurance! So that when some of her plans changed and she simply wanted to reroute a connecting flight there was absolutely nothing she could do except spend money on the Eurorail to make the new connection herself. This in itself was frustrating but doable.
The day of her trip July 17th 2012 came, she was so excited and wanting to make sure she had all her T's crossed and I's dotted. I came to pick her up from home to finished any errands at 8am, we got to the airport at 10am as her flight was departing at 11:55am. When we checked into Air Canada she handed the lady the electronic ticket that was printed out and handed to her by the agent at the Flight Centre (the paper the agent informed her was ALL she needed to get on her flight) only to find out that the first flight from Edmonton to Montreal had Air Canada's reference number for the flight but there was no actual ticket number! Her name did not in fact exist on that flight at all, and the flight was all ready 100% booked. Air Canada was able to locate her two connecting flights and confirm her seats on them but as for the first flight to get her out well... Air Canada's records show that the Flight Centre had canceled her ticket TWO DAYS AFTER HER PURCHASE!
Now at this point my friend was understandably upset as she had paid $1700 dollars for a round trip from Edmonton to her destination in Germany. I assured her that we would call the Flight Centre and as this was their mistake and that they would fix it and get her a connecting flight so that she could make her final two stops. So we called the toll free number on the top of the electronic ticket and got an answering machine... so we called the second number on the paper and received yet again no answer... So I looked up the number for the City Centre location where we had purchased the tickets thinking they would indeed be able to help us out since she had got her tickets from them. The guy who answered the phone informed me that my friend basically just "paid" for the tickets there but all of their bookings were done through Metrotown. We would indeed have to call them and he gave me a 1 800 number. So we called Metrotown... The lady there told us that we would have to call the City Centre location and speak to them about this! When we informed her they told us to call the number we were on she told us she would "look into it" and call us back in 10 minutes. After 20 minutes rolled around we called her back, so she linked us to another person who was "on the case." When we
spoke to this person she informed us that we were in fact supposed to contact a different number... Who linked us to another person... Who yet AGAIN linked us to another person! By this time my friend and I were on two separate phones trying to contact ANYONE who would be willing to actually help us, we had a list of at least 6 numbers that agents just kept bouncing us back and forth two without any real answers.
The time was now after 11am, we had been on the phone with no one and everyone from the Flight Centre. I searched everywhere for a head office number online and was unable to locate a single number! Best information I got was that it was located in Vancouver! After several smoke breaks, lots of rude agents and head ache growing larger every minute I decided to again call back the Flight Centre in City Centre where the tickets were purchased and I let lose. The girl there informed me that she was "already aware of the situation but that their head office was an hour behind us so that it had just opened up and she was going to call them and give us another call back in 10 minutes." I was frustrated that I was yet again being told they would have to “call” me back but this was the most information any one of the agents we had talked to had actually given us.
Ten minutes rolled around and to my surprise I got a call from the 604 area code of Vancouver! The guy on the phone asked for the situation as "he'd been in contact with both the Flight Centre and Air Canada and didn't understand where the mix up was. The flights had simply been rerouted but where there!” We went up to the Air Canada agent and with this new ticket number she pulled up all the flights. None of the flights were the same anymore, Instead of Edmonton, Montreal, Munich, Hannover, they were now Edmonton, Calgary, Frankfort, Hannover. Instead of leaving at 11:55 am they were departing at 4:00 pm!!! We asked the man on the phone why no one had contacted her about such a drastic change when she had booked the tickets over a month ago!!! Why it was okay for them to waste our time getting to the airport so early when we now had to leave and come back two hours later and repay for parking? Why we had to spend over two hours playing phone tag to get a straight answer?!?! Why any of this was actually acceptable!?!?! The man on the phone's reply was "well at least I fixed it for you!"
Obviously proving he lied to begin with, why would Air Canada have been able to pull up the last two flights but not the first one if they had already "previously" rerouted the entire flight. All that they did after almost two hours of phone calls and complaints was realize they messed up and were forced to get her on a later flight because her first one was all ready 100% booked! And then adjust the following flights. These people were all unapologetic, and he basically said he did us a favor by "fixing it for us!"As if he didn't actually have too! As if they $1700 dollars spent really didn't mean much at all.
After all of this she at least got the tickets she paid for and I can only hope she receives no issues on her return flights home!