Garneau says department 'cannot do anything' about Air Canada booking problems

OTTAWA — Transport Minister Marc Garneau says he has spoken with Air Canada about problems continuing to plague its new booking system, but that his department “cannot do anything” to resolve the issue.

Air Canada introduced the new reservation system more than three weeks ago, resulting in a barrage of social media complaints from passengers who had trouble accessing their booking information or getting through to customer service agents ahead of the holidays.

Garneau says Transport Canada has been hearing from “frustrated” customers and that the airline is “doing their best to fix” the defects.

Calls to the customer service line Wednesday went straight to a voice recording from the department director, who apologizes for the “delay” and asks customers not flying within 24 hours to consult their travel plan online.

Passenger rights advocate Gabor Lukacs says the ongoing problems are “an example of the government failing to protect travellers.”

Shortly after the booking system rolled out in mid-November, Air Canada said that “in a very limited number of cases” booking reference numbers were duplicated and customers were given the wrong travel information, though no personal financial or passport data was shared.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 11, 2019.

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The Canadian Press