Extortion in the skies?

We got all the testing done today, so I was back in the hotel by 5:00. I took a quick look online to see if there was an Air Canada flight tonight — there’s one at 8:00, and as long as I packed quickly, I should be able to get there on time. I called Air Canada to see how much it would cost to switch the ticket – there’s a $10 fee for this, a $32 fee for that, which I would have been happy to pay if it got me home tonight instead of tomorrow. Then he said that the ticket price was higher, so I’d have to pay the difference — $350. The original return ticket cost $491, or just under $250 each way. I didn’t ask the guy, but I should have — why would the price of a ticket on this flight be more than double that of the one tomorrow morning? Is it on a nicer plane? Better food? Free lap dances by the flight attendants? There’s gotta be some major difference, right? Nope — it’s a time-honoured airline tactic called “fucking the customer over whenever possible”. I just checked aircanada.ca for flights from Toronto to Vancouver tomorrow (Jan 19) — there are 13 direct flights. Tango ranges from $168 to $426. “Latitude” costs $626 for every flight, and the only advantages over Tango are things like more Aeroplan miles, no charge for same-day ticket changes, and the ability to select your seat without paying for it. For “Latitude Plus”, $1260 allows you to sit in the Maple Leaf lounge before the flight, and you get an upgrade to first class if a seat is available. This means that if first class is full, flight 103 from Toronto to Vancouver tomorrow morning will have some people sitting in coach who paid $168, while others also sitting in coach who paid $1260. Does this make sense to anyone other than Air Canada?

BTW, the flying time on the flight down here (from wheels-up to touchdown) was exactly 59 minutes and 30 seconds. I’ll write again after I get back and post the flying time for the return flight.


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