Air Canada to change voucher transfer system

Passengers walk past Air Canada planes on the runway at Pearson International Airport in Toronto in...

Passengers walk past Air Canada planes on the runway at Pearson International Airport in Toronto in this April 13, 2012, file photo. REUTERS/Mike Cassese/Files

, Last Updated: 1:07 AM ET

CALGARY -- After being blasted on Twitter for a policy that only allows people to transfer a travel voucher to a spouse if they share the same last name, Air Canada has decided to change the rule.

The online row started Monday evening when Calgary author Chris Turner tweeted about the policy.

He wrote, "Hey @AirCanada - your (very helpful) phone rep tells me I can't transfer a voucher to my wife pre-flight because she kept her name. Really?"

Air Canada responded to Turner saying, "vouchers can only be transferred to another family member before travel if they have the same family name."

The official Twitter account later also said the policy exists "to prevent fraudulent activity."

Turner said he earned the travel voucher after volunteering to take a later flight.

He said he could still transfer the travel voucher, but not until after the flight, meaning he would have to shoulder the initial cost, then submit paperwork afterwards "and then wait on what I'm sure is a lightning-quick @AirCanada response."

"If @AirCanada's service rep hadn't been so wearily familiar with the glitch I was encountering, I probably wouldn't have made it public," Turner wrote.

Others who saw Turner's tweet blasted Air Canada for the surname policy.

"An archaic policy that suggests women must be subordinate to their husbands and take their name? #equality," wrote user @SnowHydro.

"This happens to husbands with husbands, too," user @dixitque tweeted.

At one point, someone tweeted at WestJet, which confirmed that company's policy allows credits to be "transferable to anyone of your choosing."

Late Wednesday, Turner tweeted that Air Canada's decided to apply the voucher to his wife's ticket.

He also said the airline was planning to change their voucher system.


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