December 31, 2013 6:44 pm
Updated: December 31, 2013 6:46 pm

Air Canada under fire for ‘sexist’ voucher policy

File photo - An Air Canada Airbus A330.

CP PHOTO-Larry MacDougal
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A Calgary man upset by an Air Canada policy criticized as being sexist has learned just how powerful social media can be.

On Monday, author Chris Turner called Air Canada to redeem a flight voucher in his name and apply it to a flight his wife was planning on taking. However, the airline would not honour it—as Turner’s wife did not take his last name when they married.

Turner tweeted about his experience, sparking outrage from those unaware of the policy.

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“People whose family arrangements are not traditional and don’t fall into that – whatever the explanation is, however minor the grievance – clearly that is a thing people take very very personally. you do not discriminate on the basis your wife did not change her name,” says Turner.

His original post has been re-tweeted more than 550 times, with many people angry over the seemingly outdated policy.

“I don’t think I probably would have even bothered with Twitter, if it weren’t for the fact that the person I was speaking to on the phone was so immediately aware of [the issue],” explains Turner. “You know this is wrong and yet you continue to do it.”

Meanwhile, Turner says Air Canada contacted him on Monday night.

He had already bought another ticket for his wife, but the company has refunded it in full and he has re-booked the ticket using the voucher.

Turner says Air Canada told him it will be re-examining its policy.

Global News contacted Air Canada, which issued the following statement:

“Travel vouchers are fully transferable and can be applied to anyone’s travel. If the person has the same last name the transfer can be done on the phone; if the last name is not the same, in order for us to verify their authenticity documents must be sent for a refund to avoid fraudulent use which unfortunately has occurred in the past.

This will no longer be an issue as gift cards, which are fully transferable, become more common place. Our goal is to offer our customers a wide range of options.”

BELOW: Read Turner’s Tweet to Air Canada – and see the reaction from other social media users:

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