Chatbot Error Costs Air Canada Nearly $500


Such a case will cost Air Canada $482.74 ($650.88 CAD) in refunded fares, after a flyer gathering information on bereavement fares ended up getting incorrect information through the airline’s chatbot.


Tribunal Determines Air Canada Must Ensure Accurate Web Information

The small claims case stems from a November 2022 bereavement flight aboard the Canadian flag carrier. Jake Moffat requested information from a chatbot on Air Canada’s website after his grandmother passed away and he needed to travel from Vancouver to Toronto. When searching for his question about bereavement fares using the chatbot, he was told that a refund towards a reduced rate could be requested “if you need to travel immediately or have already traveled,” as long as he submitted his request within 90 days of the tickets issuance.


However, a policy published on another part of Air Canada’s website notes that bereavement consideration only applies to future travel, and that completed travel does not qualify. After requesting a refund for the bereavement fare, the carrier denied his request based on the policy. A customer service agent wrote that the chatbot provided “misleading words,” but would update the chatbot for the future.


In the decision handed down by a Canadian tribunal member, it was determined that Air Canada owed Moffat a “duty of care” in providing the correct information. Although the correct policy was provided on another part of the Air Canada website, the decision says Air Canada’s response “does not explain why customers should have to double-check information found in one part of its website on another part of its website.”


“I find Air Canada did not take reasonable care to ensure its chatbot was accurate,” the decision reads. “While Air Canada argues Mr. Moffatt could find the correct information on another part of its website, it does not explain why the webpage titled “Bereavement travel” was inherently more trustworthy than its chatbot.”


Air Canada has not publicly commented on the case or the decision.


Share your thoughts on the case of the misguided chatbot on the FlyerTalk forums.

Source: frugal travel guy

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