Sunday, September 16, 2007

Canadian Funny Money

Location: Alberta, Red Deer County
Industry: Government
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My father-in-law recently flew to Calgary from Winnipeg. He went to Marlin Travel to purchase his ticket as he has done every year for the past half a dozen years. When he tried to pay for his ticket with cash, he was informed that Westjet and the Great People's Airline (AC) no longer accept cash. Now, this gent is 87 years old and legally blind, although he has some limited sight.
He was told he would have to use a credit card for the purchase. He does not use credit cards because he has been warned that with his poor vision he would be vulnerable to scamming clerks who could put almost anything on the card. He had verified the price beforehand and had gone to his bank to withdraw the funds. The people at his bank are aware of his situation and don't cheat him. He had to call his daughter to drive into the city to put the charges on her credit card. Since when can any corporation decide they will not accept cash which has the words Legal Tender written on it? When did the mighty Lords in government outlaw the use of Canadian currency? We, the great unwashed, have always been told that the money, printed by the government, was valid for any and all transactions. I e-mailed the Finance Department and was told it was not their problem. I e-mailed the Treasury Department and was told it was not their problem. I e-mailed my local MP and received a reply from his office filled with bafflegarb and BS, but answered nothing. What's next...will WalMart or Canadian Tire (those great icons of corporate integrity!!!!) decide they don't like cash either and force us all to use credit cards so they can apply their usurious interest rates? I don't recall a government statement telling us that Canadian Currency was no longer an acceptable method of payment for goods or services.
Powell Lucas


  1. It's much easier (more automated) for a business to deal with credit card transactions, then dealing with cash. With cash transactions, there's the element of human error, cash handling is a pain, not to mension theft. Hourly, daily total counts and bank deposits are a hassle. All of which can be eliminated by strictly going credit only. Infact, the majority of people prefer CC transactions over cash.

    It's inevitable, that credit cards, and soon smart Cards will completely replace cash. It's the way of the future. And resources such as millions of tree's a year isn't so bad.

  2. By the way, there are many travel agencies that still accept cash. Go find one and stop bitching.

  3. I think being one of the biggest airlines in canada they should accept what passengers prefer to pay in. Air Canada accepts cash.

  4. I think you should check with WestJet and Marlin Travel on why they don't accept cash rather than emailing the government and local MP. It's more the company's policy so they would probably be the ones to explain why cash is not accepted.

  5. If it's easier for companies to deal with credit and debit transactions they should offer incentives to customers to use those forms of payment not mandate them.

    The government and local MP were emailed because they are supposed to represent the people, and the people felt the situation was not fair involving Canadian currency being accepted as legal tender.

    And as for the comment about finding another airline . . . hopefully natural selection weeds out the ones like you that come to a website intended to let the public know about bad service experiences, and tell people to stop bitching.

  6. The answer to your question is yes. At some point, no one will accept cash because its harder to track the slaves (that's you) that way.

  7. Marlin Travel is correct in saying that both Air Canada and WestJet not longer accept cash payments made through a travel agency. However, most travel agencies have store credit cards they can use to complete customer's booking and accept cash from the customer. Your father-in-law should not reward a company that does not offer this additional service. From my experience, I have always used Flight Centre for booking my domestic Air Canada and WestJet booking with cash and have never had a problem.