Just got a call back from MaryEllen at Air Canada in regards to my issue. She apologized profusely for not calling me yesterday and then apologized profusely for the "confusion" over the issue. When she brought this matter to the VP, he agreed, in her words, "100% with you... he doesn't understand why Air Canada won't accept money from people who want to give it to us."
She then informed me that they provided my wife and me access to the Maple Leaf Lounge for both directions of the flight. She also said this same VP is taking this issue directly to the senior management and going to try to get this policy changed-- if people want to pay for access to the Lounge, Air Canada should allow them access.
My only small complaint at this point is that I think Air Canada should have given us one set of passes to the Lounge for free for the stupidity of the rule and for making me argue with them so many times. However, because I made a point of the fact we were willing to pay for the access, they charged our credit card for the four passes. I'm fine with that, as it is a principle thing, but if I had been that VP I would have agreed and then given the upset customer something to make him happy beyond the access issue as a way of saying "we're sorry for the inconvenience." However, I'm not looking the gift horse in the mouth.
Score one for persistence.
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