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From an Air Canada employee
Posted by on
MONTREAL -- Foremost, I'd like to apologize to all Air Canada customers who had a negative/unfriendly/poor/bad experience with the airlines. And I know there are lots!

I, for myself, as an employee of Air Canada, realize and understand the frustration to be on a Air Canada flight and how for most part we care for you. Let say that from way up the corporation ladder starting with our president Robert Milton to the different departments(especially inflight service) under the corporate management, as employees we are being treated like s h I t...

I know some of you folks will be upset at the word but really you can ask Air Canada employees around and if they are just a tiny bit honest, they will tell you their true feelings for the company they work for. (and we are thousands..;)

For most part it is always a bad experiences for us also to deal with our employer like you customers when you get to board a flight with us. As customers, we know where you stand; you are just a notch higher than us employees. But really no one cares fo you that much!!!

We are all in the same boat here and as far as competetion (all our flights are full), We (Air Canada management) don't really care if you get service or not because money is rolling in the Bank One way or the other and you don't have the choice anyway but to fly with us.

So it is a vicious cycle, and that as an employee sometimes we pass along to our customers. Most of our flights are short crewed compare to any other major airlines in the world with the exception to the United States.

When it comes to emergency procedures we are all fully trained and capapble however don't expect the same response as Air France evacuation at Pearson airport because there will be simply not enough staff to open all the doors for you to evacuate. And it is getting worst!

With government legislatons and lobbying by Air Canada to reduce crew complements on aircraft (more money in CEO pocket), service is certainly aiming to be less than today (you will be paying soon for pillows and blankets also) and safety reduce accordingly.

As for the environment, we are one of the biggest consumer of paper in today's world of paperless high technology (trees and trees are being cut just for the paper us at Air Canada that goes back every single day into waste bins). I was told by a pilot that we are the 2nd largest press in Canada. Headsets are not recyclable and are filling by millions our dumpsites, our land simply because Air Canada is not environmently friendly.

Every time we are sick (one day or 2 days or more..) we are required to have a doctor's note to show our employer and validate our sickness. Like when we were kids and prove to the principal that we were genuinely sick. As customers, do you know how much the health care system is taxed just by us at Air Canada. Someone ought to put a stop to this abuse.

As far as I am concern, I am just an employee here going to work doing the best I can working for one of the worst employer in Canada. So if you see me sometimes not smiling back at you, please don't take it personnaly because really it is not aimed at you.

I welcome any airlines in Canada (cabotage welcome) that will offer better service at better prices. I would be the first one to fly any other airlines than AC.

At AIR CANADA, we do not plan to make things better for you in the near future. I wish it would be otherwise but don't count on it!

     
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Ponie on 2005-10-01:
When did they fire you, merlin?
msflygirl on 2005-12-13:
I read the comments by merlin111 on 9/28/2005 (Montreal, and can confirm that this company (Air Canada) treats it's employees like dirt! I was a flight attendant, came down with Multiple Sclerosis and severe back pain, probably as a result of working under stressful conditions, and went on LTD. My benefit package included prescription coverage but AC had a "cap" on it which I exhausted. We are talking $1,000's of dollars a month for medication! AC suggested I take early retirement which would give me renewed coverage. I took that but then that plan which also had a cap became exhausted. Just after I took early retirement,AC gave regular employees a revised cap of $1,000,000 - 20 times what I had. They could have told me that when I considered retiring as early retirement was only taken to secure prescription coverage - but they did not! They also did not tell me about an available disability retirement package but guided me into the regular early retirement package which has no cost of living clause - the disability package has! Again I was cheated! There is more - far more - but I do not wish to bore readers. The only other comment I wish to make is that I have been trying for 4 months to reach someone in AC about all this but they have chosen to ignore me! My union has helped but they too are getting nowhere with this unempathetic and callous ex-employer who treats employees like dirt and it's retirees like discarded baggage! (They created an Employee Service Center run by non-employees which intercepts ALL queries - none of which reach senior management - no tel no's or e-mail addresses are available from any source!) Try contacting them - see what I mean! If Air Canada treats their personnel like this then God help customers and travellers once they have paid their fare and stepped off the plande after a flight! You will be garbage too in the minds of these non-caring folks!! Maybe next time they should be allowed to continue into bankruptcy!! Yes I am bitter!
ZIGGY1234 on 2006-08-30:
msflygirl: Air Canada didn't care if I come into contact with SARS in 2003 and could die by not allowing me to change flight (ie not landing in hong kong during the SARS outbrerak) unless I paid a service charge of $150. I could see them treating you the way you described just to save a few dollars on their bottomline.
I wish you the best of health.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Medical Emergency Surgery, and Not Able to Get a Refund or Credit With Air Canada.
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
OUT OF FT MYERS, FLORIDA -- My husband and I purchased tickets to Copenhagen from Raleigh NC, flying on June 16th. We booked this flight way in advance to Coinside with my granddaughter's graduation in NC. He is Danish and we take this flight or one like it every summer. On the 12th of June I found out I had to have exploratory surgery for blockage of the common bile duct. This was scary but what happened next was actually worse.

We had originally tried to book our flight through Air Canada but because they had been located through Orbits we were referred by by Air Canada back to Orbitz. When I called Orbitz to get the refund I was on the phone to India for nine hours. We were in the car driving so I just let the phone sit beside me while they screwed around. Orbitz said Air Canada would not give me a credit even though I had a doctor's written excuse. Air Canada said it was Orbitz that would not give the credit. Orbitz could not call me back while they chatted with AirCanada because they said they could not call out. I had to wait on the phone with awful music playing. Air Canada was not reachable. My husband has repurchased his ticket through Air Berlin. Paying for it himself. I am still not able to fly but plan to go to Denmark Aug. 1st. My husband and I are out $2600 because I had to have surgery! I would think this was illegal. They might have refunded my money if I could choose a change of time right then, before the surgery before I knew if I had cancer, before any of this they wanted to have me commit to a date of travel. This is just silly. I have a written excuse from the referring Doctor and the surgeon, both were sent to Orbitz and to Air Canada. I will absolutely never use Orbitz again and I am pretty sure Air Canada is also off my list unless they manage to come up with a refund.

Amazing enough they called this customer service!
     
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Ben There on 2013-06-29:
Most airline tickets are nonrefundable regardless of how or where you buy your tickets, even if unexpected events like surgery arise... airlines will just remind you that they do offer refundable rates (even though they can be hundreds/thousands more more ticket).

You normally can change your travel dates - as long as you stay on the same airline and travel within the year. The fees start at $200 to $300 plus any increase in fare... this option does not do much good if you are not ready to pick new travel dates.

I know this does not help in this instance, but you might want to purchase travel insurance, as it is intended for issues like this when airlines and travel companies will not bend the rules because of medical issues. I recently had to cancel a trip because of a traveling companions emergency surgery... It was not hassle free - we had to fill out lots of paper work, get doctors statements, send copies of credit card bills, etc... However, we did get a check for the cost of the trip when all was said and done so it was worth all the hassle.
bee on 2013-06-30:
This is what happens when you buy a non-refundable ticket. Unless you purchased travel cancellation and interruption insurance, non-refundable means just that. You can change the dates at a cost (usually anywhere between $150-$300 per leg of trip plus the difference in cost if the dates chosen are a significantly higher cost for the flight)

This isn't Air Canada or Orbitz fault.
custrelguy on 2013-06-30:
Hello,

My name is Shalon, and I am part of the Orbitz Customer Relations Team. We want to learn more about your experience so that we can address the issue. Please email us at socialnetwork@orbitz.com and enter my name in the subject line, so that I can investigate further.

Thank you for your patience, and I look forward to hearing back from you.

Sincerely,

Shalon
Orbitz Customer Relations
Chicago, IL
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1ST TIME But Never Again!
Posted by on
As a frequent flier member, this was a nightmare worth describing. Crossing the line from Toronto with flight to Newark, I noticed on the flight departure screen the flight was delayed two hours. So delayed, I grabbed the closest restaurant inside the terminal next to the assigned gate-200 ft away. Needless to say, I got caught up on some work related computer time, and had dinner. 45 Minutes before the announced time for delayed departure, I walked over to the gate, and was asked my name, and advised that the plane loaded earlier than previously announced, that they had paged me-I told them I was in the restaurant across the way, and then they advised me that their PA system does not go into the restaurant. At that point, they told me my luggage was being taken off the plane. It was a pretty easy question then-Can you get me on the flight, and with my luggage. They called the plane, then assured me that my luggage and I could fly together to Newark. Now here is the fun part-I was sitting seat 1 A--The pilot announced due to weather conditions in Neward, FAA delayed our departure. This went on for 2 hours, yes, no, OK to leave, NO. Finally we taxied to tarmac for departure, and were ordered to return to the gate. 6 passengers departed this flight--40 minutes later cleared for take off. What was supposed to be a 1 hr flight, turned into 5 hours. As we approached Newark we did circles in the sky for 1 hour until we could land. Went to baggage area, everyone else got their bags, but mine were not there. Put claim in, major meeting next day in Newark. Became a desk day the next day, assured by baggage customer service that they would trace and bring once found to the hotel I was staying at. Finally, got a call that they found 1 of the 2 bags that were checked, but not the bag with my clothes. Again told they would call. Went to Newark Intl AIR CANADA Luggage claims, found my bags marked PRIORITY delivery--Just sitting there. If I didn't take the initiative, the bags would still be there. Thanks Air Canada for no amenity bag, no clothes, for missing my major meeting(yes there was a reason for flying to Newark) and your horrible customer service. Offering money to a customer, for this nightmare doesn't cut it, I am not looking for money, just my bags which were checked. Your service is below the radar!
     
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Lost/Delayed Luggage at Toronto
Posted by on
TORONTO -- A copy of my letter to Air Canada President Robert Milton, and to Lost Luggage Department. Still no reply.

Dear Sir
We are becoming very frustrated, and disillusioned with Air Canada’s handling of our lost luggage . It has been 6 weeks since our bags left Calgary with us for Bermuda, and they are still "delayed". I cannot understand how two large suitcases can be delayed, if not lost, for so long. I request that some positive action be taken to find these bags, as it appears to us that the Lost Luggage Department is unable or unwilling to assist us in this matter.

We flew Executive class from Calgary to Toronto on AC 134 on November 11, 2006, arriving in Toronto about midnight. Check-in staff in Calgary first said we would have to claim our bags in Toronto as we were not departing for Bermuda until the next moring, but after checking she assured us our two bags were checked through to Bermuda. On arrival in Toronto, a gate check staff checked details on her computer, issued boarding passes for the next leg of our flight and supposedly connected the numbers on our tags from Calgary to the boarding passes to Bermuda. She had to enter the numbers twice to get them right but she assured us the baggage would be checked through, although they would have to wait in Toronto until the morning flight.

We continued Executive class Toronto to Bermuda on AC942 on November 12, 2006. On arrival there it was obvious our bags had not arrived, so we filled in tracing details with an Air Canada clerk there and were given File Reference number. The Bermudian clerk advised us were entitled to $50 per person for essential items, but in spite of travelling Executive Class we would still have to wait 24 hours before we could even get that. After waiting the required 24 hours, we still had no luggage. My wife phoned the 1-888-689-2247 number for your tracing office (just outside of Mumbai, India she ascertained from her conversation with the clerk) and again were told we were only entitled to $50 each, even though we travelled Executive class.

We kept contacting the tracing office via internet. After finding the same message "TRACING CONTINUES. PLEASE CHECK BACK LATER" on their form for three days, it appeared that this method was going to be no help, so we again phoned the 1-888 number. As the call centre is located in India, the staff admitted they were only able to see the same information we had on the internet. I am sure you can understand that at this point our, our frustration level rose.
We were visiting our daughter in Bermuda for the birth of her baby and one of the cases was full of gifts for the baby and our other grandchildren, including hand-made blankets and hand-knitted sweaters. Worse, there were snowsuits for the children who are all coming back to Canada for Christmas and will need the clothes immediately they arrive to our record low temperatures.

With the cost of living in Bermuda, the $50 went nowhere near covering necessary clothes and toiletries for a 2 week stay. We kept feeling that our 'delayed' bags would turn up soon, but every day the same message on the internet. The worst part of it is that we believe that our luggage was/is in the tally or luggage room in Toronto, because of our evening departure time from Calgary and morning departure from Toronto. And no one would look in the room. My wife asked the India call centre to send a message to Toronto to look in these rooms, but to our knowledge no message was sent as there was nothing on the file when we actually saw it when we were back in the Calgary airport luggage desk. Our cases were very distinguishable and had ship-shaped fluorescent green luggage tags with the information engraved on them . But there was no way we could talk to someone LIVE in Toronto. We even phoned Bermuda luggage and they also never sent any messages.

After 5 days, my wife again contacted the India call centre and was told to fill out a baggage declaration form (which we were not given at the airport) and as our bags "must have lost all their tags" would be in Montreal. (Loss of 1 tag on one case I can understand--all off both, I can't.) And when she told them they had combination locks on them was told that they would slash the bags to get inside them. Not a great thought when they are needed to get the contents back to the destination.

Before leaving Bermuda, the Air Canada check-in clerk again sent a message to Toronto and Calgary to search for the bags and to let them know that we were coming and would want to check while we were there. On our return through Toronto, again Executive Class, on AC947 on November 24, 2006 we checked with Lost & Found desk (no lost bags there), and were directed to the Luggage Department in Terminal 1. Again the staff checked the computer and found the same message - "TRACING CONTINUES. PLEASE CHECK BACK LATER". We asked to check the Tally Room, and were very helpfully shown the luggage there. Again no bags, and only the assurance that after 5 days all bags would be sent to Montreal for further tracing. However we weren't able to walk round the other room--the baggage room where we really suspect our bags were/are.

Arriving back in Calgary late November 24th, we again checked with Luggage Department and found the clerk there very sympathetic and helpful - though he could find no further information than "TRACING CONTINUES. PLEASE CHECK BACK LATER". He went so far as to phone Toronto and ask them to walk around the luggage room, but was told that no one had the time to do it. It would appear to us that very little effort has gone into actually looking for these bags. I see two problems here: either more care is needed by ground staff and luggage handlers to prevent loss and delay, or more staff is needed to look for the luggage lost or damaged by them.

The clerk did provide us with a copy of allowances for delayed luggage printed from your information and, it appears we were misinformed by several offices as to entitlements. Apparently we should have been entitled to $100 each, immediately we arrived in Bermuda without our luggage. When my wife phoned India again about this, they said they would add the extra so we would be able to claim the higher amount (which we did indeed have to spend) then said "oops, have to take it back because you are home again"!!!! What is going on? We were also told that it would be at least 3 months before we are compensated for this outlay. And I was also told that our bags wouldn't be declared LOST only delayed so it will be impossible for us to even submit a claim to Visa on our Aero-gold card insurance. And no one from Air Canada will even advise what kind of compensation is going to be offered. Will it cover the total loss?

We have always been firm supporters of Air Canada. We fly AC by choice, rather than necessity. We have always found the staff polite and helpful in spite of what I have heard the media and others saying. However, the lack of assistance in this instance has really shaken our faith. We are currently booked to fly to New York in January for a cruise--we CHOSE Air Canada-- but without compensation for expenses on the past trip, nor even bags to pack for this trip I am questioning my decision of that choice.

I want to know what is actually being done to find these ‘delayed bags’. I want to know why it is taking so long? I want the bags returned in preference to a compensation for lost bags.

I anxiously await such assurances.
     
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Anonymous on 2006-12-17:
Long one... All I can say is thankful you are not lost as well. good luck
Bababooey on 2006-12-18:

What's all this fuss aboot Air Canada, eh? ;-)

I thought that the United States was the only place with lousy airline service!
mariesolveig on 2007-01-05:
Wow! I'm in a very similar situation. It helps me to know I'm not the only one having these problems with Air Canada, but it sadens me at the same time because no one should have to deal with this. I am so upset about my lost baggage. I had 4 rolls of developed film (with the negatives) from the what will probably be the last xmas with my grandmother. I truly feel like Air Canada doesn't care about me and my lost luggage. They just give me the same run-around every time I call! Best of luck to you, hope it all works out!
crackerjack on 2007-01-11:
Further to my original post, I am pleased to report that Air Canada has today forwarded me a cheque for $1423.30 - the full amount claimed. It has been 2 months less a day that our luggage disappeared.
We were pleasantly surprised at the amount, considering, as the accompanying letter says "although you have not provided any substantiation for your claim...our cheque for the full claim amount for your 2 pieces of luggage accompanies."

I'm still mystified as to whereabouts two suit cases could go while in Air Canada's control!
canadabob on 2007-01-22:
Air Canada is giving Canada a bad name. I met a fellow who travelled to Canada for a fishing trip and his baggage with several thousand dollars of fishing equipment in his "missing bag". He was lucky and found it is a liquidation warehouse in Atlanta a week or two later.... a couple days before it was to be sold. Luckily he had a friend who lives there claim it for him.

FYI - they will disclaim liability for 99% of items travelers commonly pack in baggage.

AC is the worst customer service I've experience. Good luck getting your baggage.
Liz D in NZ on 2007-02-07:
We had a similar but not quite as lengthy problem with Air Canada last month (Jan 2007) when we flew with them from Auckland, New Zealand (code share with Air New Zealand), via Sydney to Vancouver and on to Kelowna for a family ski holiday - myself, husband & two 13 yo daughters. We checked in 4 suitcases and 2 ski bags each containing 2 sets of skis at Auckland and NONE of them arrived in Vancouver with us. Air Cananda's initial response was it was "all Air New Zealand's fault" because the bags had missed their connection in Sydney. Well, that could account for a delay of maybe up to a day but not the 2 to 6 days it finally took them to return all our baggage to us.

You can imagine our predicamnent having left 25C summer temperatures to arrive in -12C winter temperatures without any of our specialist ski and warm clothing. We were provided with a voucher by Air Canada for rental of ski clothing and equipment but of course it is not possible to rent warm undergarments, socks, gloves, goggles, warm boots, etc which we had to buy. We had to spend around CAN $1500 just to equip ourselves with what we already had in our bags so we could continue with our "once in a lifetime" holiday which had cost us around NZ$17,000. Most of this should be covered by our travel insurance, though again they are ducking for cover and there is some debate about what cover our children are entitled to. I am also going to pursue a claim with Air Canada, if for no other reason than to try to extract something resembling an apology from them.

We rang the 1-888 number every morning and night until finally receiving our bags and every time got a different story: that all bags were in Kelowna awaiting delivery to the ski resort; that they hadn't left Sydney; that they didn't know where they were but were not "lost". We received 3 suitcases and 1 ski bag after 1 1/2 days, 1 ski bag after 3 days and the final suitcase after 5 1/2 days.

We heard numerous "war stories" from staff at the ski resort about missing baggage, always with Air Canada. I also spoke to a visitor from Australia who had skied in Canada 11 times and on 4 of those occasions Air Canada had lost his bags.

We loved Canada, loved the skiing, loved the people but Air Canada is a very bad advertisement for your country. It has now become our family's code-word for incompetence & losing things. If we ever had the opportunity to go again, we would fly with them only as a very last resort.

Glad the original poster had a "happy" ending.
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Recent trip to Boston
Posted by on
WINNIPEG -- This is in reference to a recent trip my wife and I took to Boston for a
visit. We were to leave Winnipeg on Air Canada flight #254 at 7:45 am on
Friday, August 25 for a connecting flight in Toronto then on to Boston. The
connecting flight to Boston was #7962. Firstly, the day before we left, I
had to call Air Canada to get some information about what we could take
aboard, be sure it was on time, etc. After pressing what seemed like a
hundred buttons, I never did speak to anyone and got very frustrated. So I
called WestJet because I fugured their rules would be the same as Air
Canada's as far as what liquids, gels, medications, etc. were allowed on
board, what time to be at the airport and so on. Someone answered after
about two rings and answered my questions about my wife's medications and so
on. On Friday morning we got to the airport by about 6:00 am and got in
line to check in. There were 4 girls working the desk -- 3 for regular
passengers and it seemed like one for executive passengers. After one of
the 3 girls was done with a passenger, she got up and disappeared, walking
down the concourse. That left two girls, as the lineup grew. My wife and I
were next so we went to one of the girls. Without acknowledging us, she
banged a couple of keys on the computer and then looked down and noticed
that her computer was out of paper or baggage checks or whatever. She got a
box of paper but didn't know how to load it. And the lineup grew. So she
got the girl beside her to help, so now there is no one helping customers.
However, that girl didn't know either, so she went back to helping customers
and the girl who was to have served us simply got up and said "I'm going for
coffee!!" and she left. And the lineup grew, seemingly out the door by now.
So the one working girl called us over and asked if she could help. Well,
ya! We gave her our ticket and she punched some stuff into the computer and
said "There's a problem. Your ticket says you're in row 137 which is about
4 planes long. There's been a misprint. I'll have to get this fixed." She
checked our bags in the meantime and takes us over to another person down
the concourse who confirms that there is a problem. That lady not only
changes our seats but advises us very nonchalantly that our "plane is
broken" and we would have to switch flights. Advising passengers that
planes are broken is not very reassuring in light of what's been going on in
the airline industry lately. So we get our flight changed to an earlier
one, get our new seats (at the very back of the plane), and she assures us
that our bags will be changed to the correct flight. By now, there are lots
of flags going up and whistles going off. So we get to Toronto without
further problem then find out we have to change terminals to catch the
flight to Boston. So we get shuttled to the other terminal which is like a
ghost town. Not a soul in there and very limited signs giving direction.
But we finally find our way and go to pick up our luggage from the carousel.
No baggage. I explain to one guy in the Air Canada area and he tells us
to see one of the other guys down the line in baggage. So I go to the
counter (my wife is still watching the empty carousel in the meantime) and
stand in front of this other guy who is nonchalantly thumping on his
keyboard. Didn't look up, no acknowledgement, no "I'll be with you in a
moment", nada. Couldn't give a fat rat's if we were there or not. So I
looked at another guy next to him, and he simply avoided eye contact.
Finally he looks up and I tell him that our bags aren't coming. He checks
our baggage numbers and tells us they should be here, and just to wait. So
I wait. And wait. And wait. I went over again. He calls the other
terminal and is told that in fact there are a couple of bags at the other
terminal. So he asks that they be brought over right away. So my wife and
I waited and waited as our connecting flight loomed. Finally the bags
arrive and they are absolutely soaking wet. So back I go to see this guy in
baggage and complain that the bags are soaked. He says "Ya. It's raining"
and went back to his computer. Again, not one iota of caring or compassion
or empathy. I asked why they weren't covered and he said they just weren't.
No particular reason. And I know there are tarps that go over luggage in
inclement weather. And these bags were drenched, not like a sprinking of
mist. This also made the bags significantly heavier, which should be an
airline concern as well. No one seemed to give a damn. I also had to ask
one of the Air Canada guys for directions to Canada Customs to ask them a
question. He proceeded to give me instructions to US customs. So I came
back and asked again, and he said down the hall, turn here, turn there. So
I did, and found a dead end. Someone else sent me upstairs, then they sent
me back downstairs. A real gong show. Finally I found it on my own and the
guy in Customs was very good. Anyway, my wife and I loaded our soaked bags
on the conveyor belt and awaited our coneecting flight. With an apparent
rainstorm on the eastern seaboard our flight was delayed over an hour, but
that's not your fault. We got to Boston, had a great time, and the return
flight went off without a hitch. But the horrific experience in Winnipeg
and Toront coming out was enough to make us reconsider travel with Air
Canada.

Lindor, your recent article in the paper about airlines in the US and their
poor service can now include our own "national" carrier. The "who gives a
&*%&^" attitude is very disconcerting.

Arlena, you did a wonderful job booking everything. The hotel was great,
the booking of the flight was good, but I would advise you try booking
through WestJet every chance you get. At least their people smile and seem
to care.

Air Canada people, you have lost 2 customers and likely more. Any chance I
get to book my own flights, it will be with WestJet if at all possible. If
the wet baggage is not your responsibility, I will advise that you speak to
the airport authorities about handling of luggage. Luckily nothing inside
our bags was ruined so we didn't have to make a baggage claim. A course on
customer service to your employees wouldn't hurt either. When that girl in
Winnipeg said she was going for coffee, my jaw almost hit the ground. And
the lineup grew. And no one gave a damn.

Thanks for listening.
     
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familytravel on 2006-08-31:
That sounds awful. I don't mind the long check-in lines as long as I see the people actually working...not just standing around and taking their sweet time doing everything. I will keep this in mind about Air Canada...the drenched baggage would make me very upset too!
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Never again with Air Canada
Posted by on
SEE COMMENT AT THE END! AIR CANADA LOCATED MY LOST BAG AND THEN LOST IT AGAIN WHILE SHIPPING IT TO ME!

My husband and I recently travelled on Air Canada from Boston to Madrid. We are experienced travellers and understand that delays and difficulties are part of air travel. However, Air Canada was truly so terrible that I must warn other consumers.

Our flight from Boston to Toronto left very late. While flying, no Air Canada staff addressed our concerns about making our connection. They had no information about gates or expediting our transfer. We literally dashed off the airplane and had to Sprint from one terminal in Toronto to the other. It was surreal, as we reached each checkpoint, Air Canada staff rebuked us, "Why are you so late?!" My husband is older and has a back injury so eventually we split up and I literally ran full gallop to the gate. We were so exhuasted and stressed and dispirited from the experience that it had a terrible effect on us. What's more, many other airlines I have travelled on, when realizing that the flight was late, begin warning passengers, passing out gate information, and contacting connecting flights. Air Canada did nothing and we were connecting to other Air Canada flight! We could not miss that flight because we had yet another flight to catch and my husband was giving a concert in Spain the next day.

On the way home, Air Canada's flight from Madrid to Toronto was again late. This time they told us that we had missed our connector and were rescheduled while still in flight. When we asked one air attendant about which terminal we were headed to, he asked a sarcastic rhetorical question of us, "Is Boston in the U. S?" The directions had been very confusing, we are educated people and had listened attentively. Upon arriving in Toronto, we discovered one of our pieces of luggage had not come with us. Air Canada has lost it. The process of discovering this took literally 2 hours in the Toronto airport with an unresponsive and unsympathetic staff watching us watch the baggage carousel. I will not bore you with the details of how many questions went unanswered, obvious suggestions and polite inquiries brushed aside by indifferent Air Canada employees.

Back in Boston we filed our lost baggage claim with an Air Canada representative who angrily corrected us, "DELAYED baggage claim." Now I have been calling their pathetic and incompetent phone service in India for 36 hours to check the status. Over and over I am asked the same questions by well-meaning, under-paid third world workers who struggle with English. Now I understand that Air Canada will not reimburse me for jewelery or electronics that went missing. This is obscene! I never signed a waiver or a contract releasing them of this liability. They also won't provide a per diem rate unless I fight for it. I am so angry and sad. I lost things of intense personal value. I can be criticized for putting these in a checked bag. Sometimes when you're travelling and under the stress of the weight and size limits of carryon bags, you take a chance. In anycase, I will NEVER EVER TAKE A CHANCE AND FLY WITH AIR CANADA AGAIN.
     
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Ben There on 2010-08-31:
Many of the smaller planes that fly routes like Boston to Toronto don't always have the same resources as larger jets, so sometimes they don't have connecting flight information on board. I suggest that you go to the airlines website before you fly and get email or text alerts for flight and gate info. This way your phone can tell you where to go, and it is probably more up to date than the paperwork give to a flight attendant.

Lost bags are never fun, but they can happen at any airline. You should consider spending a little more and flying on one of the nonstop flights from Boston to Madrid as this reduces the chances of a lost bag or a missed connection - this is especially important if you have something as important as a concert the next date.
old newfie on 2010-09-02:
I could not agree more with this post. I always have the same problems with Air Canada. The only problem I have is in Newfoundland we don't have any other air line to choose from.
mostlymaddy on 2010-09-05:
UPDATE!!! 3 days ago Air Canada contacted me and said my bag had been found in Montreal and would be delivered to my door the next day. The next day and the next day came and went with no bag. I called them back- THEY HAVE LOST THE BAG AGAIN. I am out of mind. They will not give me a straight answer on anything- just corporate orwellian speak from Indian call center. They want me to start filling out the compensation paperwork which I REFUSE to do b.c. all it will serve is cementing their liability at $20/kg. Is there any recourse? Has anyone punctured the corporate veil and spoken to anyone at Air Canada who really help?!!!
mostlymaddy on 2010-09-05:
I have just written to Air Canada demanding that someone who is in canada in baggage services contact me. The following is their OUTRAGEOUS response! SEVEN BUSINESS DAYS TO PROCESS A COMMUNICATION?!??!!!

support@help-aircanada.com ✆ to me
show details 1:17 PM (1 minute ago)
Thank you for contacting us.

This is to confirm that we have received your message and there is no requirement to re-submit your information. Our current processing time is 20 business days for general customer concerns and 7 business days for baggage related issues. We will make every effort to respond sooner. We appreciate your patience and understanding as you await our response.
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How can you lose an entire planes luggage?
Posted by on
I flew from Thunder Bay to Toronto on a business trip yesterday, direct nonstop. I had a carry on suitcase but the flight I was getting on was delayed and I didn't want the hassle of having to worry about the carry on while I waited so I decided to checked it in. Since I had originally planned on taking the suitcase in the cabin with me I had packed my car keys and daily medication in my suitcase, which is now checked in cargo or wherever they put it. When I got to Toronto, I waited and waited for the luggage and then finally decided to check at the counter to see what happened. The agent was super helpful and immediately went to work trying to solve the problem. After many phone calls and rushing to the back he made the decision to put in a file to trace the bags. He was even helping other customers while he was being put on hold.

When I went to get on parking lot bus to get my vehicle I realized that my car keys were in my suitcase and I had no way to get home. I went to the representative working at the check in kiosk, told my story and she directed me to another counter where I was presented with a voucher for an airport limo to my home, a normal 90 fare.

This morning I called the number on the card I was given for updates and question and the phone attendant was very helpful and added to my file that I had important medications in the bag.

This afternoon I received a phone call telling me that the bag has been located and I would receive a phone call very soon from the courier. An hour later a courier called me and told me he would be to my home around 11 pm and since it was late he could leave the bag on the porch if I signed a paper saying its OK to leave it and tape it to the door. That sounded fishy to me so I waited until he arrived and checked the contents to make sure everything was there before he left. He was very considerate and waited while I checked, nothing had been touched.

I am not an elite member or a super elite member and my ticket was not business class.

Although it was an inconvenience to lose my luggage and who knows how they could possibly loose an entire planes luggage I suspect it was due to the flights delay and delays are usually for legitimate reasons. Stuff happens! I must say the entire process was pain free and I must give thumbs up to Air Canada for a job well done.

My only complaint is every phone call and every person that I dealt with except for the courier was in South Asia and the phone lines were very poor. Add the poor quality phone lines to the accents and communication was tough. Come on air Canada. Bring those jobs home.



     
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Alain on 2010-08-20:
A well balanced compliment and interesting, as well.
clutzycook on 2010-08-20:
Wow. What a ride. Glad it all worked out for you in the end. I agree with you about the jobs thing, too!
momsey on 2010-08-20:
Great review. Another person might have written this as a complaint. Glad you could see the good in it!
Unhappy Customer on 2012-07-10:
I am convinced this review was written by the marketing department of Air Canada. A fake review. My experience was exactly the contrary. The agent was patronizing and after weeks of calling with the agent asking the same questions over and over, I realized they are not looking for the bag. They simply wait for it to show up. I told them our medications were in our bag and it made no difference. How can they lose a bag? I keep asking myself. They have no idea if the bag got on the plane. No idea. I thought it was a law that a bag did not get on a plane without a ticketholder. They have to track that, but they have no idea what they do with the luggage that they decide to put on that or any other plane. Something here does not make any sense. At the micro level, these guys don't do their job well. I am sure someone can explain that with 10,000 bags a day, some will get lost. Lots of effort to explain their incompetence.

Yes, I am unhappy and Air Canada doesn't care.
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Incompetent And Outrageously Rude Staff
Posted by on
Here is a letter I sent to Air Canada explaining my recent experience with them: I would like to express my disappointment toward the service my family and I received. At time of the check-in at the Pierre-Elliot Trudeau airport, in Montreal, the woman at the counter for the Elite members was very cold and rude. She never greeted us or smiled. My dad is an elite member and when he asked her if his family (my mother, my sister and I) could join him in the maple leaf lounge, she replied with a simple "no". When we got to the lounge, we found out that we could, in fact, join him. During the flight, there was a period of turbulence. My dad is a 60 year old man who is very sick and borderline incontinent. He tried getting up to use the washroom when the seat belt sign was still on. He was intercepted by the flight attendant (whose name is [snip]) who told him to sit down for as long as the sign was still on. My dad told him that he was going to urinate in his pants. Instead of politely telling my dad to wait a little longer for the capitan to turn off the seat belt sign, he replied: "That's right. You're just going to have to pee in your pants". My dad sat down and barely 5 minutes later, when the seat belt sign was still on, another passenger walked by [snip] to go to the bathroom and he didn't stop her. When my dad asked him why he didn't stop her, [snip] said: "There's no turbulence". I am truly disgusted by [snip] and his serious lack of professionalism. He was rude and unprofessional during the entire flight. When he made announcements on the microphone, he opted for a miserable tone of voice and let out big sighs to clearly show his boredom. He also never made an effort to stick to the script. For example, instead of saying: "Ladies and gentlemen, the captain has turned the seat belt sign on. Please return to your seats and buckle your seat belts." he would say: "Ladies and gentlemen, buckle your seat belts." After the incident, [snip] never apologized for his behaviour even though he had the opportunity to do so as we were exiting the aircraft at our arrival and on the return trip. To the contrary, he refused to give us his name. We had to read it off his name tag when he walked by. At the time of the check-in for our return trip, the woman at the Elite members' counter was just as rude as the one in Montreal. If your Elite members, who are giving you a lot of business, are being treated like insignificant human beings, I wonder how the rest of the clients are being treated. I also wonder why we should keep giving you our business. Note that my father, who is presently an Elite member, will stop traveling with you. He will also start a motion in his department to make sure no one in the office travels with you. My family and I will never travel with you again and we will keep spreading the word about the poor service you give to make sure that none of our friends travel with you. I will post this letter, as well as a french version, on every forum that mentions you and I will not retract it until you take the necessary measures to drastically change your customer service.
     
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MDSasquatch on 2010-06-29:
they are Canadians, nuff' said
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Air Canada Rips Off Customers
Posted by on
My wife and I are extremely dissatisfied with the terrible treatment we received at the Vancouver International Airport on the part of Air Canada.

We arrived in Vancouver on May 28th, 2010 from Beijing, China. We flew Air China from Beijing to Vancouver on Flight. # CA991. Unfortunately, our flight from Beijing left approximately 6 hours late, and therefore we missed the flight that I had booked on Air Canada to fly from Vancouver to Winnipeg. (Flight AC 296 - departure 14:25)

When we arrived at the Air Canada counter in order to see if we could get on another flight, we were told by the customer service representative that we could get on flight AC 298, which was departing at 18:30 from Vancouver. I assumed that Air Canada would simply issue a new ticket and boarding pass for us. However, we were informed that because I had booked our Air Canada flight from Vancouver to Winnipeg separately from the Air China flight, we would be required to pay an additional $150.00+ Cdn. per person. The customer service representative said we would have to take up the issue of the late flight with Air China.

We're interested in knowing what the extra charge was for. It certainly didn't cost Air Canada anything to put us on the new flight.

Neither my wife nor I could believe what we were hearing from the Air Canada representative I understand that according to Air Canada's policy, since we had booked the two flights separately instead of all together, that Air Canada is not responsible for the fact that Air China was late in leaving Beijing. However, the customer service representatives surely have some flexibility in this regard, especially since the individual we were dealing with was the shift supervisor on that afternoon in Vancouver.

My wife and I have spent literally thousands of dollars travelling on Air Canada in the past 22 years. Additionally, there were at least four empty seats on flight AC 298 on the 28th of May, 2010 from Vancouver to Winnipeg. We had also been travelling for approximatley 24 hours by that time and both of us were exhausted. We were simply interested in getting to Winnipeg to see our parents.

I find it absolutely unacceptable that the customer service representative at the airport on that afternoon couldn't have "kindly" put us on that flight without charging us an extra $300+. In our view, this is simply a "rippoff." Air Canada has taken advantage of two of it's customers.

We will not be taken advantage of by Air Canada again. As far as I am concerned, we will do everything possible to avoid flying on Air Canada in the future. Sadly, the Customer Service Representative that refused to be "flexible" on that afternoon of the 28th of May, 2010 was also the shift supervisor. I wish I had gotten his name to turn over to Air Canada, but unfortunately I neglected to do so.

He actually told my wife and I that we were responsible for rebooking our flights. How were we supposed to do that when we were stuck at the airport in Beijing? What an ignorant comment to make to two customers.

I did make my displeasure clearly known to him. His ignorance in dealing with customers should be addressed.

I have sent this complaint to Air Canada's President so that he is aware of exactly the type of treatment that some of Air Canada's CSR's Dole out to customers. My wife and I both expect to be compensated by Air Canada for this unaccpetable treatment. We expect to have the charge for that flight change, which cost Air Canada absolutely nothing to make, returned to us.

I'll keep you posted as to how Air Canada handles this.



     
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Weedwhacked on 2010-06-08:
You ask what the $150 was for? It is the reissue fee per ticket. Having been a past customer doesn't get this fee waived. The Customer Service Representatives actually have no flexibility in the matter. When revenue accounting audits the flights they will see that you weren't charged and that employee could lose their job. I worked at the airport before and wouldn't put my job as risk because someone just didn't want to pay the required fee. You say that you were treated bad? You were not you just paid the fee that you agreed to when you purchased the tickets.

If you had booked it as a connection flight, then Air China would have been required to put you on another flight at no cost to you.
Ben There on 2010-06-08:
You were late for your flight, and you had to pay the reissue fee. I don't see how it is Air Canada's responsibility two rebook you for free when they were not responsible for the missed connection. Next time, book all of your flights as one ticket, or allow plenty of extra time for a connection.
clutzycook on 2010-06-08:
Ben, their originating flight on Air China left 6 hours late. If it had arrived on time, they would have likely made the flight. But, since they were changing airlines, it's not up to them to rebook you free of charge. Had the OP arrived late on an Air Canada flight, they might not have charged them.
goduke on 2010-06-08:
Here's the deal. I'm sure that Air Canada was well within its rights to charge the rebooking fee. You'd like to think, however, that the airline would say "hmm, loyal customer, let's cut them a break," rather than just squeeze the last dime out of them before sending them to another carrier. Maybe Air Canda thinks they'll come back anyway. Maybe Air Canada doesn't care about loyalty because they're going to fill up the flights anyway. Still, we all know switching the booking doesn't cost $150 -- it's just another revenue source -- and could easily be waived in the right circumstances. Once again...to quote the 4 time national championship coach Mike K, "Rules are for people who are afraid to make decisions."
momsey on 2010-06-08:
Definitely an annoying situation, but it wasn't Air Canada's fault that you were late (not that it was yours, of course.) If I were you, I'd take it up with the China flight to see if they will offer some some kind of compensation.

I don't see how you're due any compensation from Air Canada.
Ben There on 2010-06-08:
I agree clutzycook, and you bring up a good point. If the OP had been late on an inbound Air Canada flight on a separate ticket they might have waived the fee, but the OP fly on a competing airline to Asia. I wonder why the OP didn't fly Air Canada all the way to Beijing.
Rip Offs on 2010-06-09:
Thanks for all of your comments, however, many of you are missing the entire point of my complaint. I understand very clearly that Air Canada was "within its rights" to charge us $150.00 per person. However, being "within your rights" to do something is not always the answer when you wish to provide "great customer service."

In the circumstance that I am referring to, there is no reason that Air Canada "had to" charge us the extra fee. As one of the commenters here wrote: "Rules are for people that cannot make their own decisions, or are afraid to." When any company really cares about their customers and is interested in providing the very highest level of customer service, they will train their staff to "think outside of the box" and weigh each situation on its own merits before just applying a "rule."

In this particular circumstance, when considering the entire situation, I am absolutely adamant that Air Canada could have and should have waived the rule and simply considered our situtation and put us on that flight without charging us the extra $300.00. What would that have cost them? Not one cent. However, if this is how Air Canada applies its rules, that's fine. We will never fly this airline again, as far as it is possible.

By the way, Air Canada and Air China are both members of the Star Alliance. So they are in partnership with one another. This is another factor that should be considered when dealing with this situation.

Anyone who knows anything about providing "great customer service" will clearly understand my reason for complaint.
momsey on 2010-06-09:
Even though you say it didn't cost them anything to rebook you, it might have cost them the price of your two seats. It's very possible that they flew your original flight with two empty seats and to just rebook you to another flight doesn't compensate them at all.

I do understand your complaint, and if I was in the same situation, I'd be right there with you, angry and boycotting. However, I don't see how you're owed anything. You had to rebook, and there's a fee for that, regardless of the reason. Yes, it would be nice if they didn't charge you, but being nice in that way doesn't get you very far in the business world.
Rip Offs on 2010-06-10:
Momsey,
In actual fact, "being nice" in that way does get you far in the business world. I own a business. If you'd like to check out my company website, just go to www.twallison.com

Our company provides training, in China, for the world's largest companies. For example, HSBC, Mattel, New Balance, Duracell, to name just few. One of the things that we train companies to do is how to provide excellent customer service.

Our own company, and our clients, often provide services, under certain circumstances, for free. This is in spite of the fact that we would normally charge for said services. Although there are times when we may be "within our rights" to charge for certain services, it is not always the "right thing to do."

Has our business suffered because we, under certain circumstances, take this approach. To the contrary, our business thrives. Being nice does get you far in the business world, and if you believe otherwise you are fooling yourself.

There is no such thing as "regardless of the reason", as you state, when your goal is to provide the highest level of customer service.
Ben There on 2010-06-10:
Just out of curiosity, why didn't you fly Air Canada all the way to China?
Rip Offs on 2010-06-10:
Ben There,
We didn't fly to Asia. We live in China and were flying to Canada from China in order to visit family.
The reason that we flew Air China was because the Air Canada ticket from China to Vancouver was 12,000 RMB per person and the Air China ticket was 5,300 RMB person.
Rip Offs on 2010-06-10:
Hi All,
Here is the response I received from Air Canada, as well as my reply.
Enjoy!

Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2010 09:05:09 -0600
From: President@aircanada.ca
Subject: Air Canada

Dear Mr.
Thank you for your letter to Mr. Rovinescu. I am pleased to respond on behalf of Air Canada.
Mr. we truly regret the negative impression of Air Canada you have been left with and we are thankful for this opportunity to address your concerns. We can appreciate your frustration in Vancouver, especially after such a long International flight. Respectfully, our ticket contract with you was to provide transportation from Vancouver to Winnipeg. As you had purchased a separate ticket from Beijing to Vancouver, our agents were correct in assessing you the 'same-day change fee', as per the rules of the tickets you purchased from us. Had Air Canada provided transportation for you from Beijing, we would have taken responsibility for the delay and rebooked you, without a charge.
We receive an extraordinary number of requests on a daily basis to waive our fare rules. For the sake of consistency and fairness to all passengers, we ask our agents to uphold our policies.
That being said, we would have expected our agents to treat you (and all customers) with courtesy and respect - no matter what the situation. I am very sorry that we have disappointed you and we will ensure your comments are forwarded to the Vancouver Managers for internal review.
Regrettably, we are unable to comply with your request for goodwill compensation.
We do appreciate your support over the years and while we have disappointed you on this occasion, we earnestly hope you will reconsider and allow us to be of service to you in the future.
Sincerely,
Yvette Habekost
Air Canada Customer Relations


Sent: June 10, 2010 2:39:01 PM
To: president@aircanada.ca

Yvette,

Thanks for replying to my complaint. However, it is quite obvious that
neither your company, nor your agents are taught to "think outside of
the box."

I can understand the need to uphold your policies. However, your agents
and your company surely realize that there is a need for flexibility in relation to any company policies. If the reason for our ticket change had been due to our own negligence in arriving at the airport late or some other similar reason, that would be one thing.

However, the complete lack of empathy on the part of your agent, as well
as yourself simply reaffirms what I personally have heard from many
family members and friends - that is their dissatisfaction with Air Canada and its service.

I am a partner in a corporate training firm which is based in Guangzhou, China.If you like, you are welcome to visit our website at http://www.twallison.com

The reason I mention this is because I personally train staff of some of the world's largest companies, such as HSBC, New Balance, Mattel, Duracell, and many others. One of the skills I train individuals in is Customer Service, and one of the key things these companies recognize is that even though they may be "within their rights", from a policy standpoint, to do something, it is not always the right thing to do.

The companies that offer the very best customer service recognize the need
for flexibility and the importance of judging each situation on its own merits as it applies to following policies. Rules are simply made for individuals that cannot or are unwilling to make decisions.

Unfortunately, Air Canada clearly does not recognize this fact, and your reply simply affirms that.

You may have gained $300+ on this occasion, but you have lost two customers. That is what inflexibility in applying policies leads to and we will never use Air Canada again. Frankly, based on this particular circumstance, Air Canada has proven to be of no service to us whatever.

Regards,

Michael Allison
General Manager
TW Allison Corporate Consulting
Guangzhou, China
http://www.twallison.com


Modestprodigy on 2012-04-06:
Ms habekost is merely there to deflect issues from the president. He is a Montreal lawyer with no experience running any business let alone an airline. The board consists of a prominent Quebec sovereign it's and an American hedge fund manager.air caada would rather compete politically than as a business. Fly awes they and you will notic a difference in customer servic.
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Lost/Stolen Luggage - Beware, Air Canada only covers up to $1500 for your loss
Posted by on
DORVAL, QUEBEC -- I have been reading several of the recent reviews regarding lost luggage and noticed a recent pattern of loses emanating from Calgary. I thought it may be worthwhile to share my recent loss as well.

In early October I travelled on business from Toronto to Calgary for one night then on to Vancouver for another two. Sometime between checking in my luggage in Calgary en route to Vancouver and arriving at the carousel in Vancouver approximately one hour and 15 minutes later, my luggage was lost and has never been recovered. I was assured on numerous occasions that my bag was not lost and would be recovered and delivered to my hotel in Vancouver within 24 hours. I received the same answer repeatedly after numerous calls over the next 6 days.

I was promised a token $50 dollars for every day that my luggage was delayed, which has never been paid to me. On day 7, I received a call confirming that the bag was still lost and likely would not be recovered. I was told to complete a claim form in order to be reimbursed for my belongings.

I'm not going to detail the stress, frustration, missed meetings, cost of my hotel, airfare, meals, missing business attire and having to purchase clothing, shoes, toiletries etc. while also trying to frantically re-schedule meetings, apologize for missed meetings etc. while I attended to purchasing replacements. I'm sure any business traveler could empathize with the circumstances.

To my surprise, Air Canada requested an itemized list and purchase receipts for each item in my bag along with location of the stores where I purchased each item. This information was required along with proof of my ticket purchase, baggage tag, and claim number and to top it off, I had to get the entire claim form notarized in order to receive a refund.

There's more...Air Canada does not cover, jewelry, business documents, electronics or other valuable articles...and lastly, and perhaps most disturbing is that Air Canada does not cover any claim above $1500. My very polite letter confirmed that "Tariff Regulations" limits the liability for loss, damage or delay of checked baggage.

In the closing paragraph of the reply letter, Air Canada stated that they "regret the inconvenience I experienced and trust that all my future travels with Air Canada will be to my complete satisfaction".

This is very comforting to me having just lost $5000 worth of personal belongings. I can't wait to book my next flight and entrust Air Canada with my luggage...

I replied to the hollow letter cited above signed a baggage claim specialist with a letter to the VP of Customer Service voicing my displeasure with Air Canada's response to my claim, only to receive yet another letter from the same Baggage Claims Specialist re iterating their position.

Based on this experience, I now understand why Air Canada has the undistinguished reputation of being one the worst airlines for customer service in the industry. Additionally, they are also facing what appears to be systemic theft problem at major airports such as Calgary International.

Based on the other reviewers who have experienced a similar situation in recent months, Air Canada does not appear to be prepared to be accountable and take responsibility by doing the right thing and equitably compensating their customers for their losses.

It’s time that Air Canada customers stop accepting this treatment and start flying with alternative carriers wherever possible.


     
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Anonymous on 2009-12-10:
"To my shock and surprise, Air Canada requested an itemized list and purchase receipts for each item in my bag along with location of the stores where I purchased each item."

They're just going to take anyone's word as to what was in the bags.

"There's more...Air Canada does not cover, jewelry, business documents, electronics or other valuable articles...and lastly, and perhaps most disturbing is that Air Canada does not cover any claim above $1500."

This is all on the terms and conditions you agreed to when you purchased the tickets.

Anonymous on 2009-12-10:
OOps! I meant to say they're NOT just going to take anyone's word as to what was in the bags.
Hugh_Jorgen on 2009-12-10:
This is pretty much standard with all major (and most minor) carriers. They have limits to their liability and they will require proof of loss.
Anonymous on 2009-12-11:
Airlines are members of governing/quasi governing bodies. You'll find contracts of carriage with respect to lost or damaged luggage and compensation almost uniformly identical amongst airlines. It may not appear fair, however compensating everyone for valuables would not make sense - everyone would claim they were transporting the Hope Diamond.
"...one the worst airlines for customer service in the industry." AC has historically ranked in near the top for N.American airlines. Fly a lot of US Flagged carriers and you'll quickly recant.


Anonymous on 2009-12-11:
According to DOT the maximum compensation for lost baggage is $3,300 per bag for US airlines.
martinp on 2009-12-11:
Thanks for the feedback.

My point regarding the submission of receipts was simply that after going through the hassle, aggravation and frustration of an important business trip being very unproductive, having to purchase replacement clothes and toiletries, spending countless hours calling and re calling Air Canada to get status updates on my lost luggage, not to mention the lost time having to replace all my belongings then to have to spend the time to go through old receipts to find all the appropriate receipts for the lost items simply adds to the negative experience.

Throughout this awful experience, Air Canada was completely indifferent to my situation. In fact, I was treated as though I was putting them out for trying to locate my luggage.

When a regular business traveler entrusts his luggage to Air Canada when checking it in and is provided with a claim tag, one expects the luggage to arrive on the carousel at his destination.

When it does not, you expect your carrier to make good on it's commitment to deliver your luggage to you.

I've taken a few moments to review Air Canada's corporate website. What I found interesting was reviewing the CORPORATE POLICY AND GUIDELINES ON BUSINESS CONDUCT document listed on the site. What struck me is that this 34 page document does not mention the customer once.

Yes that's right; the customer is not mentioned once. Unbelievable isn't it?, that a service company does not mention the customer in its business conduct guidelines. Also, what I find most interesting is that Air Canada states in its value statement that "Make every Customer feel valued. With our words, with our actions, with our products and services" ... “Act with Integrity. We are accountable; we foster an environment of trust. We communicate openly in a timely manner"...

Let me also quote Air Canada's vision statement..." building value through passion and innovation".

In today's customer centric world, Air Canada's vision and values are shallow, meaningless and without any conviction. Not surprising that Air Canada customer's feel disengaged and underappreciated by how they are treated.

I have travelled extensively around the world and travelled with numerous carriers. I must say, that I have been treated with considerably more respect and empathy for far more forgivable service failures.

Air Canada has to follow through on its values and mission as an enterprise. They have to be accountable to their paying customers for their service failures. If Air Canada wants to prove that they truly live by their values, they have to stop hiding behind the legaleaze, fine print and Tariff Regulations and truly distinguish themselves as a customer centric organization. This may seem like a novel approach but high performance organizations have been very successful using this approach over the years.

Bottom line: when customers are treated with respect and dignity and the service provider takes responsibility and behaves accountably, they are usually rewarded with loyalty and goodwill by their paying customers.


Anonymous on 2009-12-12:
You don't have to produce receipts. Try and remember, there were brand new items in your bag that your relatives in Vancouver had asked you to buy for them and all the receipts were with the items. And don't forget, your granny helped you to pack your bag, so she is the witness as to what was in your suitcase, and that the receipts were in there. Tell Air Canada to go find their baggage handler who stole your bag, and let him produce the receipts
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