TORONTO -- 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 morning, 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 we're 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 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 handmade 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.
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 figured their rules would be the same as Air Canada's as far as what liquids, gels, medications, etc. were allowed onboard, 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, yeah! 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 "Yeah. 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 sprinkling 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 connecting 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 Toronto coming out was enough to make us reconsider travel with Air Canada.
**, 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. **, 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.
I was booked on an Air Canada flight home to Vancouver from Ottawa on October 2, 2011 at 6PM. My wife was also booked on the flight. I arrived with much the same luggage and carry on items that I have arrived at airports, for an average of 40 domestic flights per year, for the last 15 years: a suitcase to check in and a small backpack and guitar in a cloth case as carry on.
As a point of fact: a cloth guitar case cannot be checked in as there is ample evidence that Air Canada baggage handlers mistreat instruments (I watched one handler stand my guitar, which was in a fiberglass flight case, on one end and drop it onto the conveyor belt and proceeded to do the same with my travelmate's guitar – I will never trust a guitar in a cloth case to your baggage handlers, other than for a gate check). Another fact, on long haul flights my cloth guitar case easily fits into any overhead and leaves lots of room to put other baggage on top and around.
Today is the first time in the 12 years of domestic travel that I have been denied the right to carry my guitar on board with me. The agent told me that this is the policy of the airport, not Air Canada, and that I had to check the guitar. I know this is not true as I travelled from Ottawa airport twice in the last 30 days with my guitar in a cloth case on board both times. I told her this and she tried to tell me that was not possible. She would not even offer me a gate check tag, which I know is available to people with strollers much larger than my guitar so, I protected my personal property, cancelled my Air Canada flight and booked with WestJet.
When I came back to the Air Canada lineup my wife was still checking in and it was very clear to your agent, as I had Westjet ticket in hand and my guitar on my shoulder, that indeed I could carry on my guitar if I travelled with WestJet. The fact that your agent and her supervisor insisted that I could not travel from Ottawa with my guitar as carry on is untruthful and the fact that they suggested I was not telling the truth is highly offensive. My wife and I travel for our separate businesses a great deal and were looking forward to sharing a flight together. Your uncivil staff caused us much stress, financial loss and hassle and forced us to travel separately.
I also must say that I travel a fair amount internationally and have never been denied the right to carry my guitar on board – even when carrying a guitar in a large flight case and quite prepared to check my guitar: in Madrid, Frankfurt, Havana, Puerto Vallarta, Berlin, Tel Aviv, Warsaw, Narita, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago….my guitar goes on board with me. No other airlines put people through what your agents did to me yesterday – and you are considered our national airline! Air Canada just lost a customer and I am beginning to believe what people are saying about Air Canada's unspoken but obvious mandate: “We're not happy until you're not happy”.
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 exhausted 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 jewelry 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 carry-on bags, you take a chance. In any case, I will NEVER EVER TAKE A CHANCE AND FLY WITH AIR CANADA AGAIN.
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 it's 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 lose an entire plane's 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.
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 **) 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 captain 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 ** to go to the bathroom and he didn't stop her. When my dad asked him why he didn't stop her, ** said: "There's no turbulence".
I am truly disgusted by ** 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, ** 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 travelling 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.
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+ CAD 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 approximately 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 "rip off." Air Canada has taken advantage of two of its 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 unacceptable 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.
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 reschedule meetings, apologize for missed meetings etc. while I attended to purchasing replacements. I'm sure any business traveller 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 reiterating 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.
On Sunday Nov 29 my daughter's father-in-law passed away suddenly in Baie Verte NL. After some discussion it was decided that I would buy a ticket for her mother to fly there, attend a funeral and support her through this extremely stressful situation. I logged onto Air Canada website, purchased the ticket and received a confirmation number ** which I passed on to my ex-wife. She lives in Lloydminster Alberta so had to get up at 1:00 am and drive 3 hours to Edmonton to the airport so she could make this flight. She stood in line, luggage in hand and was told by the check-in personnel that she could not board, her ticket had been “flagged” whatever that means.
I received my first call at 5:15 about this problem from my ex-wife and asked to speak to the person at the check-in counter and was told that they would not speak with me, I needed to call the 1888 number (that was how it was put, not the complete number, just the 1888 number) if I wanted to resolve this. I called the 1888 number after I found it on Air Canada's website and was put on hold. I tried several times to call and finally after 14 minutes I was connected with service representative named ** (female) who informed me that Corporate Security had flagged my credit card.
I assured her that I was logged into my Scotia Bank account as we were speaking and it showed that the 1409.60 ticket price had indeed been taken from my balance. She put me on hold for 10 minutes or so and came back on and said it was Corporate Security and there was nothing she could do and no one she could talk to about this and if I wanted my ex-wife to get to this funeral, I would need to purchase another ticket with a different credit card.
By this time the original flight AC114 from Edmonton to Halifax had left, and I was informed that she could still get to Deer Lake NL on time AC 8884 at 18:25 out of Halifax if I paid a lot more money so that she could fly out of Edmonton at 12:05 to Halifax. I said that this was unacceptable as we had done nothing wrong. I was put on hold for another 15 minutes and was then told that my only option was to fly out at 14:05, connect in Toronto and arrive in Deer Lake at 01:55 the next morning. I booked the flight with my company credit card and got the confirmation number **.
She also told me that she was pretty sure there was something wrong with my credit card and that my bank had probably put a stop on this payment. I called Scotia Bank and was informed that there was no problem with my card and that 1409.60 CAD had indeed been confirmed to Air Canada. Air Canada still had time to do the right thing and get this woman to NL on time but chose not to. At any time, Their Corporate Security could have called me to find out if indeed there was a problem, and they chose not to. Their customer service representative could have fixed this problem before the originally booked flight left and chose not to.
No one from Corporate Security has contacted me yet, no one has told me why this ticket was cancelled without any notification as yet. I get Aeroplan and Air Canada promotional emails every day but when I needed contact with their company, there is nothing. This is completely unacceptable. I haven't even had my money credited back to my Visa for the ticket they chose to cancel. Air Canada has made an already stressful situation for my family that much more unbearable, thank you very much.
After emailing the senior VP of Customer Relations, filling in Air Canadas complaint form on line and faxing my story to their complaint department I ended up dealing with Laura Logan, who was excellent. She ensured that my ex wifes return trip had no problems, checked up on the situation and got me my refund. I was also called by the office of Mr. Rovinescu to ensure that the situation had been resolved to my satisfation. The wheels turned slowly, but they did eventually turn.
I hate flying with AC. Every time it has been a bad experience. If it's not the bad attitudes and nose up in the air flight attendants, it's the non-complacent ho hum bull from the rest of the pitiful staff. The onboard service is archaic to say the least and an insult to Canadians. Their flights are way overpriced. And you're right the attendants are usually old and grumpy. I usually go out of my way and avoid AC. I just came back from Hawaii for two weeks. On the way from Calgary to Vancouver we had 45 other passengers on board going to the same destination and another 20 flying to Honolulu.
We were getting concerned that because of a 3-hour delay we would miss the connecting flight upon arriving in Vancouver. Trying to get AC personnel to give any information on whether there was any possibility of holding the Hawaii flight back was useless. The service counter told us they would not hold the plane for us. Not being in this predicament before, I had no idea what would happen if we missed our flight in Vancouver. When I asked the AC Service person she told me that if it was missed due to a weather issue then it's our problem. You could imagine what happen next. The service desk was consumed by unruly passengers demanding for help.
The AC service person just ignored anyone's request and basically was no further help. When we were on flight to Vancouver the Pilot announced that they would hold back the Hawaii flight for all of the 45 passengers on board. On the way back from Hawaii it was no better. The attitude of the staff was rude and unfriendly as usual.
One example was upon takeoff from Vancouver to Calgary, which happen to be delayed for 2 hours, Lord only knows why, we boarded on time, again waiting for either luggage to come aboard or staff to show up or deicing or sitting in the deicing bay waiting for traffic clearance and then waiting for another deicing check, well you get what I am saying. Anyway when we finally took off, there was water or accumulated condensation in two separate overhead luggage compartments pouring down on 2 young kids. They were on opposite sides of the plane. A male flight attendant got up quickly on one side of the isle and covered the one youth with a towel or blanket.
But on the other side there was water pouring down on the other youth and the parents were desperately trying to help the near panic-stricken child with little or nothing they could do. And then the mother of the child looked back to were the flight attendant was sitting and ask for assistance. This was after several times trying to page the attendant electronically. The flight attendants immediate response in the most ignorant voice you can imagine was "it's not life threatening". Instead of responding politely with "I'll be there as soon as I possibly can". And then apologizing for the event.
I fly with WestJet. They treat you with respect and go out of there way for the most part to help you out. We pay big bucks to travel now days and for that money I expect service. After all it is a service industry not a government subsidized travel serviced industry. This is to be expected from our wonderful government. Oh wait a minute, AC is subsidized by the tax payers and happens to have been bailed out by us a few times already. Go figure.