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 losses 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.
DORSAL QUEBEC -- I just received a letter back from Air Canada stating that they will not cover broken items worth over 250 dollars. My wife and I were travelling out of Toronto Airport, when they stopped us at the X-ray machine. They claimed we were not allowed liquids and either they keep them or we turn around, and pay 20 dollars to put them in the over-sized area with fragile stickers all over our 1 bag. I explained to the attendant that I was concerned these liquids were going to break. He didn't really respond, as we just got off the flight from Cancun with the liquids on board with us, however we got back to Winnipeg they lost our luggage then found it.
We asked the attendant in Baggage handling if everything was OK with our bag, he stated yes! However my wife opened the bag to find that our Khalsa 40 oz had broken inside. We have a 250 dollars iPad destroyed in which I claiming for. The best they came back with was "it could have been turbulence" which they're not responsible for, shifting of items, during takeoff and landing. You can tell all your excuses you want, you're a joke Air Canada, just trying to recoup your bankrupt money. No wonder because your customer skills also, now I know why I haven't flown with Air Canada in 30 years or more. I will go back to the best as far as I'm concerned - Westjet.
VANCOUVER -- This summer I flew from Vancouver to Toronto and noticed that my zipper was open about four inches as the luggage went around the turnstile. As I had a busy commute I didn't unpack until the next day and found that I was missing two very expensive woman's tunic, a beautiful metallic lace vest which I had just purchased and two scarves that went with the tunics. The total of these clothes would be about a thousand dollars. It's not just the clothes - it's the violation.
The little pad lock had been broken and the luggage was open. Air Canada was uncaring. I will make certain I put a ziplock tie on my suitcase from now on... Big Warning... Do not trust checked luggage.... will be secure once it leaves your sight until you meet it again on the other side!