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138 Reviews & Complaints
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Air Canada Never Again
Posted by Mike_d_edwards on 08/19/2012
PORTLAND, OREGON -- Air Canada has their own set of rules when it comes to service. Most Airlines have a cut off of 30 minutes from departure. Air Canada has a 60 minute cut off that is NOT disclosed on their online ticket purchase documentation.

My wife had terminal cancer and we arrived 50 minutes prior to departure. We were rudely told that we had missed our flight and were told that our money would NOT be refunded. We talked to two different reservations personnel in Montreal who were apathetic and the male even hung up on me. Their solution was to to charge an additional $700 to put us on the next flight after we had already paid in FULL.

My wife was not feeling well, was on chemo and terminally ill they took none of these facts into consideration. These guys are jerks, do not have to compete or be good to their customers because they are owned by the Canadian Government. I will never fly or recommend Air Canada to anyone ever again.
     
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Posted by trmn8r on 2012-08-19:
Each airline does have its own rules, and they are spelled out in its Contract of Carriage. I always refer to it when flying.

Here is Air Canada's: http://www.aircanada.com/en/travelinfo/before/contract.html

Note that the topic to which you refer is the first one in the list. To/From the US it is recommended to check-in 90 minutes prior to departure, with a 60 minute deadline.
Posted by H.C. on 2012-08-20:
Air Canada is no longer owed by the Canadian Government. They were fully privatized in 1989 - though I believe they are mandated by federal law to keep their headquarters in Montreal, Quebec.
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Bad Treatment
Posted by Asttep on 07/29/2012
CALGARY, NEW JERSEY -- On Tuesday July 10th 2012 at the Frankfurt Airport I felt the service by Air Canada staff was unacceptable. Our flight 8499 United/Air Canada left Frankfurt at 1pm to Ottawa. When we checked our bags in Frankfurt we needed to pay extra because they were overweight. That was no problem and we understood. We needed to go to another counter to pay for the extra weight. This is where our problems began.

An Air Canada employee was at the counter and she was occupied at the computer doing something. We waited and waited while she sharply told us she was busy. Other uniformed personnel passed by looked at the line and did nothing. Some people in line indicated they were missing their flight while the Air Canada employee worked on her computer and paid no attention to our distress. After standing in line for 45 minutes, I demanded to see a manager while she totally ignored me.

Finally, another A/C employee came to the counter to help us but not before she chatted with the lady at the computer. I have never flown A/C before but somehow expected better. Gentlemen, in Frankfurt you have a problem, they don't know the value of a customer. I.Astor
     
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Posted by trmn8r on 2012-07-29:
What was your distress due to? There is no mention of urgency in your complaint.
Posted by Ben There on 2012-07-30:
trmn8r - I think the OP is upset about waiting in line for 45 minutes.
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Disturbingly shabby treatment of a customer
Posted by Info45 on 10/03/2011
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 travel mates 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 lot’s 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 traveled 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, canceled 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 traveled 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”.

Yours truly,





Edward Henderson
     
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Posted by Anonymous on 2011-10-03:
Its discretion of the staff if you carry a guitar on board as it exceeds the carry on size limit. If you fly as much as you claim I take it you are a Elite and the FC check in gives a lot of latitude.
I'm not sure what sort of guitar fits in the bin of any of AC's WB fleet, I know the puny Martin Backpacker doesn't fit the center bins of the B777.
AC isn't the national airline anymore than US Airways or American is the national airline of the US.



Posted by trmn8r on 2011-10-03:
I am surprised this has not been an issue in the last few years for you. Maybe 5 years or more ago, but not since they started being militant about carry-on sizes.
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1ST TIME But Never Again!
Posted by Pablo11633 on 09/22/2011
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 suppose 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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Transit Visa Screw - Up
Posted by Transit Visa Screwed on 07/27/2011
We booked a flight from my grandpa from US to Japan and it was via Canada. Little did we know that even for just a lay over you need a freaking VIsa, yes a transit Visa that you have to file for, take pictures and everything. They told us it would be a 2 hour deal, and we're going in the fourth day and the fourth flight re-booking.

Why do we need a Visa just to go through the airport? Oh, Canada.
     
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Posted by Ben There on 2011-07-27:
It is the passengers responsibly to ensure that all documents are in order before purchasing a ticket. There are lots of websites out there that tell you if you need one to enter a country or change planes in one, but I like this one on Delta's website: http://www.delta.com/planning_reservations/plan_flight/international_travel_information/visa_passport_information/index.jsp#timatic
Posted by Slimster on 2011-07-27:
I gotta agree here, this one is on you.
Posted by Anonymous on 2011-07-27:
Astute advise as always from BT.
Since US Citizens do not require Visas to either Canada or Japan your Grandfather must be a foreign national requiring one. Entry requirements are set by each nation and this is very common. Why Visas for transit? In the event of IRROPS (irregular operations) if the flight doesn't leave that day, etc your grandfather has now entered Canada illegally not meeting the entry requirements.
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LOST OF LUGGAGE
Posted by Joselito on 04/24/2011
SUCCURSALE AEROPORT.DORVAL.MONTREAL -- ON SEPTEMBRE 11 I ARRIVED TO MONTREAL FOM LONDON AND FOR MI BIG SORPRISE TWO OF MIY LUGGAGE NEVER CAME IN MY FLIGTH AC865, FIRST I DID RECLAMTION IN YUL AEROPORT. THE NEXT DAY I TRAVEL TO CUBA AND I DID ANOTHER RECLAMATION TO AIR CANADA IN JOSE MARTI AEROPORT, ONE WEEK LATER I TRAVEL TO MIAMI AND I HAVE CALLED TO AIR CANADA AND NOBODY COLUD TOLD ANYTHING ABOUT MY LUGGAGE, FIANLLY I DI ANOTHER RECLAMATION TO AIR CANADA IN CENTRAL OFFICE IN HAVANA, TRES WEEKS AGO AFTER THE RECLAMATION I CAMEBACK TO MONTREAL AND I ASKED IN LOST AND FOUND ABOUT MY LUGGAGE AND ONE EMPLOYEE OF THE COMPANY USE AND ABUSIVE LANGAGE TO TOLD MI THASTILL THESE DAY NO NEWS ABOUT MY LUGGAGE, I CAME BACK TO CUBA AND DID ANOTHER RECLAMATION BECAUSE APPARENTLY IN CANADA DID NOT RECIVED THE RACLAMATION THAT I DID IN CUBA, BUT THIS IS NOT TRUE BECAUSE THE CUBAN AIR CANADA 'S SEND THE FIRST RECLAMATION, ACTUALLY AFTER SEVEN MONTH I DONT HAVE ANY NEWS ABOUT MY LUGGAGE, AND AIR CANADA NEVER HAVE GIVE ME ANY NEWS ABOUT MY LUGGAGE, I HAVE NEVER BEEN REFUNDED. ALSO I PAID FOR MY EXCESS OF WEIGTH IN MY LUGGAGES, I WANT TO KNOW WHO IS THE RESPONSABLE OF THE LOST OF MY LUGGAGE, WHEN I WILL BE REFUND.
     
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Posted by Alain on 2011-04-26:
Go to http://www.aircanada.com/en/travelinfo/airport/baggage/lost-and-found.html
and see if that helps.
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Luggage and service
Posted by Loyalaircanadacustomer on 11/12/2010
Air Canada is increasingly behaving the way that formerly only fly-by-night outfits and charter airlines would. If you ask for an extra drink on an international fllight, they will say yes, and never return. If you ask for a pillow on a flight within Canada, they will tell you that they are only for first class.

Now they want to charge for a 2nd piece of luggage, a practice that only ultra-inexpensive airlines like Ryan Ari used to do. But Air Canada's prices stay the same. Well, keep rising.

I am avoiding this airline increasingly, even though I have been a supporter for four decades.
     
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Posted by Ben There on 2010-11-12:
Consider yourself lucky that they are not charging for the first bag - most carriers in the USA do this now.
Posted by momsey on 2010-11-12:
Sadly, this all sounds pretty standard on US carriers, except for not being charged for even the first piece of luggage.
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No customer service
Posted by Frequentflyer99 on 10/29/2010
I cannot believe Air Canada has no Customer Service person you can contact to resolve problems. After travelling with Air Canada for many years we have slowly switched air carriers through the years. The service on other airlines far surpasses Air Canada's we have always had great response with West Jet.. If they loose your luggage they give you no hassle will even give you a credit if you pick it up at the airport. Air Canada on the other hand is very good at saying no and we cannot help you. I have a complaint which I would like to resolve by speaking to someone as it involves supplying different types of information but am faced with people saying that there is no customer service person which I can talk to. I must first send in a complaint by fax which is kind of a last century thing. Who has a fax anymore? Then they may contact me. Good luck everyone if you have any complaints. I feel it is ignorant that you cannot have a telephone conversation with someone in this day and age with the economy the way it is. I am so glad there are other airlines.
Just thought I would share my dissatisfaction. Hopefully the better carriers Win in the end or they change their policy. I was told they took away there customer service phone line 20 years ago by a manager in MTL.
     
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Posted by Ytropious on 2010-10-29:
Wow 2 Air Canada reviews one right after another...

That's a little odd.
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Lost Baggage - Small Price to pay for Good Service
Posted by Zeuss on 10/29/2010
I recently was scheduled to fly from Milwaukee to Philadelphia to Toronto via US Airways. My flight to Philly was delayed which meant I was going to miss my connection to Toronto. US Airways pawned me off on Air Canada via a 2 hour bus trip to Chicago. I arrived in Chicago O'hare 10 minutes before my flight was to leave. I got to the Air Canada ticket booth and they were extremely helpful, pleasant, and went out of their way to make sure I made my flight from Chicago to Toronto even though my ticket was with US Airways. My baggage didn't make the flight however given the excellent service I received, I cannot complain. Also the quality and conditions of the planes on Air Canada are far superior to anyone else in North America. I'd rather have safety and good equipment, and helpful people at the airports, even though they may lose a bag from time to time.
     
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Posted by Ben There on 2010-10-29:
If you got to the airport just 10 minutes before the flight, you can't even really blame them for not getting the bag on board. They have to hand it over to the TSA for screening, and that can take 20 minutes.
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Will Never Fly Air Canada again!
Posted by Ahenzel on 10/13/2010
On a long planned trip to Paris, our initial flight out of Boston was canceled, missing the Montreal connection. The rescheduled flight from Toronto the next day was delayed 3 hours. We lost the first day of our barge tour and had to scramble to catch up (by train and bus in France) with the tour. The flight from Paris to Montreal was fine but the plane to Boston was again 'delayed'. They had no plane! With the help of a fellow detainee we managed to change to another flight (in the next Gate!) and made our late bus connection. I don't know if they ever found a plane but I do know that other people on that plane did NOT make their bus connection. I have never had such a bad air travel experience in my life and will never fly Air Canada again. I'd rather pay more.
     
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Posted by Ben There on 2010-10-13:
Why were the flights delayed? Certain delays are out of the airline's control, like storms, fog and air traffic control.
Posted by ahenzel on 2010-10-14:
No idea. They said the planes were in the hanger being cleaned and gotten ready [for 3 hours?]. Guy at the desk was only able to tell us what he was told.
Posted by Ben There on 2010-10-14:
If the plane you were taking from Montreal to Paris arrived really late from somewhere else, it can take hours to prep. Most short haul planes are typically turned around in 30 minutes to an hour, but large overseas aircraft can't.

Besides getting a lot of extra cleaning and catering that shorter haul planes don't get (no need for 600 meals on a Toronto to Boston flight), planes coming in from other continents have to be processed differently. Not only do they have to be cleared by a customs officer, but the trash and old food on the carts that came in from Asia, South America or Europe must be handled differently so unwanted organisms are not introduced into the environment.
Posted by ahenzel on 2010-10-15:
Sorry, one plane was going to Paris and the other a small Montreal to Boston flight. My belief is that this is a standard excuse to mollify angry passengers. It doesn't take 3 plus hours to clean a small Air Canada Jazz plane.
Posted by getoverit on 2010-10-15:
I wouldn't be surprised, ahenzel. When I'm sitting in an airport hearing announcements about why flights are delayed I don't even listen the the reasons they give. I'm convinced that they are mostly a crock and mainly designed to avoid having to give vouchers and other concessions to passengers.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-10-15:
The Air Canada Jazz plane is tiny. They once changed out a propeller on one I was taking to Vancouver, BC from Portland, OR. That only took one hour! I almost missed a flight to Hong Kong because of it, but, in this case, better safe than sorry. I was actually a little wary that they changed it out so quickly!
Posted by Ben There on 2010-10-15:
I was refering to the delayed flight from Canada to Paris that you say was delayed 3 hours. Those are wide body jets that could come from anywhere.

I am well aware of the small size of Air Canada Jazz flights...
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