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 in-flight service) under the corporate management, as employees we are being treated like **.
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 for you that much!!!
We are all in the same boat here and as far as competition (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 capable 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 legislations 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 use 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 environmentally 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 personally because really it is not aimed at you.
I welcome any airlines in Canada (sabotage 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!
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!
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.
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 1 pm 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 AC employee came to the counter to help us but not before she chatted with the lady at the computer. I have never flown AC before but somehow expected better. Gentlemen, in Frankfurt you have a problem, they don't know the value of a customer.
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!
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.
CALGARY -- Let me start off by saying that we are a working class family trying to make ends meet. I booked 2 tickets for my children to visit their grandparents in Saint John, New Brunswick (we are from Ontario). A week before they were to leave my father-in-law had to have emergency quadruple heart bi-pass surgery necessitating us to cancel the tickets. We had purchased the non-refundable, non-transferable tickets so we were aware that we would not get our money back. We were told when we cancelled that we had a credit of so much per ticket. Although they offer a no cancellation fee they do however charge a re-booking fee of $75.00 per ticket per way plus applicable taxes. Thereby making the re-booking fee $300.00 plus taxes for both tickets. I have recently tried to rebook 2 one-way tickets for my children which cost less than the credit we have with Air Canada. So instead of applying the balance of our credit towards the re-booking fee they want us to pay the $300.00 plus tax on top of the price of the tickets and the balance of the unused portion of our credit we lose. Even if they applied the balance of the unused portion we would still have to pay Air Canada money. So in essence Air Canada isn't losing any money they are still making money (not to mention the interest they have made on the original purchase) but we, as consumer are losing money. They have been collecting interest off our money since May 19, 2010 (the date I booked the original tickets) but won't do anything for us. Air Canada forgets its the taxpayers that have bailed them out and they should be working with us instead of against us. All my husband and I want is fairness. Unbeknown to us we had booked their flight during the G20 Summit and Air Canada knowing that there would be numerous delays due to the G20 never felt the necessity of advising us of this fact but they are more than happy to take the bookings, peoples money and keeping it. A credit is just that money to be used at a later date. Why can't we use ours towards the re-booking fees? I think its time that Canadians banned together and flew other airlines and put a halt to Air Canada. All they are doing is using the Canadian name and how much is actually owned by Canadians? FLY WEST JET or if heading south cross into Buffalo and fly SOUTHWEST. You would be amazed by difference in personalities not to mention the price. You can usually fly out of Buffalo to Florida for a third of the price of Air Canada, and the drive from Hamilton to Buffalo is a quicker easier drive than from Hamilton to Toronto.
My daughter flew out of Grande Prairie AB today via Air Canada & its local connector Jazz Air. When she went to check in the check in person, who wasn't wearing a name tag, told her her bag was a bit over weight. She made my daughter open her suitcase at the check in counter, with every one in line watching, and made her take out a light grey hoodie jacket. When my daughter asked her why she was making my daughter do this, the reply was, " I'm trying to save you some money damn it!" My daughter took the hoodie out and put it in her carry on. This removal of a 1 pound item made her baggage suitable to go on now. After my daughter got her boarding passes, she found that she only had 2instead of 3. She got back in line and when she finally ended up at the check in was told " You have to get that in San Fransisco", and then told my daughter to move on so she could help another customer. My daughter made her flights, with United in Edmonton getting her her pass that was missing. My wife phoned Air Canada and related what happened. The Air Canada representative told us to make a complaint, because this kind of customer service wasn't appropriate. The representative on the phone and the people at United in Edmonton were more helpful and explained what was happening better than was done here in Grande Prairie. I think the next time we fly to the US we'll drive to Edmonton, park the vehicle at the Park & Ride and fly from there rather than from here, or else fly Westjet.
MONTREAL CANADA -- On August 4th of last year, I was supposed to fly home to San Francisco, departing Quebec City with a transfer in Toronto. The flight out of Quebec was scheduled to depart for Toronto at 3:30 pm but at 3:20 a PA announcement informed that the flight had been cancelled. We were told to return to the ticket counter so after being forced to wait in line for another 40 minutes more (as a result of obvious understaffing), I was greeted by a frazzled and disheveled ticket agent who considered routing me to Montreal but finally booked me to Toronto later that night, departing at 6:30 pm. I was told I would need to overnight in Toronto to catch my connection to San Francisco the next morning but this was “no problem” since all I had to do was speak to “any Air Canada Customer Service Agent” to get a hotel and meal vouchers for my overstay in Toronto. Unbeknownst to me (and apparently Air Canada's own ticket staff) Toronto was still experiencing serious delays and operational problems. My 6:30 departure out of Quebec, after numerous delays, finally pulled up to the gate at Pearson at 1:15 am. Exhausted, I cautiously went looking for “any Air Canada Customer Service” agent in a darkened and dim Air Canada Service area. What I discovered were long lines of angry and frustrated customers, all hoping to get hotel vouchers, flights rebooked etc., from TWO overwhelmed customer service agents. It took one and a half hours waiting in this line to realize that I never was going to speak to anyone. Air Canada had so totally mishandled this situation that for the vast majority of the hundreds of people waiting in line (including myself) the only option was to find somewhere on the floor to sleep. After trying to sleep on a ventilation grate for about 3 hours I finally got up and went to my gate for my departure to San Francisco a few hours later. As compensation for this incompetence, Air Canada has “graciously” offered me 25% off my next Air Canada flight! What a joke! I will NEVER fly Air Canada again and can only offer my condolences to Canadians stuck with this sad excuse of a national carrier in a monopoly market!