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 bypass 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 it's 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, people's 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 it's 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 WESTJET 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.
I'm writing this while flying on one of your planes from London to Calgary in executive class. I'm on flight 2051, it was originally 851, but yesterday's flight was cancelled. Your planes are nice, but your staff and catering need much training and lag far behind other international airlines. I've written this before, and still haven't seen any changes over the past one year. You have once again made a mockery of my vegetarian meal, it was cold plane rice and veggies. Even the staff were making fun of it, warning me not to eat it, as it looked unappetizing. Well I took the meal, but I should have taken their advice. It was horrible. I did not eat it.
You should experience, travelling 10 hours on flight, paying lots of money, not being able to get a proper meal and continually experiencing bad service. I dare you to eat the meal that was offered to me. I am a super elite member and have been an either elite or super elite for the past decade. You know for the first time, I have made a conscious decision not to take Air Canada on business and personal travel. My most recent flights to Toronto, Orlando, DC and a couple of other destinations have been not been on Air Canada on purpose. I thought I would try AC once again my recent trip to Europe, but I was again disappointed.
Surprisingly enough, the service on BMI your STAR alliance partner was excellent and with good food options for vegetarians. I request you to make a sincere effort to make the meals for vegetarians (AVML and VGML) more enjoyable. I have personally talked to office staff in Calgary and have volunteered good caterers that you can use. I've written several times about this and still the food has not changed, even in executive class. I've tried many times to write and to improve service and vegetarian meals on your flights, over the past year.
You have tried to appease me with $100 coupons for future flight. But you still haven't realized that I am not looking for small financial appeasements I find it personally insulting that you have not attempted to make any changes. I've tried writing letters to you directly, but no action. Now you can be assured that I will go public and file formal complaints with consumer groups and the aviation industry. Consumers should be warned that you do not take customer service or feedback very seriously. A very disappointed customer!
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!
I was flying from Calgary to Kingston, Ontario via Toronto on February 14th. I had checked-in two garment bags and one suitcase (yes, Air Canada did allow me to check three bags instead of two as I was bringing home some clothing belonging to my wife and children who had traveled from Calgary to Victoria, B. C. to visit grandparents) and took one more garment bags as carry-on.
While waiting for my flight from Toronto to Kingston (the last flight of the day to Kingston), I became aware that there was a couple who was trying to get back to Kingston as the woman's mother had passed away. This couple had flown from Australia-Vancouver and Vancouver to Toronto. Due to the Olympics and heightened security at the Vancouver airport, there were serious Canada Customs delays and the couple missed their flight from Toronto to Kingston. They were both hoping to get on the last flight of the day; however, there was only one seat left on the flight.
I overhead their plight and approached the Air Canada gate agent and asked if they were looking for volunteers to relinquish their seat; thereby allowing this couple to travel back to Kingston. The agent consulted with "someone" and returned to me a few minutes later indicating that, yes, they would use my seat. I was advised that my luggage would need to be off-loaded from the Kingston bound flight.
After several minutes, I was advised that I would need to collect my baggage from carousel number 1 in the arrivals level. I was given a hotel voucher but no financial compensation for relinquishing my seat. I was told that, technically, the flight was not oversold by Air Canada and, hence, I was not entitled to any compensation.
When I went to the carousel to obtain my luggage - all that was there were my two garment bags. My suitcase was missing and I spoke with the Air Canada baggage agent and completed a missing baggage claim. The following morning I flew out of Toronto and arrived in Kingston. Lo and behold ALL my bags arrived. When I returned home and began unpacking my suitcase I found the following items missing:
Air Canada has been less than interested. Flying public beware of thieves lurking in the baggage handling area of airports. LOCK ALL YOUR SUITCASES EVERY TIME!!!
RICHMOND -- Recently my work booked a flight for me to Prince George. I got stuck in traffic as a local bridge was shut down because of a serious accident. Inevitably this caused traffic congestion en route to the airport. I arrived at the check in, talked to the woman agent with 20 min. before the flight was to take off. I had waited in line for 5 min. and finally got to the woman agent. Only 3 agents on at the time. I said wow I made it... She replied "you missed your flight..." It still had 20 min. 'til takeoff. I asked if there was any way to get on the flight. There was still time, she replied, "No you are to be here 30 min. before departure." Not in the least being polite.
I explained the traffic situation and that I had run in from the parking lot. She said she can't do anything for me. After about 5 min. of talk she said "You can talk to a supervisor over there" pointing in a general direction. She continued "she'll just tell you the same thing I did." Continuing on the agent said there is a flight later tonight at 10:15 I can get you on it as it is the last seat available and it is only a $150.00 transfer. With the pressure on to get to Prince George and possibly having no time to check other flights as this was the last seat on the later flight, I took it. Waited over 5 hours in the airport.
Got on the plane to find it only half full. I was lied to. Found out the next morning my suitcase zippers on the back were open and my adapter for my phone was gone. Also a person working with me said they were on my original flight and it was delayed 15 min..
I returned on WestJet and what a difference in: flight, manners, hospitality and service. Yes I did tell the Air Canada story to WestJet employees, it is not like they hadn't heard stuff about Air Canada before. They just shook their heads and said "That wouldn't happen here." That I believe as I have flown WestJet a dozen times or so and have never experienced any grief or concern.
I feel cheated, I'm out $150.00, was lied to, stolen from and am not ever going to fly Air Canada again. To do all a service, I'm going to tell as many people as I can about this flight. Air Canada-F grade. WestJet-A grade. Flight attendants were fantastic for WestJet too. Air Canada, take lessons from WestJet because your service and theirs is night and day. Very disappointed and unhappy Air Canada passenger.
I am so disappointed with the poor assistance provided by Air Canada in regard to my missing bag that I had to write this review. On August 6th '09 my luggage containing my holiday clothes, presents for friends and other sentimental items went missing, an unexpected surprise when I arrived in Calgary. I was left completely high and dry during a holiday stay, without clothes, toiletries, phone and camera chargers. A bit of a nightmare to say the least.
My travel involved flights from New York via Chicago to Calgary. I decided to fly to Canada stopping at Chicago as my daughter and I were were due to separate there in order for her to start her big US trip alone. I decided to accompany her there as support and to say my goodbyes while I continued my journey to Calgary. Interestingly an Air Canada officer at Calgary later commented that this was a very 'unusual' way to travel to Canada via Chicago.
People don't normally do this. He wanted to know why I had chosen to fly this route! Somehow I felt I was to blame that my luggage went missing and had causing problems for baggage handlers (United may play a role here during transfer I concede but I understand Air Canada are primarily the investigators of the loss). I was given two boarding passes for both flights and was halfheartedly informed by airline staff on arrival at Chicago that my bag will be placed on Air Canada Jazz flight to Calgary.
When I realized my bag was missing on arrival at Calgary I reported it immediately. I was given a tracer number and spoke to various call center operators on the other side of the world who unfortunately had difficulties understanding my non-north American pronunciations. This only added to my level of stress. I was also given contradictory updates that my bag had been found but next operator could not locate this information. I found the manner of the operators quite unpleasantly perfunctory at times, speaking obviously from a dictated script. I gave up calling due to my frustration and just checked internet tracer site instead.
Unfortunately I have not heard from Air Canada head office in Montreal for an update on missing bag (totals 8 weeks now). Air Canada Sydney branch staff's hands are tied until a response is received from Canada. I am still grieving for my lost items and hope that I will be compensated by Air Canada in due course, but when? I have been given no time frame - 'could be a long time because another airline is involved' is not really acceptable.
Compensation has been received from Air Canada.
TORONTO -- Response from Air Canada RE: Damaged Camera, Baggage Claims, Air Canada Centre 1116. "Dear Mr. ** Thank you for your correspondence. We were sorry to learn that certain contents of your son's checked baggage were damaged during his recent travel. We would like to take this opportunity to offer our sincere apologies.
Our staff endeavours to handle all our passengers' baggage carefully. However, despite the best efforts of our staff, fragile items may sustain damage during transit due to a number of unavoidable factors, such as turbulence, shifting of items during take-off and landing; and no airline can therefore guarantee against damage. Acceptance of an item for transport does not constitute acceptance of liability. The Notice of Baggage Liability Limitations printed on all airline ticket states that special rules may apply to fragile or perishable items.
For your future reference, other items which are excluded from airline's liability in the case of loss, damage or delay are fragile or perishable items, jewelry, cameras, computers, cellular telephones, electronic equipment, liquids, business documents and samples, medications, money, negotiable papers, and other valuables.
In general, checked baggage is defined as clothing for the purpose and duration of the trip and these restrictions apply to the majority of the world's airlines. It is recommended that fragile electronic items and other valuables be kept in possession of the passenger at all times. We realize that you will be disappointed with our response but trust that the above has clarified the airline industry's position in such matters. Regards, Air Canada Baggage Claims."
This is just not acceptable. this is just plain laziness this has to stop. I am not paying $300.00 for a flight ticket for no reason on top of a 300.00 dollar broken camera bill. It was packed very well trust me. This is just not worth it anymore. Very, very disappointed customer. P. S. Customers do not have rights anymore. I guess. I will no longer be flying with you.
I would like to report some poor personal experiences with Air Canada ground crew at the Pearson (Toronto) Airport. I was traveling from Hong Kong to Toronto and returning on June 13, 2009 on AC015. The check-in process was rather slow that morning as the ground crews insisted everyone one to weight-in their luggage before check-in. The crews tried very hard to slap a fine for luggage with slightest excess in weight as they suggested it was according to the management strict instruction.
As they cannot find my luggage being over-weighted, the lady suggested one piece of my luggage being over-sized, a few inches above 62 inches according to the guidelines. I explained to her that it was the same luggage I bought in from Hong Kong as it was my returning flight. I have also used the same piece many times in the past with AC (over 5-6 times round-trip at least) and no one ever mentioned the same situation.
She bought in the ground manager, a young lady with hot temper. She was talking to her cell-phone all the time while she was with me and from what I overheard it sounded like some problems at home with kids. She claimed one time it was it was a new rule and later it was an old rule from the past but never enforced. She also suggested allowing the over-sized luggage came on board was the fault with the ground crews at Hong Kong and they are not doing their job.
She then threaten that either I pay the fine (Cad$100) or not getting on the flight before slipped away soon. I have to pay as I have my schedule to meet at home. Bring your personal problem to work, not admitting your own fault while threatening a client is definitely the worst experience I have with any airline. I hope I can get a view from your management soon before I bring it to other consumer agencies. Thanks for the attention.
Got nowhere with Air Canada customer relations department on this complaint: on 09 Jan 2009 I booked and received confirmed status (in writing) on Air Canada flight 15 – Toronto to Hong Kong. For a flight in April 2009. My booked & confirmed seat was 18k. (Note this confirmed booking was completed more than 100 days in advance of departure date.)
At check-in, I was given a boarding pass for seat 19k. I was told that 19k was my booked seat. Despite showing the actual print-out dated 09 Jan confirming seat 18k, I was told 19k was in the system, and that no changes had been made – that in fact if any change(s) had been made, the ‘system would reflect the change(s).
I was denied my confirmed 18k seat for the trip. On board the aircraft, after take off, I engaged the passenger is seat 18k in a conversation. I asked him how he got his seat in row 18, and when did he book? His reply: “oh, a friend of mine who is super elite status booked this flight for me about 09 Apr [10 days prior to departure]. My friend told me not to worry, if he could not get me a seat in business class, he would get me the next best thing”.
Anyone even slightly acquainted with the daily Toronto – hong kong – Toronto flights (ac15 – ac16) knows full well that seats in row 18 are gone - often months in advance of departure. There is no way a seat in row 18 was available 10 days in advance of departure. Particularly during the last two weeks in April when business travel to hkg spikes due to the several trade fairs occurring in that period.
it is abundantly clear that the super elite client friend of the passenger in seat 18k on this flight was able to have someone at Air Canada bump from me out of seat18k to seat 19k. Air Canada can tell me until they are blue in the face that this did not occur – but I am not buying that for one minute.
I am mad as hell that I was treated in this manner. I can't tell you how to run your airline, but I can tell many people about how I was treated on this occasion and I can tell them how you did, or did not, make it up to me. It is in your hands. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
PORTLAND-VANCOUVER-LONDON HEATHROW, OREGON -- First of all I am British, live in America and my natural disposition is not one who usually moans about anything, so I hope that will make this complaint ever more surprising to those reading this. Also I usually fly economy class domestically within the US but as I also have to fly between the West Coast (Portland, OR) to London, UK. I usually fly United Business Class on those occasions.
In fact I have always liked flying United Business Class and in fact recently made the wrong decision in deciding to fly Air Canada Business Class instead. My reason for this was simply because I thought flying from Portland (PDX) to Vancouver and then onto London would save me about 2 hrs from my normal route on United via San Francisco.
My flight from Vancouver to London Business Class was dreadful - firstly the in-flight entertainment did not work at all on the flight. For a journey of 9 hrs or so that is totally unacceptable for Business Class, when you are paying nearly $4,000 for a ticket... Also sitting in front of me was an Air Canada employee, while I did not speak to her I gathered she must have been involved in Air Canada training.
In fact the flight crew seem more interested in chatting with her than actually doing their job and serving customers. The return flight was also awful, the food service was curtailed apparently because of turbulence, which was a rather lame excuse considering that only lasted 5 mins. Again the entertainment system did not work for 90% of the flight. Also the food was not to the standard I had encountered on flying United - and I certainly won't ever fly Air Canada again.
To try to calm passengers, they then have the audacity offer you a small number of air miles or credits towards future travel. That tells you they don't value your custom - because they are not actually willing to give you a cash refund for whole or part, because they know you won't fly Air Canada again!!! Any compensation should be tangible, not something that links you in or makes you required to fly Air Canada...
I would say that in particular, if you happen to be a Business Class traveler and were considering Air Canada due to route change, or such like, don't do it.. Its not worth it, long trips are stressful in themselves, letting alone having to deal with the very very poor quality that Air Canada provides.