NARITA, JAPAN -- OPEN LETTER TO AIR CANADA: On November 16, 2007 we were booked Business Class on AC4 leaving Narita at 5 pm to Vancouver, and held boarding passes with seat assignments printed in Bangkok before we left. We were connecting from Thai Airways flight TG676 from Bangkok scheduled to arrive at Narita at 4 pm. I still have the original boarding passes from the two flights for reference.
The Thai Air flight left Bangkok late and arrived at Narita late around 4:30 pm. However Thai Air assured us they had contacted Air Canada because they had about a dozen passengers connecting to the Vancouver flight. They had prepared a sign with all our names on and met us as we exited the plane. Within minutes all the connecting passengers had been found and we were hustled to the nearby Air Canada counter. It was now 4:40 pm so we still had 20 minutes.
We were then told that Air Canada had closed the gate and we would not be allowed to board. There was no Air Canada representative available to talk to. We were left stranded to deal with people acting as stand-in representatives for Air Canada, who obviously had no clue how to handle the situation.
For the next 4 hours we were left waiting in the airport with no help from Air Canada and only intermediaries acting on behalf of Thai Air. This was an incredibly frustrating experience, especially since we had chosen to travel Business Class with the expectation of better service along the way. Instead, we felt completely abandoned by Air Canada and had to do considerable negotiations to get rescheduled the next day, and arrangements made for someplace for us to stay overnight in Japan.
Thai Air eventually managed to find us Business Class seats on a Japan Air flight the following evening, since all the Air Canada flights were booked, and made arrangements to put us up overnight at an airport hotel. During this time we asked to be allowed to wait in the Star Alliance Business Class Lounge, but were refused entry, even though we were clearly holding Business Class boarding passes.
Even though Thai Airways was to blame for their late flight, I believe they did an extraordinary job of attempting to get us transferred to the connecting Air Canada flight, and did arrange for a new flight and accommodations. Air Canada on the other hand completely abandoned its responsibility to its passengers. After being told by Thai Air that the connecting passengers were all accounted for and on the way to the plane with time to spare, Air Canada chose to shut the plane and leave, without leaving a representative in place to clean up the mess.
This is not how I expect to be treated as a Business Class passenger with Air Canada. I believe you should compensate us for your incredible lack of service, and the inconvenience you put us through. How you choose to respond to this complaint will determine how we choose to use Air Canada in the future.
OUT OF FT MYERS, FLORIDA -- My husband and I purchased tickets to Copenhagen from Raleigh NC, flying on June 16th. We booked this flight way in advance to Coincide with my granddaughter's graduation in NC. He is Danish and we take this flight or one like it every summer. On the 12th of June I found out I had to have exploratory surgery for blockage of the common bile duct. This was scary but what happened next was actually worse. We had originally tried to book our flight through Air Canada but because they had been located through Orbitz we were referred by Air Canada back to Orbitz. When I called Orbitz to get the refund I was on the phone to India for nine hours.
We were in the car driving so I just let the phone sit beside me while they screwed around. Orbitz said Air Canada would not give me a credit even though I had a doctor's written excuse. Air Canada said it was Orbitz that would not give the credit. Orbitz could not call me back while they chatted with Air Canada because they said they could not call out. I had to wait on the phone with awful music playing. Air Canada was not reachable. My husband has repurchased his ticket through Air Berlin. Paying for it himself. I am still not able to fly but plan to go to Denmark Aug. 1st. My husband and I are out $2600 because I had to have surgery! I would think this was illegal.
They might have refunded my money if I could choose a change of time right then, before the surgery before I knew if I had cancer, before any of this they wanted to have me commit to a date of travel. This is just silly. I have a written excuse from the referring Doctor and the surgeon, both were sent to Orbitz and to Air Canada. I will absolutely never use Orbitz again and I am pretty sure Air Canada is also off my list unless they manage to come up with a refund. Amazing enough they called this customer service!
As a frequent flyer 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 Newark, 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!
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.