TORONTO, OHIO -- March 16th 2008 Toronto's Pearson Intl Airport at 5:30 am - 7:30 am - Arriving at the airport I immediately spoke to an Air Canada counter clerk to ask where to be directed for my flight to Chicago. With slight misdirection I clarified with AC Jazz and not United. Then I was referred to the right place for check-in. Arriving at check-in I waited in line to speak to a clerk at the beginning of the line-up and was told I needed to do a self check-in. Not knowing how to do it, I attempted several times. No luck. When the attendant freed up I asked for assistance. I was told to retry some things to which I replied it didn't work.
She then saw for herself that the machines could not read my barcode (the official web printout was too big) and I was told to go to another counter for regular check-in. And then the problems began. Arriving at the counter As I waited for attendants that were chatting amongst themselves to finish up and notice me but before that could happen I noticed another attendant in the back and asked her for assistance. I felt relieved to be able to speak to someone whom I thought could help. I explained that I had been running around from counter to counter and had no luck with the self check-in. When she asked for the flight number she stated that I was too late to check-in.
It was now 7:02am. And this is where the problems began. Though I think it was somewhat rude and irritating to be completely denied any help after being told I was too late (again by 2 minutes!!!). Air Canada being the national carrier I cannot understand that some employees are hardline minimalists and seem to relish their hard stances with customers misfortunes. She gave me no help asides suggesting I leave my luggage behind for my trip! Or perhaps having someone else fly with me. I then mentioned that it was important that she try something, anything to get me on that flight at 7 as I had a connecting flight (separately booked, yet with Star Alliance, ANA from Chicago to Narita NH011 leaving Chicago at 10:45 am).
She suggested I go to the ticketing counter for help on another flight to Chicago. Feeling helpless that she was just a do-as-little-as-I-can worker I asked to speak to her boss. She went to fetch **. ** re-iterated the same thing in even more of a hardline fashion. I received even less help from her. Not only that but the tone of voice and manner with which she spoke to me was incredibly rude and NOT warranted in any scenario. I felt as if I was the one that had done something wrong.
I explained that I had been given the run around and self-check did not work. To which she replied that 90 minutes is ample time to check-in given that the first 30 minutes before the flight are to sort out people with troubles. Unfortunately she did not want to hear my side of the story and I only had one option which was to seek the ticketing office. The next flight with United was too late for me to connect to my Chicago flight to Japan. I am completely taken aback by this treatment and extremely disappointed by the treatment I received.
I used to be proud to be a Canadian and using air Canada but if this is the face of things to come I cannot in good conscience recommend nor mention Air Canada to anyone wishing to travel by airplane. In short, though I am now stuck in Toronto and out of TWO airplane tickets due to some inflexible and non-empathetic clerks and rules, It would have been at the very LEAST a decent thing for ** to be a little more courteous and the other staff members more willing and less ** to help. On the upside at the ticketing booth, a certain ** was very nice and helpful.
But as for ** (who didn't give me any more information than that when asked) I believe she requires more in-depth customer skills training or a return back to BASIC customer service seminars. Extremely disappointed and stuck in Toronto.
After I spoke to ** who offered me a direct flight to Japan One-way 2400$ CDN or return 1500$ I opted to not bother with Air Canada anymore. I chose to go with the cheapest airline I could find on such short notice. I flew Continental from Toronto-Newark-Tokyo for 940$ tax in (return). Better food, better service, better entertainment, better plane. It wasn't perfect but miles above Air Canada already.
I don't expect Air Canada to respond to my complaint which is pretty much the same as I wrote here minus names. I don't even expect them to read it, let alone offer any compensation! Nor do I expect the Toronto Star or Toronto Sun papers to pick this up either so I guess I'll try the Canadian Transportation Authorities. I will NOT let this go! I lost a great opportunity in Japan, plus a day's wages, plus stress caused, wasted tickets, PLUS the new ticket!
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.
BANGKOK -- My 3 children and a friend travelled on 26 December 2006 from Toronto-Vancouver-Beijing-Bangkok and returned on 6 January (started) Bangkok-Beijing-Toronto (8 January). If it wasn't so pathetic it would be funny. Except for Beijing-Bangkok-Beijing (Thai Airways) all the flights were AIR Canada.
Everything was fine to Beijing (outward) but they weren't issued boarding passes for PEK-BKK and it was their fault they didn't have them in PEK. Then their friend was originally denied boarding in Beijing because she "wasn't in the system". WHY WASN'T SHE IN THE SYSTEM WHEN AC CHECKED THEM IN AT TORONTO? At the last minute she was allowed to board and they all arrived in Bangkok except the luggage for my children didn't make the connection but their friend's luggage (who barely was allowed to board) made the connection.
Luggage arrived 2 days later.
When we checked in (Bangkok-Beijing) again the friend wasn't "in the system" but they issued her a pass and everybody travelled to Beijing. Had about an 8 hour wait in PEK until the flight and then the flight was delayed (4 hours) then another delay (4 hours) then they went to a hotel (AC paid and they were allowed to eat in the restaurant). Didn't get their luggage and spent most of their money in the airport for sweaters and food (AC didn't give any vouchers or anything). Back to airport the next day and again the flight was cancelled (no vouchers or anything again). Back to the hotel for another night (again no luggage). Finally (after 2 nights in the hotel in Beijing) plane took off for Toronto. During the entire trip no information was provided and no AC staff showed up; only a driver who "didn't know anything".
My written complaint to AC has been handled by a Ms. Wanda Lepage who basically said "sorry but we gave each of your kids a $500 voucher for the next flight they purchase with AC" so piss off.
Furthermore, this is part of what I actually received from her (copied directly from her email)
"Our staff is expected to provide friendly and efficient service and we are very much aware of the inconvenience that can result when there is a breakdown in this service. (Please be assured our procedures will be reviewed with the employee involved and corrective measures will be taken.) OR (Please be assured your comments have been documented and will be included in reports generated for our (city) airport manager and our senior management.)
I asked for some compensation ($200) for the misplaced luggage (6 passenger nights in Bangkok and 8 passenger nights in Beijing) and they want receipts to send to their claim office. How do you expect 13 to 16 year olds to know enough to keep receipts and, besides, who in their claim office can decipher Mandarin and Thai language to verify the claims?
I have asked numerous times "WHY" did these things happen but no answer. Instead, what Wanda Lepage wrote was (again copied direct)
" regret that I have no explanation as to why no information was provided to your family when they were denied boarding on their flight due to the flight being oversold." Note that the plane wasn't overbooked, it wasn't working!!
She signed off on her last email with "I appreciate this final opportunity to review your concerns."
Ha Ha, she thinks this is the last they have heard of me.
They should change their motto to: "AIR CANADA WHERE WE'RE NOT HAPPY TIL YOU'RE NOT HAPPY"
PS. This review falls into too many categories to just list one so here goes: DELAYED FLIGHTS, CUSTOMER SERVICE, LOST LUGGAGE, IN FLIGHT TREATMENT, COMPANY POLICIES, RELIABILITY, AVAILABILITY, PRODUCT QUALITY, QUALITY OF SERVICE AND MANAGEMENT
WINNIPEG -- On Nov.23rd,2006- my husband was scheduled to fly from Edmonton,Alberta to Winnipeg,Manitoba at 8:55 in the morning with Air Canada.I had booked his flight the day before, on the internet, and booked Tango fare, no luggage, no flight changes, and prepaid ( 15.00 charge ) his seat selection as he likes a window seat. The total for this non-stop flight- was 241.33. He arrived at the airport, and it was snowing, not a blizzard, but snowing. He checked in - got his boarding pass, boarded the flight and does what he always does, goes to sleep. He woke up an hour and a half later- still on the ground. They had problems deicing, clearing the runway, deicing again, missed their slot in the take-off cue- finally departing almost two hours late. A little while into the flight the flight attendant starts moving everyone from the front of the flight, back, and when questioned, she informs the passengers that they must make an emergency landing in Saskatoon, as the computer is showing that the DOOR is ajar!!! They get on the ground, amidst mass confusion, and are finally informed that there is no maintenance crew in Saskatoon, they think there is one in Calgary- however- they are not sure how long it will be before they can continue. Westjet, however- has a flight to Winnipeg leaving shortly, and they are invited to purchase a ticket if there is room, and apply to A/C refund servies in Winnipeg- for a refund of their ticket from Saskatoon to Winnipeg. My husband paid 124.00 for that leg of the flight, and arrived home approx. 3 hours later, without further incidence. I called the number, and called the number, and called the number- and never did talk to anyone, so I sent an email. I sent another email. I finally got an answer after the 3rd email- telling me- they would make a decision on my request and let me know in three to four weeks. After six weeks, I sent them another email- and finally got frustrated enough to file a claim with The Canada Transport Agency. The day after I did this, Air Canada sent us a letter, via snail-mail- "pleased to announce" that they were refunding 50.08.Take the 15.90 off for the prepaid seat selection, the 15.00 AIF, the 18.00 NAvCan charge, the 4.67 security fee- and they are still in the hole. They never explained how they came up with this amount, they never explained how they applied it to a credit card # they didnot have. Just here it is, this is what you get. See you again-sucker. My husband already hates flying Air Canada, and only does so when there is absolutely no other choice. No wonder. Now- the CTA is handling this for me, but- what an enormous waste of time and money- to have a whole department dedicated to babysitting an airline.There should be something we can do, somewhere we can turn. If Westjet could get the same flight schedules allotted Air Canada, I would bet- A/C would not be in business. Judging from this complaint forum, and the one on the CTA website- they donot have a lot of happy fliers, and it's a damned shame they are allowed to keep treating everyone the way they do.
TORONTO -- We are becoming very frustrated, and disillusioned with Air Canada's handling of our lost luggage. It has been 6 weeks since our bags left Calgary with us for Bermuda, and they are still "delayed". I cannot understand how two large suitcases can be delayed, if not lost, for so long. I request that some positive action be taken to find these bags, as it appears to us that the Lost Luggage Department is unable or unwilling to assist us in this matter. We flew Executive class from Calgary to Toronto on AC 134 on November 11, 2006, arriving in Toronto about midnight.
Check-in staff in Calgary first said we would have to claim our bags in Toronto as we were not departing for Bermuda until the next morning, but after checking she assured us our two bags were checked through to Bermuda. On arrival in Toronto, a gate check staff checked details on her computer, issued boarding passes for the next leg of our flight and supposedly connected the numbers on our tags from Calgary to the boarding passes to Bermuda. She had to enter the numbers twice to get them right but she assured us the baggage would be checked through, although they would have to wait in Toronto until the morning flight.
We continued Executive class Toronto to Bermuda on AC942 on November 12, 2006. On arrival there it was obvious our bags had not arrived, so we filled-in tracing details with an Air Canada clerk there and were given File Reference number. The Bermudian clerk advised us we're entitled to $50 per person for essential items, but in spite of travelling Executive Class we would still have to wait 24 hours before we could even get that. After waiting the required 24 hours, we still had no luggage.
My wife phoned the 1-888-689-2247 number for your tracing office (just outside of Mumbai, India she ascertained from her conversation with the clerk) and again were told we were only entitled to $50 each, even though we travelled Executive class. We kept contacting the tracing office via internet. After finding the same message "TRACING CONTINUES. PLEASE CHECK BACK LATER" on their form for three days, it appeared that this method was going to be no help, so we again phoned the 1-888 number. As the call centre is located in India, the staff admitted they were only able to see the same information we had on the internet.
I am sure you can understand that at this point our frustration level rose. We were visiting our daughter in Bermuda for the birth of her baby and one of the cases was full of gifts for the baby and our other grandchildren, including handmade blankets and hand-knitted sweaters. Worse, there were snowsuits for the children who are all coming back to Canada for Christmas and will need the clothes immediately they arrive to our record low temperatures. With the cost of living in Bermuda, the $50 went nowhere near covering necessary clothes and toiletries for a 2 week stay.
We kept feeling that our 'delayed' bags would turn up soon, but every day the same message on the internet. The worst part of it is that we believe that our luggage was/is in the tally or luggage room in Toronto, because of our evening departure time from Calgary and morning departure from Toronto. And no one would look in the room. My wife asked the India call centre to send a message to Toronto to look in these rooms, but to our knowledge no message was sent as there was nothing on the file when we actually saw it when we were back in the Calgary airport luggage desk.
Our cases were very distinguishable and had ship-shaped fluorescent green luggage tags with the information engraved on them. But there was no way we could talk to someone LIVE in Toronto. We even phoned Bermuda luggage and they also never sent any messages. After 5 days, my wife again contacted the India call centre and was told to fill out a baggage declaration form (which we were not given at the airport) and as our bags "must have lost all their tags" would be in Montreal. (Loss of 1 tag on one case I can understand - all off both, I can't.)
And when she told them they had combination locks on them was told that they would slash the bags to get inside them. Not a great thought when they are needed to get the contents back to the destination. Before leaving Bermuda, the Air Canada check-in clerk again sent a message to Toronto and Calgary to search for the bags and to let them know that we were coming and would want to check while we were there. On our return through Toronto, again Executive Class, on AC947 on November 24, 2006 we checked with Lost & Found desk (no lost bags there), and were directed to the Luggage Department in Terminal 1.
Again the staff checked the computer and found the same message - "TRACING CONTINUES. PLEASE CHECK BACK LATER". We asked to check the Tally Room, and were very helpfully shown the luggage there. Again no bags, and only the assurance that after 5 days all bags would be sent to Montreal for further tracing. However we weren't able to walk round the other room - the baggage room where we really suspect our bags were/are.
Arriving back in Calgary late November 24th, we again checked with Luggage Department and found the clerk there very sympathetic and helpful - though he could find no further information than "TRACING CONTINUES. PLEASE CHECK BACK LATER". He went so far as to phone Toronto and ask them to walk around the luggage room, but was told that no one had the time to do it. It would appear to us that very little effort has gone into actually looking for these bags. I see two problems here: either more care is needed by ground staff and luggage handlers to prevent loss and delay, or more staff is needed to look for the luggage lost or damaged by them.
The clerk did provide us with a copy of allowances for delayed luggage printed from your information and, it appears we were misinformed by several offices as to entitlements. Apparently we should have been entitled to $100 each, immediately we arrived in Bermuda without our luggage. When my wife phoned India again about this, they said they would add the extra so we would be able to claim the higher amount (which we did indeed have to spend) then said "Oops, have to take it back because you are home again"!!! What is going on? We were also told that it would be at least 3 months before we are compensated for this outlay.
And I was also told that our bags wouldn't be declared LOST only delayed so it will be impossible for us to even submit a claim to Visa on our Aero-gold card insurance. And no one from Air Canada will even advise what kind of compensation is going to be offered. Will it cover the total loss? We have always been firm supporters of Air Canada. We fly AC by choice, rather than necessity. We have always found the staff polite and helpful in spite of what I have heard the media and others saying. However, the lack of assistance in this instance has really shaken our faith.
We are currently booked to fly to New York in January for a cruise - we CHOSE Air Canada - but without compensation for expenses on the past trip, nor even bags to pack for this trip I am questioning my decision of that choice. I want to know what is actually being done to find these ‘delayed bags'. I want to know why it is taking so long? I want the bags returned in preference to a compensation for lost bags. I anxiously await such assurances.
We just received an e-mail from Aeroplan stating that there has been some confusion about their recent changes to how long air miles can remain on a person's account and that they were writing to clear up any misunderstandings. (I don't recall ever receiving any initial notification of any changes, but that's another story.) The changes they described essentially mean that Air Miles can now remain unused on a person's account for a period of seven years, after which they will be cancelled. I believe that in the past such air miles would remain indefinitely so long as there was credited activity on the account within the last three years. With the lowering of the Air Miles life span to seven years, they have also increased the required frequency of account activity to maintain the balance to once every year! Miss a year and, poof, they are all gone. In fairness it does not take a great deal of effort to create such activity. Purchasing gas at an Esso station apparently qualifies, as do other such activities. The challenge, then, is for each account holder to ensure they do not let more than one year pass between account activities.
Here's where it gets a little interesting. Each month, by automatic e-mail, account holders are sent a statement of their Air Miles. However, there is no indication on that statement when the one year period for account activity is due to expire. Bear in mind that Air Miles have a significant monetary value to account holders and, I am sure, Air Canada would cry very few tears if many customers' accounts were allowed to inadvertently lapse! I noted that on the clarification e-mail there was a separate e-mail address headed "Reply-To" which, one would think, invites a reply. Wrong! I sent a reply suggesting that expiry dates of holdings and, in particular, one year activity periods, be included on statements. My e-mailed reply bounced. I was told that you cannot reply to the e-mail using the "Reply-To" or any other address on it. So, I went to their site and took the time to fill out all my concerns again on their contact form in the form of the offered web mail contact facility. I also added my displeasure about being invited to make a reply then immediately rebuffed electronically.
Within about an hour I received a further e-mail acknowledging receipt of my web mail but, with apologies, stating that "Below is a summary of your request and our response." Then "We are experiencing temporary technical difficulties with the Submit a Question functionality. Please call the Aeroplan Centre at 1-800-361-5373." That was their response. I called the captioned number, only to receive a recorded reply that their agents are busy, that there would be a significant wait to speak to anyone. I gave up. Who wouldn't? Strike this one up a win for Air Canada. They have successfully reinforced my resolve not to fly with them under any circumstances, unless there is absolutely no alternative.
They should change the slogan "Buyer Beware" to "Flier Beware"!
WINNIPEG -- This is in reference to a recent trip my wife and I took to Boston for a visit. We were to leave Winnipeg on Air Canada flight #254 at 7:45 am on Friday, August 25 for a connecting flight in Toronto then on to Boston. The
connecting flight to Boston was #7962. Firstly, the day before we left, I had to call Air Canada to get some information about what we could take aboard, be sure it was on time, etc. After pressing what seemed like a
hundred buttons, I never did speak to anyone and got very frustrated.
So I called WestJet because I figured their rules would be the same as Air Canada's as far as what liquids, gels, medications, etc. were allowed onboard, what time to be at the airport and so on. Someone answered after
about two rings and answered my questions about my wife's medications and so on. On Friday morning we got to the airport by about 6:00 am and got in line to check in. There were 4 girls working the desk - 3 for regular
passengers and it seemed like one for executive passengers. After one of the 3 girls was done with a passenger, she got up and disappeared, walking down the concourse. That left two girls, as the lineup grew.
My wife and I were next so we went to one of the girls. Without acknowledging us, she banged a couple of keys on the computer and then looked down and noticed that her computer was out of paper or baggage checks or whatever. She got a box of paper but didn't know how to load it. And the lineup grew. So she got the girl beside her to help, so now there is no one helping customers. However, that girl didn't know either, so she went back to helping customers and the girl who was to have served us simply got up and said "I'm going for
coffee!!" and she left. And the lineup grew, seemingly out the door by now.
So the one working girl called us over and asked if she could help. Well, yeah! We gave her our ticket and she punched some stuff into the computer and said "There's a problem. Your ticket says you're in row 137 which is about 4 planes long. There's been a misprint. I'll have to get this fixed." She checked our bags in the meantime and takes us over to another person down the concourse who confirms that there is a problem. That lady not only
changes our seats but advises us very nonchalantly that our "plane is broken" and we would have to switch flights.
Advising passengers that planes are broken is not very reassuring in light of what's been going on in
the airline industry lately. So we get our flight changed to an earlier one, get our new seats (at the very back of the plane), and she assures us that our bags will be changed to the correct flight. By now, there are lots
of flags going up and whistles going off. So we get to Toronto without further problem then find out we have to change terminals to catch the flight to Boston. So we get shuttled to the other terminal which is like a ghost town. Not a soul in there and very limited signs giving direction.
But we finally find our way and go to pick up our luggage from the carousel. No baggage. I explain to one guy in the Air Canada area and he tells us to see one of the other guys down the line in baggage. So I go to the counter (my wife is still watching the empty carousel in the meantime) and stand in front of this other guy who is nonchalantly thumping on his keyboard. Didn't look up, no acknowledgement, no "I'll be with you in a moment", nada. Couldn't give a fat rat's if we were there or not. So I looked at another guy next to him, and he simply avoided eye contact. Finally he looks up and I tell him that our bags aren't coming.
He checks our baggage numbers and tells us they should be here, and just to wait. So I wait. And wait. And wait. I went over again. He calls the other terminal and is told that in fact there are a couple of bags at the other terminal. So he asks that they be brought over right away. So my wife and I waited and waited as our connecting flight loomed. Finally the bags arrive and they are absolutely soaking wet. So back I go to see this guy in baggage and complain that the bags are soaked. He says "Yeah. It's raining." and went back to his computer. Again, not one iota of caring or compassion or empathy.
I asked why they weren't covered and he said "they just weren't." No particular reason. And I know there are tarps that go over luggage in inclement weather. And these bags were drenched, not like a sprinkling of mist. This also made the bags significantly heavier, which should be an airline concern as well. No one seemed to give a damn. I also had to ask one of the Air Canada guys for directions to Canada Customs to ask them a question. He proceeded to give me instructions to US customs. So I came back and asked again, and he said "down the hall, turn here, turn there." So I did, and found a dead end.
Someone else sent me upstairs, then they sent me back downstairs. A real gong show. Finally I found it on my own and the guy in Customs was very good. Anyway, my wife and I loaded our soaked bags on the conveyor belt and awaited our connecting flight. With an apparent rainstorm on the eastern seaboard our flight was delayed over an hour, but that's not your fault. We got to Boston, had a great time, and the return flight went off without a hitch. But the horrific experience in Winnipeg and Toronto coming out was enough to make us reconsider travel with Air Canada.
**, your recent article in the paper about airlines in the US and their poor service can now include our own "national" carrier. The "who gives a **" attitude is very disconcerting. **, you did a wonderful job booking everything. The hotel was great, the booking of the flight was good, but I would advise you try booking through WestJet every chance you get. At least their people smile and seem to care. Air Canada people, you have lost 2 customers and likely more. Any chance I get to book my own flights, it will be with WestJet if at all possible.
If the wet baggage is not your responsibility, I will advise that you speak to the airport authorities about handling of luggage. Luckily nothing inside our bags was ruined so we didn't have to make a baggage claim. A course on
customer service to your employees wouldn't hurt either. When that girl in Winnipeg said she was going for coffee, my jaw almost hit the ground. And the lineup grew. And no one gave a damn. Thanks for listening.
NEW YORK -- Called NUMEROUS times and NOBODY picks up ANY of the phones ever. I don't understand this at all. They are making major cuts throughout the company so I am certain this is due to that, but are there no employees to answer the phone?
My wife and I flew Air Canada to Australia this month. We were going to Australia to represent Canada at the World Life Saving Championships. Unknowing to us, and not written on our itinerary from Air Canada, we had to pass through the United States (Hawaii) for a re-fueling stop. My wife is traveling on an older Irish passport that is non-machine readable and this caused us a lot of problems when we had to pass through US Immigration. There is a new law in the US that denies entry of all holders of non-machine readable passports into the country! We almost weren't allowed to carry onto Australia because Air Canada hadn't bothered to inform us that we were stopping in the US! Luckily, my wife was granted a temporary 14 day visa in which she had to sign her life away (e.g. signed papers that acknowledged she was not entitled to a lawyer should anything happed while she was in the US!).
We spent the first two days of our trip to Australia fighting with Air Canada over the phone about how we were going to get back home! This was all going on while we were trying to prepare for our competition! Air Canada were telling us that we had to go and visit either the US or Irish embassies to arrange for either a visa or new passport - none of this was feasible given the fact that we were trying to get ready for an international competition and represent Canada! Finally, after several phone calls we convinced AC that they should re-route us back to Canada. They did and it turned the 33 hour flight into a 48 hour + flight that had us go through New Zealand and Japan!
After all of this occurred we were both angry and ashamed to be associated with an airline that has such poor customer service and carried the symbol of Canada around the world! I will use up my Air Canada points generated from this trip and will fly Air Canada one last time - I will then cut up my AeroGold CIBC card up and will be done with the airline for good.
No more Air Canada for me!!
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!