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Cancelled Ticket
Posted by on
On Sunday Nov 29 my daughter’s father in law passed away suddenly in Baie Verte NL. After some discussion it was decided that I would buy a ticket for her mother to fly there, attend a funeral and support her through this extremely stressful situation. I logged onto Air Canada website, purchased the ticket and received a confirmation number NG5ZK5 which I passed on to my ex wife. She lives in Lloydminster Alberta so had to get up at 1:00 am and drive 3 hours to Edmonton to the airport so she could make this flight. She stood in line, luggage in hand and was told by the check in personnel that she could not board, her ticket had been “flagged” whatever that means.
I received my first call at 5:15 about this problem from my ex wife and asked to speak to the person at the check in counter and was told that they would not speak with me, I needed to call the 1888 number (that was how it was put, not the complete number, just the 1888 number) if I wanted to resolve this.
I called the 1888 number after I found it on Air Canada's website and was put on hold. I tried several times to call and finally after 14 minutes I was connected with service representative named Bobby (female) who informed me that Corporate Security had flagged my credit card. I assured her that I was logged into my Scotia Bank account as we were speaking and it showed that the 1409.60 ticket price had indeed been taken from my balance. She put me on hold for 10 minutes or so and came back on and said it was Corporate Security and there was nothing she could do and no one she could talk to about this and if I wanted my ex wife to get to this funeral, I would need to purchase another ticket with a different credit card.
By this time the original flight AC114 from Edmonton to Halifax had left, and I was informed that she could still get to Deer Lake NL on time AC 8884 at 18:25 out of Halifax if I paid a lot more money so that she could fly out of Edmonton at 12:05 to Halifax. I said that this was unacceptable as we had done nothing wrong. I was put on hold for another 15 minutes and was then told that my only option was to fly out at 14:05, connect in Toronto and arrive in Deer Lake at 01:55 the next morning. I booked the flight with my company credit card and got the confirmation number PSVD4E. She also told me that she was pretty sure there was something wrong with my credit card and that my bank had probably put a stop on this payment. I called Scotia Bank and was informed that there was no problem with my card and that 1409.60 CAD had indeed been confirmed to Air Canada.
Air Canada still had time to do the right thing and get this woman to NL on time but chose not to. At any time, Their Corporate Security could have called me to find out if indeed there was a problem, and they chose not to. Their customer service representative could have fixed this problem before the originally booked flight left and chose not to.
No one from Corporate Security has contacted me yet, no one has told me why this ticket was cancelled without any notification as yet. I get Aeroplan and Air Canada promotional emails every day but when I needed contact with their company, there is nothing. This is completely unacceptable. I haven’t even had my money credited back to my Visa for the ticket they chose to cancel. Air Canada has made an already stressful situation for my family that much more unbearable, thank you very much.
Resolution Update 12/09/2009:
After emailing the senior VP of Customer Relations, filling in Air Canadas complaint form on line and faxing my story to their complaint department I ended up dealing with Laura Logan, who was excellent. She ensured that my ex wifes return trip had no problems, checked up on the situation and got me my refund. I was also called by the office of Mr. Rovinescu to ensure that the situation had been resolved to my satisfation. The wheels turned slowly, but they did eventually turn.
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Ben There on 12/01/2009:
The ticket was most likely flagged because it was an expensive last minute trip, and the traveler was not the card holder.
Anonymous on 12/01/2009:
But the cardholder was right there in the airport and if there was any doubt if he had authorized the purchase, they could have asked him.
Anonymous on 12/01/2009:
James, the cardholder was not in the airport. His ex-wife was there.

jpbeddow on 12/01/2009:
Ben There is right I was not in the airport, only my ex wife. They had 16 hours between the time I booked the flight to the time it was to leave when they could have called and told me there was a problem. They never did. I've still not spoken to anyone since my first encounter at 6:00 am. I've called (on hold indefinitely), emailed (they said they would get back to me in 6 to 10 days), and faxed. No response.
Anonymous on 12/01/2009:
No, he wasn't James. He said he received a call about it, he was not in the airport itsel.f
Anonymous on 12/01/2009:
OK, Sorry, I didn't read it carefully
buddyboy on 12/13/2009:
This sounds like an ideal case for a lawsuit.
PepperElf on 12/13/2009:
Actually that might be why the questioned the card.

Back in the 80s many stores assumed that a woman using a man's credit card was his wife and was therefore authorized to use the card.

Then couples started to get divorced, and some would use each others' credit cards as revenge.

But I'm glad you got your refund if this was an authorized use of the card.

If something happens again, it might be something to consider - calling the credit card company before the purchase to see if you can set up a temporary authorization for the other person.
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Service Industry?
Posted by on
I hate flying with AC. Every time it has been a bad experience. If it's not the bad attitudes and nose up in the air flight attendants, it's the non complacent ho hum bull from the rest of the pitiful staff. The onboard service is archaic to say the least and an insult to Canadians. There fights are way over priced. And you’re right the attendants are usually old and grumpy. I usually go out of my way and avoid AC.

I just came back from Hawaii for two weeks. On the way from Calgary to Vancouver we had 45 other passengers on board going to the same destination and another 20 flying to Honolulu. We were getting concerned that because of a 3 hour delay we would miss the connecting flight upon arriving in Vancouver. Trying to get AC personnel to give any information on whether there was any possibility of holding the Hawaii flight back was useless. The service counter told us they would not hold the plane for us. Not being in this predicament before, I had no idea what would happen if we missed our flight in Vancouver. When I asked the AC Service person she told me that if it's was missed due to a weather issue than its our problem. You could imagine what happen next. The service desk was consumed by unruly passengers demanding for help. The AC service person just ignored anyone’s request and basically was no further help. When we were on flight to Vancouver the Pilot announced that they would hold back the Hawaii flight for all of the 45 passengers on board.

On the way back from Hawaii it was no better. The attitude of the staff was rude and unfriendly as usual. One example was upon takeoff from Vancouver to Calgary, which happen to be delayed for 2 hours, lord only knows why, we boarded on time, again waiting for either luggage to come aboard or staff to show up or deicing or sitting in the deicing bay waiting for traffic clearance and then waiting for another deicing check, well you get what I am saying. Anyway when we finally took off, there was water or accumulated condensation in two separate overhead luggage compartments poring down on 2 young kids. They were on opposite sides of the plane. A male flight attendant got up quickly on one side of the isle and covered the one youth with a towel or blanket. But on the other side there was water pouring down on the other youth and the parents were desperately trying to help the near panic stricken child with little or nothing they could do. And then the mother of the child looked back to were the flight attendant was sitting and ask for assistance. This was after several times trying to page the attendant electronically. The flight attendants immediate response in the most ignorant voice you can imagine was “it’s not life threatening “. Instead of responding politely with “I’ll be there as soon as I possibly can”. And then apologizing for the event.

I fly with West Jet. They treat you with respect and go out of there way for the most part to help you out. We pay big bucks to travel now days and for that money I expect service. After all it is a service industry not a government subsidized travel serviced industry. This is to be expected from our wonderful government. Oh wait a minute, AC is subsidized by the tax payers and happens to have been bailed out by us a few times already. Go figure.
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Anonymous on 01/05/2009:
First my rant... As an American I'm fascinated with Canadian's love of hockey and hate of Air Canada - I don't get either.
Westjet is just a copy of Southwest which isn't bad if you like silly jokes, all coach seating and plenty of boring destinations.
Air Canada isn't govt subsidized, its a publicly traded company. Geesh an American knows that.
You complain about paying big bucks to go to Hawaii, price out going by ship next time.
If AC is so expensive why didn't you fly Westjet?
Why complain about deicing and getting in que? How is that AC's fault.
AC has a excellent Exec class service. If I fly to Asia I will fly up to YYZ to take AC rather than my own airline - its that good.
Very well maintained fleet of Airbus and some slick 777's what's to complain!
Be loyal to AC. Aeroplan is part of Star Alliance, you can fly the world on them - get status and you'll find customer service is so much better.

Anonymous on 01/05/2009:
Well, VF, I can't help you with the hockey thing, but I understand why we hate Air Canada. You are right, it is a common misconception that AC is subsidized by the government. If my history is correct, AC was a government-owned organization from inception until about twenty years ago(pre-airline competition in Canada), but is no longer. And they were bailed out in 2001 (2002?) which has a lot to do with the misconception. Regardless, many years of bad service in coach, rude staff and a failure to live up to many promises makes them enemy number one in Canada. Even I'll admit, though, that a lot of the complaints are not unique to AC.
Ben There on 01/05/2009:
If AC has been so bad to you for so long, how come you didn't fly Westjet to Hawaii? I bet they would have had to de-ice as well, though.
Anonymous on 01/05/2009:
Financiallyfit, thanks for the insight. Maybe I need to act more Canadian to get the bad treatment. A Maple Leaf jersey (don't sell them here in Kiawah), start saying "eh." Seriously, Canada is very beautiful and I've flown a ton across Canada and never had a problem with AC.
AC has outstanding (still domestic) maintenance.
Maple Leaf lounges are better than most American carriers.
Good IATA member. AC lent to both US Air 20 million, 60 million to UAL when they needed help.
A good bunch of management.
Anonymous on 01/05/2009:
Victor Foxtrot - Don't forget to wear a 'took' and carry your sixer of Molsen's or you'll look like a hoser.
Ben There on 01/05/2009:
Maybe you can fly with Zoom, Canada 3000, Jetsgo or Harmony on your next trip.
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Spring Getaway Pass - Error On It But Air Canada Won't Acknowledge
Posted by on
HALIFAX -- I purchased a spring getaway pass for April/ May 2008. On April 12, I arrived for my flight only to find that the check in was closed! My ticket printed directly from the Flight Pass site said 45 min prior to flight time for my Halifax to Boston flight. I thought I was there early, but was told I was 5 min late; that the allowed time was 60 min prior. No one could explain why my ticket said 45 min but an Air Canada official was quick to point out that it wasn't their rules, it was customs. A customs agent then approached me and said not so. If I had a boarding pass, customs will allow admittance up to 30 min before any flight.

I needed to be in Boston, so I tried to reschedule this flight. Nothing was available even through connections until the next day. I was told all flights had been overbooked this day. The agent suggested that if I could get to Toronto, she could get me from Toronto to Boston that night. (My flight pass was Eastern it included flights from Halifax to Toronto and points in between, plus several cities all the way to Florida). A flight pass ticket can be booked up to 60 min before departure. She was even helpful enough to look through the system and see that Westjet did have a flight leaving in 45 min that would just get me to Toronto for the connecting flight and that there were seats available.

I decided that having to pay 300 for that ticket was OK since I needed to be there that night. She said she would get my seat booked from Toronto While I got my ticket there. So I proceeded to get my Westjet ticket to Toronto and returned to get my Toronto to Boston ticket. This is when she tells me that she was unable to use the flight pass (even though the flight was two hours away) even though she had cancelled the original booking. A ticket Toronto to Boston would be 800!! I had already spent the 300 and certainly didn't want to be stranded in Toronto and I needed to be in Boston although now I was going to be 4 hours late for the function... So I booked it and thought I could resolve things with the airline later. By the way, the Toronto to Boston flight wasn't even half full. I'm sure they could have accepted a flight pass booking!

I did write a complaint (there is no phone number for Air Canada either fax or email your complaint) and an automated fax reply said expect 20 business days for a response. After 6 weeks, I contacted Air Canada, who forwarded the information to Air Canada Jazz again. This time I received somewhat of a form letter telling me that it was unfortunate that I was late and that they can't hold an airplane for someone!! THAT WASN'T WHAT I WAS ASKING! The fact that I was on time by the allowances printed on my ticket was unacknowledged. I wrote again and said that I just wanted them to realize this.

I received a response that it was up to me to ensure that my flight was on time. WHAT??? To top things off, I then get an email telling me that I had been billed 150 for failing to show up for my scheduled flight. Insulting! My flight pass tickets for May still said 45 min prior to departure on them Obviously it was an error in the flight pass section of their on line booking, but why couldn't they acknowledge this? I was asking for flight credit in return for the extra money I had to spend, but this was denied. They said rules changed September 2007 and time before departure switched from 45 to 60 min to USA. I wish this information would have been correct on my would have saved me a lot of time and money. I'm not through pursuing this yet. I have saved all of my documents, including the airport parking stub which shows I was at the terminal 1hr 15 before departure, not that it helps any.

I'm unsure how to proceed from here...small claims? My two requests to actually speak to a person were ignored and snotty, condescending letters were sent instead. If Westjet flew to Boston, I wouldn't even consider Air Canada again.
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Ben There on 09/22/2008:
I don't understand why people plan their arrival times based on the bare minimum allowed by a carrier. Even 60 minutes is cutting it close as you have to stand in line at the counter, check in, clear customs and immigrations, check your bag, clear security and walk to your gate. I am not saying it can't be done, but if there is a hold up of some kind you are out of luck. Why risk it?
Lesler5 on 09/25/2008:
Thanks for the input but in the past 45 min is always plenty. I travel with carry on only and am a Nexus card holder, so customs is always very fast. Maybe I've been lucky so far, but have never taken more than 10 min to clear security and customs from Halifax. There are only ever two flights leaving the international area direct to US, so traffic is at a minimum in my experience.
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Flight Delays
Posted by on
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY -- Last year We had planned a rather lengthy trip to visit a relative who lived in Kuala Lumpur. We booked seats on an air Canada flight (3 people -my mother, sister and I) which set us back about 6 thousand dollars. Apparently 6 thousand dollars is a deal on Air Canada because since then the fares have nearly doubled. Anyway, that's another point all together.

We had to make not one, not two but 3 connections to make it all the way there from Fredericton, New Brunswick. Connections were in Montreal, Newark and Sweden. So we have scheduled tickets and allotted appropriate times to connect between flights and we are set to go. day arrives for us to travel, and we take off and Land, no issues. We are then stopping over for 9 hours in Montreal (scheduled) and then off to Newark - We are delayed by an hour getting on the plane because of weather, then delayed an hour in the air because of air congestion, and then sat on the tarmac 30 minutes while we then subsequently watched our connecting flight take off. So this obviously is disturbing knowing our other flight is gone (because we were connecting to Malaysia Air -Which IS on time). We go to air Canada's ticketing terminals in Newark and no one is home - go to Malaysia Air and they say it's Air Canada's issue so we were then back to square one with no air Canada agents to talk to. Finally we are directed to go retrieve our luggage and find some back room agent that will tell us what we need to do now. This is a Monday mind you and around 11 PM so we have been in airports all day. We are told that Malaysia air only flies 3 days a week out of Newark - Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. So, they call Malaysia air and we are told that it would be a week and a half before they could reschedule us.

Our trip was scheduled to be 3 weeks long in Malaysia so that would cut it in half and meanwhile we are stuck 1000 miles from home. I obviously protest and say that this is unacceptable, and somehow we are magically scheduled on the next Thursday flight. So- it's Monday, and we are stuck in Newark, New Jersey or 3 days. First of all- How do you find a hotel? second of all who is paying for it? Not Air Canada because it was a "weather delay" we have to spend 3 days in New Jersey , and 2 extra days traveling losing nearly a week of our trip. In the end, we had flight insurance (thank goodness) because it cost us nearly $1500 for 3 days in Newark to stay there being so close to New York and the American Thanksgiving weekend. We manage to get the flight 3 days later and Malaysia air is superb and we can't understand why Air Canada can't be this efficient, clean, organized and courteous to their patrons. I avoid Air Canada like the plague if I have a choice- but I don't really have one- living in Fredericton, Air Canada is basically the only Airline Canada offers.

This was highly discouraging, and I hesitate any time I think I need to fly somewhere - My Fiance lives in the United Kingdom, and that in itself is a whole different Kettle of fish. Air Canada charges 1000 for base fare and then 600-700 in "fuel surcharges" and other taxes, so in total it ends up being 2100. That is ridiculous. Do you really mean to tell me that I have to pay for a ticket that doesn't include such useful items as fuel? What exactly is the base fare paying for then? It is utterly ridiculous.
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Anonymous on 08/11/2008:
First thing I thought...Manila, long flight stuck with this whiner...worse than a middle seat in coach.
How are weather delays, air traffic delays Air Canada's fault?
Why are you complaining about ticket prices, no one wants to go to Manila - No daily service from NY so what does that tell you? You live in stinking Fredericton, and you complain you have to make 3 connections, to get to real cities?
2 suggestions.. use spell and grammar check. Go by boat, it may be cheaper and you can probably leave from Halifax, saving you 1 full connection.
Anonymous on 08/11/2008:
VF, when you suggest that a poster use a "use spell and grammar check", you probably should spell grammar correctly. Just my humble opinion.
Ben There on 08/11/2008:
Weather and New York City Air Traffic congestion have delayed many a trip. These types of delays are not the airline' fault, and they do not have to pay for a hotel.

Luckily you are one of the few that had travel insurance as it is designed for situations just like this.

I personally make sure I add lots of extra time if I have to connect in NYC, especially if there are no more flights for the rest of the day.
Anonymous on 08/11/2008:
Ken you gave me a laugh... product of public education here, Academy grad... I don't disagree, its "casualspeak."
mantz on 09/08/2008:
TO: vf-213
What is your problem with Manila ?? There was no mention of Manila in the article, you idiot !! Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur never sounds like Manila, not even near ....

And by the way, there's no direct flight from NY to Manila because it simply does not make any business sense. If you want to go fly to Manila, you either have to take Vancouver, LA or SFO for direct flights coz that's where most of the passengers are coming from.
And for your info, Manila (Phil) receives more than 3 million tourists per year, obviously you're not one of 'em.
But either way, you need to learn to read again, and add on some basic geography before you start posting opinions on this matter.
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Air Canada - A Canadian Embarrassment
Posted by on
I am a long time road warrior and have been traveling for business and pleasure for most of my adult life. I can honestly say, without any hesitation that based solely on my personal experience Air Canada is a true Canadian disaster. How an operation like this can actually stay in business is a testament to our low standards and runaway acceptance of such incompetence. That we allow our governments and corporate institutions to bail them out so they can continue to spread their low standards and bad service upon us is even more absurd.

Their poor performance is evident from the very first step forward, to the final goodbye.

1 – The AC and Aeroplan web sites are the only such travel sites that do not work with Macs. Welcome to the 90’s Mr. Milton. There is more to life than Windows. Checking in online works less than 50% of the time. Of all airlines I have used AC’s web services are the slowest and most cumbersome to use.

2 – Online bookings fail 50% of the time. Contact information is wrong and links are usually a chain of never ending sales pitches, with no delivery. Pricing is twice as high as most other national airlines. Service is twice as bad. It’s faster, cheaper and usually more convenient to drive to a US city and fly within the US than to travel out of any Canadian airport.

3 – Telephone bookings introduce us to the most unhelpful staff known to mankind. Period. My way or the highway. Have a nice day. No help. No hints. No excuses. And that will be $35 for booking by phone instead of wasting hours online for the booking to crash at the last moment.

4 – Check-in is slow to impossible. Counter staff is less disrespectful if you are a business / elite regular, but those times that you’re not you may as well be at a bus station – it makes no difference if you are trying to fix a problem created by their won mistakes, helping aged parents get on a simple flight, or if you’re a worried parent sending young children off to fly the friendly skies. You can be sure to get less help from AC staff from beginning to end than you would at just about any other business entity known to man.

5 – Flight Service appears as if it was designed by those who have never traveled. They wake you when you sleep, leave you alone when you need help, ensure the cabin is always too hot or too cold, make stupid excuses for everything. I’ve even seen them break up a young family sitting together so that a flight attendant could take a break in the front of the cabin, rather than the at the rear. AC is absolutely the most ignorant when it comes to customer service.

6 – Lost baggage? Forget about it. Unless a small city in India is your final destination, the endless finger pointing and promises executed by call centre employees in India are totally useless – especially when your bag is usually sitting alone and dejected about 100 metres from you in some security holding room.

7 – Pilots and Crew – Sorry. No complaints here. They are good at their jobs, but they are unfortunate to have such dimwits directing them.

8 – Gate Staff – From operations which insists upon boarding when they know full well there is no chance of the flight actually departing, to making sure you wait as long as possible before you begin your bad experience in the air, to blaming you for every mistake they make. I have never heard a sincere apology fall from any AC employee’s lips.

9 – Travel Rewards – You can earn Aeroplan points in a thousand ways. But try using them. Forget it! Searching for flights ensures a system designed to make reward travel as expensive and difficult as possible – which is probably why I often just pay rather than go through the ripoff experience of paying 4 times the going rate in points trying to find a direct flight, I will die leaving millions of unused points, unless they simply delete them when I’m not looking.

10 – Buy the t-shirt. I have decided this is going to be my personal vendetta. I intend to buy and wear the “Err Canada” shirts that say - love the country, hate the airline” every time I fly Air Canada. It won’t faze any of the staff. They will continue to think they are right and we’re crazy. or

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Anonymous on 06/29/2008:
The bad service will continue (and infect other carriers) so long as the revenue lost through providing poor service is made up via government handouts. Many airlines are becoming virtually state-run...with all the efficiency we gave grown to expect from all state-run entities.
Ben There on 06/29/2008:
Ghost, both Canadian and US airlines have not gotten government money in many years. The US carriers did get a one time bail out after 9/11, but from what I understand that is the only government cash they have gotten in a long time. Air Canada likewise has been privatized for over two decades.

Some small airlines do get federal subsidies to fly to rural areas in a program called the "Essential Air Service", but this is designed to help small communities and not the airlines... These tiny little hand outs can't be what you are referring to...
DigitalCommando on 06/29/2008:
I'd love to blame it on socialism, but this could be the description of any airline in the USA. When the economy gets bad, the first cuts any company will make are in the customer service areas, as they are not vital to the companies survival during the (hopefully) short downturn period. It's a fact of life so in a downturn period you have to EXPECT it.
Anonymous on 07/08/2008:
A lot of rants.... many ill informed. If you are indeed a "road warrior" you would have status in the Star Alliance, I can assure you all Star member airlines treat those with status well. Robert Milton hasn't been associated with AC for a long time, so I doubt he cares about MAC users. All of your rants are simply indicative of the industry not specifically endemic to AC - fly on any US flagged carrier. Rant 5 was interesting you moaned about a flight attendant yet in rant 7 you mentioned the crews were good.... flight attendants are part of the flight crew. Flying on points...well no airline releases exact statistics but its about 1% of all seats on an a/c... that's industry wide.
Gate agents do what they are instructed to do, so if you are loaded on a ac and it doesn't push...why blame them? Its the Captain's call.
Finally, AC is considered (with awards to prove it) one of the the best airlines in N.America, not sure who you are comparing them to.

I'm not a AC employee, in fact am a 757 Captain for a rival but have flown them more than enough to know they aren't that bad, especially given the current circumstances
babymomma on 01/04/2009:
I think majority of people defending AC are probably people that work for Air Canada
jpbeddow on 12/01/2009:
Air Canada staff have not been empowered to make good decisions for any of their paying customers. I've just spent the last 6 hours trying to resolve an issue with them and have spoken to one live person. Their website is a maze intended to frustrate you into just giving up and their one 888 number is a joke. So far today it's not even putting me on hold, just ringing busy. If I ever have any choice, I'll pay more to fly someone else.
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Thank You For Harassing My Wife
Posted by on
Air Canada: I had to pay for the same two tickets 2 times. I had to pay twice for my wife and pay twice for my son to take one flight.

Thank you for harassing my wife yesterday but also thank you for not Tasering her..

I am born Canadian and spend 50% of my time in the air.. The other 50% split equally between Peru and Canada. My wife is born Peruvian. My 6 year old son/duel citizenship, born in Peru.

My wife and son spent this last school year 2007-2008 in Canada. Yesterday they were to return to Peru. They have had their return tickets for one year. I am presently in Peru,I was waiting for their arrival at the Peru Airport.

I had spent a half-hour on the computer the night before confirming their baggage, their seat numbers. Three phone calls to my wife. ..she speaks Spanish,very little broken English.

They arrived at the Vancouver Airport and the Harassment started. (The early check-in Air Canada had sent me on the computer was wrong. It said Joshua, my six year old could check in luggage. It said Marlene my wife could also check in luggage.) Marlene brought this number of bags to the Airport. OH! OH! said the ticket agent. Joshua is only six. Six year olds are not allowed to check in luggage. ..and the harassment went on.

After all this, yesterday I Called the airline myself. They stated "the bags at one point were loaded on the plane,then unloaded". My wife, with minimum English, had no idea what was going on, missed her plane and returned to the Vancouver apartment we had been renting,this past year. The airline sold me another ticket,last night. I will try again to fly my family home,to Peru,this coming Friday.

But the good news is, they sufficiently harassed my wife, she never wants to fly again. She has two sisters married to Americans. These sisters spend between $5,000 to $10,000 per year flying home, Peru to see their mother. (I will not have to spend these dollars,I will now not have to buy tickets, for my wife to fly home and see her mother.)

With my time spent equally between Peru and Canada, I wanted to buy a house in Peru, Marlene previously wanted it to be in Canada. Yesterday afternoon, Marlene,my wife went to the bank and transferred $250,000 to the bank in Peru. Our house will be bought in Peru, this will also save me between $5,000 and $10,000 per year in airline tickets.

Each time I am on an Air Canada plane, by the time I arrive at my destination I am wondering why I ever fly this Airline but this time...Yes it cost me extra tickets to get my family home. I bought a total of 4 tickets Two tickets each to get my family home) when all I should have needed was two, (one each) but in the long run you saved me money.

Thank you Air Canada.
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jktshff1 on 06/19/2008:
Just a couple of things.
I don't see from your post where there was any harassment, just miscommunication. Why has your wife not learned enough English to communicate while being in an English speaking country for a year?
Why in the world would you, knowing that, send here on her own with a six year old to an English speaking airport?
Seems like you messed up and are trying to find someone to blame.
Anonymous on 06/19/2008:
I am inclined to agree.
Anonymous on 06/19/2008:
I've never flown Air Canada but I did check out their website and nowhere does it say that children cannot check bags - there is a chart showing maximum # of checked bags per person. It sounds like your wife was over the max amount?
I also don't understand where the harassment came from - I understand it's difficult when there is a language barrier, but I don't know how this is the airlines fault, unless there are some details that you left out.
madconsumer on 06/19/2008:
if your wife wants to live where English is spoken, then she should learn it. after a year in an English speaking nation, she should be able to communicate.

I as well, see nothing here that constitutes harrassement.
Anonymous on 06/19/2008:
I don't think a bird even spends 50% of their time in the air.
tander on 06/19/2008:
The English language is one of the hardest ones to learn and just because she was here a year doesn't mean she's going to learn it in that amount of time, so give them a break.
Ben There on 06/20/2008:
I have never heard that 6 years olds can not check bags... Also, Air Candada should have at least one Spanish speaking employee in Vancouver - I personally like AC, but they fly to way too many Spanish speaking destinations not to have at least a couple translators at one of their major hubs.
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Air Canada's Bad Customer Service
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TORONTO -- I have found Air Canada to be quite distant from its customers especially if something goes wrong with their service. Basically, they do not have the infrastructure in place to connect you to a thinking, empowered, empathizing human being who can put you in the loop and sympathize a little concerning your plight. There are exceptions, but they are not available through "normal" channels.

First, their call center system is downright useless. As you repeatedly call for an update on your lost luggage, it begins to dawn on you that the call centre has been outsourced to someplace on the other side of the world (probably India), and is being manned by a roomful of people who sit in front of computers running WorldTracer (which you can access yourself in a limited way on the web), whose status reports are vague one-liners, usually something like "tracing continues --please try again later". Of course all these people can do is quote the screen and politely ask you if there is anything else they can do for you in their fake American accents. Asking them to think the situation out is hopeless. They have no idea where your baggage could be. They are absolutely terrified of committing to a hypothetical scenario lest it come back to them. They have no real thoughts outside of that WorldTracer screen. And they conveniently can not call their supervisor nor make any calls to other Air Canada departments. This is what I mean by no empowerment. You get the feeling that they are waiting for the bags to come back to them like a lost puppy. It begs the question: What tracing? Waiting on your rear end twiddling your thumbs until someone else corrects your mistake for you is not tracing. Because they are disconnected from the rest of the company, you feel REALLY disconnected.

In the end, the best thing you can do, though it is not much better, is to try calling the relevant airports. You can only hope that you speak their language or they speak yours. Anyway, it is something that the call center people are not allowed to do, so you might as well give it a try. Ask for the various lost and found departments. The most helpful person I talked to was the person I talked to at Toronto's Pearson International Airport ( who was a real live human being who was capable of sympathy, an overview of the situation with possible scenarios (just for reassurance -- not asking him to commit to it) and, in the end, a bit of optimism from past experience. He was even able to check the lost and found just in case the tag had come off the bag or something. It wasn't there but at least he tried. Though he should not be, he is the exception at Air Canada.

Their polished exterior is like a fresh coat of paint that is meant to try to hide the rust holes in the company. Just the other day a friend's flight was delayed. Their website ( could not keep up with the changes in arrival times even though the information was promptly available at the airport's webiste (, thank god. Sure their website LOOKS good...but does it DO anything useful for paying customers under the pressures of ever-changing schedules which are, admittedly, the norm in air travel.

Of course, I have flown Air Canada many times and the flights themselves are fine. I am under the impression that the front line staff of Air Canada are top notch. It is away from the front line that they lack competence and even a sense of what is happening on the front line. The disconnect leaves a bad taste in the mouths of customers and it does not honor the efforts of the people who are out there busting their humps to make air travel possible.

One last comment...Has anyone else noticed that the ombudsperson's website for Air Canada is completely unlinked from their main website? There does not seem to be a way to navigate, via links, from to , possibly the one department that can be helpful to customers.

Or is that the point?
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wonder on 06/20/2005:
probably they need to get into internet pharmacy business where no address or phone number or physical address is required. All they need is your money by credit card. Canada is really really in bad state of economy, how they can answer your calls, and how they can have more human being for your personal sympathy.
honkytonkstar on 08/16/2005:
Stumbled across this post since I was looking for people who had the same experience. I had EXACTLY the same thing happen to me. Lost luggage, no assistance, cust svc reps who did not give a damn, uneducated, unable/unwilling to assist etc etc.
Next step: write a letter to AC and complain. Let's see what happens...
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Baggage Claims
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
DORSAL QUEBEC -- I just received a letter back from AirCanada 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 are 1 bag, I explained to the attendant that I was concerned these liquids where 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 are luggage then found it we asked the attendant in Baggage handling if everything was OK with are bag, he stated yes! However my wife opened the bag to find that are Khalsa 40oz 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 there not responsible for, shifting of items, during takeoff and landing. You can tell all your excuses you want, your a joke Air Canada, just trying to recoup your bankrupt money, no wander because your customer skills also, now I no why I haven't flown with AirCanada in 30 years or more, I will go back to the best as far as I'm concerned West jet.
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trmn8r on 12/12/2012:
The last I heard, you can only take containers with less than 3 or 4 ounces on board, so it makes sense that they made you check the 40oz liquid.

Next, the Air Canada contract of carriage states the airline is not responsible for damage to electronics due to liquids in luggage. Additionally, they warn not to place valuables in checked luggage.

I don't see anything surprising in the Air Canada policy. I think you are out of luck, but that is just an opinion.
Ben There on 12/12/2012:
This is the problem with buying duty free booze if you have a connections. If you have to clear security again at your connecting airport then you have to be prepared to put the big bottle of booze in your checked bag which is often not ideal unless you plan ahead and have extra padding ready to go.
At Your Service on 12/13/2012:
From AirCanada's website:

"If your international travel (including domestic portions on international travel) is subject to the Warsaw Convention, liability is limited to approximately $20 USD (20 EUR) per kg per passenger for checked baggage, and approximately $400 USD (400 EUR) per passenger for unchecked baggage.

Subject to the provisions of the Montreal Convention and the Warsaw Convention where applicable, AIR CANADA ASSUMES NO LIABILITY FOR LIQUIDS, valuables or items whose loss may cause serious damage, such as money, jewellery (SIC), silverware, negotiable papers, securities, COMPUTERS, cameras, cellular phones, business documents, samples, paintings, antiques, artifacts, manuscripts, prescription drugs, or irreplaceable books or publications. Unless otherwise specified, a valuable will be deemed any item whose value is $1,000 CAD or more per kilogram, or $1 CAD per gram. In addition, Air Canada assumes no liability for damage or spoilage, or loss due to damage or spoilage of perishable items."

Personally, I wouldn't have really considered traveling with a 40 oz. container of liquid along with an iPad. It seems like a recipe for disaster. It's why, I'm sure Air Canada makes such a strong statement about this very issue. As such, I'm not sure how they would be held liable for the issue. I can appreciate one's frustration that they may have lost the items, but I think most people would have been extremely surprised if they did make the journey okay.

Thank you so much for posting. It will hopefully give others pause as they pack for any trip.
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Missing Items From Checked Luggage
Posted by on
Rating: 4/51
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 scarfs that went with the tunic's. The total of these clothes would be about a thousands 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...!
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radar1857 on 10/15/2012:
Same thing happened to my wife and I on Southwest. I filed a complaint to TSA since both bags had cards stating that TSA had inspected them. We flew from Denver to Seattle last month. All told we lost about $400.00 worth of items. Needless to say, TSA has never responded to my letter of complaint.
CrazyRedHead on 10/15/2012:
They will break the zip ties or any other lock you put on it as it will raise a red flag. They have thte right to break any type of lock and search the bag, although they have no right to take something unless it is in violation of the rules.
Pancakes! on 10/15/2012:
Do you have really nice luggage? The nice expensive luggage is what the thieves look for. Use banged up cheap stuff and they don't bother... the thieves only have a certain amount of time, it is the good luggage first.

The hotels think nothing of the luggage because they know what is happening... so the cheaper the better.
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Air Canada Never Again
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
PORTLAND, OREGON -- Air Canada has their own set of rules when it comes to service. Most Airlines have a cut off of 30 minutes from departure. Air Canada has a 60 minute cut off that is NOT disclosed on their online ticket purchase documentation.

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

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

Here is Air Canada's:

Note that the topic to which you refer is the first one in the list. To/From the US it is recommended to check-in 90 minutes prior to departure, with a 60 minute deadline.
H.C. on 08/20/2012:
Air Canada is no longer owed by the Canadian Government. They were fully privatized in 1989 - though I believe they are mandated by federal law to keep their headquarters in Montreal, Quebec.
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