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Will Never Fly Air Canada again!
Posted by Ahenzel on 10/13/2010
On a long planned trip to Paris, our initial flight out of Boston was canceled, missing the Montreal connection. The rescheduled flight from Toronto the next day was delayed 3 hours. We lost the first day of our barge tour and had to scramble to catch up (by train and bus in France) with the tour. The flight from Paris to Montreal was fine but the plane to Boston was again 'delayed'. They had no plane! With the help of a fellow detainee we managed to change to another flight (in the next Gate!) and made our late bus connection. I don't know if they ever found a plane but I do know that other people on that plane did NOT make their bus connection. I have never had such a bad air travel experience in my life and will never fly Air Canada again. I'd rather pay more.

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Posted by Ben There on 2010-10-13:
Why were the flights delayed? Certain delays are out of the airline's control, like storms, fog and air traffic control.
Posted by ahenzel on 2010-10-14:
No idea. They said the planes were in the hanger being cleaned and gotten ready [for 3 hours?]. Guy at the desk was only able to tell us what he was told.
Posted by Ben There on 2010-10-14:
If the plane you were taking from Montreal to Paris arrived really late from somewhere else, it can take hours to prep. Most short haul planes are typically turned around in 30 minutes to an hour, but large overseas aircraft can't.

Besides getting a lot of extra cleaning and catering that shorter haul planes don't get (no need for 600 meals on a Toronto to Boston flight), planes coming in from other continents have to be processed differently. Not only do they have to be cleared by a customs officer, but the trash and old food on the carts that came in from Asia, South America or Europe must be handled differently so unwanted organisms are not introduced into the environment.
Posted by ahenzel on 2010-10-15:
Sorry, one plane was going to Paris and the other a small Montreal to Boston flight. My belief is that this is a standard excuse to mollify angry passengers. It doesn't take 3 plus hours to clean a small Air Canada Jazz plane.
Posted by getoverit on 2010-10-15:
I wouldn't be surprised, ahenzel. When I'm sitting in an airport hearing announcements about why flights are delayed I don't even listen the the reasons they give. I'm convinced that they are mostly a crock and mainly designed to avoid having to give vouchers and other concessions to passengers.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-10-15:
The Air Canada Jazz plane is tiny. They once changed out a propeller on one I was taking to Vancouver, BC from Portland, OR. That only took one hour! I almost missed a flight to Hong Kong because of it, but, in this case, better safe than sorry. I was actually a little wary that they changed it out so quickly!
Posted by Ben There on 2010-10-15:
I was refering to the delayed flight from Canada to Paris that you say was delayed 3 hours. Those are wide body jets that could come from anywhere.

I am well aware of the small size of Air Canada Jazz flights...
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No bassinet for 7-week old baby for a 19 hour flight
Posted by Typsy on 10/04/2010
My granddaughter accompanied by her father, her 3-year old, and baby of 7 weeks travelled via Air Canada from Tel Aviv, Israel to Montreal QC, Canada.

Throughout the flight of 19 hours duration, no bassinet was provided for the 7-week old baby. Totally unacceptable. The baby and mother arrived sick, the 3-year old with a temperature and the entire flight was a terrible experience. Not providing a bassinet for a baby of 7 weeks is barbaric.
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Posted by Skye on 2010-10-04:
I've never heard of an airline setting up a bassinet. Is this something they've done before, because as ript mentioned, where would they set it up? Many people hold their infants on their laps during flights.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-10-04:
Was this absolutley neccesary that a newborn would have to be subjected to this and since when did airlines start supplying bassinets?

Hope all is well now.
Posted by Ben There on 2010-10-04:
Most airlines have free bassinets that attach to the bulkhead on long haul aircraft. However, there are only one or two seats out of say 200 where they will hang, so if those seats are booked by someone else then you are out of luck... Bassinets should be considered a "nice to get", not an "expect to have".

If having extra space for an infant is very important, you can always purchase a seat - most airlines offer a discounted price for children.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-10-04:
Bassinets are available on board for infants; however it is advisable to call your airline to make the necessary reservations at least 48 hours before boarding, as your infant's height and/or weight may make bassinets unusable for them from a safety and comfort standpoint. A limited number of bassinets are provided on some domestic aircraft. The cabin crew will provide you with a specific safety briefing to ensure you understand special requirements for young travellers. For safety reasons an adult can hold only one infant and children under the age of 15 may not hold infants.

Posted by yoke on 2010-10-05:
Years ago when I flew from LAX to Denmark I was able to have a bassinet for my son. I had to reserve it when I bought my ticket. It is not something that the airlines have to have on every flight, it is a courtesy. When you fly with small children and you do not want to buy a seat you have to hold them the entire time.
How is the airlines fault the family got sick on the flight? Sounds more like they flew when they were ill and go worse as the flight went on.
Posted by ontario_girl on 2010-10-05:
This is directly from the Air Canada website:

If you're travelling with an infant in Economy Class, you may request a bassinet in advance of travel by contacting Air Canada Reservations. However, we are unable to confirm availability until the time of your flight's departure.

Important: bassinets are assigned on a first come, first served basis, subject to availability at time of flight departure;
bassinets may be provided in Economy Class only on the following aircraft:
Boeing 777-300 (77W)
Boeing 777-200 (77L)
Airbus 330 (333)
Boeing 767-300 (763)
for safety reasons:
bassinets can be used only for infants weighing less than 12kg (25lbs) who are unable to sit upright;
the cabin crew is responsible for installing the bassinet once the seat belt sign has been turned off.

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Never again with Air Canada
Posted by Mostlymaddy on 08/31/2010

My husband and I recently travelled on Air Canada from Boston to Madrid. We are experienced travellers and understand that delays and difficulties are part of air travel. However, Air Canada was truly so terrible that I must warn other consumers.

Our flight from Boston to Toronto left very late. While flying, no Air Canada staff addressed our concerns about making our connection. They had no information about gates or expediting our transfer. We literally dashed off the airplane and had to Sprint from one terminal in Toronto to the other. It was surreal, as we reached each checkpoint, Air Canada staff rebuked us, "Why are you so late?!" My husband is older and has a back injury so eventually we split up and I literally ran full gallop to the gate. We were so exhuasted and stressed and dispirited from the experience that it had a terrible effect on us. What's more, many other airlines I have travelled on, when realizing that the flight was late, begin warning passengers, passing out gate information, and contacting connecting flights. Air Canada did nothing and we were connecting to other Air Canada flight! We could not miss that flight because we had yet another flight to catch and my husband was giving a concert in Spain the next day.

On the way home, Air Canada's flight from Madrid to Toronto was again late. This time they told us that we had missed our connector and were rescheduled while still in flight. When we asked one air attendant about which terminal we were headed to, he asked a sarcastic rhetorical question of us, "Is Boston in the U. S?" The directions had been very confusing, we are educated people and had listened attentively. Upon arriving in Toronto, we discovered one of our pieces of luggage had not come with us. Air Canada has lost it. The process of discovering this took literally 2 hours in the Toronto airport with an unresponsive and unsympathetic staff watching us watch the baggage carousel. I will not bore you with the details of how many questions went unanswered, obvious suggestions and polite inquiries brushed aside by indifferent Air Canada employees.

Back in Boston we filed our lost baggage claim with an Air Canada representative who angrily corrected us, "DELAYED baggage claim." Now I have been calling their pathetic and incompetent phone service in India for 36 hours to check the status. Over and over I am asked the same questions by well-meaning, under-paid third world workers who struggle with English. Now I understand that Air Canada will not reimburse me for jewelery or electronics that went missing. This is obscene! I never signed a waiver or a contract releasing them of this liability. They also won't provide a per diem rate unless I fight for it. I am so angry and sad. I lost things of intense personal value. I can be criticized for putting these in a checked bag. Sometimes when you're travelling and under the stress of the weight and size limits of carryon bags, you take a chance. In anycase, I will NEVER EVER TAKE A CHANCE AND FLY WITH AIR CANADA AGAIN.
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Posted by Ben There on 2010-08-31:
Many of the smaller planes that fly routes like Boston to Toronto don't always have the same resources as larger jets, so sometimes they don't have connecting flight information on board. I suggest that you go to the airlines website before you fly and get email or text alerts for flight and gate info. This way your phone can tell you where to go, and it is probably more up to date than the paperwork give to a flight attendant.

Lost bags are never fun, but they can happen at any airline. You should consider spending a little more and flying on one of the nonstop flights from Boston to Madrid as this reduces the chances of a lost bag or a missed connection - this is especially important if you have something as important as a concert the next date.
Posted by old newfie on 2010-09-02:
I could not agree more with this post. I always have the same problems with Air Canada. The only problem I have is in Newfoundland we don't have any other air line to choose from.
Posted by mostlymaddy on 2010-09-05:
UPDATE!!! 3 days ago Air Canada contacted me and said my bag had been found in Montreal and would be delivered to my door the next day. The next day and the next day came and went with no bag. I called them back- THEY HAVE LOST THE BAG AGAIN. I am out of mind. They will not give me a straight answer on anything- just corporate orwellian speak from Indian call center. They want me to start filling out the compensation paperwork which I REFUSE to do b.c. all it will serve is cementing their liability at $20/kg. Is there any recourse? Has anyone punctured the corporate veil and spoken to anyone at Air Canada who really help?!!!
Posted by mostlymaddy on 2010-09-05:
I have just written to air canada demanding that someone who is in canada in baggage services contact me. The following is their OUTRAGEOUS response! SEVEN BUSINESS DAYS TO PROCESS A COMMUNICATION?!??!!!

support@help-aircanada.com ✆ to me
show details 1:17 PM (1 minute ago)
Thank you for contacting us.

This is to confirm that we have received your message and there is no requirement to re-submit your information. Our current processing time is 20 business days for general customer concerns and 7 business days for baggage related issues. We will make every effort to respond sooner. We appreciate your patience and understanding as you await our response.
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How can you lose an entire planes luggage?
Posted by Rnguy on 08/20/2010
I flew from Thunder Bay to Toronto on a business trip yesterday, direct nonstop. I had a carry on suitcase but the flight I was getting on was delayed and I didn't want the hassle of having to worry about the carry on while I waited so I decided to checked it in. Since I had originally planned on taking the suitcase in the cabin with me I had packed my car keys and daily medication in my suitcase, which is now checked in cargo or wherever they put it. When I got to Toronto, I waited and waited for the luggage and then finally decided to check at the counter to see what happened. The agent was super helpful and immediately went to work trying to solve the problem. After many phone calls and rushing to the back he made the decision to put in a file to trace the bags. He was even helping other customers while he was being put on hold.

When I went to get on parking lot bus to get my vehicle I realized that my car keys were in my suitcase and I had no way to get home. I went to the representative working at the check in kiosk, told my story and she directed me to another counter where I was presented with a voucher for an airport limo to my home, a normal 90 fare.

This morning I called the number on the card I was given for updates and question and the phone attendant was very helpful and added to my file that I had important medications in the bag.

This afternoon I received a phone call telling me that the bag has been located and I would receive a phone call very soon from the courier. An hour later a courier called me and told me he would be to my home around 11 pm and since it was late he could leave the bag on the porch if I signed a paper saying its ok to leave it and tape it to the door. That sounded fishy to me so I waited until he arrived and checked the contents to make sure everything was there before he left. He was very considerate and waited while I checked, nothing had been touched.

I am not an elite member or a super elite member and my ticket was not business class.

Although it was an inconvenience to lose my luggage and who knows how they could possibly loose an entire planes luggage I suspect it was due to the flights delay and delays are usually for legitimate reasons. Stuff happens! I must say the entire process was pain free and I must give thumbs up to Air Canada for a job well done.

My only complaint is every phone call and every person that I dealt with except for the courier was in South Asia and the phone lines were very poor. Add the poor quality phone lines to the accents and communication was tough. Come on air Canada. Bring those jobs home.

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Posted by Alain on 2010-08-20:
A well balanced compliment and interesting, as well.
Posted by clutzycook on 2010-08-20:
Wow. What a ride. Glad it all worked out for you in the end. I agree with you about the jobs thing, too!
Posted by momsey on 2010-08-20:
Great review. Another person might have written this as a complaint. Glad you could see the good in it!
Posted by Unhappy Customer on 2012-07-10:
I am convinced this review was written by the marketing department of Air Canada. A fake review. My experience was exactly the contrary. The agent was patronizing and after weeks of calling with the agent asking the same questions over and over, I realized they are not looking for the bag. They simply wait for it to show up. I told them our medications were in our bag and it made no difference. How can they lose a bag? I keep asking myself. They have no idea if the bag got on the plane. No idea. I thought it was a law that a bag did not get on a plane without a ticketholder. They have to track that, but they have no idea what they do with the luggage that they decide to put on that or any other plane. Something here does not make any sense. At the micro level, these guys don't do their job well. I am sure someone can explain that with 10,000 bags a day, some will get lost. Lots of effort to explain their incompetence.

Yes, I am unhappy and Air Canada doesn't care.
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Air Canada What A Joke (Rip Off)
Posted by Baconbunch on 07/25/2010
CALGARY -- Let me start off by saying that we are a working class family trying to make ends meet. I booked 2 tickets for my children to visit their grandparents in Saint John, New Brunswick (we are from Ontario). A week before they were to leave my father-in-law had to have emergency quadruple heart bi-pass surgery necessitating us to cancel the tickets. We had purchased the non-refundable, non-transferable tickets so we were aware that we would not get our money back. We were told when we cancelled that we had a credit of so much per ticket. Although they offer a no cancellation fee they do however charge a re-booking fee of $75.00 per ticket per way plus applicable taxes. Thereby making the re-booking fee $300.00 plus taxes for both tickets. I have recently tried to rebook 2 one-way tickets for my children which cost less than the credit we have with Air Canada. So instead of applying the balance of our credit towards the re-booking fee they want us to pay the $300.00 plus tax on top of the price of the tickets and the balance of the unused portion of our credit we lose. Even if they applied the balance of the unused portion we would still have to pay Air Canada money. So in essence Air Canada isn't losing any money they are still making money (not to mention the interest they have made on the original purchase) but we, as consumer are losing money. They have been collecting interest off our money since May 19, 2010 (the date I booked the original tickets) but won't do anything for us. Air Canada forgets its the taxpayers that have bailed them out and they should be working with us instead of against us. All my husband and I want is fairness. Unbeknown to us we had booked their flight during the G20 Summit and Air Canada knowing that there would be numerous delays due to the G20 never felt the necessity of advising us of this fact but they are more than happy to take the bookings, peoples money and keeping it. A credit is just that money to be used at a later date. Why can't we use ours towards the re-booking fees? I think its time that Canadians banned together and flew other airlines and put a halt to Air Canada. All they are doing is using the Canadian name and how much is actually owned by Canadians? FLY WEST JET or if heading south cross into Buffalo and fly SOUTHWEST. You would be amazed by difference in personalities not to mention the price. You can usually fly out of Buffalo to Florida for a third of the price of Air Canada, and the drive from Hamilton to Buffalo is a quicker easier drive than from Hamilton to Toronto.
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Posted by Ben There on 2010-07-25:
Many airlines require the fee to be paid on top of the credit. The thought is that Air Canada probably will not be able to re-sell the seat, so that is their compensation because you basically get two seats (the one they can't re-sell, and the new ones that you apply your credit to).

Check out travel insurance in the future.
Posted by Weedwhacked on 2010-07-25:
That's how most airlines operate when it comes to the reissue fee. You cannot use ticket credit towards it. The problem here is that you didn't read the terms and conditions of the tickets you bought. Ticket rules apply to everyone and don't get waived for people who don't want to pay. Regarding your statement below:

"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."

This is a dead wrong assumption on your part. The airline doesn't get the money from a ticket until the ticket is used and is processed through the clearing house. For your present situation you could have purchased travel insurance or the fully refundable tickets.
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-07-25:
I think that Air Canada charges an excessive amount for rebooking. I had to make a change in my travel plans recently and I was only charged $100 by United Airlines. That was only for the return ticket, but still a far cry from $300 per leg. The airlines that treat their passengers fairly will be on top in the end.
Posted by biomajor on 2010-07-25:
The $300 was for 2 tickets, round trip, so was only $75 for each way :)
Posted by Anonymous on 2010-07-25:
Oh, I think I missed the mark when I read they had purchased two one-way tickets later in the post. Oops! Not so bad after all.
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Didn't believe a major airline could operate this poorly
Posted by Yeepie on 07/03/2010
I took a nonstop on Air Canada from Seattle to Toronto on June 18th. No bag showed up in Toronto and still hasn't altho twice the contacts we called assured us the bag had been located and was being sent to my home. Now they say they don't know where it is and in 6 weeks or so will reimburse me for the items in the bag. Reading the reviews I doubt they will do anything although like many others I faithfully filled out their forms and spent many hours on the phone with many people from Air Canada, none of which were any help. Don't know why anyone would fly with them except through ignorance of their contempt for their customers.
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Posted by ontario_girl on 2010-07-03:
My own personal experience: they broke my son's car seat when we flew from Toronto to British Columbia a year and a half ago. I filed a claim as soon as I noticed it was broken, they had reimbursed me less than two weeks later. So don't lose heart just yet--they might come through for you!
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Luggage Lost
Posted by BenA on 07/03/2010
This is what you get when you fly Air Canada! On my way from shanghai to Los Angles, Air Canada lost my luggage. Of Course lost 4 bottle of fine wines that I bought in my all around world trip from Germany. Many times I tried to open one but said to myself "NO", will take home to enjoy. And when I arrived to Los Angles, got nothing except the word "bag is coming"!. Been on the phone over 2 weeks with the lady in India who has no clue and idea what is going on, "Sir we are very sorry"! That is all you get! nothing more! Hope some executive in Air Canada take his/her head out and figure out this doesn't worth it! Yes save few pennies but pay big later on! I travel 4 times a year to China, certainly this was the first and last with the stupid Air Canada! Never will repeat it again regardless of ticket is free!
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Posted by Ben There on 2010-07-03:
It could have easily been pulled aside by German or Canadian security teams who either thought the wine was something else or just wanted to drink the wine.
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Incompetent And Outrageously Rude Staff
Posted by Mtremblay on 06/29/2010
Here is a letter I sent to Air Canada explaining my recent experience with them: I would like to express my disappointment toward the service my family and I received. At time of the check-in at the Pierre-Elliot Trudeau airport, in Montreal, the woman at the counter for the Elite members was very cold and rude. She never greeted us or smiled. My dad is an elite member and when he asked her if his family (my mother, my sister and I) could join him in the maple leaf lounge, she replied with a simple "no". When we got to the lounge, we found out that we could, in fact, join him. During the flight, there was a period of turbulence. My dad is a 60 year old man who is very sick and borderline incontinent. He tried getting up to use the washroom when the seat belt sign was still on. He was intercepted by the flight attendant (whose name is [snip]) who told him to sit down for as long as the sign was still on. My dad told him that he was going to urinate in his pants. Instead of politely telling my dad to wait a little longer for the capitan to turn off the seat belt sign, he replied: "That's right. You're just gonna have to pee in your pants". My dad sat down and barely 5 minutes later, when the seat belt sign was still on, another passenger walked by [snip] to go to the bathroom and he didn't stop her. When my dad asked him why he didn't stop her, [snip] said: "There's no turbulence". I am truly disgusted by [snip] and his serious lack of professionalism. He was rude and unprofessional during the entire flight. When he made announcements on the microphone, he opted for a miserable tone of voice and let out big sighs to clearly show his boredom. He also never made an effort to stick to the script. For example, instead of saying: "Ladies and gentlemen, the captain has turned the seat belt sign on. Please return to your seats and buckle your seat belts." he would say: "Ladies and gentlemen, buckle your seat belts." After the incident, [snip] never apologized for his behaviour even though he had the opportunity to do so as we were exiting the aircraft at our arrival and on the return trip. To the contrary, he refused to give us his name. We had to read it off his name tag when he walked by. At the time of the check-in for our return trip, the woman at the Elite members' counter was just as rude as the one in Montreal. If your Elite members, who are giving you a lot of business, are being treated like insignificant human beings, I wonder how the rest of the clients are being treated. I also wonder why we should keep giving you our business. Note that my father, who is presently an Elite member, will stop traveling with you. He will also start a motion in his department to make sure no one in the office travels with you. My family and I will never travel with you again and we will keep spreading the word about the poor service you give to make sure that none of our friends travel with you. I will post this letter, as well as a french version, on every forum that mentions you and I will not retract it until you take the necessary measures to drastically change your customer service.

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Posted by MDSasquatch on 2010-06-29:
they are Canadians, nuff' said
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Lost Brides bag on a direct business class ticket
Posted by Fabio on 06/08/2010
On a direct flight down south for our wedding, Air Canada lost the brides luggage. We had 16 friends and family fly down with us and they lost the brides luggage. When we called Air Canada, in one conversation they asked us 6 times if we had a direct flight.. Just like they were looking for a quick way out. They couldn't care less about us. $50 a day didn't cover our phone conversation with Air Canada. Air Canada told us every day that they know where our luggage was and that it was coming the next day. 2 Months later they still don't know where it is (but its coming). The girl in India mentioned she had to email Toronto to fine our bag! Email! Are you kidding me?? Pick up the phone and call Toronto. Better yet, give me the number for Toronto and I will call them myself if India can't do their job properly. This is just horrible service, especially for the premium that you pay to fly Air Canada.
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Air Canada Rips Off Customers
Posted by Rip Offs on 06/08/2010
My wife and I are extremely dissatisfied with the terrible treatment we received at the Vancouver International Airport on the part of Air Canada.

We arrived in Vancouver on May 28th, 2010 from Beijing, China. We flew Air China from Beijing to Vancouver on Flight. # CA991. Unfortunately, our flight from Beijing left approximately 6 hours late, and therefore we missed the flight that I had booked on Air Canada to fly from Vancouver to Winnipeg. (Flight AC 296 - departure 14:25)

When we arrived at the Air Canada counter in order to see if we could get on another flight, we were told by the customer service representative that we could get on flight AC 298, which was departing at 18:30 from Vancouver. I assumed that Air Canada would simply issue a new ticket and boarding pass for us. However, we were informed that because I had booked our Air Canada flight from Vancouver to Winnipeg separately from the Air China flight, we would be required to pay an additional $150.00+ Cdn. per person. The customer service representative said we would have to take up the issue of the late flight with Air China.

We're interested in knowing what the extra charge was for. It certainly didn't cost Air Canada anything to put us on the new flight.

Neither my wife nor I could believe what we were hearing from the Air Canada representative I understand that according to Air Canada's policy, since we had booked the two flights separately instead of all together, that Air Canada is not responsible for the fact that Air China was late in leaving Beijing. However, the customer service representatives surely have some flexibility in this regard, especially since the individual we were dealing with was the shift supervisor on that afternoon in Vancouver.

My wife and I have spent literally thousands of dollars travelling on Air Canada in the past 22 years. Additionally, there were at least four empty seats on flight AC 298 on the 28th of May, 2010 from Vancouver to Winnipeg. We had also been travelling for approximatley 24 hours by that time and both of us were exhausted. We were simply interested in getting to Winnipeg to see our parents.

I find it absolutely unacceptable that the customer service representative at the airport on that afternoon couldn't have "kindly" put us on that flight without charging us an extra $300+. In our view, this is simply a "rippoff." Air Canada has taken advantage of two of it's customers.

We will not be taken advantage of by Air Canada again. As far as I am concerned, we will do everything possible to avoid flying on Air Canada in the future. Sadly, the Customer Service Representative that refused to be "flexible" on that afternoon of the 28th of May, 2010 was also the shift supervisor. I wish I had gotten his name to turn over to Air Canada, but unfortunatley I neglected to do so.

He actually told my wife and I that we were responsible for rebooking our flights. How were we supposed to do that when we were stuck at the airport in Beijing? What an ignorant comment to make to two customers.

I did make my displeasure clearly known to him. His ignorance in dealing with customers should be addressed.

I have sent this complaint to Air Canada's President so that he is aware of exactly the type of treatment that some of Air Canada's CSR's dole out to customers. My wife and I both expect to be compensated by Air Canada for this unaccpetable treatment. We expect to have the charge for that flight change, which cost Air Canada absolutely nothing to make, returned to us.

I'll keep you posted as to how Air Canada handles this.

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Posted by Weedwhacked on 2010-06-08:
You ask what the $150 was for? It is the reissue fee per ticket. Having been a past customer doesn't get this fee waived. The Customer Service Representatives actually have no flexibility in the matter. When revenue accounting audits the flights they will see that you weren't charged and that employee could lose their job. I worked at the airport before and wouldn't put my job as risk because someone just didn't want to pay the required fee. You say that you were treated bad? You were not you just paid the fee that you agreed to when you purchased the tickets.

If you had booked it as a connection flight, then Air China would have been required to put you on another flight at no cost to you.
Posted by Ben There on 2010-06-08:
You were late for your flight, and you had to pay the reissue fee. I don't see how it is Air Canada's responsibility two rebook you for free when they were not responsible for the missed connection. Next time, book all of your flights as one ticket, or allow plenty of extra time for a connection.
Posted by clutzycook on 2010-06-08:
Ben, their originating flight on Air China left 6 hours late. If it had arrived on time, they would have likely made the flight. But, since they were changing airlines, it's not up to them to rebook you free of charge. Had the OP arrived late on an Air Canada flight, they might not have charged them.
Posted by goduke on 2010-06-08:
Here's the deal. I'm sure that Air Canada was well within it's rights to charge the rebooking fee. You'd like to think, however, that the airline would say "hmm, loyal customer, let's cut them a break," rather than just squeeze the last dime out of them before sending them to another carrier. Maybe Air Canda thinks they'll come back anyway. Maybe Air Canada doesn't care about loyalty becuase they're going to fill up the flights anyway. Still, we all know switching the booking doesn't cost $150 -- it's just another revenue source -- and could easily be waived in the right circumstances. Once again...to quote the 4 time national championship coach Mike K, "Rules are for people who are afraid to make decisions."
Posted by momsey on 2010-06-08:
Definitely an annoying situation, but it wasn't Air Canada's fault that you were late (not that it was yours, of course.) If I were you, I'd take it up with the China flight to see if they will offer some some kind of compensation.

I don't see how you're due any compensation from Air Canada.
Posted by Ben There on 2010-06-08:
I agree clutzycook, and you bring up a good point. If the OP had been late on an inbound Air Canada flight on a separate ticket they might have waived the fee, but the OP fly on a competing airline to Asia. I wonder why the OP didn't fly Air Canada all the way to Beijing.
Posted by Rip Offs on 2010-06-09:
Thanks for all of your comments, however, many of you are missing the entire point of my complaint. I understand very clearly that Air Canada was "within its rights" to charge us $150.00 per person. However, being "within your rights" to do something is not always the answer when you wish to provide "great customer service."

In the circumstance that I am referring to, there is no reason that Air Canada "had to" charge us the extra fee. As one of the commenters here wrote: "Rules are for people that cannot make their own decisions, or are afraid to." When any company really cares about their customers and is interested in providing the very highest level of customer service, they will train their staff to "think outside of the box" and weigh each situation on its own merits before just applying a "rule."

In this particular circumstance, when considering the entire situation, I am absolutely adamant that Air Canada could have and should have waived the rule and simply considered our situtation and put us on that flight without charging us the extra $300.00. What would that have cost them? Not one cent. However, if this is how Air Canada applies its rules, that's fine. We will never fly this airline again, as far as it is possible.

By the way, Air Canada and Air China are both members of the Star Alliance. So they are in partnership with one another. This is another factor that should be considered when dealing with this situation.

Anyone who knows anything about providing "great customer service" will clearly understand my reason for complaint.
Posted by momsey on 2010-06-09:
Even though you say it didn't cost them anything to rebook you, it might have cost them the price of your two seats. It's very possible that they flew your original flight with two empty seats and to just rebook you to another flight doesn't compensate them at all.

I do understand your complaint, and if I was in the same situation, I'd be right there with you, angry and boycotting. However, I don't see how you're owed anything. You had to rebook, and there's a fee for that, regardless of the reason. Yes, it would be nice if they didn't charge you, but being nice in that way doesn't get you very far in the business world.
Posted by Rip Offs on 2010-06-10:
In actual fact, "being nice" in that way does get you far in the business world. I own a business. If you'd like to check out my company website, just go to www.twallison.com

Our company provides training, in China, for the world's largest companies. For example, HSBC, Mattel, New Balance, Duracell, to name just few. One of the things that we train companies to do is how to provide excellent customer service.

Our own company, and our clients, often provide services, under certain circumstances, for free. This is in spite of the fact that we would normally charge for said services. Although there are times when we may be "within our rights" to charge for certain services, it is not always the "right thing to do."

Has our business suffered because we, under certain circumstances, take this approach. To the contrary, our business thrives. Being nice does get you far in the business world, and if you believe otherwise you are fooling yourself.

There is no such thing as "regardless of the reason", as you state, when your goal is to provide the highest level of customer service.
Posted by Ben There on 2010-06-10:
Just out of curiosity, why didn't you fly Air Canada all the way to China?
Posted by Rip Offs on 2010-06-10:
Ben There,
We didn't fly to Asia. We live in China and were flying to Canada from China in order to visit family.
The reason that we flew Air China was because the Air Canada ticket from China to Vancouver was 12,000 RMB per person and the Air China ticket was 5,300 RMB person.
Posted by Rip Offs on 2010-06-10:
Hi All,
Here is the response I received from Air Canada, as well as my reply.

Date: Thu, 10 Jun 2010 09:05:09 -0600
From: President@aircanada.ca
Subject: Air Canada

Dear Mr.
Thank you for your letter to Mr. Rovinescu. I am pleased to respond on behalf of Air Canada.
Mr. we truly regret the negative impression of Air Canada you have been left with and we are thankful for this opportunity to address your concerns. We can appreciate your frustration in Vancouver, especially after such a long International flight. Respectfully, our ticket contract with you was to provide transportation from Vancouver to Winnipeg. As you had purchased a separate ticket from Beijing to Vancouver, our agents were correct in assessing you the 'same-day change fee', as per the rules of the tickets you purchased from us. Had Air Canada provided transportation for you from Beijing, we would have taken responsibility for the delay and rebooked you, without a charge.
We receive an extraordinary number of requests on a daily basis to waive our fare rules. For the sake of consistency and fairness to all passengers, we ask our agents to uphold our policies.
That being said, we would have expected our agents to treat you (and all customers) with courtesy and respect - no matter what the situation. I am very sorry that we have disappointed you and we will ensure your comments are forwarded to the Vancouver Managers for internal review.
Regrettably, we are unable to comply with your request for goodwill compensation.
We do appreciate your support over the years and while we have disappointed you on this occasion, we earnestly hope you will reconsider and allow us to be of service to you in the future.
Yvette Habekost
Air Canada Customer Relations

Sent: June 10, 2010 2:39:01 PM
To: president@aircanada.ca


Thanks for replying to my complaint. However, it is quite obvious that
neither your company, nor your agents are taught to "think outside of
the box."

I can understand the need to uphold your policies. However, your agents
and your company surely realize that there is a need for flexibility in relation to any company policies. If the reason for our ticket change had been due to our own negligence in arriving at the airport late or some other similar reason, that would be one thing.

However, the complete lack of empathy on the part of your agent, as well
as yourself simply reaffirms what I personally have heard from many
family members and friends - that is their dissatisfaction with Air Canada and its service.

I am a partner in a corporate training firm which is based in Guangzhou, China.If you like, you are welcome to visit our website at http://www.twallison.com

The reason I mention this is because I personally train staff of some of the world's largest companies, such as HSBC, New Balance, Mattel, Duracell, and many others. One of the skills I train individuals in is Customer Service, and one of the key things these companies recognize is that even though they may be "within their rights", from a policy standpoint, to do something, it is not always the right thing to do.

The companies that offer the very best customer service recognize the need
for flexibility and the importance of judging each situation on its own merits as it applies to following policies. Rules are simply made for individuals that cannot or are unwilling to make decisions.

Unfortunately, Air Canada clearly does not recognize this fact, and your reply simply affirms that.

You may have gained $300+ on this occasion, but you have lost two customers. That is what inflexibility in applying policies leads to and we will never use Air Canada again. Frankly, based on this particular circumstance, Air Canada has proven to be of no service to us whatever.


Michael Allison
General Manager
TW Allison Corporate Consulting
Guangzhou, China

Posted by Modestprodigy on 2012-04-06:
Ms habekost is merely there to deflect issues from the president. He is a Montreal lawyer with no experience running any business let alone an airline. The board consists of a prominent Quebec sovereign it's and an American hedge fund manager.air caada would rather compete politically than as a business. Fly awes they and you will notic a difference in customer servic.
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