Air Canada - Deplorable Treatment
Flight - Complaint
CALGARY ALBERTA, ARIZONA -- We booked our flights only a few weeks before flying. We were never informed of any policy regarding medical clearance. I clearly told every person I spoke to, the booking agent, and the subsequent 2 phone calls I made about my allergy. No mention of the fact that I need to take some action prior to flying was ever passed along. I was made to feel as if we were a huge inconvenience. A stressful situation was made extremely horrible because of the complete failure of the staff. I felt like I needed to pass this information along, although judging from other posts regarding Air Canada's customer service, I doubt it will be given any consideration. I am sure you have heard this before, but I will never give you my money again!
Just a note: Any allergy can become life threatening at any time without prior notice. Any person who has even had a mild allergic reaction to nuts, milk, eggs etc. can go into fatal anaphylactic shock the next time they are exposed. New allergies can occur at any time as well. On your site, when you say people with "severe allergies", you are misinformed about allergies. If you have qualified medical doctors reviewing the information, then they are misinformed. Ask an allergist or allergy specialist. Although I have never had anaphylactic reactions to nuts on a plane, it does not mean that I can be complacent. The only thing I realized after this atrocious situation was that Air Canada is protecting it's own hide and has no interest in customer service or basic human compassion.
Allergies are already a disability someone has to deal with daily. You can surely understand why someone would not want a reaction to food (that could have easily been replaced with something else), when they have no access to medical attention. And to address the response that it is an infringement to others' rights, it is an infringement to my rights not to be allowed to fly in a safe environment. Like I mention in the blog, I have never asked for any extraordinary measures to be made. And to address the response that other people are free to bring their own bags of nuts on the plane, I say yes they are. And I am free to ask them to refrain from eating them. If they refuse to comply, I should have the opportunity to move seats, or they can be relocated. It is a matter of health, and I have to be able to advocate on my own behalf. The only concession I require is that nuts not be served near me. I usually bring along enough snacks for everyone in the adjacent rows as well. I have no problem letting people know that their very small sacrifice of going nut free on the plane is greatly appreciated. There are some excellent nut-free trail mixes, cookies, crackers and granola bars available. There is no reason the airlines could not use these products.
Posted by Krista [snip]at 18:08 No comments: Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to Facebook
Air Canada has turned me off flying for good. Unfortunately, I am overseas and terrified to board a plane again after the horrible treatment of the Air Canada staff.
I have a peanut allergy and have flown many times on many different airlines without incident. Sometimes flight staff are helpful, sometimes not. I was appalled at the atrocious treatment we received on our flight from Calgary to Los Angeles.
I was flying from Calgary to Brisbane, with a plane/airline change in Los Angeles. I had my husband and 2 children with me as we were moving overseas. I had made all necessary precautions. I had called the airline twice prior to leaving to ensure a note was on my ticket about the allergy. I never ask for unreasonable actions to be taken, like making the entire flight nut free. I know that is not reasonable or possible. I don't even care if they make an announcement, I can inform people near me if I need to. All I need them to know is I have an allergy, where I am seated, and that I require they don't serve nuts near me. I will worry about the rest myself. I always have.
Upon entering the plane, I informed the first flight staff about the allergy and my seat number. She looked annoyed and asked me if I had an epipen with me. I always bring 2 on long flights, just in case. That is when things went sideways.
Next thing I know the plane is completely full, and a very abrasive woman comes with a large manual to point very aggressively at a statement about their policies. She informs me and my family that we are to disembark the plane immediately as I never received medical clearance to fly. I was stunned. This had never happened before. We gathered our things and left the plane. I was visibly upset. I was trying to ask her questions as we proceeded back to the terminal. She informed my husband that he needed to "calm me down" or we would be escorted from the airport.
I was never told that I needed medical clearance to fly.
I was trying to hold it together. My kids were getting upset as well. We explained that we had a connecting flight to Brisbane, and had just travelled from Halifax, and had nowhere to go. They were going to "try" and get me the medical clearance.
They let us on the plane again, but then shortly after, we were told to leave again. Then, they let us back on the plane again. I signed a waiver that if I died it was not Air Canada's fault. Then they said we had to get off the plane again. They kept asking if I had ever had a reaction on a flight before. I kept repeating that I had not. Three times! Everyone on the small flight is looking at us. Everyone is angry. The plane is very late already. They tell us WE are delaying the plane too long and people will miss their connecting flights. I KNOW, we are about to miss ours!
We are standing in the terminal in disbelief. By this time my kids and I are all very unhappy. My husband is very angry. They have removed our luggage from the plane for the third time. When someone yells that I have clearance and can board.
We are rushed on the plane, but not before we are inadvertently told that the note on my file that stated I had a nut allergy was in fact CLEARLY written on my ticket. There should have been no confusion. If they required medical clearance, they did not tell me.
Here is the final kicker. As we are walking down to board the plane for the fourth time, my husband said something along the lines of "this is bulls**t". Not appropriate, but I think that was rather restrained considering. All of a sudden we are surrounded by security staff that insist we apologize to the Air Canada staff or we won't be allowed to fly. The flight attendant is bawling, like we have done her a great injustice. We are forced to apologize. She won't even look at me the entire flight.
When we finally get seated again. I can't even speak because I am so upset. I sit and stare straight ahead for 3 hours. I am appalled at the treatment we received. The announcement made by the pilot was equally disturbing. He said it was not Air Canada's fault, it was a policy they had to follow. If it is not their fault, who's fault could it possibly be? And of course there is always some ignorant person on the plane who very loudly states, "all this for a stupid nut allergy, just kick them off." As if I have any control over having an allergy. If I had the choice I would obviously get rid of it. I was born with it, and will die with it, hopefully not on a plane though.
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