Air Canada Informative - Damaged baggage & lousey customer service
Air Canadas customer service is a fiasco, and the claims process is a bad joke. Air Canada is giving Canada a bad name, and I hope they finally self destruct sometime soon.
I paid $1230 to fly round trip Victoria/Prince Rupert in late August. When I arrived in Prince Rupert on August 20th, one of my bags was very badly damaged. The bag was ruined as (it looked like it was stuck in a conveyor) a huge hole was worn through the bag. Two items in the bag were also ruined and one item was lost due to this damage.
AC has no process to deal directly with airport staff to initiate a claim. I was given the run-around and eventually submitted a written claim. I spent a couple hours filling in AC forms and included original receipts to sustantiate a claim for over $500 in damage. I received a partial payment of $130 and a letter that denied liability for damage that was entirely the airlines doing. They basically deny liability for 99.9% of items that are commonly packed in baggage and deemed "tariff restricted" by AC. My goods were not fragile, in fact the destroyed items were ruggedly built and intended for rough use outdoors. This attempt to deny responibility for damage AC obviously caused is heavy handed in my view.
I spent several hours trying to deal directly with AC staff at both the Prince Rupert and Victoria airports. The agent in Victoria took my damaged bag and told me it would be replaced in "a couple of weeks". It is 12 weeks later and still no replacement. I informed Ms. Lisa Ross (customer advisory rep.) on Oct 20th of this oversite, and I informed her that it will cost me $62.15 in addition to my original claim. Just yesterday I received a letter from her asking for these detail again. I can only assume they want to deny liability for this too.
Who knows what other options may be available to me to persue a claim? Is small claims court an option? On principle, I will follow up this matter in small claims court if this is an option.
I fly for business and will do anything possible to avoid using AC. Unfortunately we need more competition here to put pressure on this lousey excuse for an airline.