Air Canada Informative - Air Canada - A Canadian Embarrassment
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 thru 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. http://www.cafepress.com/hatetheairline or http://ihateaircanada.ca/