Air Canada Complaint - Air Canada: Worst Customer Service In The World!
TORONTO -- I am an experienced voyager regarding airlines (holding a Platinum card with AirFrance for many years and traveling business class most of the time). I have been flying with many airlines on this planet and I must say AirCanada has the worst Customer Service I ever encountered!
I have been yelled at by a “Feldwebel” from the Lufthansa, bullied around by customs in Frankfurt, charged abusively 800 Euros for a ticket change by AirFrance (but I still remain a Platinum customer because of many other positive points with this Airline), had Delta losing my luggage three times in a row during a round trip, had the contents of my luggage partially destroyed with Aeroflot, had a flight with American Airlines cancelled at the last minute and replaced by a bus ride etc. etc.
DESPITE ALL THESE NEGATIVE EXPERIENCES, AIRCANADA REMAINS FOR ME THE WORST AIRLINE IN THE WORLD BECAUSE OF THEIR BAD CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!
The facts: I checked in at Toronto Pearson for a flight to the US. My intention was to observe the quality of the customer service of AirCanada: the idea was to switch all my business to this company as I am living now in Canada. On arrival at the AirCanada terminal, I asked an employee where the check in was for Chicago. She looked at my electronic ticket and sent me to the counter G with a huge line of people waiting. Apparently she didn’t bother that I was flying business but on the other hand I thought this was a good occasion to see how well customers are treated with AirCanada. Second bad impression: every once in awhile a departing flight was announced by somebody from AirCanada yelling and shouting like in a cattle drive. I was astonished to see people obeying these cowboy yells without any reaction.
Now came my turn to check in. The person behind the counter was stone-faced (it is true you can’t be smiling all day), not giving me any information about the airport (for somebody holding a foreign passport this should be automatic) especially about the AirCanada lounge, not asking me about my seat preferences (window or aisle...something standard for all business class flights with all other airlines), asking me one question: do you check in any baggage? I answered I register one bag and I keep the other one as a carry-on item. I filled out the address tag for the bag to be registered and put it on the scale. She gave me my tickets and sent me to the US customs.
Now came the usual formalities at the US immigration and then at customs. Acceptable waiting lines and smooth handling of the process (they made a lot of progress).
Up to now, my impression with AirCanada was not overwhelming and so I thought let’s try out the AirCanada lounge. On arrival at the lounge, I was immediately told that I had to forgotten my bag at the check-in counter. “Not possible” I told them but they were adamant that my bag was still there and that I had to bring it myself through customs ( a registered bag???). I was told that I had to go to the customer service at the terminal who would let me out, than I would have to pass through the Canadian customs, get my bag and then again through the US immigration service and the US customs....
“Where is this customer service” I asked. “Close to the Starbuck..” was the answer and I got handed out all the paperwork for the different customs and immigration services. So I went looking for the customer service erring through the terminal until I finally found it. There I waited in line until somebody opened the door to the Canadian customs. At the Canadian customs counter I explained the problem of the “forgotten” bag but I had nevertheless to go through all the formalities and usual questions (where do you come from? Toronto, I didn’t leave the airport...What is the purpose of your stay? I work here ....and so on). Then I handed the customs form to a customs employee who started giggling looking at the form...so you couldn’t get on the plane...he he he!
Returning to terminal 1 from terminal 3 I found my bag sitting still on the counter scale. Naturally I was not in the best mood but the snotty attitude of the AirCanada employee was the element which finally made me cancel this trip!
It was the same employee who gave me the tickets. She told me that I had to carry this bag through the US customs myself and that she was not allowed to touch it. I answered that I knew that I had to do this for carry-on items but this was registered luggage. She told me that I had answered NO to the question about checked baggage. I told her this could not be and I would not fill out the address tag and put my bag on the registered luggage scale which is beside her desk if I had no intention to have this luggage registered!!!
Moreover I mentioned that she didn’t give me any information about the lounge and that only because I found the lounge myself I got the information about my bag in time. The answer was: “I DON’T HAVE TO TELL YOU ANYTHING! YOU DIDN’T ASK ME ABOUT THE LOUNGE AND I AM NOT OBLIGED TO GIVE YOU THIS INFORMATION!”
I told her that I didn’t like her tone and that this attitude was not acceptable for me. I had the intention to write to AirCanada about this incident: I therefore I asked her to give me her name. She told me that she was not obliged to give me her name (what I can understand). Then I asked her to give me her employee number. She told me that she had no employee number (what I don’t understand). “Ok”, I said, “then please call your supervisor!”
The answer was: “DO YOU WANT TO GET ON YOUR PLANE OR DO YOU WANT TO TALK TO MY SUPERVISOR?!?!?”
I told her that this was enough and that I would prefer to miss my flight but I could not tolerate any longer this arrogant attitude.
Now I had to argue with her supervisor who started immediately to defend her employee. Not a word of apology regarding deficient customer service (one could have easily reached me in the waiting line for US immigration but this would have needed somebody getting off her seat behind the desk or simply calling the US office) which would have easily settled this. Even after my explanation she maintained that everything was my fault and that the attitude of her employee was correct. I concluded that I could not accept this and preferred to cancel my trip instead of accepting such disastrous customer service.
CONCLUSION: AirCanada has obviously no customer culture. Customers are handled like cattle (it is like traveling in time to the Communist Eastern Europe time)!
Errors happen and everybody can have a bad day. It is the way these conflicts are solved which makes the difference!
• Educate your employees (ever heard about the “customer is king”?): Try to smile, be helpful (“how can I help you?”), be patient and don’t be arrogant, explain the procedures.
Looking up the Internet, I found this site: ihateaircanada
I must say that I agree: Love the Country, Avoid this Airline. Having missed this trip, several hundred people will know about it as I had to give a conference at a scientific meeting. The company who invited me will know about it too and they will certainly avoid having business with AirCanada.
I will allow this site to forward this email to AirCanada. I am interested to know if I get any kind of response to it.....