VANCOUVER, BC -- AIR CANADA – to Los Angeles – NOT! Attempt to travel to Los Angeles from Vancouver on New Year's EVE via AIR CANADA was ended when the pilot had me removed from the plane. It was his decision that I needed a medical certificate to fly after having a coughing reaction to perfume as we just started to back out after the plane loaded.
I had fully recovered – was seen to by AIR CANADA STAFF and by ambulance paramedics who agreed that I was fine but the captain of AIR CANADA FLIGHT 554 on December 31, 2005, decided that I would not fly on his plane. That began another host of unfortunate events which saw not only that I did not have my vacation, but that I did not return home until almost midnight without having had any meals or beverages (except a coffee with **, the only saving grace that AIR CANADA can claim), no access to my medications that were in my luggage, and not much empathy from a clearly overworked and very tired staff.
I booked my ticket through Air Canada's and since there is no avenue for identifying my special needs, I spoke to a ticket agent by telephone as I booked it so I could make sure I could be seated with my attendant, let them know I used a wheelchair for mobility, and that I was extremely allergic to perfume. This information was, as far as I know recorded in my file. When we arrived at the first counter, I again let them know about my special needs and my allergies. I wear a double medical mask to protect myself as best I can from inhaling the particles.
At Vancouver Airport all passengers are forced to go through the DUTY FREE store in order to go through Customs where there are many perfume molecules in the air, so this is the first place my lungs became agitated. At the counter at the gate I once again identified my problems and special needs to the agent at the desk who said to make sure to let the purser know. Since I use a wheelchair, I promised I would tell the staff when I was preboarded. I immediately let the staff know and they seemed accommodating.
At every turn I was honest and informative with Air Canada staff letting them know what might happen and that I had medication to handle the situation should it arise - and that I may need Emergency Oxygen should the reaction be severe. I even explained a previous experience to one flight attendant. She nodded in understanding. It was not until one of last three passengers boarded that I experienced some respiratory distress, took out my ventolin, coughed (as I do when reacting) and chewed a Benadryl.
The flight attendant asked if she could help and I said Oxygen would help (as it clears the chemical from my lungs, and is not the systemic and dangerous jolt that epinephrine –the epipen, would provide - which is really more medicine that I needed for that reaction). Within seconds I was fine… but the decision to end my flight was made. My holiday was ruined and the flight of the rest of the passengers was delayed while that poor decision was made. **, an Air Canada ground employee, decided to try valiantly to save my holiday, but was given wrong information by her own company all along the way.
First she was told that my family physician could FAX in a medical clearance so we managed to get hold of the doctor, get her FAXED the necessary forms, which she prepared to FAX to the MEDICAL DESK at AIR CANADA. After wasting my doctor's time and energy, it turned out she would be required to examine me again at that time to determine my fitness to travel, which was not feasible since I was at the airport and she was a 4-hour round trip away (and it was New Year's EVE!).
Meanwhile, the medical clinic at the airport which had been open when this fiasco began was now closed so that option disappeared while my poor doctor was attempting to get clearance for me. More phone calls were made. A promise was made to let my travelling partner know I would be coming to meet him the next morning – he did not receive any messages from Air Canada when he deplaned in Los Angeles – nor did he get any message on the flight before he deplaned. He had no idea they were working on saving the vacation for me.
By this time all the walk-in clinics in Richmond had closed and I had to go to Richmond Hospital Emergency Clinic to get clearance to fly. I arrived there at 4:30 and saw a doctor at 6:15 and had the needed note in my hand by 6:30. **, from AIR CANADA, had arranged for me to stay for $82.00 plus tax at a nearby hotel so I could fly out in the morning. I agreed that it might be a worthy investment to save my holiday. AIR CANADA did not offer to pay this expense. The hotel was near the hospital but it was raining and cold and dark so I could not wheel myself to this hotel. Wheelchair taxis were averaging over an hour wait.
The hotel said they would come and pick me up. I had a contact at the hotel named ** who kept promising they would pick me up shortly – I communicated several times with him by cell phone – which meant I had to exit the hospital into the cold night air as cell phones are not allowed at Richmond hospital. I also was now unable to get hold of anyone at the MEDA desk number ** had given me for AIR CANADA – I just got a recording every time I called. (My cell phone records will document all my outbound calls.)
If I did fly out, I would have no way of connecting with my partner… I phoned the hotel again - I finally gave them my cell number – still no one came. At 8:30 I called again in tears and was given the hotel manager who said he knew nothing about it and would send someone – I asked them to bring my luggage to the hospital then phoned my son to come and get me and take me home to Anmore. I arrived home just after 11:30 PM.
TORONTO -- I have found Air Canada to be quite distant from its customers especially if something goes wrong with their service. Basically, they do not have the infrastructure in place to connect you to a thinking, empowered, empathizing human being who can put you in the loop and sympathize a little concerning your plight. There are exceptions, but they are not available through "normal" channels.
First, their call center system is downright useless. As you repeatedly call for an update on your lost luggage, it begins to dawn on you that the call centre has been outsourced to someplace on the other side of the world (probably India), and is being manned by a roomful of people who sit in front of computers running WorldTracer (which you can access yourself in a limited way on the web), whose status reports are vague one-liners, usually something like "tracing continues --please try again later".
Of course all these people can do is quote the screen and politely ask you if there is anything else they can do for you in their fake American accents. Asking them to think the situation out is hopeless. They have no idea where your baggage could be. They are absolutely terrified of committing to a hypothetical scenario lest it come back to them. They have no real thoughts outside of that WorldTracer screen. And they conveniently cannot call their supervisor nor make any calls to other Air Canada departments.
This is what I mean by no empowerment. You get the feeling that they are waiting for the bags to come back to them like a lost puppy. It begs the question: What tracing? Waiting on your rear end twiddling your thumbs until someone else corrects your mistake for you is not tracing. Because they are disconnected from the rest of the company, you feel REALLY disconnected.
In the end, the best thing you can do, though it is not much better, is to try calling the relevant airports. You can only hope that you speak their language or they speak yours. Anyway, it is something that the call center people are not allowed to do, so you might as well give it a try. Ask for the various lost and found departments.
The most helpful person I talked to was the person I talked to at Toronto's Pearson International Airport (www.gtaa.com) who was a real live human being who was capable of sympathy, an overview of the situation with possible scenarios (just for reassurance -- not asking him to commit to it) and, in the end, a bit of optimism from past experience. He was even able to check the lost and found just in case the tag had come off the bag or something. It wasn't there but at least he tried. Though he should not be, he is the exception at Air Canada.
Their polished exterior is like a fresh coat of paint that is meant to try to hide the rust holes in the company. Just the other day a friend's flight was delayed. Their website (www.aircanada.ca) could not keep up with the changes in arrival times even though the information was promptly available at the airport's website (www.gtaa.com), thank god. Sure their website LOOKS good... but does it DO anything useful for paying customers under the pressures of ever-changing schedules which are, admittedly, the norm in air travel.
Of course, I have flown Air Canada many times and the flights themselves are fine. I am under the impression that the front line staff of Air Canada are top notch. It is away from the front line that they lack competence and even a sense of what is happening on the front line. The disconnect leaves a bad taste in the mouths of customers and it does not honor the efforts of the people who are out there busting their humps to make air travel possible.
One last comment... Has anyone else noticed that the ombudsperson's website for Air Canada is completely unlinked from their main website? There does not seem to be a way to navigate, via links, from www.aircanada.ca to **, possibly the one department that can be helpful to customers. Or is that the point?
SEE COMMENT AT THE END! AIR CANADA LOCATED MY LOST BAG AND THEN LOST IT AGAIN WHILE SHIPPING IT TO ME! 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 exhausted 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 jewelry 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 carry-on bags, you take a chance. In any case, I will NEVER EVER TAKE A CHANCE AND FLY WITH AIR CANADA AGAIN.
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 it's 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 lose an entire plane's 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.
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 **) 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 captain to turn off the seat belt sign, he replied: "That's right. You're just going to 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 ** to go to the bathroom and he didn't stop her. When my dad asked him why he didn't stop her, ** said: "There's no turbulence".
I am truly disgusted by ** 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, ** 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 travelling 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.
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+ CAD 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 approximately 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 "rip off." Air Canada has taken advantage of two of its 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 unfortunately 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 unacceptable 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.
DORVAL, QUEBEC -- I have been reading several of the recent reviews regarding lost luggage and noticed a recent pattern of losses emanating from Calgary. I thought it may be worthwhile to share my recent loss as well. In early October I travelled on business from Toronto to Calgary for one night then on to Vancouver for another two. Sometime between checking in my luggage in Calgary en route to Vancouver and arriving at the carousel in Vancouver approximately one hour and 15 minutes later, my luggage was lost and has never been recovered.
I was assured on numerous occasions that my bag was not lost and would be recovered and delivered to my hotel in Vancouver within 24 hours. I received the same answer repeatedly after numerous calls over the next 6 days. I was promised a token $50 dollars for every day that my luggage was delayed, which has never been paid to me. On day 7, I received a call confirming that the bag was still lost and likely would not be recovered. I was told to complete a claim form in order to be reimbursed for my belongings.
I'm not going to detail the stress, frustration, missed meetings, cost of my hotel, airfare, meals, missing business attire and having to purchase clothing, shoes, toiletries etc. while also trying to frantically reschedule meetings, apologize for missed meetings etc. while I attended to purchasing replacements. I'm sure any business traveller could empathize with the circumstances.
To my surprise, Air Canada requested an itemized list and purchase receipts for each item in my bag along with location of the stores where I purchased each item. This information was required along with proof of my ticket purchase, baggage tag, and claim number and to top it off, I had to get the entire claim form notarized in order to receive a refund. There's more... Air Canada does not cover jewelry, business documents, electronics or other valuable articles...and lastly, and perhaps most disturbing is that Air Canada does not cover any claim above $1500.
My very polite letter confirmed that "Tariff Regulations" limits the liability for loss, damage or delay of checked baggage. In the closing paragraph of the reply letter, Air Canada stated that they "regret the inconvenience I experienced and trust that all my future travels with Air Canada will be to my complete satisfaction". This is very comforting to me having just lost $5000 worth of personal belongings. I can't wait to book my next flight and entrust Air Canada with my luggage.
I replied to the hollow letter cited above signed a baggage claim specialist with a letter to the VP of Customer Service voicing my displeasure with Air Canada's response to my claim, only to receive yet another letter from the same Baggage Claims Specialist reiterating their position. Based on this experience, I now understand why Air Canada has the undistinguished reputation of being one the worst airlines for customer service in the industry. Additionally, they are also facing what appears to be systemic theft problem at major airports such as Calgary International.
Based on the other reviewers who have experienced a similar situation in recent months, Air Canada does not appear to be prepared to be accountable and take responsibility by doing the right thing and equitably compensating their customers for their losses. It's time that Air Canada customers stop accepting this treatment and start flying with alternative carriers wherever possible.
On Sunday Nov 29 my daughter's father-in-law passed away suddenly in Baie Verte NL. After some discussion it was decided that I would buy a ticket for her mother to fly there, attend a funeral and support her through this extremely stressful situation. I logged onto Air Canada website, purchased the ticket and received a confirmation number ** which I passed on to my ex-wife. She lives in Lloydminster Alberta so had to get up at 1:00 am and drive 3 hours to Edmonton to the airport so she could make this flight. She stood in line, luggage in hand and was told by the check-in personnel that she could not board, her ticket had been “flagged” whatever that means.
I received my first call at 5:15 about this problem from my ex-wife and asked to speak to the person at the check-in counter and was told that they would not speak with me, I needed to call the 1888 number (that was how it was put, not the complete number, just the 1888 number) if I wanted to resolve this. I called the 1888 number after I found it on Air Canada's website and was put on hold. I tried several times to call and finally after 14 minutes I was connected with service representative named ** (female) who informed me that Corporate Security had flagged my credit card.
I assured her that I was logged into my Scotia Bank account as we were speaking and it showed that the 1409.60 ticket price had indeed been taken from my balance. She put me on hold for 10 minutes or so and came back on and said it was Corporate Security and there was nothing she could do and no one she could talk to about this and if I wanted my ex-wife to get to this funeral, I would need to purchase another ticket with a different credit card.
By this time the original flight AC114 from Edmonton to Halifax had left, and I was informed that she could still get to Deer Lake NL on time AC 8884 at 18:25 out of Halifax if I paid a lot more money so that she could fly out of Edmonton at 12:05 to Halifax. I said that this was unacceptable as we had done nothing wrong. I was put on hold for another 15 minutes and was then told that my only option was to fly out at 14:05, connect in Toronto and arrive in Deer Lake at 01:55 the next morning. I booked the flight with my company credit card and got the confirmation number **.
She also told me that she was pretty sure there was something wrong with my credit card and that my bank had probably put a stop on this payment. I called Scotia Bank and was informed that there was no problem with my card and that 1409.60 CAD had indeed been confirmed to Air Canada. Air Canada still had time to do the right thing and get this woman to NL on time but chose not to. At any time, Their Corporate Security could have called me to find out if indeed there was a problem, and they chose not to. Their customer service representative could have fixed this problem before the originally booked flight left and chose not to.
No one from Corporate Security has contacted me yet, no one has told me why this ticket was cancelled without any notification as yet. I get Aeroplan and Air Canada promotional emails every day but when I needed contact with their company, there is nothing. This is completely unacceptable. I haven't even had my money credited back to my Visa for the ticket they chose to cancel. Air Canada has made an already stressful situation for my family that much more unbearable, thank you very much.
After emailing the senior VP of Customer Relations, filling in Air Canadas complaint form on line and faxing my story to their complaint department I ended up dealing with Laura Logan, who was excellent. She ensured that my ex wifes return trip had no problems, checked up on the situation and got me my refund. I was also called by the office of Mr. Rovinescu to ensure that the situation had been resolved to my satisfation. The wheels turned slowly, but they did eventually turn.
TERRACE, WASHINGTON -- I have never in the past taken the time to write to Air Canada as it has always been my understanding that customer service is your lowest priority. I should mention that as a rule I avoid travelling with your company, yet, I have managed to become a Prestige member of Aeroplan. A status that I have just found out also mean absolutely nothing, but for now, I will cover the major reasons for writing. Now, I should explain that for the most part I suffer the normal abysmal service of Air Canada, as my fellow passengers do, and is a point of great humour to discuss what new levels of low service can achieved with your efforts.
I won't for example expect an answer to why a flight attendant, after seating us on an early morning flight out of Vancouver on the way to Terrace deciding that cooking and eating his breakfast was more important than getting his customers a cup of coffee. Mind you we all enjoyed the smell of his freshly microwaved food as it flooded the plane while we sat with dry mouths and caffeine withdrawal.
Nor will I expect you to tell me why I had to be ignored while one of your flight attendants decided it was more important to complain in explicit language how incompetent the staff in the terminal was to the flight crew. Such things are just the day to day operation of Air Canada. What I will complain about was my trip from hell last week, and the even longer trip for my baggage. It all started in Ft St John, B. C. at about 9 am local time, January 30th, 2009. I was booked on Flight 8184. A very nice lady at the counter told me the aircraft was 'mechanical' and would be late or maybe cancelled. I appreciated knowing that, but that is par for the course.
She told me there would be an announcement. Well, I sat with phone in hand to make the usual rearrangements of my day, only to hear…absolutely nothing. Finally, we get told the aircraft has landed. Just as well it did if it was mechanical don't you think? It would have been nice if someone would have said something, but what the heck, it's only Air Canada. We made Vancouver on time, and I actually got lunch, so we are doing well.
I now board flight 8242 for Terrace, and as always I called my wife to say we are away on time, just before I leave the holding area. At which time we sit on the plane for 45 minutes without a clue what is happening, only to find out there is a weather advisory on this flight. Well, I can't hold weather against you (maybe). Halfway to Terrace the pilot advises us he is turning around for Safety reasons.
In the mean time, my wife is waiting for me in Terrace, where she sees the flight is going to be late (not cancelled or anything). She does see other aircraft landing from other airlines (the ones I much prefer travelling with). So she leaves, as do all the others people waiting. Everyone there believe the flight will be in at 4 pm, only it's actually on the ground in Vancouver at this time, and no one in Terrace says anything, or changes the screens. I did call her shortly after, so she didn't make the unnecessary trip but you can bet lots of people did. Now I am told since this is a weather issue, everyone is 'on their own' for hotels.
I am one of the lucky ones that gets a ticket for the evening flight. However, we are told the baggage is going to be deplaned, and sent to the baggage area outside of security and we needed to go and get it, check it back in again, and then go back through security. How utterly customer friendly this move is! But wait, there's more; the six of us wait for OVER 1 HOUR to collect our baggage so we can give it back to you! The result is by the time we checked in again, went thought security again, we are almost late for the flight we have been booked on, which is flight 8244.
Remember that lunch I got? Well my stomach had forgotten by then, but I have no time to get anything as I dash for the flight. Oh well, I am sure I can have a bag of pretzels for dinner. We get back on the plane, and of course there is another weather advisory, but what the heck, I have missed my evening appointment anyway. (If I had travelled with Hawkair I would have arrived twice already). We take off, we get there, and miracle upon miracle we land. We get off the plane and line up for our baggage. WHAT BAGGAGE? You guessed it; our baggage had been taken off.
By the way, that would be the same baggage we had to go get outside of security after waiting over an hour. IF someone had made a simple courtesy announcement, we at least would have gone home mad, and not sat around for 30 minutes waiting for bags that weren't there. I stand in line. I tell my story, and I am told my bags would be delivered to my home the next day. So, on Saturday, I wait around for my bags, as they won't deliver if I am not home. Guess what… no bags. I wait all day...and nothing.
On Sunday I call... and I call, and I call... In the afternoon I get through, and am told my bags are in Prince Rupert, but they can't get them to Terrace. But, they will get them on the night bus (Greyhound), and if I want, I can drive out to Greyhound to get them at 10:30 at night. I said "Forget it... Tomorrow is now fine." Do you think I got my bags on Monday? Hell no. Monday morning I am on the phone again, and this time no one knows. OH, I will get a call very soon when they find out. Do you think I got a call? Silly you... of course not. The bags showed up on Monday afternoon.
At no time did I get a call, an apology, anything that would suggest Air Canada gave a damn. So I guess they don't. It's no wonder that the local community up here is desperate to get Westjet in. I have heard that Air Canada customer service mantra is 'Please let us know if we haven't done enough to p*ss you off.' Let me assure you, you did. I almost forgot the Prestige thing... I was so pleased with the Business Class upgrade certificates, so I should have known there was a catch. I fly for business short haul, but I fly to Ottawa as a volunteer for a major sport organization, and I fly Tango class to save the members money. (Usually a weekend only trip).
I had hoped these coupons would make my weekend trips bearable. I guess not, as they only work on Latitude or better. Still, they sure do look pretty sitting on my fridge. If by chance you actually read this far down and my efforts don't wind up in the shredder, I sure would like to know why you think I should ever give you my money, and just what do you think will happen when no one flies with you. I know for a fact, I don't know one single person who doesn't avoid your airline. Sincerely Frustrated.
WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA -- I have had previous unpleasant traveling experiences with Air Canada in 2000 and 2003. However, I simply figured that it was a long time ago and perhaps isolated incidents and decided to give it another try. I booked a flight that connected through Montreal to Heathrow from Washington DC. There were some weather-related delays and I was told I would have to now fly to Toronto instead of Montreal. I agreed and after a few hours delay and several very unpleasant encounters with Air Canada staff I arrived in London only to find out that my bags had never made it.
I wasn't able to receive my luggage until Christmas day, in the afternoon. I was upset about this, but understood that sometimes these things happen. My flight returning on January 10th was also delayed but no one notified any of the passengers of this until after the scheduled departure time, at which point I inquired whether or not I would be able to make my connecting flight. I was treated as if it was my fault that the plane was delayed and was given abrupt and rude replies and made to feel that I wasn't worthy of a proper answer. After a 2-hour delay the plane was finally ready for take-off.
When we got closer to our destination the pilot informed us that passengers heading to Baltimore would have to spend the night in Toronto. I was distraught but again knew that there was nothing I could do about it. When we arrived in Toronto, I was informed that if I were to rush I'd make the connecting flight to Baltimore. I inquired about my bags, and very rudely I was told that they would not make it and that they would be delivered once the plane arrived, which would be the next day because there was no longer any flights to Baltimore. I was told to head to my gate and when I asked which way to go I was told to read the sign.
At this point, I was tired, and extremely frustrated with the Air Canada staff. There was a fellow passenger who was experiencing the same frustrations and shared with me that this happens to her almost every time she flies with Air Canada. I vowed to never fly Air Canada again and made my way to the gate. Once I arrived at Baltimore International Airport, I headed to baggage claim to give my information for my luggage. There was no one there so we had to wait for a man to show up and tell us that he's not an employee of Air Canada but a contractor. He said he'll be delivering our luggage and for us to fill out a form.
I verified again when our bags would arrive and was told that it would be the next day at the earliest. I rushed to get out of the airport because I had a dinner engagement I had to get to and I was already running very late. I had left my mobile phone at home because I didn't want any interruptions and I wasn't expecting a phone call. However, my cousin informed me that she had received a message on her phone from a man claiming he had my luggage and was outside my house (I had given her number as an alternate number). I called him back only to have him YELL at me saying that the reason phone numbers are given is so you can be reached at anytime.
I tried to reason with him by telling him that unless my bags were on the same plane I was on, it couldn't have arrived. He said it had arrived and that he was now on his way back to the airport and that he would have to deliver my bags the next day at an unspecified time. I begged and pleaded with him that he come back and he finally agreed to meet me at my house in 20 minutes. I explained to him that I was in the middle of having dinner 2 miles from my house. However would be able to meet him outside and get my bags from him. He agreed, but said if he didn't see me outside that he'd leave and would not come back.
I was amazed to be treated this way after all I had gone through that day with the airline, but still I went outside after 20 minutes because I didn't want to miss him. It was raining, cold and I had no umbrella but I waited patiently at a major intersection next to the traffic light. When I called him, he again YELLED at me and said that I had to wait and that he'd call when he got there. He finally called stating he couldn't see me. I asked him to describe the vehicle he was in, and he said a van but refused to elaborate. He was belligerent and extremely unprofessional.
After 15-20 minutes of me standing and walking in the rain in heels, in the middle of having dinner, he finally arrived. He of course did not have my bags, but mistakenly had somebody else's and had a very nonchalant attitude offering no apology. I was furious and the rest of my evening was effectively ruined. I was so mad I cried. My luggage was finally delivered the next day at a later time than I was told and with no choice I had to of course wait for it. I wrote the tag number of the rudest human being I've had the misfortune to cross paths with but I was so disheartened I didn't even have the desire to place a complaint.
However, I decided to do so now as I am still angry and don't want anyone to have to go through what I went through. I travel to Canada and to Europe very often and though delays and cancellations can and do happen, mistreatment should not. This was by far the worst experience I've ever had to endure and will make sure to inform friends, family and acquaintances to select another airline.