Air Canada Sucks

Yes, I know I’ve ranted about Air Canada and their lousy service few times before (see [[Christmas in Oakville, New Years Eve in Calgary]], [[Christmas with my Family in Oakville, Cathy Gets Engaged]], [[Canadian airlines need some common sense]], among several), but just when you’d think they’d start to act better, they slap you in the face again.

I’m currently in Huntington Beach, CA (more on that in a following post). To get here, I had to fly from Calgary to Los Angeles. A fairly routine flight in the grand scheme of things, or so one would think.

First off, I had to get my boarding ticket. In the past (assumedly prior to 9/11), it was just a matter of inserting ye olde Aeroplan card, confirm my seat, and ptui!, my boarding pass.

But not anymore. Now you need to insert your passport for verification, provide a street address of where you’re going, along with the city name, state, date of birth, blood type, racial background, all while trying not to squirm from the anal probe that makes sure you’re not lying.

And then you have to talk with the desk clerk to check a bag. Which takes no less time than if I’d just gone to them to get my boarding pass.

Ugh.

The flight was delayed in departure. By 90 minutes. An hour and a half I sat in my chair, unable to do much of anything because we were waiting. For what, I have no idea. Not a clue.

If it were British Airways or Lufthansa, I’m sure we’d get a nice, eloquent story about what is happening and why we’re not going anywhere anytime soon. But not, we’re in Air CRAP that is quite content to just let us sit in silence wondering how much nose-picking is going on in the cockpit.

Yes, they told us that we’d have to be de-iced before we left, but that wasn’t why we waited.

Finally, we hit the air. Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to fork out even more money.

Why? Guess what, folks — even the pretzels aren’t free anymore. Just a drink. That’s it. One. For a 3+ hour flight.

I got a sandwich, chocolate bar, a bag of chips, and a drink on my 90 minute flight from Frankfurt to Paris. A can of pop??

They had record sales of their so-called combo meal ($10, US or Canadian), which had the people next to me laughing because they thought the price was a joke.

That’s the rub. Air Canada’s becoming a joke. A national embarassment to inefficiency and absurd practices. You want cost control? RECYCLE THE HEADPHONES, you MORONS! You throw them out after they’re used? Sanitary, possibly. Wasteful, definitely.

So why do I keep flying Air Canada? Because that’s who I get booked on. I’ve got enough miles to fly to Australia and back (one person) or Costa Rica and back for two. That’s the only reason. Points. And even that’s waning.

67 thoughts on “Air Canada Sucks

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  1. I just read about the Korean lady, and her unborn fetus dying due to lack of compassion from Air Canada. Most airlines do not permit women to fly during the last trimester of their pregnancy unless they have a letter from their doctor. I can’t believe that this woman was permitted to fly!

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  2. There’s a part of me that wonders if this Korean lady is real. As much as I dislike airlines as a whole, something like this generally gets press — the media eat this stuff up — and I’ve never seen/heard anything beyond this blog.

    Anyone have validated sources?

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  3. I’ve come to the conclusion that my problems with Air Canda are entirely my fault – you see I keep coming back for more. That is why they think it is okay. I think it is time for me to kick the habit. My New Year’s resolution for 2009 will be not to make their Elite status again. I can afford to buy myself a couple of beer in the airport. I don’t need their freebies anymore.

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  4. NEVER accept a deal from Air Canada for a refund. My family and I were flying from London to TO in July. We were asked to take a later flight and offered $4000 as a refund. We were told that were it not a Sunday, they would cut us a cheque right there. Instead, “submit this voucher to our Wpg office”

    So when we send it in – “please allow 5-6 weeks for processing”. It has now been 6 weeks and guess what?

    “We are really busy. Please allow another 5 – 6 weeks for processing”

    With service like this, no wonder they are busy processing refunds!

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  5. Just to put things in perspective. It is not just the Tango customers who are abused. Air Canada is an equal opportunity abuser. It appears to be a corporate culture. I am a Super Elite customer who flew 150000 status miles last year and currently have flown over 75000 so far this year. I use upgrade certificates on a regular basis as I fly overseas a great deal.
    On July 26th I qualified for two certificates ( 60000 miles ) which I would have used in Sept. for a flight to London. To date I have received nothing. In August I passed 75000 miles to qualify for two more certificates. To date , Nothing.
    I have made a total of seven calls . Air canada says it’s an Aeroplan issue…Aeroplann says they sub out the certificate issuence so they are at a loss. I have sent three emails in the past week to Air Canada…they promise a max of two business days response. Still nothing but an auto reply andan “incident’ number.
    So to all of you “cheapy” flyers take heart, AC treats even their best customers like crap. It truly is the culture.

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  6. michael, let me try and help you. it is an aeroplan issue. they handle everything that has to do with points. EVERYTHING. It is a completely different entity from the airline in question. When I am at work and there is such a problem, we call aeroplan and get put on hold like everyone else.

    your best bet is getting the concierge agents on your case and they will most likely be able to do something for you. the company provides you with resources to use in such situations… use them.

    I honestly am surprised that as a frequent flyer you would not know that already….

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  7. BLONDIE

    RE:Thirdly , most people who cry there bags have been misplaced are often those who failed to tell the desk agent they are onfact on two tickets. Therefor their luggage is ot taken off and rerouted to the proper place.
    Putting christmas presents in your luggage- well thats just stupid.

    Do you seem to think that you are perfect in some strange way and exempt from problems in life?!

    Get a life..putting xmas presents in luggage is the same as sending them through the mail you moron! AC just happens to have incompetent employees working for them that do not take the time to read tags to put the luggage on the correct flight.

    I am a straight to the point woman who the heck is sure not stupid so don’t tell me that it’s my fault our luggage was sent to CA when we were not even going there in the first place. It’s STUPID that you are judging me! (by the way you may want to use spell check or a dictionary for proper spelling and punctuation)

    Have a wonderful life flying with AC

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  8. I believe what Rich wrote about the Korean woman. I’ve also heard of a fellow having a diabetic attack with Air Canada employees actually refusing to do anything when they knew what was going on and the poor guy nearly died as a result. Their service is so shitty it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if somebody eventually died as a result. It’s not like they give a shit. They represent the absolute lowest standard of customer service in any industry, ever, period. These people are openly condescending and mean to customers and blatantly incompetent. Most of them wouldn’t last a day working at a fast-food joint with their attitudes. Obviously a union joint. Does anybody fly AC if they know better and have a choice?

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  9. Has anyone ever gotten their baggage back from Air Canada after they lost it? Please reply…or have you ever had luck after filling out the declaration? or whatever info you can share…Thanks!

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  10. Hopefully the President of Air Canada reads these posts as I think the attitudes comes from top down. The President of Air Canada has the same attitude and does not care all he cares about is to make Canadians pay for his mess. This shows the management capabilities of him and his entire management team. The Canadian Govt. should have never let Canadian Airlines be bought by AC, at least there was some competition. Air Canada needs to pay penalties to the passengers when they loose a bag, delay flights or miss connections etc.,. How come only the passengers have to pay for missing a flight, changing flights, excess baggage. This shows how im-mature the management team is at Air Canada. Put your money where your mouth is…basically…
    Their customer services sucks, its like speaking to a wall, there are a few good ones who get labeled as bad…so where is the management to take care of these bad apples….fire them…there are plently of good people out there who would do the job…Again, the issue is with the management, so fire the manager, director, vp, or president if things are not fixed. This is not a game, its peoples lives and property we are dealing with….

    GET out of the business if you cannot run it…Let some other more competant person run it…The President of Air Canada is FAILing his customers…

    Anybody reading this please stop flying Air Canada….choose another airline and let them go out of business for their own good….

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  11. They’re idiots! I needed a receipt from the flight I took. They sent me a receipt without the price of the flight on it. Idiots! They Suck!

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  12. Well,

    I am part of Air Canada SUCKS crowd, just came back from a trip in Cuba, they lost one luggage on a flight where there was no transfer (I even had to tell them the steps they should take when I called to follow up like calling the airport in Cuba), didn’t give me the seat I had PAID to reserve 2 months before take off, ended up in a back row where there was no food THAT YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR BECAUSE THE CHEAP FUCKS DON`T KNOW HOW TO RUN A BUSINESS, had run out so my kid had nothing to eat for 4 hours except a chocolate bar and a digusting sandwich!!!

    I fly a lot on business and let you tell you, AC is up there with American Airlines and that’s not a compliment.

    You people that say you work for AC and are defending it, sound exactly like what`s wrong with this airline!

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  13. Air canada is the worst airline in the world. My Girlfreind was going from Toronto to Bogota, a 6 hour flight. After a 2 hour ground delay caused by bad weather the plane finaly took off. After 5 hours of flight the Pilot told the passengers through the intercom that “the plane can not land in Bogota due to a pressure problem, and if it did it would explode” yeah those are the literal words of a pilot who seems to not care about scaring the passengers. The next action of this briliant pilot was to return to Toronto, another 5 hours away, instead of landing in any other of the thousands of posible sea level airports in the caribbean, south america and florida (Bogota is 2600 meters above sea level). Furthermore, upon returning to Toronto, the AC staff where incredibly rude, unhelpfull, and uncooperative. AC is a terrible airline.

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  14. You are all wrong because Air Canada was just voted the “number 1 best” airline in ALL of north america. Yes, that means they beat, west jet, american airlines, north american airlines, united airlines, us airline, delta airlines, ALL of them. so all of you are completly wrong… AIRCANADA IS THE BEST!!!!!! and janman my father is a pilot who is on ACPA (air canada’s pilot assiation) and he talks with the president, he is an incredible leader, people said it was IMPOSSIBLE to turn air canada around but he did and it is still going…dont talk inless u know what your talking about…also the Government of Canada was FORCING Air Canada to merge with Canadian airlines becuase they were going bankrupt. the government was actually threating to take away multi-million dollar flying routes…once again dont talk inless you know what your talking about…you just got told by a 14 year old…

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  15. I try to fly Air Canada as little as possible. The last four flights with the airline have all had delays of more than 1 hour. Two were international flights and we missed our connections both times and had to overnight both times. Essentially lost two days.

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  16. Accountability is not in air canadas vocabulary,put my daughter on a flight to calgary from halifax. Overbooked she was left in montreal until dont know when. Cant go to the lounge and rest because she didnt prebook the lounge if she new that they were going to frige up her flight she wood of.She is going to be all day in montreal,thank god for that 10 dollar voucher to feed her in montreal airport,get real.thanks air canada for making us parents feel safe about sending our kids with you,not.

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