Tarry for the Nonce

July 5, 2005

No Doot Aboot It

Filed under: Rambles — lmwalker @ 3:20 pm

In a egregious display of inefficiency, Air Canada has proven the most inept and irresponsible airline I have ever encountered.

  • My sisters and brother and I arrived at the Dublin airport 2.5 hours before our flight to Toronto via Shannon. Air Canada had managed to lose all the seat reservations on an overbooked flight and now were scrambling to reassign the seating. We stood in line for more than 90 minutes while a “new guy” hunted and pecked his way through a line of twelve.
  • At Shannon, the flight crew was swapped, so Air Canada had all passengers disembark only to re-embark (via queue) as they verified the passenger list on a huge paper print-out.
  • Air Canada then realized that they had erred in their seat reassignments, as they had failed to seat young children with their parents. Seeing as this was to be an 8.0+ hour flight, they spent the next 30 minutes shuffling around passengers to correct this situation. Naturally, my siblings and I weren’t a priority and our party was split up.
  • Air Canada found themselves unable to disconnect from the airport due to a “mechanical problem.” We spent two hours attached to the umbilical cord of a bridge as the pilot updated us every 30 minutes or so that “someone was talking to someone who might know someone who had a part to fix the bridge.” Ultimately, the pilot opted to “shimmy away” from the gate so that we could be underway.
  • Air Canada arrived in Toronto more than an hour late and directed all U.S.-bound passengers to terminal 2 to retrieve their baggage and take it through customs. A “new guy” at Air Canada, however, directed said U.S.-bound luggage to terminal 1.
  • After twelve or so passengers waited for the luggage for more than 90 minutes (missing their various flight connections in the process) Air Canada discovered their error around 6:00 p.m.
  • A “new guy” at Air Canada somberly informed us that no Air Canada flights would be headed to the same destinations and that we were all essentially stranded in Toronto. They helpfully informed us that they would happily send us to alternate cities. (“Gee – I kinda had my heart set on Seattle,” replied one Seattle-bound passenger.) “New guy” didn’t know what to do next, so he sent us to another Air Canada customer service desk.
  • The “new guy” at the subsequent Air Canada customer service desk informed us that since Shannon’s mechanical glitch wasn’t their responsibility, they, as an airline, had no responsibility to compensate or assist us. He invited us us to book – and pay – for alternate flights.
  • Said “new guy” at the subseqent Air Canada customer service desk was forcefully informed that since they had lost our luggage for almost two hours, they did indeed have a responsibility to compensate and assist us. And, moreover, that Air Canada was more than welcome to both book and pay for our alternate flights.
  • Very intimidated “new guy” at the subseqent Air Canada customer service desk managed to secure booking, hotels and a $15.00 meal voucher for seven of the affected parties.

The saga continues with a failure to supply shuttle bus vouchers and the printer running out of paper, but you get the gist of it.

Basically, I advise all readers of this blog to avoid Air Canada. Personally, I intend to avoid the country altogether . . . for a few years, at least.

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4 Comments

  1. General stupidity, unhelpful staff, bouncing around Pearson Airport, refusal of responsibility because it’s “the other airport’s fault”… Sniffff… Ah, the Air Canada I have come to know and love.

    Well, maybe not love.

    Comment by Toly — July 6, 2005 @ 9:01 am

  2. Canada and all it’s inhabitants are dead to me.

    Comment by Anne — July 6, 2005 @ 9:31 am

  3. Anything with Canada in the name…. what did you expect? Its no British Airways or Air France.

    Comment by Andrew P. — July 7, 2005 @ 9:16 am

  4. I don’t know… Canada Dry ginger ale is pretty good.

    Comment by Toly — July 7, 2005 @ 11:28 pm


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