An experience with Air Canada
August 1, 2014 – My letter outlining my experience today and sent to Air Canada customer service.
This is inform you of the poor quality service rendered by Air Canada today on my flight (AC 233) to Vancouver BC departing at 6:20am and then connecting to Portland.
This started the day before when I attempted to check-in online. The last 3 times I have attempted to do this within the 24 hour time frame of departure, I have gone through each step only to find out that it tells me to see a ticket agent upon arriving at the airport. I then called the number to speak to an agent to see if I could do this over the phone and get the info emailed to me with seat confirmation, etc. The “hold times” were 37-42 minutes without the ability to leave a name and number and not lose your position in line. I ask if you too would be willing to spend that amount of time on hold when dealing with MY business? I suspect not so I’m unsure why your customers are expected to?
I headed to the airport at 5am this morning. The flight boarded on time and we all were seated in the aircraft. After 15-20 minutes, the Capt said we have a delay due to “mechanical issues”. Now, I don’t know about everyone else but uneasy flyers such as myself, I can promise you, don’t want to hear this. I respect safety is a priority but telling people about a mechanical issue only raises concern for those of us that don’t fully enjoy take off!
After 20 minutes of waiting with the engines off, meaning no air conditioning in the cabin, people were getting restless. We were updated a few times and each time we were told 15 -20 minutes. The last report from the Capt suggested it would be much longer (45-60 minutes) and those that wanted to deplane, could. Most everyone did as it was unbearable inside.
We all waited by the ticket counter in the waiting area. After some additional updates, it was determined it would be HOURS prior to the aircraft being ready. Again, I understand safety and this complaint has nothing to do with airing on the side of caution. The issue I DO have is that you had a couple hundred people, most of which had connections in Vancouver, and there was 1 girl there for the first 15 minutes. After that, there was no one to address the long line of your customers wondering how or IF they were going to get to their final destination. This would have been a time to have additional staff but instead, we had no one. I find that extremely frustrating that NO agents were on hand for most of the time to look after all of these people!
After an hour, the girl showed up once more to suggest that we go back to the main ticket counter to make arrangements for alternate flights. We headed back and the majority of the flight did also. Once arriving back at the ticket counter, now with 100+ frustrated people, we find 1 person standing behind a counter that could accommodate 4 of your agents. This 1 person was expected to take each of your customers, determine where they were going and search for the best alternative. I assure you this line moved extremely slowly as you could imagine!
Finally, 1 other AC representative came along and told all of us in line that we could call “this number” while we stood in line to try to make other arrangements. The call was answered immediately, which was impressive, but looking back at my phone history, I was on hold for most of the call once it was answered for a total of 38 minutes. All that time, I moved 10 feet…
Being the Friday of a long weekend, my options to connect to Portland were limited and all flights were sold out. I have now received a booking for tomorrow Aug 2, to attempt this again with your airline.
I would like to know what Air Canada is willing to do in the form of a travel voucher for a future flight(s)?
(I will update this when new information is provided)