I booked our Christmas trip to Toronto on July 17th, 2007. On the original outbound leg we were booked to depart Penticton (YYF) on 20-Dec 2007 at 09:15 on AC8351, arriving Vancouver (YVR) at 10:19. Then we were to connect to AC1134 departing YVR at 12:00 and arrive Toronto (YYZ) at 19:25. (See the screen capture below).
On October 21st, I received an itinerary change notice that put us on AC102, leaving Vancouver at 14:30, or 2 and a half hours LATER than our originally scheduled flight.
When we arrived in Vancouver, we went directly to the gate and discovered that there were seats available on both the 11:00 flight AND our originally scheduled flight, AC1134 still leaving at noon.
However, despite seat availability we were told that we could NOT travel on either of those flights as Transport Canada requires that passengers travel with their baggages.
So, why is that a problem? Book us on the flight and retag our bags to travel with us on the same flight.
The Air Canada desk agent’s response was basically “Sorry, no can do”.
We tried again in the Maple Leaf Lounge and got the same “no can do” response.
Air Canada had more than an hour and a half to transfer our bags to our original flight and they couldn’t do it?
Now contrast that response with the one we got in March from Singapore Airlines when we wanted to change to SQ17 which left Incheon an hour an a half earlier than SQ15, on which we were booked.
“NO Problem!!!” said the Singapore Airlines desk agent.
We watched as she made ONE phone call that had our bags whisked to our new flight and we had our new boarding passes in hand in under 5 minutes.
So, Air Canada, what the heck is YOUR problem? Do you like frustrating your good customers? Or, are your agents just lazy as all get out? Would you have made that change if we’d been traveling in Executive Class?
I WILL be writing the letter and Air Canada, you have some ‘splaining to do’.
I have the following return flight with Air Can for a flight in June 2008:
Paris -> Montreal
Montreal -> Ottawa
Originaly, the connection in Montreal was only going to be 1.5 hour. They changed it to a ludicrous four hour delay. I just plan to leave the airport and take the train or the bus to Ottawa.
Four years ago, Air Canada lost my son’s passport when he was traveling as UM. Without his passport, he was stuck behind customs all by himself. He was told he’d have to take the next flight back to Canada. Of course he cried, and fortunately a custom officer had a heart and let his mom sit with him. Eventually Air Canada found the passport, but this was not without traumatizing a little kid. They barely appologized. I have never used Air Canada for my son again.
In contrast, my son was on an Air France flight which delayed due to weather conditions. Air France both appologized and gave him a few thousand frequent flyer points. Air Canada sucks and I wish the government did not bail them out of bankruptcy each time: let the market forces kill this weak bird.