In February I booked a flight to attend a trade show in Fort Lauderdale. Since I was leaving from Quebec City I had no choice but to book with Air Canada (to my regret and disappointment). They offered what seemed to be the fasted and most direct route to FLL. When choosing my flight, I carefully selected one that will get me to my destination during the afternoon and not at night, since I knew I was going to have to schedule a few meeting with clients coming from abroad. I chose to pay the more expensive flight to get to FFL at 14:30 instead of 20:23, which was a cheaper flight. On March the 13th, I made my way to the airport, dropped my bags and proceed to the gate. It was 08:30 when we boarded the plane that was departing at 08:55. I was happy since we were going to get to MTL before than I expected which will give me more time to clear US customs and get to my gate (in the beginning my first flight was supposed to land at 09:49 and boarding for my 10:45 was at 10;05 which did not give me much time. Once we were all in the plane for about 10 minutes, the pilot made an announcement (I believe in English) which no one understood since the speaks did not seem to work properly. About 3 minutes later the flight attendant reputed the same announcement in French, saying that we needed to get off the plane and go wait inside. Once inside the “adventure” started. The few unilingual Anglophones on the plane had not understand anything that had happened. I had to explain to them what was going on. An AC agent came inside the terminal but did not make any announcements. I had to go question him on weather we needed to wait by the gate door (the place was right outside) or if we needed to go back to the waiting area. He stated that we needed to go upstairs and check with the agents there for our connections.
I approached a lady at the counter since I was worried I will miss my connection. Her reply was: “There is nothing to worry about. You will make it on time. We have the plane right here an you will be able to board in a few minutes”. I was reassured since it was only 8:45, which gave me still time to make my US connection the YUL airport since the doors are almost close to each other. About 5 minutes after I was told this by the agent an announcement was made that the plane will be departing at 09:25. At first the agent said we might make it on time to our next flight (3 other people where on the same situation as me), but then she retracted herself saying that the best was to change our flight. Wanting to try and make it I asked her if I could change it one in MT if ever I did not make it since I had paid a more expensive flight to be on the 10:45 YUL to FLL flight. She reassured me saying there was plenty of room on the 16:45 flight and that I should contact guest’s relations in order to ask for a refund on the price difference.
I decided to contact Air Canada by Facebook, twitter and phone in order to see where I will get a quicker response. The call center had a message stating that the average wait time was 10-15, I waited 35 minutes and no answer. The twitter reply I got simply stated we are really sorry we hope you get there on time. I was “luckier” with the Facebook account. One of the reps replied to me and asked me to send my booking number by private message. When I did so, another rep replied that he was really sorry but that I needed to contact the customer relations through the web page! REALLY? Air Canada asks me to send the info to simply send me a link and not even take a look into it or pretend they are? What kind of service is this? My flight finally departs at 10:05 the flight lasted 34 minutes, had it departed at 09:30 I would have made it on time for my FLL flight. We arrive in MTL at 10:40 obviously too late. I go to a first Air Canada rep to change my flight and see if I can get a meal voucher as state on the Air Canada Website. The first agent (Richard) is extremely rude. He does not accept to give me a voucher. I had to walk to door #1 where the Air Canada guest’s relations is in order to explain my case. They lady there is great, she apologises and tries to find a solution. Gives me a 10$ meal voucher (honestly AC? 10$!!!), she gives me a card and tells me to call the number to file a complain or write to them online (they should get back to me in 24-48h, just as the QC rep & Richard did. I tried calling 10 times 10 TIMES, the call center is too busy with calls so they cannot take any more. I finally get a hold of someone who is again extremely rude. She says that when you buy a flight, the flight or the space in this flight is not guaranteed (EXCUSE ME?? This is the first time in my life I hear this and everyone know I travel a lot) and that no compensation can be given since nothing is 100% guaranteed by the Airline. She adds that the flight was delayed because of a snow storm...mmmmm… NOT, clearly she has not the right information. She also tells me that the info given to me by the YUL & YQB staff is wrong and that it is almost useless to try and complain. The call ends with her telling me she cannot do anything for me. She tells me to go see a supervisor at the airport in order to get a compensation or to contact Air Canada through their webpage after my travel has been completed.
I cannot believe how a company like Air Canada can have such a poor costumer service. Its employees do no have the right information, guests all over the world are ****** at this company. Working in tourism myself I cannot understand how this airline leaves so many customers not satisfied and does not care to make this right. Unfortunately, in Canada we are stuck with this Airline that gets worse by the second. I am expecting to get a compensation will it happen? I don’t think so. Will I use AC for my north American travel? I CAN GUARANTEE YOU THE ANSWER IS NO. I already use another airline for my international travel (mostly to south America) I will do the same for any other flights I will buy and this even if I need to pay more.