Reply
Customer Service
COMPLAINT: Abusive ticket agent in PEI

 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old Jan 6, 2010, 9:57 AM
KBrothers KBrothers is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 3

I'd booked a full-price seat on a domestic flight from Charlottetown PEI to Ottawa and confirmed the flight with Air Canada about a week before the flight. I arrived at the airport 50 minutes before departure (20 minutes before ‘cut-off time’).

Then I was informed by the rep Alan that I would likely not be given a seat, since Jazz had oversold its seat allocation.

I expressed surprise, pointed out that I had confirmed the seat and had a full-price ticket, and said it would be difficult for me to deal with the financial and other repercussions of taking another flight. At this point Alan (he refused to give me his full name, saying "that's enough information for YOU") became extremely rude and rather obstructive, and, much to my embarrassment, offensive to one of my elderly relatives.

Other customers witnessed the exchange, advised me to complain, and confirmed that this was not the normal level of customer service I could expect in Canada (I'm from Britain). I received the same advice from family and friends who live on the island, some of whom knew the employee and said he was often unpleasant. A Canadian passenger with the same ticket situation was similarly puzzled and upset with the service.

I am a Director of Communications for an overseas organisation with several hundred employees, and I have journeyed almost constantly for the last 20 years, but I have never encountered this kind of ticketing situation, especially given that I have a full-price, confirmed ticket, booked through Air Canada. I certainly do not expect this kind of customer service, in addition. Outrageous. Obviously Air Canada must be putting staff in a difficult position with this ticketing nonsense, and they're not handling it at all well.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook




Replies:

  #2  
Old Jan 6, 2010, 10:11 AM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
Former Airline Employee (NOT OFFICIAL REP)
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,109

Employees who deal with the situation you were in like the way Alan did have no business being in the business. This is a multi-daily event and should be old hat for any employee who's been there for any amount of time at all. I would certainly follow up with Air Canada by way of email to let them know the way you were treated.

By the way, what was the result of your dilemma? Also, you mentioned you've been flying constantly for 20 years and have never encountered this type of ticketing situation. I'm guessing you're talking about an overbooked flight. Not doubting you (well, maybe just a little) but you've been extremely lucky then to never have encountered a full flight where airlines ask for volunteers. Also, it makes no difference the price one pays for a ticket as far as who gets screwed. Airlines are an equal opportunity entity when it comes to that. It only matters if you've shown up later than most and didn't have a seat reserved.
__________________
Yes, the rules and policies favor the airlines unfairly. I do not dispute that.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old Jan 6, 2010, 10:35 AM
KBrothers KBrothers is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 3

Thanks Troy. Luckily I got on the flight, it would have been a personal disaster otherwise (and radio bulletins now say no further flights are available until Saturday).

Still, shame that I had to be bullied for ten minutes by the initial employee, and soundly 'told off' by another at the gate, for 'not turning up early to make sure I got a seat'. It seems they've lost sight of who the customer is here. There's nothing on the ticket that advises that as being necessary. Providing I turn up before cut-off time, I expect to get a seat, since my payment legally seals a contract for that service with the provider. It's not 'first come, first served', or whatever suits them best at the time.

It's not as if Air Canada is a bucket flight provider offering lovely cheap seats and struggling to stay afloat so that it can continue to provide a great-value service for its customers. Rather, it seems to have a monopoly, and therefore little incentive to change.

You're right, I've been on several where they've asked for volunteers, but they're being offered $500 in compensation and another flight next day, or similar. Plus, they're volunteers. In this case I was offered no choice. The rep firstly told me there would be compensation, then when I asked for details, changed his mind. When I said I thought that was very bad policy, he threatened to remove me from the flight, and asked my elderly relative to leave the airport. It was an extraordinary over-reaction, which leads me to think he's sick of dealing with this situation repeatedly and simply can't find another job.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old Jan 6, 2010, 2:06 PM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

This is an ongoing problem.. and is particularly acute in North American based airlines. There is a drift to the bottom in both standards and customer service.

Troy, on a point of interest, when I lived in the States (for over 10 years) I was regularly asked to volunteer as the flight was oversold and offered compensation. In the 12 years I have been back in Europe, I have flown more often than I did that when I lived in the USA. In all that time, I have only been asked once to volunteer due to overselling. Guess where that was? Chicago.. on a flight from Chicago to Charlotte. Do you think this suggests that this is a problem which is particularly acute in the US?
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old Jan 6, 2010, 2:58 PM
KBrothers KBrothers is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 3

That would seem to be right - come to think of it, the only time I've encountered the volunteer/over-booked scenario is in Canada.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old Jan 7, 2010, 2:49 AM
The_Judge The_Judge is offline
Former Airline Employee (NOT OFFICIAL REP)
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 1,109

Damn North America all to hell!!! Seriously, overselling by airlines is an issue and it causes inconvenience to passengers in many forms. It needs to be looked at by a body other than an airline and dealt with appropriately.
__________________
Yes, the rules and policies favor the airlines unfairly. I do not dispute that.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old Jan 18, 2010, 7:37 AM
Survivor Survivor is offline
Air Canada Employee (NOT OFFICIAL REP)
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Alberta
Posts: 50

There is never an excuse for bad service - you don't need a name to complain. As long as you have the departure date, city and a boarding card they can trace who it was. Every airline uses an employee duty roster.. if you don't complain - he stays there. The firing process in Canada is a 'carefully documented series of events and complaints' in order to successfully fire a bad employee. If you don't provide the Airline with this information the labor laws tie their hands.

As far as overselling - as long as airlines sell each others seats there is not a lot of control over who does or doesn't show up. If you don't want overselling - stick to Westjet (but they don't take you everywhere)
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook

Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Complaint Complaint Author Forum Replies Last Post
Check-in / Boarding Bad Customer service with ticket agent Reginawisdom1 Check-in / Boarding 1 Apr 10, 2009 8:00 AM
Check-in / Boarding Major Inconvenience caused by ticket agent [email protected] Delta Air Lines Complaints 4 Nov 3, 2008 6:54 PM
Customer Service The worst Ticket Agent Ever. Zengara Customer Service 0 Jun 6, 2008 10:28 PM
Customer Service hostile screaming ticket agent katie bayer Customer Service 2 Apr 11, 2008 7:36 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 8:29 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

counter free hit unique web
unique visitors