Air Canada: Go EFF Yourself

air-canada-airport

Aren’t you glad that I’m taking the bullet for this one? I wonder- has ANYONE ever had a wonderful experience with this company? For me, not so much.

To their credit I will give them this. They are the country’s largest airline, and have been around commercially the longest. Many of their planes have touch screen television, movies and music. For the most part, they have a dedicated unionized staff….and at one point, they even had Celine Dion give them some extra love via a paid endorsement. I wonder if they’ve ever lost her luggage? And afterwards, did she muster up the spirit to have her heart go on?

celine-dion-plane

I think credit is due where it is deserved. I also feel that if a chef has undercooked your meal, and you’ve paid for it, you’re allowed to send it back. Too bad you can’t send upper management at Air Canada back to….say…..kindergarden to get a better level of understanding.

Here’s a brilliant thought. People. Customer Service. Kindness.

Sadly with only 2 major carriers and a fleet of smaller airlines, companies like Air Canada DO NOT have to care about us. We are forced to deal with them, like being stranded on an island with only coconuts and cockroaches. And I’m tired of cockroach soup!

Over the years airlines have changed. All of them. None can escape rising fuel prices, bad economies, more expensive jets, higher union wages, better technology and other things that most of us regular folks aren’t aware of. However, one could also argue that without an ear to the ground and a caring soul, there isn’t a single company that can withstand the winds of transformation.

Some of our gays work for them (as do straight people) and I must say I don’t put this on the workers. In my opinion, Air Canada has fucked their own up the ass with an icicle so many times that I don’t blame them when they seem bitter. Or dismiss me. I probably would too. And more-so, I find that I am pleasantly surprised when I receive their hospitality and professionalism. I say surprised because generally, myself and many others have low expectations. In fact, when I tweeted that “yet again, AC has lost my luggage” here’s some of the immediate (within 5 mins) responses last night:

Dave W: “The last THREE times I’ve flown with them they’ve lost my luggage! THREE TIMES IN A ROW.  WestJet all the way.  They destroyed one of my suitcases once but handled it SO professionally.”

Stephen W: “Totally agree with the Westjet all the way, after the MMVA’s that’s all Nicole and I choose to fly… Hope all is well Jonny!”

Colby: “Does anyone like Air Canada? (except Landon ** side note- Landon’s Mom is an employee**). The only thing they’ve got going for them is the new touch-screen entertainment system, but it’s not enough to erase years of bad memories of the Sky Hags…”

Dave D: “All the airlines lose luggage.  Trust me, I’ve flown them all.  The key is to avoid checking luggage altogether!”

Dave D is right. It’s true every airline loses luggage. Destroys it, and possibly even steals it (although I’m not aware of such cases, I watch Soap Operas and conduct stories based upon my “episodic stories”.) But what I appreciate MOST, is the customer service. When someone pretty much says “it’s going to be alright, and if it’s not, then we are going to step up to the plate to make it that way.”

I wish I could say that I could even find someone on the ground to ask, or not have to wait for some Montreal phone attendant to answer after 26 minutes on hold. I would love to admit that Air Canada makes me feel like the entire time I’m flying with them that it is an overall amazing experience. Or how year after year I am overwhelmed by the start to finish process/results. I yearn to divulge that they are going to one day be owned and operated by the same people who make WESTJET the success that it is. Sadly, I can’t confirm any of these statements, for they are dreams that have since dissipated with a bat of an eyelash.

Specifically within Canada, I fly Westjet. I do. I love them. If the prices are the same, it’s always Westjet. If the price is slightly higher? Westjet. If it’s double the price and cheaper on Air Canada, I look for a different day to fly out. I have no affiliation to Westjet, nor have they asked me to endorse or gently caress them with my fingertips. They just GET IT. I take my dog Tacos with me onboard (Air Canada recently lifted their pet ban this past summer after a 3 year absence) into the cabin problem free. Keep in mind you must check ahead for limited space and for breed/size. I couldn’t imagine putting him “underneath” (as they call it) in cargo. Every time I do the Air Canada thing they lose my luggage, and I was always afraid of playing Russian roulette with my best friend (“Mr. Staub, we found your dog, sadly our incompetence has killed him.”) Let me guess, here’s a $50 travel voucher and an embroidered Air Canada leg blanket?? Sheeesh.

If I sound harsh, critical, cynical and outrageous than mission accomplished. You’ve made me this way Air Canada. And don’t worry, no doubt I will have to come crawling back to you because of a fluke. Or the cycle of wanting to be treated badly because you’ve taught me that at an early age. Actually years ago, you either tricked me, or you just WERE 1000% better.

Here’s my resolution before I blow a gasket. Or maybe a few solutions:

1) Fly Westjet, they’re easier and more fun. Plus if they fuck up, they own up. At least that’s been my experience.

2) Just buy all your liquids and toiletries at your destination. If you’re flying home, Mom and Dad have toothpaste and hair products can be purchased. Your time is money, and waiting for any airline to put your luggage on the belt is too long anyway.

3) If you ever get a chance to talk to an airline CEO- be nice to them. Odds are my article will do nothing, but kindness may make them see that they are running their company on bean counters and blind folds. Plus maybe no one been nice to them? I’m just sayin’….

4) Finally, if you see my bag, can you call me?? I miss it and all my kick ass clothes inside!

  • Kyle D

    Great Article J dawg! I avoid them after the whole xmas drama last year. The sitauation where all planes where snowed in and westjet put all there customers up on hotels (spending millions) to accomidate them and Air Canada barely wanted to provide pillows for thier clients to sleep in the airport. However without Air Canada Westjet will have a monopoly and do you think they would stay true to their corporate stratgey and still be so fantastic.?

  • bruin

    delta is the really bad airlines here…yikes!

  • Hmmm… I have traveled A LOT for work and play and been on many different airlines. When you actually stop to think about what flying entails… it’s pretty damn complicated. The fact that your bag is there more often than not is pretty damn cool considering everything that goes on behind those black flaps on the conveyor belt.

    That’s no excuse for bad customer service, but air rage is so ridiculous. Shit happens when there’s a lot of shit that needs to happen.

    The only power you do have is as the consumer. You can choose to fly with them or not… but stop and think about what really goes into getting your ass 30,000 feet in the air and back down again SAFELY.

  • Mike d

    THANK GAWD! I fly a lot for work. To such majestic locals such as White horse, Prince George, Calgary, Edmonton… and the list goes on. I fly air canada to get aero plan miles as i am not paying the bill. I have had probably 10 poor and 3 terrible experiences this year alone. I spend 3 days in white horse with only the clothes on my back… in the winter because my luggage never made it out of yvr. the last trip up there my plane wouldn’t pressureize so we had to fly with air noth. gaaa and those $50 vouchers!!! eat me. i have a pile of them and a bunch towards flights. too bad their prices are insane and it’s cheaper to fly any other air line. all i gotta say is if you fly air canada, don’t check anything you couldn’t live without.

  • RAMESH

    WE LOST OUR BAG FRO LAST WEEK.BUT AIR CANADA CANT FIND IT NOW.THIS IS THIRD TIME FOR ME HAPPEND.I CALL LAGAGE CENTER BUT STILL THEY CANT ANY INFORMATON ABOUT THIS BAG.WHY AIR CANADA PEOPLE ARE SLEEPINGOR WORKING.

  • Yaletownman

    United is the worse. Absolutely the worse.

  • Unhappy Flyer

    Wow wish we had access to West Jet in my city. Air Canada has now for the fourth trip in a row lost my luggage in day three of waiting right now – no offer of financial assistance to maybe get a change of clothes. Considering for security no bag is to travel without an onboard passenger how do they work around all the lost baggage travelling alone. Oh yeah you know that wonderful water they serve from the clear plastic jug well I watched a stewardess refill it from the bathroom sink – yuck the edge of it hitting the sink where dirty hands had been. I did report it after the flight because that is a health issue and was basically called a liar as that is not their policy – they accept no responsibility for anything. Air Canada sucks – always late always losing luggage and definitely not polite or caring.