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Calgary couple frustrated by airline response after getting caught in hurricane

Calgary couple frustrated by airline response after getting caught in hurricane

Old Sep 9, 17, 8:07 pm
  #1  
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Calgary couple frustrated by airline response after getting caught in hurricane

http://calgary.ctvnews.ca/calgary-co...moon-1.3582787

I don't understand why this is the airline's fault... the passengers chose to travel knowing a hurricane was on the way and somehow the airline should help them escape? Did they take the hotel concierge with them to evacuate or were they only worried about themselves?

My favourite quote:
"We were already on a flight going home and they’re sending relief planes at like two, three p.m. on the day before the hurricane’s going to hit, which to me is just not good,” said Aulakh.

Hmm... so she is upset that the relief flights came a day before the hurricane hit. When would have been a more convenient time for her? And when would a more convenient time have been for everyone else?

I actually think what Air Canada and other airlines did was admirable. It takes lots of effort to organize 24 extra flights (and the upgauging of other flights). I also heard that the empty planes that headed south went with cargo like bottled water and other aid. I doubt the airlines made a lot of money and I suspect these hurricanes will likely have a small financial hit on the carriers for Q3.

Again, sounds like the air carriers did everything they could given the circumstances, the passengers arrived home safe, but again, a news story that the airline was wrong? I am surprised there isn't a news story about the other 7,000 passengers that were thankful for the airlines efforts. Hmm...
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Old Sep 9, 17, 8:13 pm
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It's hard to find sympathy for anyone stupid enough to willingly fly into the path of a major hurricane.
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Old Sep 9, 17, 9:37 pm
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+1
Agreed
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Old Sep 9, 17, 9:39 pm
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I've read criticism of all Canadian carriers serving the sun destinations. Its really hard for airlines to react on short notice to take out people large numbers of people who had gone down for vacations over several days, as well as those who have time shares or are even living in the region as ex-pats and decide they have to get out, too. As YYC09 states above, it takes enormous effort to organize such an airlift on such short notice. Planes, crews, routes, extra airport handling - a lot has to be set up. A lot of people go off grid on vacation, and may not be reachable at the number they left the airline.
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Old Sep 9, 17, 9:47 pm
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Well, honestly, what to say? I personally consider ACV's response to this crisis great. AC/ACV sent extra flights down there, they got their customers out of the harm's way. What else could AC/ACV do?
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Old Sep 9, 17, 9:51 pm
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I can well imagine that it was a frustrating experience. Some people just don't know how to channel their frustrations
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Old Sep 10, 17, 12:04 am
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Back in the mid 70s ( when I was younger and more foolish) a friend and I took a day trip from Puerto Rico to St Thomas. She was allowed to board. For the return to Pierto RICO, and I wasn't. An impending hurricane was forcing these twin prop planes to fly lighter loads. I got to spend two horrific days in someone's filthy home. ( and I mean that literally, not figuratively) Inasmuch as there was another departing flight after mine, I should have been allowed on it. One of the reasons I was bumped is we were two single girls, they were striving to keep couples together.

Funny thing is, I just dealt, I didn't call the press, I didn't scream for compensation, I didn't contact consumer reporters.( no internet). Sometimes I think our level of entitlement has gotten way, way out of control.
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Old Sep 10, 17, 4:33 am
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Originally Posted by awayIgo View Post
Sometimes I think our level of entitlement has gotten way, way out of control.
Isn't that the truth.
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Old Sep 10, 17, 6:22 am
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Originally Posted by awayIgo View Post

Funny thing is, I just dealt, I didn't call the press, I didn't scream for compensation, I didn't contact consumer reporters.( no internet). Sometimes I think our level of entitlement has gotten way, way out of control.


It's so refreshing to hear this. Thank you.
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Old Sep 10, 17, 9:44 am
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Originally Posted by Symmetre View Post
It's hard to find sympathy for anyone stupid enough to willingly fly into the path of a major hurricane.
Yes, you have a valid point that people should be prudent, and I admit to my own initial lack of sympathy. However, I suggest that you consider this from another perspective, that of the customer.

-The airlines and their captive vacation package agents sell these trips without any advisories and will do so right up until the last possible moment.

Let's use an illustration; As you know, St. Marten has been leveled. The Dutch and French authorities are saying it will take 3-6 months to rebuild critical basic infrastructure. Why then is Air Canada vacations selling vacation packages on the island for early December? Do you believe it appropriate to offer hotel rooms, when the local authorities have said that their first assessment is 3-6 months of recovery for basic essential infrastructure? According to the news, some of the hotels featured have suffered structural damage. Do you honestly believe that the hotels will be fit for customers in 3 months? And even then, what kind of environment will greet visitors? There is no warning posted at the Air Canada vacations site. Wouldn't the responsible action be pulling the offers until an assessment was done and the seller knew for sure that the customers would be taken care of and not wading in sewage or staying at a damaged resort?

- The package trips to the Caribbean are subject to some draconian conditions. If a customer realizes that it is best not to travel, it is quite difficult to get a refund or a credit from the vacation package seller. Typically, it has to be the airline or hotel consolidator who cancels or postpones the travel for the customer to obtain a refund or credit. The airline and vacation package seller can literally wait until the government recommends or then orders no travel.

- Consider who purchases these types of packages: They are for the most part, people of limited travel experience, education and wealth. The trip represents a big expenditure for them and they can't afford to lose their money.

- Your criticism would be reasonable if directed at me or others on FT because we are more sophisticated. However, lambasting a person like this, is a bit harsh. The airlines and vacation package sellers target this type of demographic and advertise their goods and services accordingly.
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Old Sep 10, 17, 10:16 am
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Originally Posted by Transpacificflyer View Post
........Let's use an illustration; As you know, St. Marten has been leveled. The Dutch and French authorities are saying it will take 3-6 months to rebuild critical basic infrastructure. Why then is Air Canada vacations selling vacation packages on the island for early December? Do you believe it appropriate to offer hotel rooms, when the local authorities have said that their first assessment is 3-6 months of recovery for basic essential infrastructure? According to the news, some of the hotels featured have suffered structural damage. Do you honestly believe that the hotels will be fit for customers in 3 months? And even then, what kind of environment will greet visitors? There is no warning posted at the Air Canada vacations site. Wouldn't the responsible action be pulling the offers until an assessment was done and the seller knew for sure that the customers would be taken care of and not wading in sewage or staying at a damaged resort?......

And further to this point about St. Maarten/ Sint Martin

This was posted on Sept 6 on their FB page

https://www.facebook.com/SonestaStMa...eVkqgI&fref=nf


.
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Old Sep 10, 17, 10:37 am
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Lovely description;
Air Canada Vacations for December at La Playa Orient Bay offers;

JUNIOR SUITE (Breakfast) Only 1 room(s) left
JUNIOR SUITE PREMIUM GARDENVIEW (Breakfast) Only 2 room(s) left
JUNIOR SUITE PREMIUM BEACH (Breakfast) Only 2 room(s) left

only a few rooms left.......

However, the hotel has offered the following alert through its sister hotel website;

At this stage, it is too early to report the magnitude of the event on the property buildings and facilities. Further updates will follow this release.
For any request within the coming months we can accommodate you in our sister company in St François - Guadeloupe


Why is Air Canada Vacations advertising the hotel or any other hotel that was damaged? Obviously it is sloppiness, but is it any wonder why we see misunderstandings so frequently?
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Old Sep 10, 17, 12:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Transpacificflyer View Post
Lovely description;
Air Canada Vacations for December at La Playa Orient Bay offers;

JUNIOR SUITE (Breakfast) Only 1 room(s) left
JUNIOR SUITE PREMIUM GARDENVIEW (Breakfast) Only 2 room(s) left
JUNIOR SUITE PREMIUM BEACH (Breakfast) Only 2 room(s) left

only a few rooms left.......

However, the hotel has offered the following alert through its sister hotel website;

At this stage, it is too early to report the magnitude of the event on the property buildings and facilities. Further updates will follow this release.
For any request within the coming months we can accommodate you in our sister company in St François - Guadeloupe


Why is Air Canada Vacations advertising the hotel or any other hotel that was damaged? Obviously it is sloppiness, but is it any wonder why we see misunderstandings so frequently?
Why aren't customers doing some research before spending their hard earned money? Everybody loves to blame someone else for their stupidity.

You can't fix stupid.
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Old Sep 10, 17, 3:43 pm
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It is the carriers' job to provide competently-staffed and safe aircraft along with bits and pieces of soft product.

Passengers need to do their own research. The number of people who say, "I wasn't told this or that" is increasing and suggests that people are simply lazy.

If you need or want a nanny, hire one.
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Old Sep 10, 17, 3:50 pm
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Originally Posted by 172pilot View Post
Why aren't customers doing some research before spending their hard earned money? Everybody loves to blame someone else for their stupidity.

You can't fix stupid.
No one is going to argue that there is some responsibility for a consumer to undertake due diligence. However, there is both a moral and legal obligation of the commercial enterprise to act in an acceptable manner. Why is Air Canada Vacations still selling packages for hotels that are damaged?

I direct your attention to this gem from Air Canada vacations;
For over 30 years, we have worked with travel partners to make Air Canada Vacations a name Canadians can trust.
Well, Air Canada Vacations says you can trust it. Are you now saying that consumers should not trust the company, that Air Canada Vacations isn't a reliable vendor?

I am not picking on Air Canada Vacations because I doubt Sun Wing or Air Transat are any better. It's the nature of the vacation package sector. However, my point is that one should not pee all over the aggrieved customer because the conditions of sale and nature of the business are such that sometimes the customer has few options other than to lose the purchase. It's a difficult pill to swallow for people of modest financial means and who are not really helped by the package tour vendor.
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