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The NO THANKS CONCIERGE thread: Documenting the failure and deviation of the service

The NO THANKS CONCIERGE thread: Documenting the failure and deviation of the service

Old Mar 18, 2018, 6:42 am
  #1  
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The NO THANKS CONCIERGE thread: Documenting the failure and deviation of the service

So this morning, I had a baggage fail at YYZ - I'll document that in a later thread. I'm just boarded my fight. Touch and go.

I did call the central Concierge line at 815; of course, no answer, and I requested a call back.

It's now 840AM, 35 minutes later, and still no call back.

Call back - the line is still not answering.

There is no weather; no operational meltdown. Nothing.

I believe that significant degradation to the quality of the service has occurred to such a degree that we should start documenting this in a separate thread.

This type of situation is an increasingly common occurrence. They've really destroyed the program.

Maybe someone at AC will listen and give a .....

Or, probably not.
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Old Mar 18, 2018, 6:48 am
  #2  
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Losing your golf bag in the first 20 feet...

So I dropped my golf bag off at YYZ today, US departures.

I get through to CBP, and get a hit that I have to go back to the back room to wait for it to be screened.

30 minutes in, I get concerned.

It turns out, the bag was never imaged.

They don't know where it is.

They don't know if it is still in the back room, or might have gone to the plane.

It took an hour and 15 to resolve, with me pushing them to make multiple calls. The excuses from AC came fast and furious - that luggage is contracted out, etc. It was only when I began to push them and had 3 of them on the phone, working the ramp, inside and CBP to find it that they resolved it.

They lost it. Then found it. Within the first 20 feet.

(And in the middle of all this, I called the Concierge to see if they could help. They still haven't called back. See my separate thread of Concierge Fails)

It turns out the lady never scanned it, and I was told I should have waited and asked her if she actually had a scan.

I tell you, some days this airline manages to go beyond basic incompetence to something that is world class incompetence. I mean, it didn't even get beyond the first step!
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Old Mar 18, 2018, 8:12 am
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Agree that the inability to speak to Concierge right away (which was always possible before and almost never now IME) is a major downgrade in the program.
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Old Mar 18, 2018, 9:21 am
  #4  
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Connecting through PEK a few weeks ago; massive snowstorm forecast at my point of departure; emailed concierge at PEK (one of them had given me a business card on a previous transit) asking if they would be able to get me on the previous day's PEK-YYZ flight if I was able to find a way to PEK. Still waiting for a reply.

(To make matters worse, my travel agent was able to make the change but was charged a fee because "AC has not issued a travel alert for HRB". This was of course nonsense, because AC doesn't fly to HRB. In the event, HRB was basically shut down on my day of original travel, and my flight I was cancelled. I wrote asking for the change fee to be refunded, arguing that because I had been pro-active in dealing with what was obviously an IROPS situation, I had saved myself and AC hassle and expense. AC agent wrote back rejecting my request - which would have been fine - but adding that since the first carrier would have been responsible for getting me home after the cancellation, I hadn't actually saved AC anything. Perhaps true, but incredibly short-sighted from a customer service perspective)

(To make matters worse worse, AE still not crediting for the PEK-YYZ flight!)

Thanks IntheAirGuy for the chance to vent - which is surely what this thread is going to become.

Last edited by SYM; Mar 18, 2018 at 11:12 am Reason: clarity
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Old Mar 18, 2018, 10:57 am
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Originally Posted by SYM
Connecting through PEK a few weeks ago; massive snowstorm forecast at my point of departure; emailed concierge at PEK (one of them had given me a business card on a previous transit) asking if they would be able to get me on the previous day's YYZ-PEK flight if I was able to find a way to PEK. Still waiting for a reply.

(To make matters worse, my travel agent was able to make the change but was charged a fee because "AC has not issued a travel alert for HRB". This was of course nonsense, because AC doesn't fly to HRB. In the event, HRB was basically shut down on my day of original travel, and my flight I was cancelled. I wrote asking for the change fee to be refunded, arguing that because I had been pro-active in dealing with what was obviously an IROPS situation, I had saved myself and AC hassle and expense. AC agent wrote back rejecting my request - which would have been fine - but adding that since the first carrier would have been responsible for getting me home after the cancellation, I hadn't actually saved AC anything. Perhaps true, but incredibly short-sighted from a customer service perspective)

(To make matters worse worse, AE still not crediting for the PEK-YYZ flight!)

Thanks IntheAirGuy for the chance to vent - which is surely what this thread is going to become.
I actually think that there is a potential solution in your description. Since all the new concierges are like, 19 years old, maybe they should supplement the call line with a text chat, messenger, or similar communication method. It would be trivially easy to implement through the app. Snort. I just re-read that. Lets say it should be easy. But yeah, call times are nuts. If you can't find a concierge in person, it is difficult/impossible to actually communicate with one these days.
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Old Mar 18, 2018, 12:01 pm
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I do not use the concierge service because it is inaccessible. I believe I qualify as I fly TPAC in paid business. The obstacle is that Air Canada has never ever, not once, provided an email or message to say, here is how you can contact the concierge. Oh sure, some will say that's my problem for not finding out, but to me this belies the ethos of the concierges: The airline says it has them, but has erected obstacles to accessing their service. When I need a concierge, I am not in a position to contact one. We see it with the extreme cases like mine, which I believe many business class customers who do not read FT experience, to the reduction in personnel and now with the tightening of the resource over all. Yes some SEs benefit. It would be more honest and transparent . to just say that the concierge is available to select customers and not promote the service in the manner it is done. (The annoited few will be along shortly, to inform us of how well they are taken care of.)
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Old Mar 18, 2018, 12:31 pm
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Originally Posted by Transpacificflyer
The obstacle is that Air Canada has never ever, not once, provided an email or message to say, here is how you can contact the concierge.
As per policy. Phone/e-mail access is an SE "privilege."
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Old Mar 18, 2018, 12:38 pm
  #8  
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Originally Posted by InTheAirGuy
.......
I did call the central Concierge line at 815; of course, no answer, and I requested a call back.

It's now 840AM, 35 minutes later, and still no call back......
840 am - 815 am = 25 minutes

Time flies
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Old Mar 18, 2018, 12:41 pm
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Originally Posted by SYM
Connecting through PEK a few weeks ago; massive snowstorm forecast at my point of departure; emailed concierge at PEK (one of them had given me a business card on a previous transit) asking if they would be able to get me on the previous day's PEK-YYZ flight if I was able to find a way to PEK. Still waiting for a reply.
.
Not sure if they made some recent changes to the e-mail system for local concierges but the last few e-mails (since March 1st) have gone unanswered as well...
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Old Mar 18, 2018, 12:59 pm
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Originally Posted by Stranger
As per policy. Phone/e-mail access is an SE "privilege."
Isn't it supposed to be a benefit of TPAC/TATL paid J/C/P/Z/D as well?
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Old Mar 18, 2018, 1:21 pm
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Originally Posted by ridefar
Isn't it supposed to be a benefit of TPAC/TATL paid J/C/P/Z/D as well?
Concierge service, yes. Phone or e-mail access, no.
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Old Mar 18, 2018, 1:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Stranger
Concierge service, yes. Phone or e-mail access, no.
Isn't that a little bit like if a tree falls, and nobody hears it?
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Old Mar 18, 2018, 1:44 pm
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Originally Posted by ridefar
Isn't that a little bit like if a tree falls, and nobody hears it?
Eh, don't ask me.
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Old Mar 18, 2018, 2:01 pm
  #14  
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I have yet to run into these issues. Maybe I'm just not flying at the right time. But even during the meltdown in the first week of January, I was able to get right through to a concierge when time really mattered (daytime EST). I was on hold for a while (middle of night EST) earlier that day, and had given up, but I sent an email instead, and got a reply within a couple hours, well before it mattered.

Originally Posted by capedreamer
Agree that the inability to speak to Concierge right away (which was always possible before and almost never now IME) is a major downgrade in the program.

As someone who lives in SFO, I find that statement surprising.

It wasn't that long ago that for an SFO-YYZ flight, there was simply no concierge available.

There weren't any in SFO, and the YYZ concierges couldn't do anything. No check-in, SDC, seat changes, etc.


Originally Posted by ridefar
Isn't that a little bit like if a tree falls, and nobody hears it?
No, it just means you're not entitled to it until you're at the airport.
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Old Mar 18, 2018, 2:44 pm
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Originally Posted by canadiancow
As someone who lives in SFO, I find that statement surprising.

It wasn't that long ago that for an SFO-YYZ flight, there was simply no concierge available.
I guess YMMV.

My concierge requests can usually be handled by agents based in any location, provided I can get in touch with them. Previously, that was never a problem. This year, I've always had to wait 15 min+ on the line or for a call back.
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