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Meltdown at Toronto last night (19Apr18) - looking for compensation

Meltdown at Toronto last night (19Apr18) - looking for compensation

Old Apr 20, 18, 8:30 am
  #1  
1P
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Meltdown at Toronto last night (19Apr18) - looking for compensation

Several flights were canceled last night, and AC proved incapable of handling the resulting chaos. I was getting a live commentary via Skype....

My correspondent was on flight 7409 to Cleveland, scheduled to leave at 8:45pm. At the gate, it was announced that a delayed flight to Cincinnati would go first, and then the Cleveland flight had its gate changed, with a new departure of 9:30pm. The flight duly left and lined up on the only open runway for about 45 minutes before beginning its take-off run....

Then we accelerated to take off. Then suddenly the brakes were slammed on and we skidded. And stopped.
Captain says a computer malfunctioned just as we were accelerating.
Itís now 10:45 and we are sitting on the ground waiting for an open gate. Then we donít know what happens.
11:30 and we are still on the plane. At a gate with mechanics trying to figure this out. All electricity shut off. They say for a reset but it hasnít worked so far.
11:45 they announced the plane had to go to the hangar for repair. We got off the plane, walked all the way back to main terminal. Then through Canadian customs to enter the country.
I spent the last 15 minutes trying to find my luggage and anyone from air canada. They had no one in the gate area to help us.
Now Iím in a long line at their check Iím trying to see what happens next.
Air canada is not so great. At 12:30, they said their customer service desk would be closed until 4:00 am!!
I think we all turned into angry villagers and people got pretty perturbed. There were four flights in chaos besides ours.
Luggage check. Remind me to tell you.
Back to story. Angry people...tempers...Air Canada decided to keep their 4 agents open until 1:00.
So about 12:40 I was seen and rebooked for an 8:30 flight.
Given a hotel voucher-but itís 15 minutes away and I have to be back here at 5:30-after I locate my luggage ó seems our flight has luggage sent to three different carousels.
Hotel Novotel Mississauga
Plus a $10 meal voucher. Usable in the airport. But everything is closed of course!
One agent said to be here about 5, because Friday lines are pretty long early in the morning for check in security and customs again...
So Iím going to camp here. Doesnít seem smart to spend basically 3 hours in a hotel worrying about waking up on time!
There is a real lack of customer service. No one in the gate area to tell us where to head. Or to rebook us there. No one by Canadian customs to help. No one in the baggage area to say where bags were. No one to tell you that the check in counter was closed and you needed to ďfollow the purple line to the ConnectionsĒ department. Who would have known?
I am not impressed. .
Stuff happens and you get stuck in airports. I get it. But to not have any reps in place to handle multiple flights with mechanical or weather delays ó 4 people in a little office???
1:38...a really kind woman at the airport info desk directed me to a quiet location where there was a restroom where I could change clothes (yes I found my luggage!), and where there was a Subway open all night. It is set way back on the third level. So I go there telling the girl I have a voucher and canít spend more because I donít have any Canadian dollars.
But sheís an idiot and the meal is $11.85. So I have to charge $1.85 on my debit card!!! Assggghh
But I have a tuna sandwich
And will find a place to nap after this
The info gal agreed that a hotel 12 miles away, with all these passengers staying there, would be a nightmare checking in and out.
Is any sort of compensation in order for this experience?
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Old Apr 20, 18, 8:36 am
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Is that an Air Georgian operated flight?

I was just reading the thread about their issues a few hours ago.
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Old Apr 20, 18, 8:37 am
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AC seems to have abided by its contract of carriage, so no further official compensation is due. But have the passenger (aka 'correspondent') write in about his/her experience to Customer Relations and they may issue him/her goodwill compensation.
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Old Apr 20, 18, 8:38 am
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The only melting at YYZ yesterday was the snow melting.

WHat was your overall arrival time? If it was a mechanical or computer issue .. you may get something.
Doesnít AC give ... $200 if more then 6 hours delayed or something? For non weather?
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Old Apr 20, 18, 8:41 am
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Originally Posted by 1P View Post
Several flights were canceled last night, and AC proved incapable of handling the resulting chaos. I was getting a live commentary via Skype....

My correspondent was on flight 7409 to Cleveland, scheduled to leave at 8:45pm. At the gate, it was announced that a delayed flight to Cincinnati would go first, and then the Cleveland flight had its gate changed, with a new departure of 9:30pm. The flight duly left and lined up on the only open runway for about 45 minutes before beginning its take-off run....



Is any sort of compensation in order for this experience?
They got a $10 voucher, what were you expecting?
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Old Apr 20, 18, 8:42 am
  #6  
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That is some story! What a meltdown!
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Old Apr 20, 18, 9:38 am
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A few random thoughts....

-too bad you saved AC $100 or so by not presenting the voucher to the hotel

-AC and especially its express carriers have a bad habit of departing with as many things broken and deferred maintenance as long as legally possible. Pilots have complained in public forums in the last month. Look at this recent photo and count the broken systems on the AC Air Georgian plane that WASN'T even pulled from service. https://imgur.com/a/zwSeHap

-AC has a horrible cancellation rate for cle/yyz. Sad that the majority of CLE passengers pick the lowest price flight by booking an AC connection in Toronto versus a US connection to overseas flights. I am in CLE weekly and if I see ONE cancellation out of 3 full screens, I know it will be Air Canada.

-is it really Subway's fault for not telling you their menu prices are prior to tax? Guess you don't shop anywhere else in the US or Canada? Sounds like you CHOSE to use a debit card versus asking for a free filtered tap water and a sub instead of a combo meal.
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Old Apr 20, 18, 9:44 am
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Originally Posted by 1P View Post
Is any sort of compensation in order for this experience?
No. Read the tariffs.
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Old Apr 20, 18, 9:51 am
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Originally Posted by expert7700 View Post
A few random thoughts....

-AC has a horrible cancellation rate for cle/yyz. Sad that the majority of CLE passengers pick the lowest price flight by booking an AC connection in Toronto versus a US connection to overseas flights. I am in CLE weekly and if I see ONE cancellation out of 3 full screens, I know it will be Air Canada.
Interesting, I find the CLE route one of the most expensive routes in the network. Not uncommon for me to get a flex fare for $1500 ++ several weeks out. Must be cheaper originating in CLE.

Originally Posted by expert7700 View Post
A few random thoughts....
-is it really Subway's fault for not telling you their menu prices are prior to tax?
You always have to go with the Sub of the Day special.
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Old Apr 20, 18, 10:25 am
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YYZ was operating only the 2 N/S runways for quite a while last night due to strong winds, and that always has impacts on short hauls - inbounds cannot get slots, so everything gets pushed back (Flightaware reported departure delays of over 2-1/2 hours at point of origin). Not that that caused the particular problem covered in this thread, but it would have had a lot to do with the initial delay - i fact, I'm surprised it was not worse.
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Old Apr 20, 18, 10:43 am
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Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
No. Read the tariffs.
You sure? There seems to be a mechanical issue that is significant here, which is it not considered under AC control?
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Old Apr 20, 18, 11:39 am
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Originally Posted by robsaw View Post
You sure? There seems to be a mechanical issue that is significant here, which is it not considered under AC control?
So? What would the tariffs provide for, apart for rebooking, a $10 voucher, hotel? Which was offered.
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Old Apr 20, 18, 12:21 pm
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Given the title I was sure you were talking about the hockey game last night at the ACC. Meltdown indeed.
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Old Apr 20, 18, 1:05 pm
  #14  
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I had assumed that being delayed for 12 hours for a mechanical might merit something more than a food voucher that you cannot easily spend and 2-3 hours in a crappy hotel. Apparently the crew were very keen to get the passengers off the plane so that they would not run into the breaching of the maximum time you can be waiting on an aircraft..... The penalties would really have kicked in then.

If Air Canada wants to learn any lessons from this, they would be well advised to have staff wait, after the last planes of the night have left their gates, until those planes have actually taken off before leaving their posts. Returning to a completely deserted terminal where none of the pax knows where to go or what to do next is simply appalling customer service. Not only had nearly all the AC staff gone home, there were apparently no supervisors present, either.

A passenger on another flight from Toronto last night ran into a different sort of problem. It seems that when you have checked in at Toronto you then have to wait while your luggage is screened. Once your name comes up on the board, you are clear to go through security. This guy's name never came up. Two hours in, the staff were still saying "Oh, it will come up in a moment!"..... The result was that he missed his flight, which was connecting to an international flight to Germany where he was due to speak at a conference. Since he was only going to be in Germany for two days, this effectively constituted a trip in vain.

I have flown Air Canada a few times, with OK experiences, but I read a lot about Air Canada's terrible customer service. Almost every week it seems some disaster strikes.This is the first time that people known to me have experienced it for themselves. Is anyone from AC reading this?
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Old Apr 20, 18, 1:28 pm
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Originally Posted by 1P View Post
I had assumed that being delayed for 12 hours for a mechanical might merit something more than a food voucher that you cannot easily spend and 2-3 hours in a crappy hotel. Apparently the crew were very keen to get the passengers off the plane so that they would not run into the breaching of the maximum time you can be waiting on an aircraft..... The penalties would really have kicked in then.

If Air Canada wants to learn any lessons from this, they would be well advised to have staff wait, after the last planes of the night have left their gates, until those planes have actually taken off before leaving their posts. Returning to a completely deserted terminal where none of the pax knows where to go or what to do next is simply appalling customer service. Not only had nearly all the AC staff gone home, there were apparently no supervisors present, either.

A passenger on another flight from Toronto last night ran into a different sort of problem. It seems that when you have checked in at Toronto you then have to wait while your luggage is screened. Once your name comes up on the board, you are clear to go through security. This guy's name never came up. Two hours in, the staff were still saying "Oh, it will come up in a moment!"..... The result was that he missed his flight, which was connecting to an international flight to Germany where he was due to speak at a conference. Since he was only going to be in Germany for two days, this effectively constituted a trip in vain.

I have flown Air Canada a few times, with OK experiences, but I read a lot about Air Canada's terrible customer service. Almost every week it seems some disaster strikes.This is the first time that people known to me have experienced it for themselves. Is anyone from AC reading this?
Unfortunately this is par for the course for AC when there is IRROPs. 3-4 staff rebooking hundreds of people in line. 2 people in the baggage hall. Why they cannot have a bank of phones to connect to a AC call center is beyond me. And the TB departures is also complicated with the need to reclear Canada customs, someone has to walk you to the right door and let you thru, etc.
I would most definitely write in. You will likely get a discount code or AE points but more of benefit to all of us would be the fact that they would see these complaints and not assume everything is fine. These issues do not normally impact me because of concierge service, shorter phone wait times, etc. but I see them often on my travels which is mostly to US destinations.
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