Recent Experience with Air Canada

Old Jan 27, 20, 3:12 pm
  #1  
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Recent Experience with Air Canada

Just wanted to describe a really pathetic experience with Air Canada.
My wife bought a business class ticket issued by Air Canada (ATL-YYZ-BOM-MAA-FRA-ATL) and is on the way to MAA as we speak. ATL-YYZ-BOM on Air Canada planes. BOM-MAA on Air India (AC codeshare) and MAA-FRA-ATL on LH. All on star allance
(1) First Air Canada refused to issue boarding pass for the BOM-MAA segment because they said that it was more than 24 hours after the initial check-in. The layover at BOM was only 7 hours. They also refused to tag the bags all the way to MAA
(2) At BOM AI chose NOT to recognize the flight reservation until my wife talked to 5 different agents. Then only she was issued the boarding pass.
(3) AI flight is delayed by 3 hours. When my wife tried to go to the lounge, she was told that she could enter only 4 hours before departure time. She was there 4 hours before the SCHEDULED departure. So after a 15 hour flight from YYZ to BOM, she cannot even use the lounge.
My points are (1) What is the point of code share if you cannot even tag bags on code share airline or issue boarding pass on a code share and (2) Lounge access being restricted at an alliance lounge when both incoming and outgoing flights are on the same alliance for no fault of the passenger.
On top of all this, when I tried to call AC customer service they only have an announcement saying that they have been overwhelmed with calls because of a new reservation system. They dont respond to tweets and their email response said wait for 3 weeks. Is this how AC treats its premium passengers?
I plan to take our business elsewhere,. Thanks AC

Additional minor point: AC allows access to a lounge in the domestic terminal at Concourse T in Atlanta while their check-in counters and gates are at Concourse F in the International terminal. The two concourses are about 8 stations apart in the underground train. Every other Airline allows access to the lounge in the international terminal except AC.
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Old Jan 27, 20, 9:44 pm
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Originally Posted by ramakk View Post
(1) First Air Canada refused to issue boarding pass for the BOM-MAA segment because they said that it was more than 24 hours after the initial check-in. The layover at BOM was only 7 hours. They also refused to tag the bags all the way to MAA
That's pretty typical to this sort of situations. Not sure AC is really to blame for that, more likely the continuing airlines.

(2) At BOM AI chose NOT to recognize the flight reservation until my wife talked to 5 different agents. Then only she was issued the boarding pass.
(3) AI flight is delayed by 3 hours. When my wife tried to go to the lounge, she was told that she could enter only 4 hours before departure time. She was there 4 hours before the SCHEDULED departure. So after a 15 hour flight from YYZ to BOM, she cannot even use the lounge.
My points are (1) What is the point of code share if you cannot even tag bags on code share airline or issue boarding pass on a code share and (2) Lounge access being restricted at an alliance lounge when both incoming and outgoing flights are on the same alliance for no fault of the passenger.
Again, pretty typical no matter which airline you are flying on. Really, an AI issue.
On top of all this, when I tried to call AC customer service they only have an announcement saying that they have been overwhelmed with calls because of a new reservation system. They dont respond to tweets and their email response said wait for 3 weeks. Is this how AC treats its premium passengers?
This is how AC has been treating all their passengers, except those with status... :-)

What can I say...

Additional minor point: AC allows access to a lounge in the domestic terminal at Concourse T in Atlanta while their check-in counters and gates are at Concourse F in the International terminal. The two concourses are about 8 stations apart in the underground train. Every other Airline allows access to the lounge in the international terminal except AC.
THey only have a minor presence there. OTOH, I would not be surprised if their price was quite competitive. At the end of the day you get what you pay for, one way or another.

Last edited by tcook052; Jan 28, 20 at 5:19 am Reason: fix quote
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Old Jan 28, 20, 7:27 am
  #3  
 
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Recent Experience with Air India

Sounds a lot like your issues are with Air India not Air Canada.

Last edited by recreationaltimetraveller; Jan 28, 20 at 7:29 am Reason: fixed title
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Old Jan 28, 20, 7:43 am
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I think other posters have answered most of the questions, but for point #3 here has been my experience:

3) AI flight was delayed in BOM and they tried to pull a fast one on me at the lounge by saying I can only enter the lounge 4 hours before the revised departure time. I forced the issue at the front desk, saying that I should be admitted 4 hours before the original departure time and that the delay is out of my control. The lady called her supervisor and got the approval to let me in.

I always have to press a little harder in India to get things done!
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Old Jan 28, 20, 7:59 am
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Originally Posted by dennisthemenace View Post
I always have to press a little harder in India to get things done!
Now this is certainly true. I even had to argue to get into the priority security line in DEL even though my boarding pass clearly said I was entitled. I wonder if perhaps he was expecting a tip. *sigh*

Anyway, I don't think you will get much joy from Air Canada regarding these issues even if you manage to reach somebody on the phone. You can submit a complaint online and then forget about it and in a couple months somebody will send you an email that may or may not contain a 10% off code.

I do agree that you *should* be able to speak with an agent. I think the current problems since they transitioned to a new booking system have gone on for way too long now.
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Old Jan 29, 20, 4:59 pm
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Thank you all for your responses. I agree that AI messed up. My point was that most of the issues could have been eliminated if AC agents at Atlanta had issued the boarding pass and tagged the bags all the way to MAA. AC issued the tickets. It is an AC code share flight. Both airlines are part of the Star alliance. My wife was traveling in business class.It was not as though that AC's fare was cheaper. At the time of booking this ticket LH's price was about the same. We thought AC experience could be better than with LH. Lesson learned.

For the sake of comparison. In October 2019 I was scheduled to travel coach (MAA-DOH-ATL ) on Qatar. MAA-DOH was delayed by 2+ hours causing me to miss DOH-ATL. Qatar booked me (DOH-LHR-ATL) on BA even though I had less than 1 hour at DOH to connect. OneWorld alliance worked flawlessly.

When Airlines care, it is usually easy to solve problems. Both AC and AI employees chose not to care. That's all. Again thanks to everyone's response.

PS:- I have still not heard back from AC. Not even an acknowledgement (email or tweet)
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Old Jan 29, 20, 5:02 pm
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Originally Posted by ramakk View Post
Thank you all for your responses. I agree that AI messed up. My point was that most of the issues could have been eliminated if AC agents at Atlanta had issued the boarding pass and tagged the bags all the way to MAA. AC issued the tickets. It is an AC code share flight. Both airlines are part of the Star alliance. My wife was traveling in business class.It was not as though that AC's fare was cheaper. At the time of booking this ticket LH's price was about the same. We thought AC experience could be better than with LH. Lesson learned.

For the sake of comparison. In October 2019 I was scheduled to travel coach (MAA-DOH-ATL ) on Qatar. MAA-DOH was delayed by 2+ hours causing me to miss DOH-ATL. Qatar booked me (DOH-LHR-ATL) on BA even though I had less than 1 hour at DOH to connect. OneWorld alliance worked flawlessly.

When Airlines care, it is usually easy to solve problems. Both AC and AI employees chose not to care. That's all. Again thanks to everyone's response.

PS:- I have still not heard back from AC. Not even an acknowledgement (email or tweet)
From your first post, what did AI say to your wife when they didn't want to honour her ticket to travel onward? Was there some sort of change in itinerary that wasn't communicated initially?
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Old Jan 29, 20, 9:22 pm
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BOM lounge is a contract lounge for all airlines. 4hr limit applies regardless of airline and it is because it gets way too crowded even with the limit. Yes it sucks because there are many long connections at night in India.
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Old Jan 30, 20, 1:09 am
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I just did YYZ to FRA on AC. In EC. I was surprised by the good service. I checked in at YQM to YYZ to FRA. All the way it's was good. The staff at the MLL was very helpful and good. So was the boarding and the inflight service too. I was pleasantly surprised.
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Old Jan 30, 20, 5:14 am
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Originally Posted by yyznomad View Post
From your first post, what did AI say to your wife when they didn't want to honour her ticket to travel onward? Was there some sort of change in itinerary that wasn't communicated initially?
She collected the bags after customs. AI said that you cannot handover the bags right there because she had no boarding pass and the bags had not been tagged through. AI at the arrivals area asked her to go to the gate to get the boarding pass. All she had at that time was an AC confirmation mentioning AC flt # NOT Air India flt #. That was not enough to enter the airport. Again, what is the point of an alliance when i could have done better by buying a separate ticket for the BOM-MAA segment. In any case she reached home 6 hours late. All's well.
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Old Jan 30, 20, 1:08 pm
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Sometimes it's the countries security issues that don't allow thru tagging if it's more than 24 hours. I have experienced this myself.
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Old Jan 30, 20, 3:43 pm
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Originally Posted by dav662 View Post
Sometimes it's the countries security issues that don't allow thru tagging if it's more than 24 hours. I have experienced this myself.
Is it? Iím fairly certain that it isnít - especially for India. I can see an airline CSA saying that because they know no better, but I doubt any government anywhere actually cares about when a pax is checking in.
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Old Jan 30, 20, 3:54 pm
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Originally Posted by ramakk View Post
Just wanted to describe a really pathetic experience with Air Canada.
My wife bought a business class ticket issued by Air Canada (ATL-YYZ-BOM-MAA-FRA-ATL) and is on the way to MAA as we speak. ATL-YYZ-BOM on Air Canada planes. BOM-MAA on Air India (AC codeshare) and MAA-FRA-ATL on LH. All on star allance
(1) First Air Canada refused to issue boarding pass for the BOM-MAA segment because they said that it was more than 24 hours after the initial check-in. The layover at BOM was only 7 hours. They also refused to tag the bags all the way to MAA
(2) At BOM AI chose NOT to recognize the flight reservation until my wife talked to 5 different agents. Then only she was issued the boarding pass.
(3) AI flight is delayed by 3 hours. When my wife tried to go to the lounge, she was told that she could enter only 4 hours before departure time. She was there 4 hours before the SCHEDULED departure. So after a 15 hour flight from YYZ to BOM, she cannot even use the lounge.
My points are (1) What is the point of code share if you cannot even tag bags on code share airline or issue boarding pass on a code share and (2) Lounge access being restricted at an alliance lounge when both incoming and outgoing flights are on the same alliance for no fault of the passenger.
On top of all this, when I tried to call AC customer service they only have an announcement saying that they have been overwhelmed with calls because of a new reservation system. They dont respond to tweets and their email response said wait for 3 weeks. Is this how AC treats its premium passengers?
I plan to take our business elsewhere,. Thanks AC

Additional minor point: AC allows access to a lounge in the domestic terminal at Concourse T in Atlanta while their check-in counters and gates are at Concourse F in the International terminal. The two concourses are about 8 stations apart in the underground train. Every other Airline allows access to the lounge in the international terminal except AC.
The long and short of it is that there is a reason the ex-India *A J market generally avoids both AI and AC in favour of LX and LH. When issues happen neither of the former two carriers have a coherent or effective Customer service recovery capability. Its why they are carriers of last resort.

Iíve had similar issues with AC/LH, with LH forcing me to go landside to re-check in at YYZ. Is it an AC or LH issue? I donít know. Iíll just say that Iíve never experienced this issue on SQ/LH connections, despite the fact that they lose two arenít in the same type of metal neutral JV.
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Old Jan 30, 20, 4:19 pm
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Originally Posted by yulred View Post
Iíve had similar issues with AC/LH, with LH forcing me to go landside to re-check in at YYZ. Is it an AC or LH issue? I donít know. Iíll just say that Iíve never experienced this issue on SQ/LH connections, despite the fact that they lose two arenít in the same type of metal neutral JV.
Maybe this will be improved once everything goes to Amadeus and smooths out over time.
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Old Jan 30, 20, 8:43 pm
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I agree the Atlanta set up is ridiculous. Especially if you return a rental car and donít have your boarding pass. Take bus to international terminal to get boarding pass and then go through security and then take train all the way back to get to lounge and then train back again to go to gate.
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