Do Canadians like AC?

Old Apr 17, 05, 6:47 pm
  #1  
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Do Canadians like AC?

I visit Canada with about 8 times a year and always use AC - regular SWU's certainly help!!. However when in Canada I rarely seem to meet anyone that likes using them and it is diffult to understand why as I cannot fault them. However, in the UK, BA is pretty much universally liked and supported by us Brits.

An example, I caught the bus from my home town in the UK to LHR for an AC flight to YYZ. I got talking to a Canadian couple on the bus who were also flying to YYZ and they said, "Great, we can get off the bus together at T4 and go to the check in together". Whan I told them I was not flying BA from T4 but AC from T3 they genuinely seemed shocked. "But why, everyone in Canada hates and avoids AC and we are using BA" they proudly said. I have to say, this attitude seems not uncommon - but what on earth have AC done to deserve this from their own country folk?
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Old Apr 17, 05, 6:58 pm
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BOH,

I think for a while there after AC bought Canadian, AC become a little arrogant since they have close to 90% of the market in Canada, a near monopoly. Service was decreased to such an extent that after some bad flights in 2003 and early 2004, I was seriously considering walking away from AC. I have some friends who commutes every week like I do that refuse to fly AC any more.

Since summer last year, there has been some improvements in service and customer service. Having met some AC management in some Dos, I have very impressed by one VP and see that AC is trying to change so still flying them but no longer exclusively. Service has improved but could use a little more improvement too. The outlook is positive but still spotty on occassion.

BA had never been arrogant per say although they are fairly strict with their FF programs. With BD as a competitor locally and a lot of European airlines for European business and many excellent Asian airlines for Long-hauls, BA keeps their product and service fairly good.
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Old Apr 18, 05, 12:37 am
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I think Virgin does a good job of keeping BA honest and in check more or less, as well...

However, I wonder how BA would fare if one put BA's domestic Econ product in a market where 5 hours direct, non-stop is still a domestic flight? Even Club Europe from YVR-YUL would be more painful than AC in domestic 767 configuration and a lot more painful than in A319/20/21 (minus the freak of a 321 I had to YUL couple weeks ago). This plus increasing competition for the same domestic flights with RyanAir, EasyJet, and BMI also.

Just a few early morning thoughts
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Old Apr 18, 05, 12:42 am
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BOH, what types of pax were these you were speaking to?
Was it the run of the mill "I'm visiting grandma once a year" traveller? Not only do they judge based on their minimal experience, but they also judge based on what they hear in the news, which is for the most part negative. I would argue that hearing their opinions should be taken with a grain of salt.
If you ask us AC status fliers, you might hear a different story.
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Old Apr 18, 05, 1:01 am
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Our family used to fly Canadi>n and when it was absorbed by AC we were none too pleased. As Snoopyo mentions, for awhile AC was quite arrogant, phone waiting times were atrocious, and many frontline staff were obnoxious (the exception noticeable when an ex-CP agent answered the phone!!)

So much so, I decided to give the paltry business I give to airlines to BA, esp. since I was going to start school in London. When AC went into CCRA protection, switching mainly to BA looked good as ACs future seemed to be quite uncertain.

But with BAs higher prices and less comfortable Y product (WT+ on BA, however, is brilliant) I switched back to AC and am VERY happy. I was very happy that 2 years ago they gave me a first time Prestige member such a generous benefit package; while slightly less please about changes made to this year's programme, averaging out last year and this year, AC is still very good for me. As such, I am very happy with AC, enough to go for Elite (or E-Lite) this year, mainly thanks to awesome FTers on this board (djjaguar, YOWkid, ABG, Empress and many others).

Last edited by luxury; Apr 18, 05 at 1:06 am
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Old Apr 18, 05, 7:15 am
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BOH

There are many who feel very comfortable with AC,myself included.

Good for you for looking to ask for a 2nd ,3rd..... opinion,
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Old Apr 18, 05, 7:28 am
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as much as many may ***** about AC, they still fly them, like me for example, I still fly them because I have status. Knowing that I can book the bulkhead row in advance is a major reason that I fly AC, when I could be using WS. If I didn't have status with the airline, I may consider moving to WS
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Old Apr 18, 05, 8:19 am
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I am totally with luxury on this one -- I used to fly CP religiously and absolutely loved it. And when AC took over CP, I was none too pleased -- especially after getting goatf*cked by them and at that point in time vowed never to fly AC ever again.

However, when I did my one year international exchange in the UK, I decided to go with AC as it was the best option from YUL (I didn't really want to take a bus transfer via YUL to go on BA). And I am glad I gave AC that second chance, even though I had a few poor experiences until I received P status (I almost gave up on AC again after an agent in YYZ was extremely uncooperative but the next agent really worked really hard to get me what I needed). I am quite happy flying AC now and fly *A, in general, pretty religiously as possible.
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Old Apr 18, 05, 8:36 am
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Middle ground..

I find AC opperates in the middle, definately better than the US legacy carriers, on par with alot of european and not quite to par with the best of europe and asia. Do I hate AC, no, its just a lack of consistency that infuriates, everytime I fly SQ I know exactly what to expect and am rarely dissapointed, the same cant be said for AC.
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Old Apr 18, 05, 8:41 am
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That's true...

I think the Y product is relatively pretty consistent, but the J product... well, that is a different story.
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Old Apr 18, 05, 8:53 am
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Yes and no would be my answer. Yes in the sense that the service from the staff on board has improved greatly in the last year or so, both domestically and internationally.

The no part for me is that the international business service is just not competitive with BA. And if Virgin re-enters the Canadian market, then there will be two options that just blow AC out of the water. The caveat to that is that I can use my SWU and SSWU upgrade certs with pretty good reliability to upgrade from economy fares.

As an example, I just did a flight in J yesterday from LHR - YYZ on one of the old 763s, and it was pretty grim. Terrible food, no personal TV (although they do provide a portable DVD player) and a very uncomfortable seat.

Air Canada's challenge, to keep me as a customer, will be to provide a competitive business product soon. My company is about to put in place a policy whereby senior execs will be booked into business for flights over five hours. It's nice to fly Air Canada to get points and status (I'll hit Super Elite this year), but realistically I can't see myself choosing them over BA when I have the option of a guaranteed seat in Club World.

Originally Posted by BOH
I visit Canada with about 8 times a year and always use AC - regular SWU's certainly help!!. However when in Canada I rarely seem to meet anyone that likes using them and it is diffult to understand why as I cannot fault them. However, in the UK, BA is pretty much universally liked and supported by us Brits.

An example, I caught the bus from my home town in the UK to LHR for an AC flight to YYZ. I got talking to a Canadian couple on the bus who were also flying to YYZ and they said, "Great, we can get off the bus together at T4 and go to the check in together". Whan I told them I was not flying BA from T4 but AC from T3 they genuinely seemed shocked. "But why, everyone in Canada hates and avoids AC and we are using BA" they proudly said. I have to say, this attitude seems not uncommon - but what on earth have AC done to deserve this from their own country folk?
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Old Apr 18, 05, 9:28 am
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the short anwer is yes

There is always a warm feeling when one gets on an AC flight from some overseas destination, reading yesterday's Globe and Mail and being offered a Canadian beer.
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Old Apr 18, 05, 9:28 am
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Originally Posted by yyznomad
BOH, what types of pax were these you were speaking to?
Was it the run of the mill "I'm visiting grandma once a year" traveller? Not only do they judge based on their minimal experience, but they also judge based on what they hear in the news, which is for the most part negative. I would argue that hearing their opinions should be taken with a grain of salt.
If you ask us AC status fliers, you might hear a different story.
There are plenty of regular and former AC customers who share these feelings all of the time especially outside of YYZ.

Last edited by ProudEdmontonian; Apr 18, 05 at 9:31 am
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Old Apr 18, 05, 9:39 am
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Originally Posted by PunishedEdmontonian
There are plenty of regular and former AC customers who share these feelings all of the time especially outside of YYZ.
The flights I have been on lately have been very full.
ACmust be doing something right.


I want to know this answer too PE.Your comment to "outside of YYZ" might have limited merit.(although some effort is being made there,IMO)
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Old Apr 18, 05, 9:41 am
  #15  
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Originally Posted by Cloud Lounger
There is always a warm feeling when one gets on an AC flight from some overseas destination, reading yesterday's Globe and Mail and being offered a Canadian beer.
^ I had that exact feeling last week when I boarded my flt from DEL to YYZ
and was given the newspapers and was greeted by some friendly smiling Canadian faces as a welcome.

Last edited by parnel; Apr 18, 05 at 9:43 am
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