Very disappointed in ANA service levels YVR

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Old Oct 9, 18, 11:37 pm
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Very disappointed in ANA service levels YVR

Flew with ANA during the Trami situation a couple weeks ago.. I feel like my disappointment has grounds, but if you guys feel I'm out of line then I owe ANA an apology. That said, I have flown into NRT and HND many, many times with JAL and have always been super happy. This was my first time with ANA and maybe I had built up the experience in my mind too much.

Essentially, I was booked to fly out on NH115 YVR->HND on Sept 30. I was connecting via Toronto on AC. Arrived in YVR at 830am. The entire time from Toronto on I was tracking the inbound NH116 flight and it had been cancelled due to Trami before I even left home. I made the assumption that since NH115 was still scheduled, ANA had brought in an alternate plane, etc. Walking around YVR, I kept asking agents and everyone kept telling me everything was fine.

At approx 1230pm, I received an automated email from ANA letting me know NH115 was cancelled and being rescheduled to the next day. I spoke to an AC agent who told me I'd have to get out of the secured area and I could try to re-book on the AC3 flight to NRT for 130pm. So I hustled through immigration, went to the AC desk and was told that because ANA had my bag, they could not move me over due to time and needing ANA to deal with the bag. I had to speak to ANA. Problem is ANA did not open the counter until 130pm. So I was screwed.

I stood in line waiting for the counter to open. Not a single person arriving at YVR for that flight knew the flight was cancelled. People were not happy. I ended up speaking to several people none of which could give me a good explanation as to why it would take so long to cancel NH115 when NH116 was cancelled over 24 hours prior.

I then had to go through security again to get my bag.. and then through security to get back out of the airport. I was then on the hook for a hotel and meals. All in all, I was not out of the airport until like 3-4pm.

Overall, just a bummer of an experience which could have been avoided had ANA just updated the status on NH115 sooner. I could have easily made the AC3 or JL17 flights had I known when I landed in YVR.

The whole experience with ANA has left a very bad taste in my mouth so I figured I would share.
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Old Oct 9, 18, 11:50 pm
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It sounds like a sucky situation that could have been handled better on the NH side. That said, did you try calling NH while waiting for the desk to open? AC got you to their end of the ticket and aren't responsible for rebooking you and waiting for the desk to open just lets other people get their situation resolve before you do reducing options.
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Old Oct 10, 18, 2:04 am
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It is pretty poor performance of ANA.

The departure time of 116 did put it in the expected main wrath of typhoon number 24, so no surprise that it was cancelled. I do wonder why they did not cancel 115 at the same point in time, as that would have been equally obvious.

While I do wonder a bit why you were not a bit more proactive I do also no know by experience that most phone agents are unable to do much until the flight is listed as cancelled. As long as it says 'on time' possibilities are limited. But in the airport they should be more capable.

Who issued your tickets?
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Old Oct 10, 18, 8:30 am
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The ticket was booked through AC.. the NH115 was a codeshare.

I did try to call ANA while I left the secured area -> check-in desk. With the Typhoon situation, the phones were slammed and once I got to the AC desk, I hung up. Maybe waited approx 45 mins.

Also, I should note at some point, two ANA agents came out to setup their counter. Since I was standing there, I asked them if they were with ANA and if they could help.. to which they responded - wait until 1:30pm when we open the counter. Errr.. OK, thanks.
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Old Oct 10, 18, 5:12 pm
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That's really bad performance of the airport staff, and I'd point it out to ANA.

I would probably have called Air Canada, as they issued the ticket they might have been able to help you even before the first flight. But it is always a heavy struggle to get something to happen before the flight is listed as cancelled. So it does in the end boil down to ANA's odd choice to not cancel the return flight.
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Old Oct 11, 18, 10:02 am
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Originally Posted by bennyblanco View Post
Also, I should note at some point, two ANA agents came out to setup their counter. Since I was standing there, I asked them if they were with ANA and if they could help.. to which they responded - wait until 1:30pm when we open the counter. Errr.. OK, thanks.
This is typical Japanese service - but to be fair, I'm not sure that even had they been willing to help, that they could have taken care of everything with less than one hour to scheduled departure.

The huge service failure was NH not canceling the return flight the moment they knew they were canceling the inbound flight.
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Old Oct 11, 18, 10:09 am
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I'm glad you guys agree that there was a service failure at some point. It was a terribly frustrating experience that I'm not used to from Japanese companies so I'm not sure if ANA is just slipping or if this was a one off, but either way I wanted it to be known.
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Old Oct 11, 18, 4:42 pm
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I have had similar weird situations before, among others with Lufthansa. The plane flying to Copenhagen still being in on the ground in Munich after the return flight from Copenhagen should have departed, yet Lufti keeping the departure from CPH listed as on time, and thus refusing to rebook passengers. Everyone I talked to could see the grotesque situation, but could not help as my flight was stated as on time.

So yes, the main service failure is to keep NH115 listed as operating, when it obviously would not
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Old Oct 11, 18, 7:37 pm
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Typical ANA policy to try to avoid canceling flights until last possible minute. I've had a few domestic flights in Japan go like that. JAL and all other airlines canceled the flights the day before, ANA didn't. I called ANA the day before and asked if I could change my ticket because I think my flight will be canceled, they said no, you must wait until the flight is canceled. So I went to HND for my 6:00 am departure, got through security, waited to board, and suddenly it was determined that they would cancel the flight.... Would've been nice if they could've done this before everyone went to the airport at 5:00 am when we all knew the typhoon was coming. I'm not sure if its a Japanese thing or ANA thing, or just being afraid to make decisions?
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Old Oct 12, 18, 8:54 am
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Wow.. so this seems like a common issue with ANA. Not good. I spoke to 3 different levels of management at YVR with the final being the VP of operations for ANA YVR. It was pretty clear to me that the final decision had to come out of Japan and although the entire ANA staff in YVR knew the flight wasn't happening, they were powerless to do anything until Japan HQ said so. I think this is typical of how Japanese typically work, but unfortunately in these rare circumstances it provides for a very poor end-user experience. Too bad.. I will not fly ANA again in the future. JAL it is.
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Old Oct 12, 18, 10:18 am
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Originally Posted by bennyblanco View Post
Wow.. so this seems like a common issue with ANA. Not good. I spoke to 3 different levels of management at YVR with the final being the VP of operations for ANA YVR. It was pretty clear to me that the final decision had to come out of Japan and although the entire ANA staff in YVR knew the flight wasn't happening, they were powerless to do anything until Japan HQ said so. I think this is typical of how Japanese typically work, but unfortunately in these rare circumstances it provides for a very poor end-user experience. Too bad.. I will not fly ANA again in the future. JAL it is.
I guarantee the decision had to be made by the ANA HQ in Japan. The staff that is abroad, even the vp of operations has little if any power at all. This is typical with how Japanese companies control everything to the extreme. Perhaps this is why the economy in Japan isn't growing...? I don't have any experience flying JAL outside of domestic Japan tickets, but I can tell you that the JAL staff at Haneda isn't the smartest or brightest either. I've booked Iberia avios reward tickets (before I was at the 90 mark to transfer between BA and Iberia) and I had to explain to them what Iberia airlines was, and kept pointing to the one world alliance poster with the Iberia logo. It only took 3 people, 5 manuals and 1 supervisor to figure out how to pull up my ticket. They also struggled because my confirmation email was in English and most domestic JAL employees can't speak or read any English. I think this is very sad for a country that is promoting tourism and will have the olympics in 2020......
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Old Oct 12, 18, 10:30 am
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I hear you.. I think as long as there are very little to no problems, the service levels with Japanese companies is the best in the world, but as soon as something goes a bit crazy, it becomes a troubling situation. It is unfortunate.

I should note that the VP at YVR did pass my complaint to HQ (at my request) and I did receive an email back earlier this week. It was an unsatisfactory answer hence why I decided to post here. Essentially they blamed the typhoon and also that they did not want to reschedule the new flight multiple times hence why they waited to long to cancel/re-book.

It is possible that they were waiting for slot times out of HND, etc for the next day as obviously there were a ton of flights that had to be rescheduled, etc. That said - I would have preferred that as a proper explanation vs the excuses I received.
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Old Oct 12, 18, 10:33 am
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Originally Posted by bennyblanco View Post
I hear you.. I think as long as there are very little to no problems, the service levels with Japanese companies is the best in the world, but as soon as something goes a bit crazy, it becomes a troubling situation. It is unfortunate.

I should note that the VP at YVR did pass my complaint to HQ (at my request) and I did receive an email back earlier this week. It was an unsatisfactory answer hence why I decided to post here. Essentially they blamed the typhoon and also that they did not want to reschedule the new flight multiple times hence why they waited to long to cancel/re-book.

It is possible that they were waiting for slot times out of HND, etc for the next day as obviously there were a ton of flights that had to be rescheduled, etc. That said - I would have preferred that as a proper explanation vs the excuses I received.

When the answer to any problem is A+B=C then there is no problem with Japanese companies/ people. But if we need A+C=D then the panic alarm starts going.
They will blame anything and everything but themselves. I'm surprised you even received an email. I'm currently arguing with them about some delayed baggage certificates. I'll be posting about it once I get it all taken care of.
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Old Oct 13, 18, 2:14 pm
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You would think it should be in NH's SOP to cancel the return if the inbound is cancelled. The whole "don't know about rescheduling" thing is BS since flight cancellations and re-booking are separate.

By them not cancelling, AC, the ticketing carrier, had their hands tied. Also, I think Star Alliance rules say the operating carrier is responsible for rerouting on the day of travel.

I am surprised that they did not provide hotel and food though - I thought the Asian carriers would be better on this kind of thing than the US carriers.
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Old Nov 2, 18, 11:04 pm
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Originally Posted by username View Post
I am surprised that they did not provide hotel and food though - I thought the Asian carriers would be better on this kind of thing than the US carriers.
The Japanese carriers will not assist with weather related delays. I had a JL flight postponed 14 hours to the next day because of this typhoon and was told they would not help me with accomodation. They even refused to move me to the morning flight which was operating before my new scheduled departure time and had available seats.

British Airways has a policy in place for typhoon delays, so sadly the lesson here is book through a carrier with a severe weather policy (codeshares on JL/NH will be covered) or get adequate travel insurance.
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