Let me just get up here on my little soap box for a second, I have a story to share…
Back in August, Aisha and I decided to make plans for a fall vacation to Turks and Caicos. It took some time, but we found a couple of hotels, and managed to get an okay flight through… Air Canada Vacations.
The price was awful, but it was on-par with what we saw from other airlines, and it was direct.
And then we found out about the two hurricanes that were going to hit the islands, one after another. It turned out that our hotels were fine, but there were a couple of days where we wondered what was going to happen.
Jump ahead a couple of weeks, and I get a call from my travel agent who has some unhappy news. Air Canada Vacations decided to cancel our flight, and they were not going to offer us any alternatives. The only thing he said he could do was book us on a later flight, and because November is the start of high season, that would mean it would cost another $400, each person.
Now, am I the only one who thinks this is nothing short of extortion? I can understand that the hurricane may have meant that some flights were harder to fill, but if Air Canada Vacations was going to cancel the flight, does that not mean it’s their obligation to make sure all their customers are taken care of? Because charging me another $400 for a flight that’s also weeks later than I had planned is not what I call good customer service.
In response, I wrote Air Canada Vacations an email explaining my problems, and telling them in no uncertain terms that I will never fly with them, or Air Canada in general, again. I’m perfectly happy to fly West Jet when I have to fly, or take Via Rail if I have the time.
Adding insult to injury today was the official response they sent me…
First of all, thank you for telling us how you feel and also for mentioning your understanding of the reason for which flights to Turks & Caicos were cancelled for the next few weeks, the cancellation being a direct consequence of the aftermath of Tropical Storm Hanna.
As I explained, tariff may vary on a daily basis due to several factors, which is why tariff to travel to Turks & Caicos on November 1 differs from the departure of October 18. And as I also mentioned to you, the flight cancellation occurred as a result of the unforeseen situation of Tropical Storm Hanna.
Thank you again, Mr. Powell, for sharing your experience. We trust you future travels with Air Canada Vacations will be a success.
What a crock. And did she even read my letter explaining that I would never fly with Air Canada again?
I’m just really peeved that a company would act this way towards customers who depend on them. I’m even more peeved that the response I got didn’t even address my core concerns that customer service with the company has failed beyond recovery. And when the industry at large is facing tough times, why wouldn’t they want to make customers happy?
I am positive lots of you have horror stories about Air Canada, and the airline industry overall, so feel free to comment away and help me celebrate my new Air Canada-free lifestyle. Just try to keep the language in the good old PG zone, okay?
…Air Canada sucks.