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Canada Customs (Disgusting) ... Air Canada.. Same  
User currently offlineVio From Canada, joined Feb 2004, 1446 posts, RR: 10
Posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 6697 times:

Hi,

Last week I was supposed to fly from Boston to Calgary, via Montreal, with Air Canada Jazz/Air Canada. The flight was supposed to leave at 5 pm on a CRJ. The inbound flight was late 20 minutes, so they say, but about 35 minutes later, I see a Dash 8 pull up. I walk up to the ticket counter and ask the AC agent if there was an equipment change. It sure was. Okay, not too bad. I don't mind flying the Dash 8, though a CRJ is a little more comfortable on the ears.

Anyway, she looks at my boarding pass.

"Sir, I don't think you'll make your connection in Montreal. There's a a later flight flight from here to Toronto and I can have you switch."

Sure, switch me. Now instead of getting in Calgary at 11:00pm, I will get there at 1:00am. That's okay, at least I will make the Calgary Stampede Parade the next day. My girlfriend who's never been to Calgary before was really excited to see it. Anyway, the nice agent switched our flight, and got our bags transferred to the flight to YYZ. Not long after an Embraer 175 pulls up. Okay cool.

We board, leave the gate, every thing's good, however, due to (weather?) or some other reason, we couldn't get a "flight plan" or something along those lines. I wasn't quite sure, because the French F/A didn't care too much to explain why we're sitting on the taxiway. They turned on their new entertainment system, which I must say, it's the best I've seen so far. Much better than SAS's long haul that I experienced going to CPH earlier this year. Time passed by quickly, but by the time we got t/o clearance it was already 1.5 hours since pushback.

Anyway, we get to Toronto, picked up my bags (since I transited from US to Canada) and I go through customs. I am flagged down start getting searched by a Canada customs agent and of course I start to be asked all these questions. I was there for so long and I pleaded with the lady "miss my plane was late, could you have someone else help you search my bags?" Anyway, they kept me there over an hour because they thought I was someone else who had a similar name but not quite the same name.

"Sorry for the inconvenience sir, you have 15 minutes to go to your plane" Great. My girlfriend is somewhere else, they sent her to another place, I'm trying to find my gate. Anyway, we end up missing our flight and all Air Canada could do was "Well we can re-book your flight for tomorrow, but you have to pay your own hotel. You had 1h & 20 minutes and our cut off is 1 hour & 10 minutes." RUDE, UNCARING AND JUST PLAIN IGNORANT.

In this case I got screwed. I had to pay my own hotel, missed the Stampede Parade in Calgary & instead of getting to YYC on Thursday at 11:00 pm I got there 14 hours later. Thank you Canada Customs and thank you Air Canada for being so good at being... incompetent !!! I know the Customs have a serious job to do, but there were about 4 of them chit chatting in a circle while I'm pleading with this lady to hurry up. As far as Air Canada's customer's service goes... well... what customer service? "Air Canada has now started general boarding, would all cattle, I mean passengers, travelling.."

Any of you had this experience? I'm sick to my stomach just thinking about it.

Thanks,

Vio

[edit for spelling]

[Edited 2007-07-10 16:55:33]


Superior decisions reduce the need for superior skills.
17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBoeing757/767 From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 2282 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 6659 times:

I've had nothing but good experiences on AC and other airlines transiting both YUL and YYZ. In particular, I find Canada Customs by far more personable and approachable than the U.S. brethren.

Everyone has a bad day.



Free-thinking, left-leaning secularist
User currently offlineNaritaflyer From Japan, joined Apr 2006, 549 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 6659 times:

I think it is unfair to blame your customs experience on Air Canada. The agent in Boston did offer you an alternative flight to YYC which would have gotten you there on time. What customs did to you in YYZ is normal procedure in Canada. When I go to Canada I am often checked by customs. It seems that Canada has an obsession with collecting taxes on merchandise brought into the country. No matter child porn, or drugs or whatever, they just care to collect their 6% GST on what you bring in. Be that as unpleasant as it may, your experience had nothing to do with Air Canada and blaming them is lame. I don't happen to think that Air Canada is a good airline, far from it, but customs and Air Canada are two different issues.

User currently offlineVio From Canada, joined Feb 2004, 1446 posts, RR: 10
Reply 3, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 6586 times:

Quoting Naritaflyer (Reply 2):
Be that as unpleasant as it may, your experience had nothing to do with Air Canada and blaming them is lame.

Actually it does.

1. They were late coming from Montreal (understandable)
2. Late leaving Boston (understandable)
3. No more flights that day to YYC? (understandable)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
4. Not paying the hotel (not understandable)
5. Being VERY rude (not understandable)



Superior decisions reduce the need for superior skills.
User currently offlineChrisA330 From Canada, joined Oct 1999, 636 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 6572 times:

Why would AC pay for a hotel? It wasn't Air Canada's fault that Canada Customs delayed you.

Or do you think it's AC's fault because they decided to reroute you via YYZ? As for being rude - that's not acceptable, however I have always found with AC agents, that they'll treat you just as you treat them.


User currently offlineDrgmobile From Canada, joined Aug 2006, 683 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 6486 times:

RUDE, UNCARING AND JUST PLAIN IGNORANT.

Oh please. You can't expect Air Canada to take a financial hit for a Canada Customs move. What a familiar formula:

*Airline itinerary that worked out less than ideal due to parties or events outside the airline's control* plus *inconvenience on the part of passenger* divided by *unreasonable expectations* equals *Wahh! This airline is the WORST airline EVER!* and just a dash of *I will never fly this airline again!*

It generally has been my experience that airline employees take their attitude cues from the passengers they are dealing with. I get a lot more out of my experience when I calm down and put my cat back in my purse. In this particular instance it sounds like a reasoned argument could be made that you booked a flight that gave you plenty of time to clear customs but it was due to an Air Canada mistake (if it was) that caused you to be booked on one that didn't. It's iffy, but if explained clearly enough and in a reasoned manner...

Sometimes taking the cat out can be effective but only in very rare circumstances in which a) the airline absolutely is at fault and b) nothing else is working.


User currently offlineAccargo From Canada, joined Sep 2004, 610 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 6450 times:

Canada Customs caused you to miss your flight but AC should pay for the hotel. Please explain how AC is responsible for the actions of Canada Customs?

Quoting Vio (Thread starter):
Anyway, we end up missing our flight and all Air Canada could do was "Well we can re-book your flight for tomorrow, but you have to pay your own hotel. You had 1h & 20 minutes and our cut off is 1 hour & 10 minutes." RUDE, UNCARING AND JUST PLAIN IGNORANT.

Why don't you tell us exactly what you said to the agents? Rudeness? Ignorant? It sounds like you were already pissed for the Customs holdup.

Uncaring? Yet caring enough to rebook you for the morning.

As far as rants go though, not bad. You do need to make yourself a little more sympathetic though. Try and make sure you can tie together Customs and AC as evil empires working in collusion next time. Lot's of people will buy it. Being from YYC however loses you points as all you Albertans hate AC.  Silly I am also going to have to report you to WS for flying the evil empire.  Wow!


User currently offlineGoaliemn From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 463 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 6306 times:

Quoting Vio (Reply 3):
4. Not paying the hotel (not understandable)

Why would they pay for a delay that wasn't their fault? You could try filing a claim with Canada Customs.. They caused the delay..


User currently offlineCaribb From Canada, joined Nov 1999, 1639 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 6248 times:

Yuck.. customs is always a crap shoot.. sometimes it goes smoothly other times it's a mess. Sorry to hear it messed you up. Air Canada has it's moments good and bad. I've flown them often and generally they're as good as the next airline. Canada Customs is a customs operation and well they gotta do what they gotta do. I agree with the others above that it's not Air Canada's responsibility to pay for your hotel although I wish you could stick it to Canada Customs.. then perhaps if they had to pay out money for every passenger they needless inconvenienced they might make the effort to be more polite and more accomodating... but being a government agency with a "surcure customer market" so to speak they can treat anyone they way the feel like all customs agencies and get away with it witout consequences or at least minimal consequences. I've come across similary rude customs officers at US borders and in Amsterdam upon arrival.. although in Holland it's really rare.. normally it's coming home for anyone anywhere when people are really grilled. In your case it sounded like you just got caught up in a case of mistaken identity and that was just bad luck. I guess in future if you can book an extra day in advance then at least there's that buffer but that's not always possible. Better luck next time and perhaps screw the connection and just visit Montreal or Toronto as they are both great cities with lots going on.

User currently offlineCuriousFlyer From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 700 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 6096 times:

I had a similar terrible experience with AC in February, going to Calgary via Toronto from LGA. Our flight was cancelled due to the weather (not their fault), they tried to put us on flights leaving the next or even the following day (great start to a vacation)... problems kept piling up and we had a mix of helpful and unhelpful agents, one of them extremely stressed, ended up arriving in Calgary 10 hours late, and some of our luggage was missing, and we only recovered it 3 days (yes 3 days) later, with lame apologies and no compensation whatsoever (although a ridiculous CAD 150 compensation was all they could promise, nothing vs skiing without proper equipment by -10 degrees celsius for 3 days, we never received the money).

The issues were as usual stripped out operations following bankruptcy, with limited equipment, unhappy staff, poor reservations system, terrible offshore lost luggage assistance, dysfunctional Star Alliance partnerships, etc...

I must say that for once the Canada Customs and Immigration were pretty nice, but I have experienced some really rude, pretentious idiots on other occasions.

Flying those days is a frustrating, humiliating experience, and as much as I love it, I try to now fly as little as I can, and I desperately look for airlines that wil treat me well without robbing my wallet... I used to hop on a plane to Paris for a weekend, now I'll drive to Woodstock...


User currently offlineVio From Canada, joined Feb 2004, 1446 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 6034 times:

Quoting ChrisA330 (Reply 4):
that's not acceptable, however I have always found with AC agents, that they'll treat you just as you treat them.

Hi Chris

I've worked with customers for the past 2 years and the way that agent talked to me was as if I just kicked her dog for no reason.

Quoting Drgmobile (Reply 5):
*Airline itinerary that worked out less than ideal due to parties or events outside the airline's control

With all due respect, I think being late 50 minutes due to "shortage of equipment" is the airline's fault. It all started with that.

Quoting Drgmobile (Reply 5):
It generally has been my experience that airline employees take their attitude cues from the passengers they are dealing with

That's no excuse. They are supposed to be "customer service professionals"...and by that I know you're hinting that I yelled at her or was rude. Not at all. It was her who didn't even have the basic decency to look me in the eye when she talked to me. She was clearly annoyed with the fact that I made her "work" 10 minutes before she was supposed to close the office and go home.



Superior decisions reduce the need for superior skills.
User currently offlineAnalog From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 1900 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (7 years 4 months 3 weeks ago) and read 5996 times:

Quoting CuriousFlyer (Reply 9):
I must say that for once the Canada Customs and Immigration were pretty nice, but I have experienced some really rude, pretentious idiots on other occasions.

Canada Immigration agent: "Republic of Korea. Is that North or South Korea?" (serious question after being handed 3 RoK passports)
 Yeah sure


User currently offlineTR763 From Brazil, joined Mar 2001, 777 posts, RR: 14
Reply 12, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5982 times:

Quoting Caribb (Reply 8):
Quoting Vio (Reply 3):
4. Not paying the hotel (not understandable)

Why would they pay for a delay that wasn't their fault? You could try filing a claim with Canada Customs.. They caused the delay..

The delay was AC fault because the plane from Boston left more than one hour after it should. And this is the biggest reason, in my point of view, for him to loose the YYC flight.
Air Canada should pay the hotel as well as feeding vouchers or similar, IMO.

Here in Brazil the law is very much pro-costumer and you´d probably do well in a law-suit against AC. I surely believe that Canadian and American law are much more developed in that way.

Vio, have you written an e-mail or something to the airline? If they resource you, that should be fine. Otherwise I´d call my lawyer and see what´s possible to do.

Rgs!!
TR763



Transbrasil
User currently offlineWestJetYQQ From Canada, joined Jan 2007, 2987 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 5957 times:

Quoting Accargo (Reply 6):
Being from YYC however loses you points as all you Albertans hate AC. Silly I am also going to have to report you to WS for flying the evil empire. Wow!

I used to be from Calgary. Love that city, and WestJet. Never much cared for AC, but I'm flying them again in 2 days so we'll see.  Wink

Quoting Naritaflyer (Reply 2):
I think it is unfair to blame your customs experience on Air Canada.

I did not notice Vio blaming Air Canada for his customs experience. He just blamed both AC and Customs for his delay.

Quoting Analog (Reply 11):
Canada Immigration agent: "Republic of Korea. Is that North or South Korea?" (serious question after being handed 3 RoK passports)

 Wow! ........... Smart.

Quoting TR763 (Reply 12):
Vio, have you written an e-mail or something to the airline? If they resource you, that should be fine. Otherwise I´d call my lawyer and see what´s possible to do.

I'd try the first one, and leave it at that. If there is one thing this world needs, it's more lawsuits.  Yeah sure

It seems to me that the airline cause most of the delay by having the flight delayed by almost 2 hours for lack of equipment, not Customs for obeying normal procedure. It would definitely put a shiny spot on a persons opinion of an airline if the airline was very generous and put the delayed passengers up in a hotel, or at least are not rude about rebooking passengers as in Vio's case.

With a company grown large, it's hard to make sure that your airline's staff are all top quality. It's no excuse, but a pure fact. Smaller airlines will likely have more polite employees because they are more in contact with their superiors.

Quoting Accargo (Reply 6):
As far as rants go though, not bad.

I liked it!  Wink

Cheers
Carson



Will You Try to Change Things? Use the Power that you have, the Power of a Million new Ideas.
User currently offlineTR763 From Brazil, joined Mar 2001, 777 posts, RR: 14
Reply 14, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 5943 times:

Quoting WestJetYQQ (Reply 13):
I'd try the first one, and leave it at that. If there is one thing this world needs, it's more lawsuits.

Yes, I have to agree with you.
But as I´m a law student, I´m always thinking about lawsuits. Big grin



Transbrasil
User currently offlineJoePatroni From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 205 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 5942 times:

Vio,
Your YUL flight arrived 35 mins. late. In this business, these delays happen. I'm not saying it's not AC's fault, in fact that delay probably was. Substituting a DH8 for a CRJ would no doubt end up in a delay because of the simple fact that it would take longer to get from YUL to BOS.
BUT, the AC agent did exactly what they were supposed to do and rebook you to get you to YYC that night.
You said that you were delayed in BOS on the taxiway because of weather. I fail to see how this is AC's fault. Plus, even with that delay in BOS, it sounds like you would have made it to your YYC flight if you hadn't been stopped by Canadian Customs. The only fault I see here with AC was that the AC agent was rude to you about either rebooking you or refusing you a hotel for the night.
Consider this... You are at the end of your shift on a really long day in a tiring, stressful job. Someone comes up to you, very heated, to have you rebook them on a morning flight to YYC and insisting that you provide them a hotel room for something that your company had no control over.
It's like people asking the highway department for compensation due to a traffic jam because of an accident on the freeway. It doesn't make sense.

BTW, I'm sorry you missed the stampede parade. That would have been a great time!  Smile



Oh Stewardess, I speak Jive.
User currently offlineAccargo From Canada, joined Sep 2004, 610 posts, RR: 8
Reply 16, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5904 times:

Still wondering how a customs delay is AC's fault? Care to explain Vio?

Also JoePatroni brings up another point. Is the weather delay in BOS also AC's fault?

Weather delays are typical in the Northeast at this time of year with all the thunderstorms that roll across the area.

As for the rudeness, I'm sure you were nothing but sweetness and light during that conversation.  Yeah sure


User currently offlineVio From Canada, joined Feb 2004, 1446 posts, RR: 10
Reply 17, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 5874 times:

Quoting Accargo (Reply 16):
Still wondering how a customs delay is AC's fault? Care to explain Vio?

You guys are not getting the point. In no way shape or form is what happened in customs, AC's fault. That's custom's fault. Air Canada's fault is that they didn't have an aircraft available ON TIME to leave Boston to Montreal, which was my original flight. If I would've left to Montreal:

1. Good chance I would've made my flight (or at least another flight) to Calgary that night or 2

2. I'd be put in a hotel paid for by Air Canada.

Quoting Accargo (Reply 16):
As for the rudeness, I'm sure you were nothing but sweetness and light during that conversation

I don't think you're in a possition to judge me sir. You've never met me, nor do you know what kind of person I am. Leave the smart ass comments out please.



Superior decisions reduce the need for superior skills.
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