AC320 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 1518 times:
Air Canada, as many other airlines, has fallen on hard times. with losses mounting, popularity (especially out west) falling to levels unseen since Joe clark and Brian Mulroney, and still competion from Westjet, which is moving closer and closer to AC's Eastern fortress hubs. It's obvious the airline is in need of change to pull itself up out of the hole. I'm curious as too what my fellow Canadian users think can be done to raise Air Canada to the level it should be as our nation's flag carrier.
My ideas are pretty light, since I'm not as familiar with AC's operational structure as some of you, and don't extend far beyond ousting David Collinette and Robert Milton.
Personally, I think Air Canada has the capability of being a 5-star carrier, that would give any other airline a run for their money in terms of service quality.
Gmonney From Canada, joined Jan 2001, 2159 posts, RR: 19
Reply 1, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 1274 times:
Price and Service, the price is very high, I was looking on the internet to try and get tickets to LAS from YYZ in April and its $3,000+, do you think i am going to pay that? NO WAY.
When I went YYZ - MIA about a year and a half ago and I was not impressed with the service. I think I actually got better service on a Royal flight to LAS two years ago!!!! One of the AC F/A is an old bitch, nothing like what I have heard about SSV!!!! I would like to see some youth and great attitudes on these flights!!
AC320 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 1258 times:
you know whats funny? I've never had a problem with service or fares on AC.
This summer my MIA-YUL flight was $250 USD, with a pleasent flight crew,really friendly pilots, and a meal that was a chicken caesar salad, with a side order of macaroni in some sort of cream sauce. not bad for coach.
Polaris From Canada, joined Feb 2000, 1157 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 1208 times:
Air Canada's problem is perception....and perception is reality. Their Public Relations Department could use a little help because they appear to be lost. The media should do a little more research before releasing so much incorrect info. A weak PR Dept coupled with sensationalist, and often incorrect, media reporting and you have a perception that a carrier is not competent.
If you look deeper, MOST Canadians to NOT have a problem with Air Canada. However, the few that do are the ones that make the most noise and receive the most attention. When do you ever hear a happy story about aviation? People are still scared to fly and the media, in order to get the public to read, listen, or watch, feed this fear.
Compare Air Canada to the WORLD'S other full-service carriers and they compare more than favourably. Canadian media often neglect the global perspective when judging Air Canada.
With regards to Las Vegas, Air Canada's current lowest RETURN fare from Toronto is $278 (CDN). For airfares on full service carriers, if you are fare-sensitive, ask for the lowest fare and the conditions attached to that fare. Then build your itinerary based on that fare. If you start with a travel date and time, then you will receive the lowest fare available for THAT date and time. Lower airfares could be sold out for that particular date however, because you have chosen a particular date, you will be quoted the lowest AVAILABLE fare for that date. A lower fare might still be available for the previous week or the following week. If you are fare-sensitive, you should be flexible. If you are time-sensitive, then you pay the premium.
Mcdougald From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1179 times:
Air Canada needs to focus on being one of the best performers in the mainline market. That means being at or near the top of the industry in North America in:
- Fewest complaints to the government proportionate to number of revenue passengers.
- Fewest mishandled bags proportionate to passengers.
- On-time performance, once the airlines have adapted to the new security measures.
- Lowest voluntary turnover, a useful indicator of staff morale.
If they can't hire Gordon Bethune away from Continental, they should at least take a look at how he turned around that airline, which was in much worse shape a decade ago than Air Canada has been post-9/11.
Instead, I fear they're at risk of being distracted by ventures like Zip, which won't do much about the factors above. The purpose of Zip might be to weaken Westjet and scare off upstarts. Or perhaps the unions are the real target, as described by Canadian Business magazine last October: "Air Canada can demand wage concessions from employees who agree to work [at Zip]...then gradually shift domestic business to the discount carrier, simultaneously reducing capacity and laying off people at the mainline carrier." (Full article). Either way, being the best takes a back seat to fighting some other kind of war.
Spyderz From Canada, joined Apr 2001, 651 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1153 times:
One problem - CUSTOMER SERVICE. Now I'm not going to blame the individual for providing poor service, but the environment they work in. To me, Air Canada employees seem insecure, overworked, and unpleasant in the workforce. I've had employees tell me to right Mr. Milton a letter telling him about the airline.
Firstly, with the vast financial problems and trigger happy managers Air Canada has, employees need to feel secure. Too many employees are scared, aren't confident, and try to do everything by the book. Employees won't make a chance in smiling for they fear if they do something wrong they'll be axed. I know Air Canada employees have a good union, but it just appears that way to me.
Secondly, how many times have you been in long check-in lines or waited for your luggage forever. This is largely because Air Canada is understaffed in these areas. Yes, Air Canada does have a lot of employees, but the glut of employees are managers or behind the scenes workers. What this causes is long waits for customers, and employees who rush to do their jobs.
Thirdly, it appears from an outsider that many employees are simply unhappy in their present working place. Either this is because of unfriendly coworkers, tough-ass bosses, or any number of things I can't determine.
What these problems translate into is poor customer service. Passengers get annoyed at Air Canada and eventually travel on competition (Westjet). What Air Canada needs to do is improve its customer service. Doing so will retain and bring back customers to Air Canada, filling more planes, making more money, which in turn allow more services to be provided to their customers.
This is just my simplistic view of what Air Canada needs to do, and since I don't work for AC, I'm unaware of specific operating conditions and procedures, so feedback is appreciated to this observor.
Polaris From Canada, joined Feb 2000, 1157 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1144 times:
being the best takes a back seat to fighting some other kind of war.
This is a very interesting statement. Robert Milton has said that in the US, the fight is always to be number one. (In my view, number one does not necessarily mean being the best.) He has said that things are different in Canada. He is learning to compromise and work WITH others. Witness his recent interest in working WITH the government rather than fighting AGAINST it. The government as bad guy was something he, and his two predecessors, learned does not work in Canada.
Now, perhaps, they might start to focus on being the best rather than the only.
YWG From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 1147 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1151 times:
-My dad and aunt are Air Canada employee's.
The reason you'd have to pay so much for a LAS flight is becuase it is in high demand. It's a popular tourist destination for gambling, etc. Air Canada is such a huge airline though. They have alot more better things to worry about than the LAS route, but they should pay attention to their fares. But what you pay extra on AC rather WJ (Worstjet) makes intself up for costumer service, FOOD, free booze in exec., unlimited drinks in all classes, leg room, seats, cleanlyness of aircraft, aircraft maintanence,movie's, enroute FM, and so on. Those "hidden" fares pay for all that was listed above, and safe planes. Air canada has numerous hangers in YYZ,YVR, YWG, and YUL all to make their planes safer. And trust me, I've been on two tours of the YWG hanger. They do a good job. SO good that they get contracts on America West, Jetblue, and Air Jamica.
Dash8King From Canada, joined Nov 2001, 2744 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 1140 times:
I think the Westjet planes have more legroom don't they? Or at least they feel that way. You also get unlimeted drinks on WJ and that crappy meal is not worth an extra 500 bucks, WJ's aircraft are also very clean, And I also believe that AC is not the only airline in canada that maintains there own planes as does WJ.
AC320 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1133 times:
My experiences on AC are always the exact polar opposite of what its detractors claim they experience. As I've said, always great food (see previous posts), service, the legroom is comfy, etc.....
Not to point fingers or play judge and jury I sometimes wonder if the detractors simply latch onto a single unpleasant experience or take a bit of literary license? But that's just based on my own personal experiences.
Therefore I can only see AC's problem as being management and perhaps a country of 30 million people who just love to complain (well thats how a lot of us Montrealers are, not sure if it applies to the whole nation).
Fallingeese From Canada, joined Apr 2001, 2097 posts, RR: 17
Reply 13, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1133 times:
Blair...so we meet again
I'm tired of your constant attacks on Westjet.
"But what you pay extra on AC rather WJ (Worstjet) makes intself up for costumer service, FOOD, free booze in exec., unlimited drinks in all classes, leg room, seats, cleanlyness of aircraft, aircraft maintanence,movie's, enroute FM, and so on. Those "hidden" fares pay for all that was listed above, and safe planes."
Gimma a break please, WorstJet? Food, well on my YYC-YWG I would have had to pay an extra $500 for myself for this "food". This was a flight without meal service. Customer service? I've never had a bad experiance on Westjet in 18 flights, don't get me started about some Air Canada experiances. Air Canada charges for Alcohol too. Westjet gives unlimited drinks. Westjet aircraft have the same amout of leg room, and the seats are just as comfortable. Westjet's aircraft are sparkling clean. Maintainance, Westjet has an extraordinary level of maintainance. Just because it's a discount carrier, it doesn't mean they slack on maintainance. I've had a tour of the WJ facilities in Calgary, and guess what...half the people there are former Air Canada employees who left for a better opertunity at WJ. Air Canada doesn't have hangars in more places to have safer aircraft, half of the hangars were inherited. They do maintainance checks for other carriers because otherwise there would be no work on occasion.
I'm a Canadi>n Kid. I have passes on Air Canada but I usually choose to fly Westjet instead, on any occasion I can. Air Canada is a great carrier, but it needs to learn what it's best at. It's one of the best full service carriers I've been on. It needs to step upto the world stage, not battle with a small carrier (Westjet). I've had many service problems on Air Canada in the last few years. I've had Air Canada flights with 5 passengers, 2 of us were non-rev. The Westjet flight next to us at the same time was full. I know there are a few others with similar experiances.
Fallingeese From Canada, joined Apr 2001, 2097 posts, RR: 17
Reply 14, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1126 times:
"But you have to ask yourself.....how many heavy maintanence hangers do they have? One, in YYC. There-700 I bet are nice, but those old, ratty -200 look like they could use some work."
Only one hangar? It's the most advanced one in Canada. Believe it or not. Westjet contracts out some maintainance to SPAR, a company that I have seen Air Canada using for occasional maintainance.
737-200's you should really look at what Air Canada is opperating. They too are opperating those old, ratty 737-200's. Need work? You gotta be kidding me, those planes are maintained to the highest degree.
YWG From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 1147 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 1120 times:
I totaly agree with you fallingeese. I hate the 737-200's in generaly, yes even AC's. I respect you and your opinions geese, and dont want to make you a YWG777 like enemy. It's just I think Air Canada has more expirence. Sure they are roughf aroudn the edges, but they are good inside.
AirFranceJFK From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 481 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 1110 times:
I used to fly AC regularly from YYZ-LGA and back. I always noticed that on some flights, all you would get is soda and cookies/chips, whilst on others you get a sandwich, salad, cake and drink. Why is this? The flights are the same length. On LGA-YYZ I got the full meal, whilst on YYZ-LGA I got chips and soda. On another flight LGA-YYZ I got chips and soda whilst the YYZ-LGA was full service. Any explanations from the AC folks on here would be appreciated.
Hoffa From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1088 times:
One big reason AC in in such a hole is their huge transborder exposure. Until the economy picks up, the transborder business traffic will continue to suffer and there's no way around this except for slashing a huge amount of jobs and aircraft.
AF777 From Canada, joined Jun 1999, 223 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1069 times:
I agree with you on the younger attendants. The flights which require the highest seniority to fly (yul-CDG) have the worst. However, the younger breed of flight attendanta are great - eager and friendly. Don't hold your breath on the PTV's. That's the last thing we need to think about given the current economic situation. I would love them and the A330 Y seats have the capability to have them, it is just going to be a while.
Iluvwestjet From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 116 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1066 times:
I agree with most of the earlier posts about service, operational performance, and other improvments that can be made at AC. My personal view is something like this (although many points have already been mentioned).
1) New managment - I don't know if it's just Robert Milton or the entire AC managment team, but AC is just heading in the wrong direction. Tango right now pretty much eats away mainline leisure traffic; Zip is not going to work unless its point is to beat out discount carriers. New managment needs to come in and take a look at things all across the board, including:
2) Employee moral - I don't know what it is about AC employees, but their moral does seem rather low, not to mention that most of them are anti-WestJet. Maybe this is what AC has been telling the employees. But anyways, morale needs to rise - make people happy to be working for Air Canada. You should have some kind of core review, review everyone from up top down to the bottom, perhaps increase employee benefits (like more free non-rev'ing). Anything to keep AC's employees happy, if that does not work, get rid of some of them, and if need be, hire some new, more skilled ones.
3) Operational performance - I usually try to fly half AC and half WestJet when travelling within Canada, and one thing I have noticed is that AC's operational performance is consistently poor. Whether its delays of 3 hours+ or lost bags on a simple leg such as YVR-YYC, I have seen it all happen (to me as well as to others). Get the planes pushed back at the departure time, get the bags where and when they are supposed to be. I have no insider knowledge but I know this can be done if you have enough skilled, happy employees.
4) Customer service - once you have #2 and #3 nailed down, complaints will go down. You won't have to stand in line behind a guy bitching at an AC agent at 2am in YVR. And when people do complain, if it is valid (say their flight was delayed 4 hours and somehow they missed their connection or something), apologize and offer something back - don't be reluctant to offer hotel vouchers or vouchers for future flights. As long as these things don't happen often, it won't hurt your pocket too much.
5) Public Image/Relations - with the above all nailed down, eventually the complaints about Air Canada will go down (at least about customer service). Once that's down, more people will choose the incentives that AC offers over competitors most of the time if fares are more or less the same (Aeroplan miles/status being the primary reason). And also, people need to see AC as a world class carrier, not a public enemy, advertising about the exotic destinations around the world AC flies to, advertise about business and first class service. Because WestJet is not everything to everyone; the old lady or businessperson sitting next to me on a WestJet flight probably does not appreciate jokes about getting passengers to pick up on one of the flight attendants.
6) Route structure/aircraft
The 732s really should go, at least the majority of them. They do look somewhat crudy (just like WJs 732s), you have A319s and A320s - stick to them. They are much more fuel efficient and give passengers a more modern looking cabin, which goes with the image of a world class carrier.
As for route structure, it used to be (I don't know if it is anymore), AC's and Canadian's big money makers were the international routes and the domestic routes were the ones where AC and CP duked it out. Go back to that idea, expand/enhance international/transborder destinations and profit for them. When it comes to domestic traffic, just have the mainline routes and AC regional routes to connect passengers to those international routes. You don't have to have a fare war with WestJet, just match or come near matching WJ's fares where you need to, but by no means do you need to undercut them. Let the international routes subsidize the domestic ones - you'll still be out ahead. And right now, if you want to charge something high for something like YYZ-YUL, go right ahead, as long as its not an outrageous fare (e.g. $500+), take advantage of the fact that there is no competition.
So yeah, those are my thoughts. Thanks for reading to the end.
Caribb From Canada, joined Nov 1999, 1640 posts, RR: 8
Reply 24, posted (13 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 1062 times:
I fly AC quite often and generally I don't have major complaints. They are pretty good on average. My only suggestions are the following;
1. Their employees have a tendancy to be a bit "unpolished" with travellers. I've seen them snapping at people and in one instance out right yelling at some Chinese passengers who were unable to communicate in English or French. They really need to learn some communication skills that don't put people off and keep their emotions reigned in a bit more.
2. Quit funneling everyone through Toronto. I know its their business strategy especially with their membership in Star Alliance. Neverhteless, as a lowly passenger I hate having to always go to Toronto to get anywhere else. So often flights get delayed there, luggage can be misplaced and it can be physically exhausting running around from gate to gate to catch aircraft. I much prefer nonstop flights wherever possible. It really comes down to what is truely important to the carrier, customer satisfaction or catering to shareholders. The answer is obvious sadly and even with that they are not doing a good job.
But despite these two points I am happy with the aircraft types (although I'd prefer to see 757s instead of A321s and 777s instead of A330s), seat width, leg room, for the most part onboard service and the livery is ok but could do with an update on a small scale. Their YVR route network is pretty decent, their YUL route structure could be a bit more extensive and I'd like to see more from YYC, YWG and YHZ bypassing YYZ where numbers warrant. Maybe they don't and that's the end of story. Anyways, regardless they just need to pull in any excess, improve customer relations and tighten their belts until the money starts to build again.
: Another thing that I'd like to bring up is route structure. There are some points where Air Canada could make itself far more effiecient and use less
: If certain parties responding to this post are looking for younger and friendlier....then go to Hooters!! Do you really think that having a young f/a
: I have no preference on the age of the f/a's, actually I have noticed that a lot of the younger ones have a "to good to do this job" attitude as where
: Very simple words on AC! We need to be Canadian run!!! We need the Claude Taylors of the world and Peter Jeanniot's.... They made us who we are..I bel
: Hey, I live in New Zealand, and my Best friend just got of a Flight on Air Canada, Qantas leased crew and plane. He said they are much better than Qan
: I've come full circle on Air Canada. I used to hate them with a passion because of their monopolistic business practices and relativley poor service i
: I don't know about a generous frequent flier plan. Aeroplan has changed some of the mileage earned this year. For discounted domestic flights and flig
: I guess you're right, I don't notice that because I usually only fly to Europe, where the mileage isn't discounted no matter how cheap the flight is.
: I was just commenting that the younger F/A's that I have encountered for the most part been more friendly, and enthusiastic about their jobs than the
: As an employee, I am very proud to work for AC. Yes, we have'nt always done things right, but I know from my point of view, that we are trying. We wer
: Very well said AC_B777. I feel your pride!
: I argree AC route network needs alot of improving. I am a bit disipointed with all the routes they cut for the 11th. 1 perfect example was the YWG-YUL
: CP employees rude. Come on now. I say it is about 50 50 on each of the employees there. Air Canada has to sharpen their image. Get rid of the flight a
: When people start quoting the supposedly cheap fares they ignore the fact that they all require an saturday night stay. This means only leisure travel
: Good point YWG777, they were always 100% full. but AC will make you believe they were unprofitable, I dont believe their BS for one second.. Mark
: YWG777 wrote: "the only major canadian city that doesn't have a direct LHR flight is YWG all the rest of them do." YWG lacks overseas service for the
: Eugdog: Yet the government bars US airlines from operating domestic Canadian routes. Is the US ready to allow foreign carriers into its domestic marke
: Air Canada actually requested opening up Canadian and US domestic routes to foreign competition.
: AC320: Now I'm even more worried. The Westjet at YYZ thread continues to get more posts as this thread drifts farther and farther down. Guess Air Cana
: It wasn't so much Air Canada that wanted to open up teh US and Canada. It was Miltons idea, and a stupid one at that...in my opinion.
: Oh yes, I feel much happier now. I'm glad we've had a pretty civilized conversation on this matter which appears to be a sensitive subject to many (ev
: I'm a Westjet supporter I don't have a problem with Air Canada, I've just had some bad experiances. I have company passes but usually choose to fly We
: I just hope people are not basing their opinions on one-time experiences. IF they fly at all. My experience with this carrier has been similar to your
: I wish I could only say that have had problems with AC once!