Ca228 From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 92 posts, RR: 0 Posted (7 years 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 5506 times:
I'll right a proper TR on this journey soon, but as I'm writing now, our flight from CDG-YYZ| on AC is grounded in Paris for at least 24 hours due to hydraulics problem and I'm venting right now on how horiffic AC's crisis mgmt is in its overseas port where they don't have a strong hub...
AC 881 CDG-YYZ
B767-300ER (non- XR)
Original departure: 11:40 Sun Apr 13
Rescheduled departure: ??? Mon Apr 14 (time has been regularly changing)
Shortly after pushback, we were told that the hydraulics problem they thought was fixed earlier (which caused a 40 min delay in boarding) was still a problem. They kept us in the plane for 90 minutes (in which they served water but no food because the captain said the crew cannot block the aisle in case of evacuation). Then we were told to deplane and to go to a particular restaurant for food with our boarding pass (after collecting all our luggages). At this point it was 2:30. We were to meet back at AC check-in at 4:30pm for transfer to hotel.
When we got into the arrivals gate, there was no obvious AC agent - just someone in Aeroport de Paris uniform answering questions to whomever asked them directly, so everyone was not getting the same infomration and then they were speaking French on some occasion. They sent us to the wrong direction in the airport to the restaurant we were supposed to go to to redeem our meals. The original cafeteria was within the boarding gate areas and they told us to get out of the customs towards the end of the terminal building. So for the next 2 hours people were very confused, no one from AC was to be seen. Then AC changed the restaurant we were supposed to go to without public announcements, but that new restaurant refused to honour our boading passes. We had to wait for another 45 minutes or so and by now it is 4pm and most people haven't eaten anything all day and were furious. The agents clearly were confused too, as they seem to be calling AC in Montreal for authorization or next steps and they cannot tell us anything except to wait. Finally, we were fed at 4pm, but no one told us what the per diem was or what food we can or cannot take. At the cash register where we showed our boarding passes for the food, we later found that we were entitled to 1 drink, 1 main course, and 1 desert - so even though it was buffet service restaurant we were given buffet.
Then we were shuttled to the hotel 30 minutes later than the original meeting time. By now it is 5pm. Some people were so exhausted they paid for their own way to the airport hotel earlier. AC also did not provide convenient telephone calls or internet cards at the hotel for pax to call family of the delay. Only if you ask, then they give you a pay phone card. They were also not clear what hotel we were supposed to go. At first they said everyone will stay at Mercure, but then on the bus they told us the first stop is Park Inn and the next stop is Mercure. I asked which hotel are we booked, but they thought I was asking how do I know which stop is Park Inn vs. Mercure because of language issues.
Even as I'm writing this now, being stranded in Paris in a hotel, the flight departure time tomorrow is still changing and they are not infomring all the pax because the hotel cannot make calls to so many rooms! Originally they told people to be ready at 6:30AM tomorrow so there will be angry people tomorrow.
I'll let you know what the conclusion is on this trip report, complete with all the pics of the situation