Topic Author
Posts: 561
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 6:41 am

Air Canada, Never Again!

Mon Mar 11, 2002 9:33 am

Hello, I'm just back from Orlando, after a week holiday in the sunshine state. Ok, I decided to take AC as it's my regular choice, but after those flights, I think I'm gonna use my Aeroplan points foe a free flight and fly WestJet or Transat next time. (Believe me, you wouldn't have heard me talking like this before about AC,but the flights I took were just amazingly bad)

Itinerary: YOW (Ottawa-intl)-YYZ (Toronto-Pearson)
YYZ-MCO (Orlando Intl)

MCO-YOW (Direct service this time)

March 2, 2002:

Sched a/c:A319, Actual a/c: A320
Sched Dep: 5:00 pm, Actual dep: 5:00 PM
Sched Arr: 6:06 pm, Actual arr: 5:56 pm
Registration unknown

We arrived at the airport about 2 hours before departure
time. The line at the AC counter was short, no waiting time. At the counter, the lady wasn't smiling at all. Not rude, just very ordinary. She asked us the regular safety questions. After asking I'f the a/c was still an A319, she told us, nope, it will be a 320, and on an ironic tone; "They change it all the time". So we were assigned the same rows than I'f we've had a 319: 18 D, E, F. But on a A320, those rows are over the wings, so I knew that I would not see anything (To any AC employee on this web site, why do your web site says on the on-line schedule that it's gonna be a 319 when you put a 320?). At 4:00 pm, we proceeded to security, as the lady at the counter had written on the Boarding passes: B=4:30. The boarding effectively beagan at 4:30 and to my surprise, Economy was full, and Business had only 2 or 3 empty seats. I was sitted behind a giant german guy (and my god, I think the guy hadn't took a shower for days) and in front of a I-know-everything guy, those who made my trip sooooo much fun (for those who didn't notice I'm being sarcastic here) and well..... smelly. We pushed back at 4:52 and were in the air at 5:00pm. The plane was an AC original (with the green seats) in bad conditions. I had a tray table full of Coke and pretzel sticked on it. The plane was quite smelly because it was uncleaned. AC is even replacing the separators by curtains!!!!??????? What's that, the Milton philosophy??? Anyway, I could not described the state of the a/c it would be too long. They served us pretzels and soft drinks. No AirShow. Crew was OK, nothing to be impressed about. AC as even reduced FA from 5 to 4 on the 320s! What's going on? We had a very rough landing at T.O after a 50-minutes flight and took about 6 minutes to taxi to the Rapidair gate. Before unloading, they provided passengers connexions infos.... AC 922 to Orlando, on-time Gate A..... Yeahhh I bet you.


Sched a/c: A320, Act a/c: A320
Sched Dep: 8:05 pm, Act dep: 9:15 pm.
Sched Arr: 11:00 pm, Act Arr: 11:50 pm.

So we disembarked the A/C and went immediately to get our baggages just before US customs and fortunarely, they hadn't lost any luggage! Going thru US customs was short and we put our luggage back on the carrousel. This was followed by a second security check after I looked in the Duty Free area (and found nothing).
The check was quick again suprisingly and I had about 50 minutes before the borading call at 7:30 pm so I went for a snack expecting a hot meal on the way to Florida like last time... It was now 7:15 and we proceeded to Gate A. At the gate counter, someone was trying to ask the AC agent a question but he refused saying he was busy... I also went to ask... I'll aswer questions later he said... yeahhh when we will be boarding I bet! About 5 minutes before bording time, he answered the lady who just wanted to know I'f their was a hot meal... I had the same question... he answered: No, only a snack (pretzels of course on a 2 and a half hour flight). So I rushed back to the little Fast Food rack and ordered French Fries. Then I was just coming back to the gate when the voice of an old lady said; «Ladies and gentleman please note that Air Canada fl. 922 will now depart from gate F». No additional explanations. No explanations when I saw that the crew was waiting in front of the gate door, no plane parked there, at 7:42 pm when the flight was still on-time at 8:05 pm. I went to ask and she answered kindly that the plane we were suppose to have was late and that we were waiting for an inbound 320 from Montreal. Just after that at about 7:55 she annouced on the PA system; Ladies and gentleman due to lack of plane the flight as now been delayed to 8:30 pm. I was even more discouraged when the crew got out of the gate and their was still no plane at 8:30 pm. They came back 10 minutes later so I asked one of the FA I'f we would leave tonight and she politely said yes and that the plane from Montreal was arrived and thay were towing it to the gate and cleaning it at the same time... What a cleaning! So We began boarding at 8:50 with a Ladies and Gentleman sorry for the delay AC 922 service to Orlando is now ready for boarding... So, they called row 25-31 and I gived my BP to the lady (Sitting in 28A) and I boarded the a/c, a former Canadian plane this time with the blue Hospitality Class but AC has replaced the Canadian Business Class (Wich was far better... Personnal reading lights, PTV I think and complete leg rests) with AC Business class, more cramped, no leg rest, only a foot rest and no personnal reading light, as well as the cheap curtains instead of a separator. They had removed all in-seat pay phones and patched them with plastic, and my tray table was broken, I had to support it with my leg. The plane was smelly again and uncleaned except for the lavatories. they were at leat 4 or 5 cabin lights in the ceiling burned and the plane looked like 25-year old inside altough he was only 10. We finally pushed back at 9:05 pm and took-off from 24R at YYZ at about 9:15 pm. The crew once in the air, had difficulties putting down the TV's mainly because we had an AC "original" crew with a former CP plane. Because of the delay they announced that we would have a free consumption after our bumpy climb to FL 350. They passed headsets, and I now know that AC recycles the headsets, and that passengers have to put the caps by themselves (So, I played with the caps about 15-minutes before finally getting them on and missing the news, so did my fellow passengers). But yet, another surprise came, they had to reset the audio system because passengers were complaning that the quality of the sound was pour in the first 10 rows. The lady sitting in 29F tried to put her window shade down when she discovered it was patched with scotch tape (Couldn't they at least use duck tape here?) After that, they began the snack service with the angry passengers who expected a meal. Oh, I forgot, this flight was overbooked with 6 or 7 passengers in excess so that also delayed us, and turned angry the people (I can quite easily understans why). The 4 FA were courteous and very friendly as well as attentive, at leat their was a positive point. When I went to the Lavatory I chatted with the FA, knowing I wouldn't get in the cockpit this time. She told me about the cutbacks and that they felt sorry for the pax about the meal and it wasn't their fault. I could understand, even the crew had to PURCHASE it's own meals! And amazingly, you will never believe me, they showed a program about fine Cuisine! Unbeilievable I said, so did the FA. We finally landed in MCO at 11:50 pm, took the train to the main terminal, and then took the shuttle to Hertz to rent the Car.

March 9th, 2002
AC 1001

Sched a/c: A320 Act. a/c: A320
Sched dep. time: 2:30 pm, Act. dep: 2:40 pm.
Sched arr. time: 5:05 pm, Act arr: 5:10 pm.

Here I go again. Check-out at the Riu Orlando Hotel was at 11:00 am and I knew we should get to the airport 3 hours before dep. as said on the Orlando intl airport website. So we arrived at 11:40 am. The line at the United counter was a mess, 4 check-in agents for 5 or 6 planes leaving in the next 3 hours (including two full 763). For those familiar with MCO, the line at Terminal B was going frome the United counters to the Delta ones About 500-600 feets, passing threw Midwest Express, BA, the Washrooms entrances and Delta counters. We waited for about an hour in line. At 1:00 pm, we proceeded threw security and men, they were much slower and checked everything. So we went to gate 48, and their was a ME DC-9 there. At 1:30 pm, the A320 arrived from YOW (C-FMES). No Gate agent were arrived yet, and I was wondering why we had a Tango plane for an AC flight. At 2:10 pm, they began boarding, and my family were picked for a second random securtity check. Finally borded the Tango plane, which still had the 2-class layout. The Telephones has also been patched on this former CP plane. Crew were friendly but the Purser was unhelpful. When I asked to put down the TV, the lady didn't know that those could be put down. The Purser did, but he didn't know how to put them down or simply didn't want to. I still had to play with the headset caps, before learning that my plug didn't work and I wouldn't get entertainment. They even showed exactly the SAME programs that on the inbound leg. We had a very turbulent flight, the worst I ever had. We landed at 5:10pm at YOW on 07 I think.

Air Canada: "The spirit of Monopoly".
Hope you've enjoyed and that you'll be convinced to take Transat, WestJet or SSV next time you fly... or take Tango and bring you're meal. I paid the double fare on AC for the Tango-Style service.
Posts: 2658
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2001 8:45 am

RE: Air Canada, Never Again!

Mon Mar 11, 2002 2:55 pm

Wow! I am actually very surprised that at the shape of the aircraft. I would choose Westjet over Air Canada any day except for when I use my aeroplane miles. But Air Canada usually has very clean aircraft.
Posts: 231
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2001 10:09 pm

RE: Air Canada, Never Again!

Mon Mar 11, 2002 8:11 pm


2 friends of mine flew from YUL to FLL on AC 2 weeks ago. They, also said the service was horrible. On a 4 hour flight they were serve a kind of a sandwich and one bar only (paying bar also). The F/A were rude and did not care at all about their jobs.The airbus-320 was indeed filthy.

On their way back. They were served one paying bar only and only prezzles, That was it. No food whatsoever. They could not believe it. They swore never to fly Air Canada again.

I am myself a frequent flyer and I use my airmile with LH when I go to Europe. Although the service on European flights seem to be much better on Air Canada,
they should revise their North american inflight serveices.

Cathay Pacific
Posts: 1715
Joined: Sat May 27, 2000 1:29 am

RE: Air Canada, Never Again!

Mon Mar 11, 2002 9:00 pm

After reading your trip report, i guess i was fortunate to have a hot meal when i flew from Shanghai to Hong Kong on a 2 something hour flight  Laugh out loud

Anyway, to be honest, after reading trip reports from you guys, I find it hard to believe how some airlines (mostly the majors from North America) can have such poor (meal) services and 'clean' aircrafts.

I guess I was spoiled by CX????  Laugh out loud

 Smile/happy/getting dizzy Smile/happy/getting dizzy Smile/happy/getting dizzyCathay Pacific....Now You Are Really Flying Smile/happy/getting dizzy Smile/happy/getting dizzy Smile/happy/getting dizzy
cathay pacific, now you're really flying
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RE: Air Canada, Never Again!

Mon Mar 11, 2002 9:22 pm


Once you have travelled in the US in an American carrier, you'll realise how spoilt we are here in Asia. Not only we get full hot meals on short flights, but we get foot rests and PTVs too in Y class! Plus good service, clean aircraft (with a few exceptions, there always are!).  Laugh out loud

Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
Posts: 143
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 1999 4:13 am

RE: Air Canada, Never Again!

Tue Mar 12, 2002 1:38 am

I fly Air Canada every 3 weeks between LGA and YYZ
and occaisonally between JFK and YVR. At Christmas time I flew AC from LGA - YYZ then YYZ to MIA.

While I can't say my experiences were nearly as bad as your's, my expectation level associated with North American carriers and their service, is so low, all I do expect is the utmost in safety.

Air Canada definitely provides that.
Samurai 777
Posts: 2000
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2000 2:56 pm

RE: Air Canada, Never Again!

Tue Mar 12, 2002 3:26 am

When I flew YEG-YVR on an AC 737 (in full AC c/s and interior) last year, the flight was delayed by an hour and a half, and the interior wasn't exactly in good shape although it wasn't totally filthy either.

Yet the biggest irony was this: On my return flight home, I flew on an AC 737 in transitional color and CP interior - and the CP interior was the CLEANEST I had ever seen in a long time!! Both ways, there was no meal service, just snacks. The crew wasn't rude, but on the YEG-YVR run, they seemed a bit stressed. No meals on either run, but hey, I expected that.

I don't usually have high expections when flying AC anymore, given what I'd been hearing about declining levels of service and the post-merger problems.

I'm flying YEG-YOW, YOW-YVR, YVR-YEG all on AC this May. Lest you think I'm a masochist for bad airline service, the only reason I'm flying AC is so I can collect Aeroplan points. Otherwise I'd choose WestJet in a second.

Watch for a trip report from me in early June. I just hope the planes won't be so filthy by then!
Posts: 585
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2000 7:16 am

RE: Air Canada, Never Again!

Tue Mar 12, 2002 5:06 am

When I flew Air Canada on YYZ-LAS earlier this year with a former Canadian 767-300 I had a great flight.
The service was very good with a hot meal, I guess they have to serve that on a 4,5 h flight.
The blue canadian seats were also very comfortable I think but unfortunately the soundsystem wasn't working properly for me. All in all I think the flight was as good as it should be, nothing to complain.

Posts: 111
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2001 1:49 am

RE: Air Canada, Never Again!

Tue Mar 12, 2002 5:41 am

I flew AC SEA-YVR-LHR last year. HAve to agree with the comments about service. One F/A yelled at a Swedish man sitting in front of me and they ran out of headsets half-way through a full A340. A lot of fed-up people.
It's a shame really. They were at one time excellent.
Topic Author
Posts: 561
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 6:41 am

RE: Air Canada, Never Again!

Tue Mar 12, 2002 6:29 am

Yuppp, I didn't told in the Trip Report that AC had cut all meal services on transborder and domestic flights since October, except those lasting more than 4 hours. And this is the lady at YYZ who told me this. It's a cost-saving measure, she said. Nothing to do with safety.

Sorry AC, but I don't think serving a meal who cost about 5.00$CAN each will put you out-of-business. You will only frustrate the frequent AC flyer and the customer will choose Transat or SSV with full meals and bar service (red and white wine) with the meal, free.

And for those who still not believe me, yes the a/c were in bad conditions and enough for me to question the airline maintenance practices. AC has dramatic cash-flow problems, don't forget that an airline with cash-flow problems must cut on something to survive. So expect your next rides on AC on a dirty plane in filthy conditions and don't raise your expections too high. I just met one of my teacher today who flown to Orlando on AC, but on different flights on the same dates and had also filthy planes and very bad service as well.

Regards, SafeFlyer
Topic Author
Posts: 561
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2001 6:41 am

RE: Air Canada, Never Again!

Tue Mar 12, 2002 6:48 am

Ho, I forgot, I also thought that they would be a Duty Free on-board, but nope, no more Duty Free on transborder. Sorry I forgot that in the Trip Report. Anyways, as I said, I chatted with the FA who just felt bad for the pax and when I told her about the shape of the a/c, she also approved saying that they were getting really bad, espacially the CP planes. I wonder why???  Yeah sure (Of course, those planes are going to Tango).
Anyways, when even the FA thinks the same as the passenger, there is a lot of room for improvement.
Posts: 2658
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2001 8:45 am

RE: Air Canada, Never Again!

Tue Mar 12, 2002 2:58 pm

Well they announced last week that they made to many cuts to service after 9/11 and are going to bring some stuff back like meals etc.

Yes I have had flights where the F/A has yelled a pax, sometimes they deserved sometimes not. It is really sad becuase most of them are tourists that I have witnessed being yelled at and its just becuase the F/A couldn't understand them. It doesn't make our country look to good but I have a feeling that things are going to change.
Posts: 250
Joined: Mon May 07, 2001 11:46 pm

RE: Air Canada, Never Again!

Tue Mar 12, 2002 10:46 pm

My experience tells me that inflight services within North America are the worst but on the other hand fares are much more competitive.

As far as AC is concerned, it is not acceptable to be given a no-frills service by a national carrier.

As far as the state of the a/c, I can only agree with a LH manager I happened to get acquainted with, saying that a filthy a/c is not a good sign as far as general maintenance of more vital parts is concerned. If AC and others do not have the time or money or personnel to fix tha planes' interiors, why do we have to expect that overall maintenance is immaculate?

When trying to curb costs, inflight cuts is a easy decision to make. Then comes cleanliness and general condition of the interiors. Then only safety. AC and others are apparently getting closer to that third step.
Quoniam Vita Brevis Est, Propera!
Posts: 143
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 1999 4:13 am

RE: Air Canada, Never Again!

Tue Mar 12, 2002 11:09 pm

I don't think there is ANY corelation between some
dirty trays and Air Canada's world-class saftey record.

Let's not get carried away because your seat cussion was frayed.

BTW, regarding the disappointing interiors, you are not talking about the new A321s, or the A319s or the 763s or the A333s, or the A343s or the 744s, or even the CRJs. You are talking about the older A320s only... correct ?
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Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2001 8:45 am

RE: Air Canada, Never Again!

Wed Mar 13, 2002 2:30 am

So since it was old ACA330 then he should have just expected that? He wasn't given the chance to fly on a 744 it was an A320 and it was in horrible conditions. I have been in DC-3's with much better interiors then that.
Posts: 143
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 1999 4:13 am

RE: Air Canada, Never Again!

Wed Mar 13, 2002 2:37 am

To me, horrible condition means the ceiling panels are
hanging down, not a few scuffs on the arm rests.

But then again, I live in NYC and get used to things a little "rough-around-the-edges" in spots.

I also wanted to underscore the difference between
cabin interiors and mechanical safety.

I am not supporting dirty aircraft interiors that do not represent the airline or Country for that matter in a positive light.
Posts: 2658
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2001 8:45 am

RE: Air Canada, Never Again!

Wed Mar 13, 2002 4:14 am

No I do not thing that has much to do with safety but even the visor was taped! They always have problems with the damn sound system, Either eliminate it completely or get it fixed!

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