Air Canada Delays: US to/ from Canada

Old Aug 30th, 2005, 07:24 PM
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Air Canada Delays: US to/ from Canada

I'm not sure if this is typical but want to alert travelers that I experienced delays on Air Canada leaving from and returning to the USA. I left from National in DC and my Air Canada flight never was even listed on the board at the gate! Delays in previous flights shoved ours off the map and I and several others managed to board a flight 2.5 hrs later. I'll be writing to Air Canada to ask just what happened but we were told we'd have to take a shuttle to BWI or Dulles to catch a flight. In the end, with 15 min to spare, I got on an Air Canada flight to Calgary.

Returning home, the Air Canada flight from Victoria to Vancouver was ez and comfy. But the flight from Vancouver to Toronto was also delayed. We heard all sorts of inconsistent explanations... and in the end, I missed my connection back to National. At first, I was told I'd be sleeping in Toronto but a fabulous Air Canada employee managed to rush me onto the last flight out in the end. (Yes, I'll mention her by name to her employer.) I thought I'd left plenty of time (an hour between flights) but next time, I'll allow more time, I guess, and bring several books (or buy a laptop!).

Yes, Westjet is economical but didn't fly where I needed it to. My mother, who lives in Pasadena, CA, had no problems whatsoever with her flights on both of these airlines.

Note that British Airlines had struck when I was heading out which could have been the cause of the initial problem with passengers bumping others. And mechanics on Northwest Air had struck when I was returning but Northwest seemed prepared for this to the machinists' dismay.

It's sure a new era with air travel. From here on in, I'll always expect delays and be thrilled when the connections work smoothly. So, take this into consideration when you book those flights or go direct. And yes, having a passport sped me along.

It's sure going to be interesting to see what happens to the airline industry here in the USA w/ the cost of fuel...

Artzfan is offline  
Old Aug 30th, 2005, 09:29 PM
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My pet peeve is changing gates.

The last time I was at Pearson, they changed to departure gate without announcing the change. Only when I noticed the plane was leaving to Vancouver did I start to panic!

In airports such as Philly Air Canada
could do a better job at signage where United handles the checkin.

Speaking of Philly - Air Canada would not put me up for the night due to bad weather. I switched to US Airways which a) put me up for the night and b) gave me a business class seat on the leg from Pittsburg back to Toronto.
HogtownJim is offline  
Old Aug 31st, 2005, 05:45 AM
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Sounds typical of Air Canada. I think their motto should be "We're not happy until we've made your life miserable".
Cruiseryyc is offline  
Old Aug 31st, 2005, 06:44 AM
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Well contrary to cruiseryyc's remarks, I don't think that this is more typical of Air Canada than any other airline. I've travelled a lot on Air Canada and other airlines and on balance, I've found Air Canada to be as good if not better than any of them.

For example, flying from Calgary to Ottawa two days ago, I thought that the check-in staff were especially friendly and helpful. The cabin service was also fine.

I've also used Westjet quite a bit, and and haven't noticed much of a difference, except for the corny jokes. (I do like their in flight satellite TV), However, price and schedules are now pretty well the same for both airlines between most major points in Canada, and if that's the case, I'll usualy choose Air Canada. Flying outside Canada, I'll also usually choose Air Canada if the schedule is convenient and the price is not way out of line.

It's simply not my experience that Air Canada is out to make my life miserable. Flying these days can certainly be more of a strain than in the past with security concerns and every airline trying to reduce its costs. However, I find that most of the time, Air Canada and indeed Westjet employees are doing a great job of trying to reduce that strain.

And by the way, I don't work for Air Canada or any other airline, nor have I ever done so. I also nearly always travel economy class. However, I did for ten years manage the largest corporate travel account in Canada so I do have some knowlege of the industry.
laverendrye is offline  
Old Aug 31st, 2005, 07:52 AM
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I'm with Laverendrye. After having to fly United and Alaska Airlines a couple of times when AC wasn't available I find the service and equipment on Air Canada to be at least somewhat if not much better.

On the other hand compared to some international carriers like British Airlines or Cathay Pacific, Air Canada is not in the same class.

GaryA is offline  
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