Thursday, April 03, 2008

AIr Canada continues with the sucking

Lord knows I love ragging on Air Canada. At times I almost feel what I can only assume is guilt. It's like kicking a really unpleasant dog. Yeah, it might deserved being kicked, but goddamn it, you're kicking a dog. You ought to be better than that.

And really, kicking Air Canada is too easy. Everybody hates them. Their own employees hate them, which is really a nice chunk of the problem with the airline.

It's to the point where we actively avoid booking with them when possible. We didn't fly Air Canada over Christmas when going to Florida. I'm not flying with them to New York. And while we haven't booked our trip to Italy yet, I imagine we'll try to avoid flying with them as well.

We have a bunch of air miles which we will use next year when we go to Australia. And I suspect that's the only way we'll deal with them. Either by flying free with them or not at all. Not until the airline gets its act together.

So why am I crapping on Air Canada once again? I've done this before, obviously. Because this story is just bloody typical of the way the airline tries to solve problems.

There were a lot of complaints over Christmas about how awful Air Canada's customer service was. Now, fixing that would strike me as being obvious. Charging people an extra fee for theoretical better customer service is something only Air Canada could dream up.

"We have a problem. Our customers are upset with the way we deal with complaints. How should fix it?"
"By charging our customers more money for the same crappy service we always offer and by making our old customer service worse so that the service we're charging for looks great in comparison."
"Genius!"

So there are several questions here. First, will you really get better customer service by paying this fee? And second, if you don't pay the fee, exactly what kind of customer service will you get? The same old crappy service or, and here's a nightmare thought, something worse?

And I guess the third question is, is there an upper limit of extra fees Air Canada can add to your flying experience? You have to pay for the ticket, then there's all the ancillary fees like fuel tax, airport tax, etc. Then you get into what "class" you'd like to fly. Tango, Tango Plus, Latitude, etc. All of which add more costs and give you more theoretical perks. I think you can get a discount if you wave air miles. You pay for really crappy food. Also for seat placement. Depending on where you book the ticket there could be a fee. Am I missing anything? Can I look forward to the fee for being able to use the bathroom and being able to breath oxygen?

A fee for better customer service. If nothing else, admire the balls on Air Canada. Not the intelligence, mind you. But those are some large balls.

Last Five
1. Don't know why - Norah Jones
2. Secret information - Chilliwack*
3. Yearning - The Trews
4. Oceans of noise - The Arcade Fire
5. Songbird - Oasis

5 comments:

dups said...

If I didn't have to, here is what would take me to voluntarily pay money for Air Canada if I had a choice and could afford the other choice.

I would... heat a knife to about 400 degrees centigrade and chop off my genitals while standing in a pool of radioactive freezing sulphuric acid naked while being mocked by a thousand school children as a thousand seagulls decided to spread their guano over me and the most boring person in the world bellowed the entire text of War and Peace in a monotonous tone.

Does that paint a pretty picture?

Likewise, paying extra this summer to fly non-aircanada to europe.

Sadly I'm flying them in two weeks for work... but I didn't pay them myself so it's ok.

Dups

North of Nain said...

I have a suggestion for your airmiles...I cash mine in for American Express cards. At the moment my favs are the hotel AE card and the AE clothes shopping one. For like 35000 points you get $250 to use at any hotel that takes AE. So I book my ticket with West Jet and have Air Canada pick up the hotel tab.

I get to use up my points and not lose them after one year of inactivity on my account and I get the satisfaction of not giving more money to Air Canada to book a ticket using the points they gave me towards a free flight.

In Iqaluit said...

Didja read this?

Air Canada ordered to reverse pet policy
http://www.reportonbusiness.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080404.waircanadapets0404/BNStory/robNews/home

Abbey said...

If your coming to Australia...fly Qantas..

In Iqaluit said...

If you want to use you aeroplan points, take a look at all of the partners http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeroplan

I flew on Air New Zealand to Auckland (from LA) then zipped over using Air New Zealand again to Sydney. But I had to use Air Canada from Toronto to LA. Boo!