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Air Canada - Raj Wadhwani - Blog

Air Canada

Back in December  I received great news – I was now a Prestige Elite member with additional perks such as extra baggage allowance and preferred seat selection. So in February when I checked in online for a flight from Toronto to Thunder Bay I was surprised that the online system was charging me for a second bag - should be free with my new status.

Anyway, as I had to check in online, I paid this and thought I could find out at the airport when I dropped off my bags what the deal was. I had 3 bags. When I got to Toronto Pearson I went to ask for some help. I was advised to talk to one of the agents at the Elite Status check-in area and I approached the desk with a smile and started to explain our situation. The check in agent looked stern and disinterested as if I was not worthy to talk to her. She had a name badge but it was blank so I shall call her Penny (like the stewardess on Come Fly with Me – British comedy show and very true!).

Anyway, Penny looked miserable and uninterested and asked to see my boarding pass. She said I did not have elite status showing on my pass so I asked her to check on her system. She then said ‘Oh yes, the system should have recognised your status but it did not’ She handed me back my boarding pass and I said “so what does that mean with baggage?” She looked at me and said “Allowances have recently changed and I don’t know” She did not say anything after this. I responded with some degree of frustration now as she was not being helpful at all “So, you are the check in agent and you don’t know what our allowance is? Aren’t you supposed to know?” She looked at me with resentment then started tapping into her system and replied “I will check”. ‘Two bags”. I explained that the system had charged me for the second bag and she then turned around and gave me a slip of paper and said nothing. I said “what’s this?” She replied “it’s customer service – you have to see if they will give you your money back”

Wow, have to say Penny did nothing to promote my interest in flying Air Canada – she was probably one of the most unhelpful people I have met at a check-in desk.

Note to Penny – smile, be helpful and treat people the way you want to be treated and your day will be happier and more pleasant.

Note to Air Canada – you should be asking customers for feedback on their check-in experience - in fact their entire experience and fix your systems – its been 2 months since I was told I have an upgraded status and yet your check-in system did not show this. For a major airline this is not acceptable.

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By the way a great tool for customer satisfaction is

We received a call from Air Canada who apologised for the problems and arranged a refund of fees we should not have paid. Great work Air Canada - you dealt with the situation and made good.

Publish Date: February 10, 2011 2:45 PM

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