Air Canada Sucks

June 29, 2005 · 142 comments

in Reviews

Seriously what a crappy experience I had on the return trip from New Orleans to Toronto. Our flight was at 1:20 pm, we got there at around 11 just to be safe. Made it through security with no problem, got some food and waited around until about 12:30 when our plane landed.

The woman from air Canada said we would start boarding around 1pm…1pm came and no dice. Then she gave a vague announcement about some maintenance issue that they were taking care of, and how they needed some part. Well 30 minutes later they called all the airlines, had the part and now just needed some paperwork signed. At about 2pm we board the plane…it is Louisiana, and it is hot…so the plane is hot. Also this is a small plane, 2 isles with 2 seats per side. Maybe 20 rows. 40 people tops.

Well after an hr on the plane we kept hearing that it is almost fixed. 30 minutes later we hear this again. After this the stewardess comes on with a passanger, some Air Canada Elite and he says somethine to her, they start going at it. Yelling… sir I will have you detained if you threaten me…blah blah blah, passenger numbwer 2 joins in… and the yelling continues. Finally that ends and we sit about another hour…

The plane finally takes off, no movies, music and one bathroom for 40 passengers who have been sitting in a plane for 2 hrs. It was terrible.

When you think it could not get any worse we end the flight with a sweet 1, 2, 3 pint landing that felt like the plane was going to snap, and then 20 more minutes waiting for the bus to take us to the proper terminal. It was terrible.

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

1 mateo 08.05.09 at 4:11 am

After 5 hours of flight the Pilot told the passengers through the intercom that “the plane can not land in Bogota due to a pressure problem, and if it did it would explode” yeah those are the literal words of a pilot who seems to not care about scaring the passengers. The next action of this briliant pilot was to return to Toronto, another 5 hours away, instead of landing in any other of the thousands of posible sea level airports in the caribbean, south america and florida (Bogota is 2600 meters above sea level). Furthermore, upon returning to Toronto, the AC staff where incredibly rude, unhelpfull, and uncooperative. AC is a terrible airline.

2 john smith 09.09.09 at 10:30 pm

what do you expect when an employer takes home 43 mill and cuts there pay i dont blame the staff that havent seen a raise in 10 years I blame managment for working them like slaves

3 Kuldeep 09.20.09 at 11:51 am

I am going to india from edmonton my flight is going @0840 O clock I went to pick up my travel told me to fly from edmonton to toronto not at 0840 and now we have to go at 6. oclock then i have to have to wait at toronto airport 7 hours and i have a sick delicate sweet son who cant stand the plane rides or wait

4 Yes-me 11.25.09 at 2:40 am

It is not as bad as u guys are mentioning it. Because the first comments (of west jet emplyees are negative), your thoughts and memory of the trip with Air Canada are being influenced. I know we have some problems with management but we as employee, we always try our best. We don’t kiss asses like westjet employees do but we do what we have to do.

5 Jean-Claude Theriault 12.27.09 at 2:33 pm

The attitudes of many Air Canada employees are just as bad when off-duty. I drove the employee (P11) shuttle buses at Dorval back in 07 and was disgusted by the arogant attitudes of most AC employees who’d complain a bus every 5 minutes wasn’t fast enough to get from their car to the aiport.

6 Corinne Hasid 01.07.10 at 11:13 pm

You are all wrong because Air Canada was just voted the “number 1 best” airline in ALL of north america. Yes, that means they beat, west jet, american airlines, north american airlines, united airlines, us airline, delta airlines, ALL of them. so all of you are completly wrong…also “hasband” wow thank God you were not the CEO because that song that celine dion did brought Air Canada out of bankruptcy… wow u must feel dumb. and Richard Murray the RJ’s Crusing Alituded is 37, 000 feet and crusing speed is 857km so if it was leaking enough to let in water you wouldnt have had it to the ground, inless u were lucky even then the oxygen mask would have poped down and u would have only had 20 seconds before your passed out. AIRCANADA IS THE BEST!!!!!!

7 Dale 01.11.10 at 12:03 pm

… and there ya have it… right from one of the AC upper echelon family members!

8 Mike 01.15.10 at 4:32 pm

There was Canadian Pacific and Air Canada, Pacific Western. Pacific Western purchased Canadian Pacific many years ago. I believe forming CPAir. CPAir purchased Wardair and a huge debt they never recovered. The so called merger Bewtween Air Canada & Canadian really wasn’t a merger. Canadian being Alberta based everyone wanted to save Canadian. A long story though this should have never happend someone was responsible for Air Canada prior was doing okay no debt and rated at the top for safety and passenger service world wide. They purchased an enormus debt load from Canadain and never recovered. Many of the old A/C employees are gone. Just like back when Pacific Western purchased Canadian not to many years after very few PW employees left like as Wardair. Sometimes I wonder whp purchased who.

9 Dee 01.17.10 at 5:03 pm

A few months ago, I booked a trip to Las Vegas with Air Canada and paid $314.32 on my credit card for a return flight. I cancelled a week later and was told they can’t refund anything, but that amount will be a “credit”. I call back a few days ago to book a 1 way ticket to Halifax. I’m told I will be charged $105 “change fees” for cancelling/re-booking my flight. I notice this is not deducted from the $314.32 I already paid, but charged on top of that, so I now have $419.32 on my credit card. The $105 is an obvious cash grab and a sort of penalty, so I put that aside. My issue is my flight to Halifax cost $202 including all taxes. So if you deduct $202 from the $314.32, that leaves $112.32 unaccounted for.

When I was on the phone with Air Canada asking them to confirm this, they couldn’t. The agent just kept repeating that fares and taxes are different blah blah, but wouldn’t tell me what, if anything I have left on my “credit”.

He was completely rude and unhelpful and when I asked him to explain where the $112.32 went, he said he already did. He would constantly interrupt me and talk over me.

I am never dealing with AC again

10 Rob 01.23.10 at 7:36 pm

AIR CANADA IS THE BEST!!! WTF….you on crack….Flew Air Canada Three times and had problems everytime. These clowns even lost our Infants car seat. Do you really think ALL these people are wrong and making this stuff Up. Corinne Hasid you really need to pull hyour head out of your A$$

11 Khairul Amin 01.24.10 at 8:45 pm

Here are several things you need to know about Jet Airways.

Jet Airways sucks, Jet Airways is a racist airline, Jet Airways is an airline Bigot!

Jet Airways is one of the racist airlines in the world.
I was delayed for 3 hours, even when I was early. And after the delay, guess what? They said that they needed to be furnished with supporting documents. Supporting documents that no other passengers have to provide, but myself. Then even when those so-called “supporting documents” are produced and showed to them, they refused to give me my boarding pass, based on the bag I was carrying (I was not using one of those “trolley bags” that people generally bring for holidays). Based on this they thought that I’m some kind of poor chap trying to stray off to another country. That was what they said. This is discrimination!

Furthermore, they even more vigorously denied me the boarding pass, only after I have confronted them with whether the fact that I have a beard, therefore a muslim, which affected their decision. This is again discrimination!
It’s not that the proof was not there. It was there. I showed them. But they denied. I can only think that this is obviously a biased attitude, based on pure discrimination, not facts. They won’t even accept tangible proof.

I as a muslim, am profoundly disgusted by these unfair treatment based on my religious belief.
Truly Jet Airways ought to be ashamed of their racism, and religious discrimination.


12 Huy Quach 01.26.10 at 12:12 pm

We should boycott Air Canada..Yesterday I took my parents to the Intl Airport in Toronto an hour before the departure time and an Airline manager cancelled my parents ticket and his excuse was my parents should got there 2 hours in advance. We checked-in online and got the tickets printed off the internet and what we need were just drop the luggages. Today I called Airline Canada and asked them to help me to pick another date for my parents and they said the tickets already cancelled and they charged 25% on the total ticket that my parents originally purchased.

Boycott and boycott Air Canada…..

13 Glen 03.07.10 at 12:04 pm

I can’t say enough about how crappy and ARROGENT
Air Canada staff are- EVERY TIME I have the misfortune
of flying with them- EVERYTIME!
West jet- Thank God for you

14 Matthew 06.11.10 at 5:44 pm

Air Canada is the most incompetent bunch of sorry excuses for an airline I have ever seen. They make written promises to employees, telling them to buy safety clothes, and in writing Air Canada and their useless subsiduary Hewitt, states the employees will be reimbursed $80.00. When the employees, tried to claim their $80, they were told, no, Air Canada made a last minute policy change and isn’t going to honour the written directive they gave. This company pays absolute bottom bargain basement wages, and then expects employees already living under the poverty line to absorb the cost too of their further cost cutting. Shame on you Air Canada, shame!!!!! Without prejudice.

15 Aircanadasucks 06.17.10 at 6:54 pm

A website dedicated to the atrocious customer service by Air Canada towards its passengers.

16 Matthew 06.22.10 at 6:28 pm

Well, here is to hoping Air Canada follows through with its promises to employees and to customers as well.

Without prejudice

17 Matthew 06.22.10 at 6:31 pm

I am embarrassed to have worked for this outfit! Air Canada’s delays and then lack of ability to help Customers, made circumstances so that an elderly lady I know, was lost at a connecting airport for many hours, wandering on her own, and all Air Canada could tell the people inquiring about her significant delay, is we don’t know.

18 Matthew 07.09.10 at 12:43 pm

The cheap folks paid half of what they promised on paper to pay. Only HALF!!!

19 Matthew 07.27.10 at 3:48 pm

Please folks, stop spending money with Air Canada, and let it die!!!
Maybe, just maybe, some stunned management folk, might be like, oh, if only we had treated employees and customers like like real human beings, we might have done better. Shame on Air Canada, a national disgrace!!

20 Hart 08.01.10 at 8:32 pm

Air Canada sucks big time!!!! I was at the airport in Edmonton heading back to Toronto waiting for my turn at the checking counter, finally there was one person in front of me checking in, so I waited for my turn and I happened to be a few centimeters out of line to the right, the lady at the counter says to me, “hey, the lines over there” and I felt she said that because of the colour of my skin. I mean it doesn’t sound like a big deal, and believe me it is not, but apparently being a little out of line at the AC checking counter can result in a public humiliation.
P.S.-Flew west jet from Toronto to Edmonton a few months later, a wonderful experience.

21 adessy 08.02.10 at 9:49 pm

we confirmed our flight tickets to japan…we get our luggage all and ready to go at the airport and they say we haven’t confirmed our seats and all! so we had to delay our trip by a week.
and their food was horrible. once i got to japan, i vomited. plus, their entertainment sucks as well.

22 Matthew 08.06.10 at 3:41 pm

The nightmares with Air Canada’s employee “services” (and I use that term lightly and also without prejudice) continue. I serious am surprised that these folks are able to tie their own shoelaces in the morning, let alone operate a company full of employees and customers as well.

23 Matthew 08.24.10 at 3:30 pm

Vote with your DOLLARS!!!! Support other AIRLINES!!!! This is the only way Air Canada will go under, once and for all. This was said above by another commenter.

24 chris 09.01.10 at 7:19 pm

For All you people that complain and blame employees that work for this company I start to wonder have you told anyone who you work for i expect that most of you are working class people of the highly over paid government which keeps complaining about how many more paid days off you need which comes out of my pocket or that your hrs are to long but yet your pay stays the same which the tax payer pays for or you dont have enough vac time you need more weeks off. most of the elite and super elite passengers that fly Air canada dont even pay for there tickets its the tax payer so those people should keep there mouths shut. Now i travel with ac all the time and they do a great job with me i have yet to have issues with the employees just the weather and the company rules which have nothing to do with ac its transport Canada that is another story of where some of your complaints can go..I have also travels with west jet and i will never again cant stand having my knees in my face when im sitting in my seat nor being crammed in a 737 piece of garbage plane i would rather have the room for myself than have to deal with the person beside me moving around because of the lack of room…

I guess what im trying to say is try to put yourself in the employees shoes and what they have gone through to keep there jobs just remember if all these employees didnt stick with there company you wouldnt have an airline to get you around and you the tax payer would be paying all 35 000 employees to stay home

aicanada is great keep up the good work get some more destinations and maybe try to talk to the people who run the company your employees..

25 Nicholas Robinson 10.09.10 at 6:56 pm

Open letter to Calin Rovinescu, CEO of Air Canada:
Dear Mr. Rovinescu,

I have a question for you. I used to work for Air Canada Cargo as their exclusive graphic designer during the period 1996 to 2001 under Claude Morin.

Here is my question: my nine-year-old son lives in Osaka, Japan, with my ex-wife. I used to be able to fly to Vancouver direct, then to Osaka direct.

Now no one but Northwest/Delta flies from Canada to Osaka, except through byzantine and circuitous routes.

When I used to fly from Vancouver to Osaka with Air Canada, the capacity was almost always 90-100%.

Why on Earth would you stop service from Vancouver to Osaka? Even once a week, it would be standing room only. I have to fly to Osaka from Montreal twice a year now, and I’ve had to completely abandon Air Canada. Do you really think I want to fly Delta? Don’t you want my $5,000 per trip?

I just would like to know the reason you don’t fly to Osaka, unless it’s exorbitant landing fees. You fly to Tokyo, don’t you? What could possibly be the difference of, say, 600 additional miles? There certainly can be no lack of demand. Osaka is Japan’s second-biggest city, and don’t you think they want to come to Canada too? It’s like saying, “Let’s drop YUL_SFO because SFO is too much bother, let’s just do YUL_LAX because it’s bigger.”

Now I have to board Delta, go to Minneapolis, then Seattle, then Osaka. That’s patently ridiculous. Why, as a Canadian citizen, should I be made to go through American customs and immigration just for passing through? And extending my trip another ten exhausting hours with an equally-exhausted 9-year-old son in tow?

You have a very nice airline, Mr. Rovinescu, an airline I had absolute loyalty to, that I worked for for five years, and I want to travel on it.

Once a week, it’s all I ask. I know you’re in the black with all the cutbacks, and now your planes are at 80+% capacity.

So why not consider my request of reinstituting the YVR_KIX route? You’d be doing a desperate father a very, very big favor.

Yours sincerely,

Nicholas Robinson

26 bob acker 10.28.10 at 3:19 pm

Wow ! Soooooo many happy (sic) Air Canada FORMER customers !

Add me to the list as well, afer an Executive-Class trip to Punta Cana last year that could not even supply blankets and/or pillows to the hand-full of Executive-Class passengers, but did have some for sale to the coach passengers. Add to the insult by instead allowing us to use the complimentary newspapers as blankets, and 45 minute waits to respond to service call for a hot cup of tea (the attendants were all busy selling duty-free items!). When service was offered, the service was condecending & rude. A five hour layover in Calgary forced us to nap on benches as there really was no point in trying to get a hotel room with such a short lay-over. Even access to the Air Canada lounge was denied us as they close that at midnight.

Air Canada Vacations refused to compensate us as they are not responsible for any actions of their contracted carriers. Air Canada acknowledged our concerns and admitted they fell way short of the expected norms and offerred a one-time discount for a future SCHEDULED flight, that does not apply to packaged vacations. Since we only do vacation travel, this offer is less than worthless.

Lesson learned is to NEVER again fly Air Canada or their affiliated subsiduaries ever agian if at all possible. Customer satisfaction and loyality obviously are not their prime concern.

Good news for Air Transat, Signature, & WestJet Vacations !!

27 Robin j 12.27.10 at 10:53 am

I’m listening to 2 aircanada flight attndts talk about how the company doesn’t really mind when the captains sleep in they just delay the flights!!!!! Maybe they should care more about there reputation and there customers!!! I don’t remember being on ab air Canada flight that wasn’t delayed!!!! If west jet were cheaper I would have flown with them today. Air Canada does suck!

28 Ryan 12.29.10 at 1:09 pm


So many bad experiences, so much bad customer service. Sometimes I’ll go back because I feel some sort of loyalty to our national carrier. After all, it’s good to have a Canadian airline flying around the world, right? And I go back, like a wife to her abusive husband, remembering only the good things through a veil of nostalgia. And the trust is broken again, and again, and again.

29 Julianna 01.13.11 at 5:32 pm

Air Canada DOES NOT care about their customers… I filed a complain two weeks ago, called their reservation line, posted on their facebook page, faxed them my complain AND did not hear anything back from them!! Why pretend and put up these options when they just don’t care!!

Lesson learned – NEVER fly with Air Canada again!!
The fact it’s called “Air Canada” really embarrasses all our Canadians. If a foreigner experienced these kind of serviced, what kind of impression would they have about Canadians? Either brand new management comes in and take over, or the company go bankrupt and stops embarrassing Canada in the international airline industry!!

Here is my complain email to AC

First incident – I arrived at the airport at 7:10am and approached an Air Canada agent. At the time she was walking towards the weight scale to check the weight for a piece of luggage for another customer. I asked her politely if could check in for my flight, she said exactly “you missed the boarding time, the cut off is at 7:00”. I replied “it’s 7:15 now, could you check if the plane is still boarding please?” She said “No you missed the boarding time, you have to call Air Canada and reserve for a later flight.” Then, she give me the number for reservation with a terrible attitude and temper. I thought I really missed the flight and sat in the chairs across the room from the check-in counter and called Air Canada reservation, thinking to myself “now I have to drag all 4 pieces of my luggages and backpacks back home and spend another $30 on taxi to get to the airport again. Or might have to stay at the airport until tomorrow morning”. After waiting on the phone for about 5 minutes, I saw a girl running towards the check-in counter. I wondered if she is checking in for the same flight. I approached her quickly after she checked-in and she said she is on my flight! Out of this incidence, three things that I find extremely unacceptable. First, I was sitting right across the room from the check-in counter, the agent definitely saw me sitting on the chair and calling Air Canada. She should have approached me and told me that I can still check-in for my flight, but she didn’t. Second, after she checked me in for the flight, I saw her checking in another two customers for the same flight. This means that I was definitely not late for the boarding time. Third, although on my flight ticket, it says the boarding time is 6:55 (refer to attached file), I did my due diligence to make sure that I will not be late for the flight by calling the airport in advance, and I was ensured that the flight will be delayed for about 30 minutes. As it turned out, my flight was scheduled to depart at 7:30am, but it did not depart until 8:30am.

Second incident – After checking-in, I went to security check point. One of my carry-on bag was overweight, so I went back to the check-in counter to pay for the extra luggage. (This time it is the another agent who helped me. Note that there were two female agents who served at the Air Canada check-in counters at the time). I said exactly “one of my carry-on luggage is overweighted, I don’t mind paying for extra”, she said “then throw everything out!” She was getting mad at me for no particular reason, so I said “I beg your pardon”, she replied “if you don’t want to pay for extra, then throw everything out”. I said “you heard me wrong, I said ‘I don’t mind’ pay for extra”. Then she didn’t apologize at all and said “put it on the belt”.

30 Julianna 01.13.11 at 5:33 pm

Agree with Ryan!! Never felt such strong hatred towards an airline company before.

31 Sandra 01.22.11 at 8:19 am

Ac is the worst airline ever…I was delayed 17 hrs from Saskatoon to LA not because of weather but because they had mechanical issues. Turns out they don’t employee mechanics in Saskatoon. They had to have one fly from Calgary with a part who couldn’t fix it. So another one came with a part this took hours…AC staff is rude and does nothing to get connecting flights on another plane even when there were other flights on there planes with empty seats…Jason in Saskatoon was a rude ignorant jerk….they don’t care because they know there is no consequences for there crappy airline….I missed my appointment in LA and they offered a 25% discount next flight. Which they can stick where the son doesn’t shine…I will never fly with them again ever…When you complain you get a bs letter stating the times on your ticket are not set times if you can imagine…I was told by an AC employee that there planes have mechanical issues when the temp gets to -10 and colder….so is that the customers fault? Does the government know this? You betcha they do and they keep giving this airline bailouts with our tax dollars…what for? West jet is by far supior and i wish aircanada would bankrupt and disappear…they are a disgrace to even be allowed to be called an airline let alone use Canada in there name. So I have to at my cost book a new flight not with AC to go back for my missed appointment…it is time this airline was held accountable…try get away with to much…

32 Josh Mayfield 01.30.11 at 5:50 pm

I stopped flying Air Canada in disgust in 1973. In the next 27 years I flew all over Canada and the world several times without ever using Air Canada. When AC purchased Canadian Airlines in 2000, I had no choice but to begin to use them again – as sparingly as possible. I likely fly about 25 – 30 Air Canada flights per year now. In my opinion the management and staff at Air Canada are a collection of arrogant, asinine idiots and misfits. About the only thing that really occupies their thoughts is “How many days, hours and minutes until I get my pension?” Yes, there are exceptions – possibly 2.

33 ??? 02.13.11 at 2:19 pm

I love Air Canada. I don’t know what’s the problem. Air Canada is the airline that I mostly fly with. In my opinion the service is great. They have an excellent entertainment system with free movies and channels. Also, free XM radio. On westjet they charge you for movies and channels. They don’t serve you food on short flights but who cares. You can buy a bag of chips for $3.00. Also, Air Canada is the only airline that give me a whole can of pop. They don’t just give you a small glass. To conclude I think you should rethink your opinion about Air Canada

34 Al 07.20.11 at 7:47 am

Just paid $136 for SFX service Air Canada to PEI for horse semen to breed a mare. Farm delivered it to airport 8 hours before flight time and AC showed online it was on flight. It got here one day later and one day less potent. AC offered me $23 back.
If ever I need an organ transplant, I will know just to die instead. Someone needs to roll them back to true worth = minimum wage (unfortunately less is illegal)!

35 ed 11.29.11 at 10:55 pm

I just want to say that it is pathetic how bad this company is run! I mean you have to pay a baggage fee on your first bag! Who does that? Do they think you travel with no baggage? Once again I will only use this pathetic company to fly for free(kinda free I Guess). I don’t know what the situation is on this company now a days, but I would like to know if they still get handouts from the Government? So here is to WestJet and there great service! And they don’t over book either!!!!

36 Alex 06.07.12 at 3:01 am

I HATE Air Canada. They actually made me miss my flight due to poor counter service then blamed me. I was on time, and when I PAID for a second flight, I got to watch the boarding call for my first one after I went through security!

To retort their crap service, I wrote my own blog entry (satire) on their shitty service: Air Canada flaunts new “Don’t like it? Eat shit!” campaign

I told them I would post negatively about them on the internet. They just told me to eat shit.

37 reasonable person 05.11.13 at 10:21 am

1. They are voted “Best Airline” by the majority. The minority comes on websites like this to complain.

2. “Husband” above has it right: if the quality of the food is low, or there is a shortage of staff, that is a problem of MANAGEMENT, not front-line staff.

3. It is a fact that humans lose a third of taste sensation when at higher altitudes. That is why the food “tastes bad” or is “bland”. It’s called biology.

4. You might be interested to know that AC flight attendants and counter reps are paid $11 an hour. Many flight attendants have to share rooms in order to pay the rent. Look it up (Air Canada Careers section).

5. Despite being over-worked (as noted above, MANAGEMENT does not adequately staff some areas) and underpaid, front-line staff are regularly forced to accept criticism for delays, “bad food” (see above) and other things that are BEYOND THEIR CONTROL. When was the last time you heard anyone _compliment_ an airline for good service/food/etc.? People that are traveling are notoriously grumpy (like yourselves) and tend to exaggerate (you traveled AC 7 times and they lost your bags 7 times? Okay, sure) or even lie in order to get upgrades.

38 Swallow1 07.10.17 at 3:28 pm

After dealing with a disaster at the Toronto Pearson Airport – where I was informed by an extremely helpful A/C attendant that A/C doesn’t own the airport, I finally returned home and complained to their head office.

In response to my complaint, they graciously offered me 20% off per ticket (4) on my next flight. HOWEVER, these discounts couldn’t be used on any online flights. I would only be able to use them by contacting their offices directly.

What that meant is everyone else who was able to receive any discounts online would get a better rate than I would with my 20% off!!!

What a disgusting joke. What a disgusting airline!

Leave a Comment

You can use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Previous post:

Next post: