North America’s Best Airline Strikes Again!

This is really a story of how Air Canada continually disappoints its customers, so it makes me wonder what these criteria is for best airline!

I recently filed a claim with Air Canada to get points for one leg of a 3 legged return flight that I was on and had booked through their own site I believe. Point being that I should have never had to file a claim since my Aeroplan number was on file and I did get points for the rest of the trip. The claim was made online and I provided all the information they requested at the time.

Over 2 months later, I get an email that they cannot award me the points since this kind of claim has to be done in written form and I will need to send in a copy of my boarding pass. To boot, the email comes through an address that you cannot reply to, even though it did have a trouble ticket number in it. I found this response lacking, in that this request is completely unnecessary as everything was done online (even my checkin) so the records are all there if they really intended to ever award the points. Sure, I may have kept my boarding pass if the original claim had asked for it, or even if they did not take this long to respond, but none of this was done.

So the real question is, why?

  • Why not verify the records they have instead of asking for a written claim?
  • Why allow for such claims to be filed online if they need to be in written form?  Just inform your customers that it needs to be mailed in (so they can claim the mail was lost! )
  • Why take two months to write back?  I realize there are many claims, but there has to be some level of triage to make sure responses are more timely.
  • Why respond from an email that is not tied to their trouble ticketing system?
  • Why ask for this stuff to be mailed when it can just as easily be scanned and emailed?  we are in the digital age after all.
  • And my favourite: Just how do you think I got to my first stop if I was not onboard the flight I claim I was on.  Perhaps, I over paid for an Air Canada ticket just so I can fly it with another airline to go through this wonderful process.

The only answer that can satisfy all of these questions is:  “To make sure the process is long and complicated enough that customers give up”.

I said all this to come back to the title of this post.  A quick scan through twitter for Air Canada reveals many other customers that are not happy with the airline for various reasons, and yet they are awarded the Best Airline in North America!! (This is the best placed exclamation mark ever)

How?  who is judging this?  what is the criteria for being the best?  and being the best at exactly what?

Don’t get me wrong, the planes and staff are generally good, but from a customer satisfaction point of view, Air Canada is lacking.  And just like many other airlines, they have the luxury of being able to ignore all of this due to lack of alternatives for customers.

The shame of it is that I still recall the good days of the airlines.  When tickets were cheaper, the staff more professional, and the airlines really cared to make sure they customers return and fly with them again.

I end this post by congratulating Air Canada on surprising every one by earning this award 5 times in a row.