The Air Canada Appreciation Thread

Joe

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But in hindsight would you at least consider a direct flight into Vancouver with AC. We always factor in a buffer now after experiencing what you have just been through.
 

ralf_plough

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Always allow extra connection time. I like at least 3 hours. I know it sounds like a pain but it’s not so bad. Less pain than two stops.

On the way out we were delayed by two hours, no connection in syd though so no probs.
 
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Roymond

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agree. We travel a couple of hours to get to Brisbane for our flight and the direct AC trip from BNE to YVR is too much to resist with small kids when factoring in travel time to airports then layover time in NZ or Singapore for a non direct flight.
It does however, feel like we are rolling the dice every time.
 

chrisj

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I admit I was quite pleased with the SYD-YVR leg of the journey and no matter which airline you fly to YVR with, Air Canada is the only way to fly to Kamloops. My concern is their Jetstar like attitude to customers. Do they overbook the Australia-YVR routes and routinely bump people? Is it worth taking that chance?
 

Crystal

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We just did the Melb-YVR this Jan, love the direct flight and would choose it any time. Previously we have done the LAX or San Fran stop with either United or Qantas...we are sl*ts to price so no allegiance to any airline. AC this trip was no frills but for the cost....was happy. Must admit though we never have a connection out of YVR as we always rent a car there. But yes if we did I would try what others are doing and specify a long stop...2+hours.
 

chrisj

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We just did the Melb-YVR this Jan, love the direct flight and would choose it any time. Previously we have done the LAX or San Fran stop with either United or Qantas...we are sl*ts to price so no allegiance to any airline. AC this trip was no frills but for the cost....was happy. Must admit though we never have a connection out of YVR as we always rent a car there. But yes if we did I would try what others are doing and specify a long stop...2+hours.
Where do you ski in Canada?
 

chrisj

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But in hindsight would you at least consider a direct flight into Vancouver with AC. We always factor in a buffer now after experiencing what you have just been through.
I'll wait until I've done some skiing here before I answer that. There are plenty of reliable airlines going to Japan and Europe, so I'd need to be pretty sold on Canada to consider a repeat.
 

Crystal

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I think the question is where don't we :) Favourite hill is Apex. We have skied all over the place. Whistler, Sunpeaks, Big White, Silverstar, Revelstoke, Kickinghorse, Fernie, Panorama, Red
 

absentskier

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I'll wait until I've done some skiing here before I answer that. There are plenty of reliable airlines going to Japan and Europe, so I'd need to be pretty sold on Canada to consider a repeat.
Where are you skiing on this trip? Just Sun Peaks? If so, I wouldn’t be making a judgement about what’s available in Canada based on one resort.
 

Legs Akimbo

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Overselling is rife. I don't know how many times in the US I have heard announcements offering cash inducements if people will give up their bookings and catch another flight. In the bad old days cash compensation was not mandatory and people were just bounced.
 

chrisj

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Overselling is rife. I don't know how many times in the US I have heard announcements offering cash inducements if people will give up their bookings and catch another flight. In the bad old days cash compensation was not mandatory and people were just bounced.
Funny you should say that. Every flight to Kamloops yesterday, they announced they needed a booked passenger to volunteer to take a later flight and be paid $400. The first flight I was hoping to get on, they made that announcement and this guy volunteered immediately. About an hour later, the AC lady called him back over and, in front of me, told him he could have his original booking back because someone had canceled. She then turned straight to me and said there was nothing she could do to get me on the plane. Basically she was saying they were happy to leave me stranded so they could get their $400 back. These are not the type of people I wish to do business with.
 

chrisj

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Where are you skiing on this trip? Just Sun Peaks? If so, I wouldn’t be making a judgement about what’s available in Canada based on one resort.
Of course not. I'd love to explore all the Canadian resorts, but there are plenty of other places with great skiing where I can reasonably expect to arrive without being stranded in an airport for 24 hours.
 
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Legs Akimbo

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Funny you should say that. Every flight to Kamloops yesterday, they announced they needed a booked passenger to volunteer to take a later flight and be paid $400. The first flight I was hoping to get on, they made that announcement and this guy volunteered immediately. About an hour later, the AC lady called him back over and, in front of me, told him he could have his original booking back because someone had canceled. She then turned straight to me and said there was nothing she could do to get me on the plane. Basically she was saying they were happy to leave me stranded so they could get their $400 back. These are not the type of people I wish to do business with.
You should have slipped the bloke $400.
 

JoeKing

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How can the planes be oversold if everyone now gets their seats long before the flight? How is the overselling happening if every(?) punter has their seat allocated in advance?
 

dawooduck

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Our Edmonton connection has never let us down but Rabbit Hill, although comparable to Sun Peaks, is not an Australian ski destination
 
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chrisj

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How can the planes be oversold if everyone now gets their seats long before the flight? How is the overselling happening if every(?) punter has their seat allocated in advance?
The rationale for over-selling is that there is always a proportion of cancellations, so they sell more places than they have, so they don't end up flying with empty seats. Given the financial penalties levied, people have a strong incentive to cancel early, if they're going to cancel at all. By the time they actually allocate individual seats, usually at check in, the oversold seats will hopefully roughly balance the cancellations.The problem is when airlines get greedy and grossly oversell in an attempt to guarantee 100% seat occupancy all the time.
 

JoeKing

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The rationale for over-selling is that there is always a proportion of cancellations, so they sell more places than they have, so they don't end up flying with empty seats. Given the financial penalties levied, people have a strong incentive to cancel early, if they're going to cancel at all. By the time they actually allocate individual seats, usually at check in, the oversold seats will hopefully roughly balance the cancellations.The problem is when airlines get greedy and grossly oversell in an attempt to guarantee 100% seat occupancy all the time.
I didn't know anyone still gets seats allocated at check-in.
 

robbo mcs

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Those reports are not exactly earth shattering news. What is described is common industry practice across the board. I don't think AC is anywhere near the worst offender. I'm not saying it is right, but everyone does it.

Also common practice in many other industries where no shows are a common problem.

Qantas frequently cancels whole planes, and are not honest about the reasons. I travel Syd-Mel on business often. Qantas has flights on the half hour all day. In peak morning times they often put extra flights on the quarter hour, but mysteriously those flights seem susceptible to a lot of mechanical problems causing them to be cancelled and passengers bumped onto other flights, presumably when they are not booked enough. It is so bad, at work we now insist on being booked on the half hour flights and never on the quarter hour.
 

dawooduck

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AC's stated policy is that you have to pay a $100 dollar premium if you want to choose a seat prior to check-in.

I have never been charged a cent to pick a seat and change it again online at the airport prior to check in. We had 4 AC trips in the last 18 months so this "stated policy" must be brand new.
 

Legs Akimbo

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Those reports are not exactly earth shattering news. What is described is common industry practice across the board. I don't think AC is anywhere near the worst offender. I'm not saying it is right, but everyone does it.

Also common practice in many other industries where no shows are a common problem.

Qantas frequently cancels whole planes, and are not honest about the reasons. I travel Syd-Mel on business often. Qantas has flights on the half hour all day. In peak morning times they often put extra flights on the quarter hour, but mysteriously those flights seem susceptible to a lot of mechanical problems causing them to be cancelled and passengers bumped onto other flights, presumably when they are not booked enough. It is so bad, at work we now insist on being booked on the half hour flights and never on the quarter hour.
The most blatant I have had is a Deathstar flight to Ballina. I was on a flight to get me to Ballina in time for 10-00 am court. I got to the airport to discover that my 7-00 am flight was cancelled and I was bumped to a 09-00 am flight.

Fortunately the Court and my opponent had answering machines and I could manage the issue, but, strangely, the combined flights just filled whatever plane it was.

Message: Only use Deathstar if you are on holiday and time does not matter. In my experience, at least Qantas and Virgin put scheduled flights in the air at roughly the scheduled time.
 

Lady Penelope

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Those reports are not exactly earth shattering news. What is described is common industry practice across the board. I don't think AC is anywhere near the worst offender. I'm not saying it is right, but everyone does it.

Also common practice in many other industries where no shows are a common problem.

Qantas frequently cancels whole planes, and are not honest about the reasons. I travel Syd-Mel on business often. Qantas has flights on the half hour all day. In peak morning times they often put extra flights on the quarter hour, but mysteriously those flights seem susceptible to a lot of mechanical problems causing them to be cancelled and passengers bumped onto other flights, presumably when they are not booked enough. It is so bad, at work we now insist on being booked on the half hour flights and never on the quarter hour.
Try getting a domestic flight CBR-SYD. Around 10% cancellation rate for vague reasons..... These days I catch the bus.
 

chrisj

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Those reports are not exactly earth shattering news. What is described is common industry practice across the board. I don't think AC is anywhere near the worst offender. I'm not saying it is right, but everyone does it.

Also common practice in many other industries where no shows are a common problem.

Qantas frequently cancels whole planes, and are not honest about the reasons. I travel Syd-Mel on business often. Qantas has flights on the half hour all day. In peak morning times they often put extra flights on the quarter hour, but mysteriously those flights seem susceptible to a lot of mechanical problems causing them to be cancelled and passengers bumped onto other flights, presumably when they are not booked enough. It is so bad, at work we now insist on being booked on the half hour flights and never on the quarter hour.
Up to a point, it's a reasonable practice, but how often does Qantas hold people over for 12 hours, while telling them they will just have to wait till they can fit them in?
 

chrisj

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The most blatant I have had is a Deathstar flight to Ballina. I was on a flight to get me to Ballina in time for 10-00 am court. I got to the airport to discover that my 7-00 am flight was cancelled and I was bumped to a 09-00 am flight.

Fortunately the Court and my opponent had answering machines and I could manage the issue, but, strangely, the combined flights just filled whatever plane it was.

Message: Only use Deathstar if you are on holiday and time does not matter. In my experience, at least Qantas and Virgin put scheduled flights in the air at roughly the scheduled time.
I think Qantas made a sensible decision in creating Jetstar as their no frills brand. Jetstar is cheap and you know you can expect to be treated badly when it suits them. Personally, I never fly Jetstar.
 
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dawooduck

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Do you do it online or phone them?

All online. Skyscanner, pick the flights that suit, pay whichever aggregator, get the booking number, log on to AC, choose seat. Check seats at airport prior to check in and look for ones with vacant seats next to them. Some seats have a gold star that costs more but the majority are open season.
 

chrisj

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All online. Skyscanner, pick the flights that suit, pay whichever aggregator, get the booking number, log on to AC, choose seat. Check seats at airport prior to check in and look for ones with vacant seats next to them. Some seats have a gold star that costs more but the majority are open season.
Weird. Did you follow the link I posted earlier?
 

Skichic2

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Qantas now charge $55 (I think) to pre select seats on overseas flights. Fairly recent fee, last 18 months or so? Cheaper flights, add on fees.
 

Legs Akimbo

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Qantas now charge $55 (I think) to pre select seats on overseas flights. Fairly recent fee, last 18 months or so? Cheaper flights, add on fees.
I vaguely remember paying this 6 years ago. You could pay when you booked or wait until online check in became available 24 hours before departure when it was free.
 
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Skichic2

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I vaguely remember paying this 6 years ago. You could pay when you booked or wait until online check in became available 24 hours before departure when it was free.
Possibly. 4 yrs between trips for us.
 

Beerman

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I love AC so much I fly QF, even if it means a detour through SYD from BNE to get to YVR.
I should add, on a recent YVR - SYD flight, we found the flight had been postponed 24hrs. This was with about 6hrs notice. We had the choice of QF organising and paying for accoms and food at their expense, or we stay and eat were we wish but claim back expenses.
 
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cqen2l

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Qantas now charge $55 (I think) to pre select seats on overseas flights. Fairly recent fee, last 18 months or so? Cheaper flights, add on fees.
Are you a Q club member or frequent flyer? Have never been charged to preselect a seat, unless extra leg room in economy perhaps?
 

Skichic2

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cqen2l

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Here's your problem clause:
Seat selection is available for a charge for customers travelling in international Economy on sale fares.
Hence the charge.
 
I have to be in Van on a relatively regular basis for business now. My pref for MEL - YVR is always AC because of the convenience factor (14H 50M - c'mon, FFS that's worth $$$ if you're on a biz trip), unless there's a spectacular PE/Biz Class deal on Air NZ (via AKL pref #2) or QF (via LAX if I have a desire to do LA or see my bro in San Diego pref # 3)

potentially getting bumped (or asked to be bumped) on a connection is not uncommon and I wouldnt say that AC is any better or worse than most Nth American airlines. All my internal flights in Nth America with AC over the past few years when I was living there were great.

FWIW - I cant recall paying for seat allocation on AC / Air NZ / QF for any flights in the past few years.
 
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