Sunday the 5th comes around, and I'm all excited because I'm leaving for New York, my first big vacation in almost ten years. We get to the airport a bit early, checked through and all is good. Someone called my dad and I up the the Air Canada desk, so we go up to see what's going on. It turns out they've overbooked on our flight going from Saskatoon to Calgary (we used Air Miles so we couldn't get the direct flight) so htey offer us business class direct to Toronto. We accept, since the flight only leaves an hour later than our original flight, and over all it'll cut down on our time in the air a lot. About ten minutes before our flight is schedualed to leave they make an announcement telling us that there's something they have to check out on the plane, so we'll be delayed for about thirty minutes. No biggie, I'd rather have them delay my flight than have it go down. Two hours later we haven't heard from anybody and can't seem to find any Air Canada employees anywhere. The vending machine that has drinks is out of order and the cafe is closed, and you're not allowed to bring drinks through security so there are a few people feeling a bit bitchy. Quite understandable. The departures board has told us twice that our plane has boarded and left. Finally someone comes along and announces that the flight to Calgary has been canceled, and that our plane needs a part flown in from Calgary, so it'll take them around two hours to get everything fixed. They give us all vouchers for a free meal at one of the two restraunts in the airport. We go, eat, go back through security a bit early and sit and wait. And wait. And wait. No Air Canada employees to be found. By now there's no way we're making our connection to NY, so my dad goes down to get our bags retagged and our flights changed.
Finally someone comes back and tells us it'll be another hour until our flight leaves. We wait for that hour. And another hour. And another hour without hearing anything from anybody. Finally, eight and a half hours after our flight was supposed to leave they make the boarding call. We board and wait another 45 minutes before we finally take off. The first announcement they make after the safety stuff? "We have an array of sandwiches available for $5 each." Let me get this straight. It's 8 pm, we haven't been able to leave since getting back through security could make us miss our boarding call because we have no idea what's going on, we're all hungry tired and pissed off, and you want us to pay for our meals? Maybe I'm feeling a bit bitchy after waiting in a tiny airport for ten hours, only being updated four times as to what's going on, but I think they could stand to offer us some kind of food for free.
It gets better though. Oh yes. It does. We're pulling into the Toronto airport and they announce that they'll have vouchers for free hotels and transportation waiting for us as we get off the plane. Hrm. Maybe they can do something right. We get off the plane and ask around. We have to go to customer service. Okay, so we go to customer service. They have no idea what we're talking about. By now I'm tired and just want to go to bed. It's almost 1 am, I have to be at the airport at 4:30am to make my new flight to New York, but I have to wait so I can actually get a hotel room. Just as the rest of the people from our flight arraive at the desk (at least thirty) four people who'd been working behind the desk leave. Okay... so they all clock out at 1:11 am. Whatever. But you think they might want to put in a bit of overtime so they can try not to piss off their customers any more than they already are? Finally, around two we've recieved our vouchers and arraive at our hotel.
I'm not angry that they took so long to fix the plane. Like I said before, I'd rather they fix it than have it go down. What annoys me is that:
1. We were only updated four times in eight and a half hours and had no idea what was going on.
2. Not once did anybody apologize to us. Ever.
3. I've actually come to expect this sort of service from Air Canada.