Air Canada

Fails in every respect. Will never fly with them again.  All was fine until I got to the airport yesterday morning. 

“We can’t book you through to your final destination, your flight from Montreal isn’t until tomorrow.”

“Excuse me?  Here is my e-mail confirmation.  I booked for a flight tonight.”

So I stand in several lines until finally some guy (who has been standing around doing nothing but pointing people to open agents – none of whom can assist me) calls me to the ticketing desk and looks at my itinerary.  So the problem is that United has taken over that flight.  I’ll need to pick up my luggage in Montreal and re-check in. 

Fine.  I ask an agent when I get off the plane in Montreal.  I’ve got a strange connection.  What do I need to do to make this happen.  I only have an hour. 

“Go pick up your bags, check in again with United, and go through customs.”

Fine.  I go to the baggage claim.  No bag.  I ask the baggage claim dude. 

“Oh, that is upstairs at the customs belt.”

Right.  So I go upstairs.  Where is the customs belt?  I don’t know.  There are no signs.  It is not obviously anywhere.  So I stand in the executive line at Air Canada and meet Louise.  I tell her I need a boarding pass and my bag.  She instructs me to smile, points me in a direction and goes back to her elite desk.

I wander that way, but don’t see anything that says “customs here.”  Instead, there is a “for employees only” tunnel that is, apparently, the right one.  Lo and behold my bag is there.  Fine. I’m shuffled along to customs.  No boarding pass, mind you.  But I’ll go to customs. 

So I go to customs.  The first American I’ve seen and I’m about ready to marry him and have his babies.  But of course I can’t go through customs if I don’t have a boarding pass.

So I go back to where I started from.  No one is at the United desk.  No one was there to ask earlier either.  I go back to Louise.  I say, I need a boarding pass.  She says “your flight has been cancelled.”  I say “I think I was supposed to be on the United flight.”  She says “then you need to go to the United desk.”  I say “there is no one at the United desk.”  She says “I can’t help you.”  I say “I realize that this isn’t your fault, but right now you are Air Canada, and Air Canada has f*cked this up from jump.  I’m going home tonight and I’m going to have a meltdown now.

At which point I started sobbing.  So I sob.  And I sob.  And I sob somemore.  While I am sobbing, she figures out how to get me on another flight that is going to the same approximate direction.  She hands me my boarding pass and directs me back to customs.  I do not go through the line with my future babydaddy.  I get stamped through (yes, I was on a farm, no I did not touch the animals) by a man that I do not offer to kiss.  I go through security, which takes forever, and the man with the metal detector offers me a tissue and says “don’t cry.”

So I cry a little more.

Thankfully I have friends who are willing to come and get me in the middle of the night.  I slept, got up, dressed like a slouch, and made it into work today.

But when I tell you I will never fly Air Canada again?  I mean it.  And when I vow to never set foot in Montreal again?  I mean that too.

Quebec: All the petty bureaucracy of the French, none of the style.

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Air Canada

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