Air Canada faces backlash after denying flight to see dying P.E.I. relative

Mitch MacDonald
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Airline reportedly told Joanna Hannah and her grandmother they would not be able to board due to being two minutes late

An Air Canada plane landing at Pearson Airport. File photo

Air Canada is facing public backlash after reportedly denying an elderly woman a mercy flight to P.E.I. to visit her dying brother.

The woman’s granddaughter, P.E.I. resident Joanne Hannah, said on Air Canada’s Facebook page that staff would not allow the two to board their flight from Pearson International Airport in Toronto last Monday because they were two minutes late.

However, Hannah said she spent the first 15 minutes at the airport trying to locate a wheelchair for her grandmother as well as an occupied Air Canada kiosk.

Hannah said she tried explaining the confusion to the ticket agent, who still denied them the flight to see her grandmother’s brother and Kensington resident Gerald Profitt.

 “I actually thought she was kidding,” Hannah wrote in her public complaint, which has generated much support since it was posted last week. “I also informed her that we were flying to be with a dying family member who wasn’t expected to make it through the night. She then informed me that I should have been there two minutes ago.”

While Hannah described airport staff as being generally unhelpful through the ordeal, asking to speak to a manager didn’t help matters.

“I pleaded with her to at least let my grandmother on the flight, I’d send her luggage the next day and take a different flight,” wrote Hannah. “She told me ‘I don’t care who is dying. You’re late, you’re late, too bad, so sad, you don’t fly today’ and walked away.”

The words cut through Hannah like a knife.

“And left me standing there in disbelief,” she said.

During an interview with Postmedia News, Hannah said her cousin then drove back to Pearson to pick them up.

He was ultimately arrested for mischief after getting upset with staff and throwing luggage tickets at the wall.

Hannah said a worker then threatened to flag her grandmother from also going on future flights.

After the incident, the two returned to Air Canada the next morning to try and get her grandmother a standby flight to P.E.I., with all flights booked up until the next day.

Ultimately, Hannah received some tragic news while checking in her grandmother for the standby flight.

Profitt died on Tuesday at the age of 70.

In the Postmedia interview, Hannah said her grandmother would have had approximately six hours with Profitt before his death if she had have gone on the original flight.

“I received a phone call that our loved on had just passed away as I was sitting my suitcase on your scale,” she said in the complaint, adding that she had to break the news to her grandmother in the middle of the airport. “You (Air Canada) really should be ashamed of yourselves.”

Air Canada later responded to the post by inviting Hannah to refer any further comments to the airline’s website.

When asked for comment by The Guardian, the airline issued a statement on the incident.

“This is a very regrettable situation and we are sorry the family was unable to travel in time. Unfortunately, they did arrive late for check-in, which is why they were not boarded,” said the statement. “We are in touch with the family and will be following up with the customers directly as well as with our employees, including investigating why it was not possible to board them on an exceptional basis due to the circumstances.”

Organizations: Air Canada, Pearson International Airport, Postmedia News

Geographic location: P.E.I., Toronto, Kensington Pearson

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  • Joseph
    April 12, 2016 - 17:24

    I also had a bad experience with Air Canada on my flight from Shanghai to Vancouver. We bought 2 tickets for my 2 cats in the cargo compartment and we were declined to board at the gate. The staff told us that the flight, Boeing 777, cargo compartment only has room for 1 pet. When confronted with the fact of the tickets on my hand. He told me to get a refund and told me I can go complain if I wanted to. I finally was allow to get one cat into the cabin for the flight after calling lengthy Long Distance Call to the Canada Offices but it had certainly given me a very bad taste in the mouth. The representative was very unhelpful and not considerate.

  • Marg hull
    March 31, 2016 - 12:52

    Unexceptable behaviour for the air canada employee who should be fired can't even imagine how those people felt air canada should be so ashamed and who was that employees boss where was she I won't fly there air line again as those hours can not be ever given back to the man dying and his relative how sad air canada has no compassion and this is a situation that should never have happened . How do you make this up to the family with a free ticket how degrading think very different of air canada for this and for that employee to talk to the family like that and she represented the air lines well pretty sad really 2 minutes I recall sitting in the airplane a couple of years ago waiting for a couple to board and they were allowed and all in the plane waited like me I have no words for what I feel disgusted and a word I can't say

  • Bobbie
    March 29, 2016 - 16:29

    As always the rest of the passengers have to put up with the odd passenger who just seems not to be able to make it on time. Miss your push back time and you wait another 15 to 30 minutes. That is why we have time tables so we can all be organized and get to where we are going without hassles. This is a major event taking a flight, well in my world anyway. so what's wrong with leaving home like an hour earlier that you should have to? Some people just don't get it do they lets just keep every other person waiting needless to say why should they care if they miss a connecting flight. Really, I'm just a few minutes late what the hell. We, seem to live in a world of blame, lets just blame someone else, then I have to suffer no guilt of my own. I can hear it now, "well you know it was AC that made me late" Please start accepting the fact that some of you need to get yourself out of bed in the mornings like the rest of us and be on time!

  • Malcolm sayle
    March 29, 2016 - 07:13

    I find air Canada's lack of compassion to be absolutely disgusting. No subsequent action will ever compensate this family. shame on you ac? Perhaps adding a little piece to the training package of putting themselves in someone else's shoes would go a long way. Shameful!!!

  • kp
    March 28, 2016 - 23:01

    Joanna Hannah - I am so sorry for the loss of your great uncle, and also express my condolences to your grandmother, for the loss of her dear brother. / I was initially trying to figure out what AC late night Pearson flight you were on. At first, I felt that you were lucky to have had a ten minute departure delay (and, as such, you were actually 13 minutes or so late for the "baggage check in"). (Plainly the story suggests that you were all two minutes late for the 45 minute baggage check deadline). I was first looking into whether the Pearson baggage belt shuts off, and then considering the extraordinary effort it could take to get your bags, or to get your grandmother (on her own) transported to the gate.... But, when I checked your flight's (AC7341) past departure schedule online, it seems that your flight that night didn't even leave until 11:30 p.m.? Wow. Perhaps even more importantly, 11:30 p.m. was even one of the earlier departures for that very same flight in the last month - it is usually delayed. The flight staff should have known that. And also should have accommodated you under the circumstances.

  • ally
    March 28, 2016 - 22:31

    If what the air Canada staff said is true that is inexcusable and she should have been more compassionate. But with experience working in the airport biz every minute extra on the ground is charged to the airline by the airport not to mention all the passengers that already on board are ready to go to their connections. They would have been later than 2 min by the time they boarded if they were allowed .

  • Covey WhiteGold
    March 28, 2016 - 21:49

    I don't know the stresses people may go through working at a hectic busy airport terminal in a busy thriving city but I do know what it is like to lose a loved one. As a Canadian, I am offended deeply for the treatment put upon these suffering people. It seems another world or country the moment you step into the terminal. The strictness and cruelty, the continual stories of inhumanity, no compassion, not even a little empathy.

  • DC
    March 28, 2016 - 21:05

    I believe the family. Air Canada employees are arrogant, and think they are the "only" airline. 2 mins late for the check in! Come on! That employee had an attitude and used the airlines "rules" to show that she could bully the customer. If it was that employee's sister or friend do you think she would of got them on the plane?! If the government did not give that airline our tax dollars that employee would not have a job. Because Westjet would not hire her! I was 3 mins late for a flight in Moncton, 5 years ago. The employee check in a customer for the same flight just ahead of me. When I stepped up he said I was too late. I told him that he just check that person in front and he said that he was on time but I was late. I walked down and got on a Westjet flight that left at the same time and never looked back a AC!

  • John Steinsky
    March 28, 2016 - 16:43

    If there is a sliver of truth to the way these folks were treated, then shame on Air Canada. However, I find it odd that what seem to be relatively inexperienced travellers would show up at the airport so close to flight time. This is counter to the behavior I generally see - most less frequent travellers tend to show up very early for flights. And in this case, because the flight was so important, you'd think these folks would have been doubly cautious. I guess they will know for next time - show up early.

  • Karen
    March 28, 2016 - 15:22

    Good God that's disgusting, heartless!! ignorant!!! very poor customer service!!! unprofessional!!!! This ticket agent needs to be reprimanded at the very least...she/he should be fired! To say: “She told me ‘I don’t care who is dying. You’re late, you’re late, too bad, so sad, you don’t fly today’ and walked away.” speaks loudly to the principles of how Air Canada does business. They should be ashamed of themselves!!! I will think twice about who i fly with the next time i fly I'm telling you that!!!

  • right and wrong
    March 28, 2016 - 14:03

    There was an incident in Charlottetown a few years ago where a MP from Ottawa threw a fit when she was late for a flight. She even threw one of her boots at Air Canada staff but was allowed to board the flight that was closed and ready for take-off. If these folks had arrived when they should have this wouldn't have happened but unfortunately the whole situation was not handled correctly. Sounds like Air Canada staff need a course in sensitivity training in a situation like this. Two wrongs do not make it right.

    • UPWESTER
      March 28, 2016 - 17:53

      My son had an incident at Ch'Town with Air Canada. He had packed his ID in his checked in bag. it was the last flight out that night so the Air Canada crew unloaded the bags already on the plane and got his ID so he could board the plane.They laughingly said this wouldn't happen in Toronto.I flew all over North America and Europe, including Scandanavia during my business career and have never had a bad experience with any air line, but then again I played by the rules they set out for our safety.

  • Cjs
    March 28, 2016 - 13:36

    If you actually look at the flight time etc, there is no way they were ever making it on that flight whether they had a wheelchair etc. As soon as they got there or not. You can't expect to turn up for a flight right before boarding and just walk on, that's just silly regardless of the circumstances. Given the importance of the flight and the extenuating circumstances it seems ridiculous not to have turned up early. Also, if they turned up that late, it is not unreasonable that the check in desks would be closed and staff light. The whole story smacks of irresponsibility. That said, if the air Canada agents actually did say the things she alleges, there is no excuse for that. However you've only got one side of a story here, meant to appeal emotionally, and the details are a bit sketchy. I've personally had a similar situation on two occasions, no dying loved one involved just me being stupid and late, and air Canada were extremely helpful. They went so far as to out me on he next flight at no charge since there was space which was well beyond my expectations. I didnt even have to ask for this, it was offered to me. And before someone comes along and says Oh she must work for them, no, I have no affiliation whatsoever- I've just flown enough crummy budget airlines to know air Canada is, in my experience, one of the best I've used.

    • Hawkins
      March 28, 2016 - 14:52

      I agree.

  • Lily
    March 28, 2016 - 13:17

    The whole situation is unfortunate; however I believe that there are two issues at play here. First, the employee, if in fact, this is a true reflection of her response needs to be addressed by the employer. Secondly, perhaps the passenger should have arrived on time. It appears that she arrived late, then went looking for a wheelchair (which she would have known that she needed). It is hardly the airports fault that there wasn't a wheelchair waiting at the door. In this era of security, they should have arrived on time to go through the necessary process.These folks need to take some responsibility for their actions or inactions. It is, indeed an unfortunate event. LIlly

  • Rod
    March 28, 2016 - 13:14

    Badly behaved employees are, most of the time, symbolic of poor management higher up. Air Canada needs better training for senior managers or a complete shakeup or both.

  • Mike
    March 28, 2016 - 13:06

    Last week a delta airlines pilot taxied BACK to the gate to pick up a family that had missed the boarding. The family was flying to a funeral of a family member. The gate agents saw how upset they were and the pilot made the decision to return. These are things that keep people coming back. Air canada needs a huge lesson in not so much customer service but public relations as well. It's tough when the country's biggest airline is controlled by a bunch of losers

    • Unbelievable
      March 28, 2016 - 17:30

      I can't believe the people saying it was their fault for not being there on time. OMG are you kidding. First of all you obviously have never traveled with an elderly person and surely not with one who requires a wheel chair. Just the responses they got from Air Canada employees is absolutely grounds for dismissal. Speaking to customers who pay your wage in that disrespectful manner is totally unacceptable. I am sorry for the travelers. Air Canada needs to send their employees to customer service school. Even on our small island some of the Air Canada employees are rude and disrespectful.

  • opinion
    March 28, 2016 - 12:25

    Unfortunate circumstances for the family... In saying that, the affected family should take some responsibility for the delay; showing up late for their flight. Pearson is a gigantic airport, and requires time to get there, get your wheel chair, check in, and wait patiently for your flight.

  • michael
    March 28, 2016 - 12:15

    Maybe AC should read this..show respect to your passangers Nada Cusin Delta Air Lines pilot turned plane around and returned to gate to pick up family so they wouldn't miss their father's funeral after seeing distraught son through window. Sometimes showing compassion and being flexble is the human thing to do.

  • never fly with Air Canada again
    March 28, 2016 - 11:11

    This is a repulsive situation that never should have happened. First of all, why were there no agents available, why were there no available wheelchairs, why was there no compassion. The people who work for this crown corporation make some of the best salaries in Canada and have the best perks. We, the travelling public, pay their wages through taxes and we should expect to be treated with kindness, understanding and compassion. Instead, we are all treated with harshness, rudeness and nasty attitudes. There is no customer service with this airline. We the people of Canada should stand up and boycott this sickening attitude. We have been bumped of flights and treated so poorly that we will never fly Air Canada again.

    • laurent Beaulieu
      March 28, 2016 - 16:26

      Please note AIR CANADA is a PRIVATE company not a Crown Corp. It was privatized 30 years ago. So the anti-government of Canada sentiment is completely wrong here. Salaries at AC are low and perks next to none. Please inform yourself before commenting.

  • WRONG CAPTION
    March 28, 2016 - 10:45

    Proper caption should be PEOPLE LATE FOR FLIGHT. BLAME OTHERS.

  • S. MacEachern
    March 28, 2016 - 09:57

    My hart goes out to the grandmother who did not get to her son in time for final farewell. The other side of the coin here, and my point, is what exactly was said at that check in counter. Airlines often get lambasted in the press for various reasons and often tempers fly when dealing with an unruly, rude and demanding passenger. As someone who has been employed in this sector most of my working life, I know that C.S. staff are often poorly trained and simply do not know how to deal with extenuating circumstances and fail to call a Supervisor to "troubleshoot". I want to point out that there are usually three sides to every story like this; "He said, She said, and the truth.

  • EL Douglas
    March 28, 2016 - 09:17

    Like many others, we also have had a couple of bad experiences with Air Canada. The problem as I see it, is there are far too many employees who simple do not care! They find it much easier to keep passing you off to someone else down the line, rather than helping you! Just not acceptable. Never fly AC unless you absolutely have no choice!

  • Mary
    March 28, 2016 - 09:04

    UNIONIZED staff! West jet held the plane for me onetime in Toronto called ahead and they rushed me right stright through and boarded the plane 5 minutes before it was scheduled to takeoff! Air Canada and CBC will only get worse as Trudeau pounds the money to them!

    • joan arsenault
      March 28, 2016 - 15:06

      HAD TO GO TO PEI MARCH 4TH TO MY BROTHERS FUNERAL ,WENT WEST JET THEY GAVE US A COMPASIONAT DEAL AND IT WAS DOUBELED WITH AIR CANADA TNKS SO MUCH WEST JET WE WERE LOOKED AFTER

    • Free enterpriser
      March 28, 2016 - 21:10

      But, but wasn't Air Canada privatized years ago. What a bastion of free enterprise!

  • Sasha
    March 28, 2016 - 08:49

    Most of the people flying do so because they have to get some place on time and do something they deem important. Is important exam or business meeting any less important than sitting next to the bed with non-responsive person in it? Because the definition of important is so subjective we have the rules. When you do not follow them you miss your flight. There are too many people who feel entitled to special treatment and when they don't get it they go whining to facebook and local papers.

  • Thomas
    March 28, 2016 - 08:33

    Though I find it hard to believe all that was reported in this story as being 100% correct I do concur that in general air canada staff are the most insensitive people on the face of the planet. I think they must take special training as a special prerequisite for employment. ..their mantra being Air Canada is always right and you as a travelling customer must be greatfulll for being allowed to travel on our airline and you should be thankful that we will take your money and abuse you. How this airline ever won any kind of award as the best airline in north America is beyond believe...talk about vote rigging...Air Canada would be number one...if at all possible chose another airline..one that appreciates your business....

  • Dug
    March 28, 2016 - 08:02

    I find this story very hard to believe, firstly that one human being could say that to another in this situation. We always use a wheel chair when flying all you have to do is mention that you require one at the time of booking and one will be there for you at check in, if not a member of staff will get one. As for being two minuets late we only have one side of the story, personally we have been late on a couple times due to connecting flights but have found our flight has been held back for us. My motto is treat people as you wish to be treated, and as for face book well that says it all.

  • some guy
    March 28, 2016 - 07:13

    I wonder if they called her a liar.... like they did me one time over some bullcrap.... Air canada... I will never fly with them again after my experience, let alone after reading about this one! My condolences, I hope that more people realize air canada does not care about its passengers, just the credit card in their pocket.

  • Joey
    March 28, 2016 - 06:45

    This crap about not being there on time is BS, I have seen numerous people show up late with baggage to check and still be aloud to go with a phone call to the back! Yes they are not supposed to but they do all of the time. I fly with air canada all of the time, yes u do have to watch your times, but there is exceptions to rules when it comes to a dieing family memeber. The employees should be fired, and I would hope that the family members that missed the flight would be compensated properly.

    • Just Sayin
      March 28, 2016 - 18:05

      You forget that the baggage handlers have loaded the plane and gone on to other departing aircraft. To try and load someone with a wheel chair after everyone has gone on to another gate to load other passengers.is asking a bit much.Remember, this is TO, the busiest and biggest airport in the country, not PEI with two flights a day.

  • david
    March 28, 2016 - 04:15

    Maybe someone should ask Air Canada how many times everyday do they hear the same excuse for being late and missing board calls. Then the excuses start from a dead family member to a sick child, to car trouble to my cellphone died. They hear them all just because people are late and how many of them are true most likely none. People lie most people caught in a situation of missing a flight or being late people lie. Just like when people are stopped by the police for speeding or texting the person lies about why they were doing it. So really these people were late and missed the flight simple solution is leave home a bit earlier next time so you are not late for your flight. This sounds like people who are looking for some free flights or compensation for their own mistakes.

  • Mark Kluge
    March 28, 2016 - 01:32

    Two thoughts: 1. There are two sides to every story. 2. Not everything posted on the Internet is 100% accurate.

  • Joe
    March 27, 2016 - 22:19

    The whole situation is very unfortunate but was totally avoidable by being on time. We all assume it is easy for Air Canada to fix this but I am sure once boarding closed the passenger lists are submitted to several security organizations. I am betting they cannot just easily re-open boarding.

    • some guy
      March 28, 2016 - 07:14

      your joking right, I have seen them hold flights back for 3 hours because their pilot was sick. Im pretty sure if they had wanted to, waiting a extra two minutes would not have done anything...

    • Garth
      March 28, 2016 - 13:42

      You mean they are so efficient they submit lists within 2 minutes. Not likely! True beaur crats at their best!

  • Mary Paynter
    March 27, 2016 - 22:01

    I am in disbelief this is utterly heartless of the staff member of Air Canada. I could bet you if it was her family member something would of ben done quickly I am sure.The loss of a love one cannot be replace think of that Air Canada do something.

  • Malpeque Mariner
    March 27, 2016 - 21:58

    It is time for everyone to boycott Air Canada. The service I had two weeks ago was disgusting. They cancelled all Air Canada flights leaving for Toronto because of fog. The real reason was Air Canada wasn't sending any airplanes to Charlottetown because the flights were backed up in Montreal and Toronto and they needed extra planes.But the Westjet plane was leaving at the same time.Funny how Westjet could leave in the fog. Our flight didn't leave for two days later. I will be flying Westjet from now on.

    • Marcia
      March 28, 2016 - 10:12

      It appears Air Canada has no mercy for the merciless. In 2007 my mom purchased a first class open ticket to Jamaica. In August 2007 she fell ill and we tried to return to Toronto with her via Montego Bay airport. After driving for 2 hours to get to the airport, we were told by the manager on duty that she was not fit to fly. This was despite her doctor ironically arriving at the airport and completing necessary documents to prove otherwise. Ironically, her pastor was flying out on the same day and begged on her behalf and the flight was still open yet the staff were not only rude, the declined. We had to book a hotel that evening and return the next day which we did. The outcome: my mother died September 12, 2007. My cousin who also worked at the same airport conveyed this to said manager who was unapologetic with no remorse. In fact, to this day we are constantly harassed in various ways when travelling AC (especially as non-revenue/standby) with the same staff on duty.

  • angryashell
    March 27, 2016 - 21:23

    If the air canada worker said what she allegedly said, then that was wrong. However, the customers can only blame themselves for not allowing themselves enough time. It's not news that you are supposed to be at an airport long before takeoff, and it's for reasons like this that people should leave enough time. Put the blame where it is due; not on the company, but the customers that feel such a sense of entitlement. And no, I don't work for any airline company, but I do work with the public and I know the attitude "my time is so much more important than yours."

  • de udder guy
    March 27, 2016 - 21:13

    Read the entire story on Facebook, have a really hard time believing everybody in the story was so hurtful and rude. Not that people ever embellish anything on Facebook.

  • AMAZED
    March 27, 2016 - 21:09

    I am amazed here by the number of commentors that are upset and have only heard one side of this. I am not a big fan of Air Canada but who goes to the airport 15 minutes before boarding, THEN goes looking for a wheelchair. Seems more like a case of blaming someone else for your mistakes.

    • Andrew
      March 28, 2016 - 08:20

      It didn't say she arrived 15 minutes before boarding. IT said took her 15 minutes to find a wheel chair and buy the time she made it to counter she had missed her check in time by 2 minutes. Which is 45 minutes before the flight leaves.( So she actaully showed up a hour before flight.)

  • Kim Talebi
    March 27, 2016 - 20:03

    The year my Dad died they wouldn't change my ticket and he died before I got to go see him ! They have no compassion for the people that keep them in business ! Hoping this doesn't happen to any one else !

  • James Arsenault
    March 27, 2016 - 19:29

    NEVER NEVER WILL I FLY WITH AIR CANADA AGAIN. tHE tRONTRO STAFF IN A LOT OF CASES JUST DON,T CARE ABOUT PAYING CUSTOMERS.

  • Robert Snow
    March 27, 2016 - 19:21

    The sad part is they always seem to be sorry and want to do things after the fact. Maybe a bit more help and compassion at the time of the event would be the better plan.

  • Islander
    March 27, 2016 - 18:53

    Disgraceful. Air Canada has been ignorant on many occassions to customers. Who ever in hell regulates them should come down hard on such behaviour. If in fact staff did make them statements they should be fired

  • Good-bye Air Canada
    March 27, 2016 - 18:29

    West jet, here I come. Definitely not flying with Air Canada again.....regardless!

  • Regular Joe
    Regular Joe
    March 27, 2016 - 18:20

    Just another scumbag taxpayer funded company that has been going in the toilet for years . If not for the big influx of taxpayers Dollars that Government gives this company , it would have died long ago . Missed flights ,lost luggage ,stranded patrons left to fend for them self or sleep on the floor , NO customer service an if you find any they are as ignorant as the day is long to you like your wasting their time . Only other company that matches them is Greyhound bus lines .

  • I AGREE
    March 27, 2016 - 18:14

    Airport staff are arrogant and not helpful in the least . If you do not like your job LEAVE , do not take it out on the travelling public . I tried to get information from the ticket clerk for my mother as I was helping her with her bags in Charlottetown and he looked right through me like I did not exist , it had to be some kind of personality disorder . Where do they find these people ???

  • Clara-Lynn Gaudet
    March 27, 2016 - 17:57

    I think it was so disrespectful of the airline agent to tell he customers that they didn't care who was dying, they were late, too bad, so sad, you are not flying tonight. That sounds like a child talking rather than an adult. They could have displayed some compassion for these 2 ladies. 2 minutes late because they were unable to find any assistance to get a wheelchair is ridiculous. The woman could have been pushed in the wheelchair rather than using it for a walker. It may have shed off enough time to have made it on time. There was NO excuse whatsoever for the airline agent to speak so horribly to them, none at all!!!!

    • UPWESTER
      March 28, 2016 - 12:07

      I don't believe for a second that the Air Canada employee said that.You are told to be at the airport 1 hour before departure, not two minutes after the plane has been loaded.If it was a VIP arrogantly being late and want to board, all you posters would be cheering AC.

  • fellow traveller
    March 27, 2016 - 17:54

    Typical, they are small kings and queens behind those counters. I can totally identify with trying to find a wheelchair and a free counter, -- been there, tried that, frustrating.

  • Sammy
    March 27, 2016 - 17:47

    I guess the lesson here is... allow yourself more time to get to the airport for checkin

    • Been there
      March 27, 2016 - 20:04

      That is not the lesson....you obviously don't fyl Air Canada...

    • Frequent traveller
      March 28, 2016 - 09:28

      I fly Air Canada back and forth across this country on a regular basis. Not once have I come across a rude and ignorant Air Canada employee. I follow the rules that are put in place, such as being on time for my flight. There is never a problem. I have seen some extremely demanding/stressed customers approach these employees and they have had put up with wicked situations. I would not want their job. So yes lesson here really is allow yourself more time to get to the airport. If I am sitting on the plane and waiting for someone who is late because they decided to drink an extra coffee that morning or whatever I will not be happy!

    • Another frequent flyer
      March 28, 2016 - 18:06

      I fly with Air Canada about 15 -20 times a year and have absolutely no complaints about the staff or their attitude. I do, however, often see customers who are demanding and rude and feel like they are the centre of the universe - which is what this sounds like. The only one at fault here is an inexperienced traveler who didn't give herself enough time and didn't take into account that she was traveling with an elderly person.

    • PH
      March 29, 2016 - 15:22

      the lesson is actually more than that. if there was accessibility for those requiring it, and especially requested it, this would not have been a problem. Given the reason for travelling and where they were coming from and the weather, give them credit for getting there when they did. Being late does not give the staff any right to treat them the way they did and say those comments. Also, just to clarify, the flight had not left. There was still 55 minutes prior to take off. People had not yet started to board the plane. Something could have been done given the circumstances.

    • PH
      March 29, 2016 - 15:23

      the lesson is actually more than that. if there was accessibility for those requiring it, and especially requested it, this would not have been a problem. Given the reason for travelling and where they were coming from and the weather, give them credit for getting there when they did. Being late does not give the staff any right to treat them the way they did and say those comments. Also, just to clarify, the flight had not left. There was still 55 minutes prior to take off. People had not yet started to board the plane. Something could have been done given the circumstances.

  • don
    March 27, 2016 - 17:35

    simple cure for air canada. "BOYCOTT" and have the staff fired................ and better still sue the staff and air canada..........

  • BC Green
    March 27, 2016 - 17:22

    This is sadly typical of Air Canada - rules seem to be everything. I have seen a dramatic improvement in service from the front line in recent years, but their inability to deal with rules that are often problematic has driven me away. Air Canada has become my second choice.. Most of the AC front line staff deserve a lot of credit for trying to deliver great service without breaking the company rules. It cant be easy.

    • Keith kendrick
      March 28, 2016 - 14:07

      First of all...very sad about that experience.., AIR Canada is a private airline and is not subsidized by any taxpayers,btw.... The airline flies millions of people a year Bad experience from some staff is not indicative of whole airline.which when I checked had 80% load factors when there are other airlines on these routes to chose from. Finally lets hear airlines version of events. Pretty one sided so far. My sympathy to the family