These are three letters I worte to Air Canada and still no improvements in service:
May 31, 2010
I'm writing this while flying on your one of your planes from London to Calgary in executive class. I'm on flight 2051, it was originally 851, but yesterday's flight was cancelled. Your planes are nice, but your staff and catering need much training and lag far behind other international airlines. I've written this before, and still haven't seen any changes over the past one year. (I've attached my preview emails).
You have once again made a mockery of my vegetarian meal, it was cold plane rice and veggies. I've attached the pictures. Even the staff were making fun of it, warning me not to eat it, as it looked unappetizing. Well I took the meal, but I should have taken their advice. It was horrible. I did not eat it. You should experience, traveling 10 hours on flight, paying lots of money, not being able to get a proper meal and continually experiencing bad service. I dare you to eat the meal that was offered to me.
I am a super elite member and have been an either elite or super elite for the past decade. You know for the first time, I have made a conscious decision not to take Air Canada on business and personal travel. My most recent flights to Toronto, Orlando, DC and a couple of other destinations have been not been on Air Canada on purpose. I thought I would try AC once again my recent trip to Europe, but I was again disappointed. Surprisingly enough, the service on BMI your STAR alliance partner was excellent and with good food options for vegetarians.
I request you to make a sincere effort to make the meals for vegetarians (AVML and VGML) more enjoyable. I have personally talked to office staff in Calgary and have volunteered good caterers that you can use. I've written several times about this and still the food has not changed, even in executive class.
I've tried many times to write and to improve service and vegetarian meals on your flights, over the past year. You have tried to appease me with $100 coupons for future flight. But you still haven't realized that I am not looking for small financial appeasements I find it personally insulting that you have not attempted to make any changes.
I've tried writing letters to you directly, but no action. Now you can be assured that I will go public and file formal complaints with consumer groups and the aviation industry. Consumers should be warned that you do not take customer service or feedback very seriously.
A very disappointed customer!
January 1, 2010
I am writing to give you an update of my travel experience with Air Canada over the past few months and especially over the Christmas holidays. I had the pleasure of speaking to Ms. McAmmond in September and told her that I would provide feed back. I have flown with Air Canada numerous times since the last email, including a couple of over seas flights. The service in overseas business class is improving however, the vegetarian food on the business class flights from Calgary to Europe is still sub-par. The food from Europe to Canada is very good.
My wife and I flew business class yesterday (Jan 3/10) from Houston to Calgary, returning from our family Christmas vacation. Two issues for you to note regarding yesterday's flight and act on immediately: i) we had to share a meal as there weren't enough meals on board in business class and ii) only half of our luggage arrived as they said the flight was full and it common for luggage to be left behind. We still haven't received our luggage. We are shocked by this. We cannot believe that there were not enough meals on board on business class and secondly why our luggage (tagged with priority tags) were not loaded on the plane. Please investigate and respond. I am seriously considering lobbying our company to pull AC as our preferred carrier.
September 16, 2009
I've been meaning to send you an email for sometime now. It continually amazes me how poor the service on Air Canada continues to be. I am a frequent business traveler, within North America and Overseas. Compared to other airlines, including some US carriers, Air Canada continually rates at the bottom of the rung in my books. I usually fly business class and even in business class I continually receive poor service and without a smile! As - write this I'm on Flight 845 from Frankfurt to Calgary. I noticed a huge difference after my short haul connecting flight from Paris on Lufthansa. The attendance on Lufthansa are so friendly and courteous and food on that short 55 min flight was very good. They even remembered that I take vegetarian, which Air Canada often forgets even though it is on the profile and my travel agent requests. By the way, Lufthansa is pretty low on the service list when compared to Singapore airlines, Cathay Pacific or Thai Airlines.
I don't know if you actually read these emails or even care. I find it embarrassing that Air Canada can't even greet me with a smile when board one of your flights after a long overseas trip. Why are your employees so grumpy and unhappy?
Here are three issues. May be you can actually use them as constructive criticisms to improve the service and customer experience.
Food - the food offered on board is terrible. I am a frequent traveler and often don't have time to eat before boarding a plane. On top of that I require vegetarian food (which in always request by my travel agent). One would at least expect some decent food for that price. On any other airlines, they would treat you with an exquisite vegetarian option. But not on your airline. I often get plain rice with steamed vegetables. This totally unacceptable. I've had a few agents apologize for the poor excuse for a vegetarian dinner. Often the salad is even a few days old.
Flight attendants - Is it not possible for you to train your attendants to smile. I rarely recall a moment when an Air Canada staff will treat a customer with care and warmth. 'Get on... hurry up and sit down' is what I usually get. Every other airline (except some US carriers) welcomes a traveler with a smile and is grateful they have chosen them for their travel. Not Air Canada.
Agents - The same poor service is also a problem with non flight agents. They never seem to be happy to serve you. They would rather be on their coffee break.