Air Canada and Great Customer Service

Air Canada and great customer service together in one sentence? Is it possible? Did it actually happen?

I am here, sure as flies to…..well, you know what I mean; I am telling you I recently experienced some of THE best customer service from Air Canada; and it was during the Christmas holidays.

Have they finally got it together? Has Mr. Rovinescu, President and CEO of AC, brought forth an era of genuinely caring, compassionate, and joyful employees? Sure as flies to…well, you know what I mean; it definitely seems AC is flying in the right direction.

My family and I flew on AC, albeit Jazz, from Edmonton, Alberta to Houston, Texas during the Christmas holidays. From the check-in and gate agents at Edmonton International Airport, to the smiling faces of the flight attendants, our flight could not have gone any smoother.

The return trip was where AC really shone through. Upon check-in at Houston, we were informed our AC flight was delayed by a couple of hours. Our flight was to take us from Houston to Calgary and then on to Edmonton. Being the savvy traveller I am (savvy = ex-Air Canada employee) I realized that our connection in Calgary was going to be missed. I quickly telephoned AC reservations to re-book us on a later flight. I was informed that the two remaining flights from Calgary to Edmonton that evening where full, but, they would re-book us for the next morning flight. Now here’s where things can get complicated – with who is paying for an overnight hotel stay due to a misconnect. But first, let me continue…..

The aircraft arrived into Houston two hours delayed from scheduled departure. During our wait the gate agent was informative and helpful with any questions passengers asked. When the boarding began the gate agent sincerely expressed her apologizes on behalf of AC for the delay of the aircraft. Once onboard the aircraft the flight attendant expressed her apologizes for the delayed flight, and once we were level at 35,000 feet the captain came over the intercom with his apologizes and explanation of the delayed aircraft (sick first officer – hard to find replacement during the holidays – ah-ha not weather related so AC pays for overnight hotel). Here’s where it really gets exciting…complimentary drinks on the flight back to Canada!

Upon landing in Calgary, armed with some liquid courage, my family and I are ready to slay the first dragon that denies us a paid hotel night stay. But alas, no need for drawn swords as AC is ready and waiting (with smiles) for the inconvenienced passengers from Houston. Hotel reservations have been arranged, shuttle is outside waiting, and meal vouchers for supper and breakfast are handed out (with smiles).

The hotel was clean and comfortable, the food tasty, and we had a good night’s rest. In the morning we were presented with the next challenge, we were informed the shuttle from the hotel to the airport was fully booked. The hotel desk agent informed us that a taxi had been ordered for us and that AC will refund us the taxi charge. REALLY? AC will refund the taxi charge because the shuttle’s full? We’ll see…

Once the taxi deposited us at the airport, taxi receipt in hand, my determined partner walks over to the AC ticketing counter, explains our situation and presents the taxi receipt. The iTune playing in my head as I watch: “sorry we cannot give you a refund for the taxi, but here is the address in Montreal to write a letter and ask for a refund.” However, to my surprise and shock, my partner meets us at the check-in line up with a credit voucher explaining that the ticket agent did not have cash to give for the refund but when we arrive in Edmonton to take the voucher to a ticket agent and they will refund us our fare. We arrive Edmonton, I go to the ticket agent and sure as flies to…well, you know what I mean; money refunded.

Travel Insurance Canada – Canadians Traveling Within Their Own Country

With the economy in the rough shape it is in nowadays, it can be relatively expensive for Canadians to take a trip to their favorite state in the U.S and even more costly to fly oversees for a getaway in Europe, Asia or to other overseas destinations. Canadian citizens should think about planning a trip to another province or territory because Canada has so much to offer in terms of great vacation areas.

Why Travel Within Canada?

The Canadian government encourages tourism, whether it be for fellow Canadians, Americans, Europeans, etc. There are many appealing areas to visit in Canada that can realize your needs for an exciting relaxing or culturally interesting vacation. Every province in Canada has something to offer and it is recommended that every Canadian try and visit as many as possible, even if it takes multiple trips! Whether you want to go whale watching in British Columbia, see the awe-inspiring Rocky Mountains in Alberta, lie on the beautiful sandy beaches in New Brunswick, take in the stunning shoreline scenery of Nova Scotia, hike on many of the fantastic trails in Ontario, or see the gorgeous icebergs in Newfoundland, there is always something enjoyable to do in every province and territory.

When is the Best Time to Travel

Obviously, anyone can travel to other areas in Canada at any time of the year. However, the weather will determine whether or not you will be able to partake in certain activities. Traveling in the summer is usually the more common time to travel if you are looking to hike, sightsee, and do many other outdoor activities. Canadian winters in most places are usually cold and come with plenty of snow. When winter arrives, cities such as Toronto, Quebec City, Montreal and Winnipeg host big winter carnivals and are the popular areas to go if you are planning on skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing or doing other winter activities. In the end, the best time to travel depends on what activities you enjoy the most.

How Should I Travel

If traveling by air, many airlines such as Air Canada, Quantas, and Northwest offer significant discounts and deals if you book your flight well in advance. Talking to a travel agent is recommended, as he or she should be able to give you advice and answer all the questions you may have regarding your trip. You can also talk to friends and family who have traveled throughout Canada to see how they traveled, what they enjoyed the most and how much it cost them. If you are not traveling by air, you have many other options. Traveling by train, bus, or car are the other most common ways to travel. Via Rail and Greyhound are the most popular ways to travel by train and bus as they may offer various package deals and discounts. For more information, you can check the website of the company or talk to a travel agent. Keep in mind that traveling by bus or car is a good way to see all of the many sights that Canada has to offer. Other popular trips include travelling by bike, motorbike or motor home, which allow even more time to visit the small towns and campgrounds along the way.

Canadian Travel Insurance and Other NecessitiesBefore taking a trip to another province or territory, you should take care of a few things. Canadian travel insurance is important to have if you are leaving your home province. Travel insurance in Canada is crucial because if you become ill or have an accident outside of your home province, your provincial health plan may not cover all of the medical bills. Additional travel insurance can cover unexpected expenses such as if you require immediate medical attention, if your possessions get stolen or damaged, if you experience a flight or travel accident, etc. Without Canadian travel insurance, you may be required to pay unforeseen medical expenses and you would not have coverage for lost, stolen or damaged luggage, flight delays or cancellations. Anyone planning a trip outside of his or her home province or territory should obtain travel insurance so that they are covered anywhere and everywhere they travel.

You are also advised to have your passport and birth certificate with you in your travels. If you have a family, make sure they have all of the proper identification and information as well. Other than that, doing the proper research and properly planning out your trip well in advance will go a long way to ensuring a successful journey.

Canadians should visit as much of Canada as possible in their lifetime. There are so many incredible things to do and unbelievable sights to see that it is almost impossible to see them all! After traveling all or most of Canada, not only will you learn a lot about your home country, you will also be able to tell people how great it is and recommend the best places for them to visit.

Air Canada Vacations – A Buyers Guide

So winter is upon us, you can run from it and you can even hide from it, with a winter vacay that is. If you got the itch to get out of the cold and into your bathing suit you’re not the only one and the good news is there is a relaxing trip with your name on it.

Air Canada Vacations, a subsidiary of the airline, offers a plethora of travel destination options for all budgets. Whether it’s a weeklong getaway to the Caribbean or a two month Euro trip, they have an option for everyone. Partnering with all the largest hotel and resorts in the world, Air Canada Vacations can present you with some of the most memorable trips at some of the lowest costs.

What are the advantages? Plenty is the answer in brevity. Everything from bonus points to travel perks. There is a mountain of reasons to fly and stay with Air Canada Vacations.

If you collect “Aeroplan” points then you are a step ahead already. Air Canada actually created the program in 1996 at their head office in Montreal, QC and it offers some sweet incentives for using the service, free trips, cheap flights and much more.

Variety is the spice of life and Air Canada Vacations is the spice rack. With over 205 planes in their fleet and flying to over 104 separate countries. An eclectic choice of destinations means you never have to see the same place twice and why not, there is plenty of world out there to explore.

To help sift through all the destinations that they offer, they have an immense team of destination specialists who deal with a specific vacation hot spot and are capable of delivering highly accurate and helpful booking information and advice.

Book your vacation and save on your flight, think of it kind of like amalgamating your phone and cable services. When you combine the two aspects (flight and hotel) you save on both. There is no specific price point but you will find dramatic savings when you book one with the other.

One last tip to help you find the best deal for the best price, try booking with a travel agent or agency as they can offer extra discounts that Air Canada Vacations cannot. The reason for that is they look to smaller agencies and agents to help sell their packages and to help incentivize these agencies they give an extra discount which can often be passed on to you.

Air Canada Flight Is a Good Option

Air Canada is headquartered in Montreal and is undoubtedly Canada’s largest flag-bearing airline. It carries people to over 90 destinations and cargo to a 150. It has a range of vacation packages on offer. Its primary base is the Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport. Hubs are also present at Toronto Pearson International Airport and Vancouver International Airport. The Calgary International Airport serves as a mini-hub. It has Air Canada Jazz as its regional partner and premium jet charter called Air Canada Jetz.

Its mandatory that all departure flights for within Canada check in an hour before take-off. For those going to the USA its an hour and half and all international flights need to be checked in two hours ahead of departure. As with most airlines, an Air Canada Flight will allow you to carry on two pieces of baggage within 22lbs. Personal items such as briefcases, laptop computers, diaper bags and the like will be allowed. There are specific dimensions to stick to. Check in baggage varies depending on the kind of class you are travelling. Economy allows you two pieces a head that can weigh a maximum of 50lbs. Executive First gives you three items weighing a maximum of 70lbs. There will of course be a charge for any excess baggage that you carry on.

You will get pre-assigned seating options online or at check in. you could even select seats at the reservations stage where it is allowed. For international flights the legroom in seats for economy is 30 and 34 inches for North American and the international routes respectively.

For all local flights children below two years of age are allowed to travel free on the lap of an adult. For children below two years of age and traveling on the parent’s lap on international flights, only 10 per cent of the ticket will have to be purchased. As such there are no discounts for senior citizens, but accompanying tickets can be bought at a cheaper rate. For those carrying musical instruments, large ones can be accommodated on a purchased seat instead of being checked in.