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The Traveler's Rant - Again

If there is a worse airport than LaGuardia for frequent travelers, I can’t name it. And if there is an airline with poorer customer service than Air Canada, I haven’t flown it.

Forget the fact that LaGuardia is dirty, run down and staffed by mostly churlish service staff, it is managed like a poorly run factory. Returning from New York today, I was turned back by security at LaGuardia (the most surly, unpleasant security people in a cohort of service people who are not known for their charm) because I was carrying a small tube of Kiehl’s after-shave cream in my carry-on bag. It was apparently too large for LaGuardia’s standards, although not for the airport in Toronto at which I had no problem with the same bag and the same tube. (Would cooperation across North America among airport authorities on standards not be attainable in some fashion?)

I had to return to the Air Canada desk to check the bag. But it turns out that under a new Air Canada ticketing policy, you have to decide at the time of ticket purchase whether you are checking bags. Since I was going to New York for about 24 hours, of course I had not intended to check a bag. So, what does Air Canada make me do? Pay an additional $75 to have the bag checked. Remember, I managed to get through the Toronto airport without a problem. Having agreed to pay the $75, the Air Canada computers went down. I waited ten more minutes while that problem was solved.

Okay, it continues. I asked the Air Canada desk clerk for a complaint form. (Why bother I don’t know because Air Canada hasn’t answered my complaint from last April.) The clerk couldn’t find any, so he disappeared for another ten minutes to look for one. Finding none, he did manage to give me a number to which I am now supposed to fax a complaint.

I’ll complain, but until more of us do, nothing will change.

PR and CR - Are We Really as Bad as They Say?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006 at 12:00 AM