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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

How about a live airline rant?





This post, originally part of the live updates for the trip, was updated Wed May 31, 2017 with exciting new developments, rantings, and informations!

The original post

This is mostly - ok, entirely - going to be a rant about air travel, and of course, running the security gauntlet

Let’s start with Air FU Canada, shall we? A few days ago I was on a round trip from Flusherville Regional Aerodrome to Regina and back. Late evening, the evening before my return flight, I got a very innocuous message from Air FU Canada which included the word CANCELLED. My afternoon flight from Toronto to Flusherville had been cancelled. Great.

I knew there was airport construction in YYZ and that this had been causing delays. I won’t even mention the 3 hour delay in Flusherville, stuck in the security area with no food, instead of having a leisurely dinner in Toronto, as I’d planned, except I just did mention it.

In the end I barely made my connection without even a chance to dip my tanks, let alone buy food. Anyway, the good news is that Air FU Canada had lovingly rebooked me. Instead of leaving at 2:00 pm on Sunday, I would now leave at 8:50pm. On Monday. That is a 32 hour layover. 32 hours? I can do that standing on my head.


They offered no compensation, no explanation, no accommodation, just a big fuckulation. I got on the blower to one of the call center dweebs to see what I could do. I asked about being put on the train instead, as they’d done in January when I was fogged in in Flusherville.

It was fairly automatic that time with my boarding pass acting as a train ticket.

Mr. Dweebly von Prique told me that I could choose to take the train (I choo choo choose…) and then submit for a refund on a very short online form (he assured me).

What about another flight on Sunday??? They were ALL cancelled.

(And I maintain that this is AFUC’s choice. They know there will be delays and decided to cut the flights that they always cut… MINE.

Nobody made them. In fact, I can imagine them in their AFUC Control Cave, randomly punching buttons to delay and cancel flights, their croaky deep laughs echoing off the damp rock walls, in both English and French.

So, I got busy and booked a train ticket. The next morning, en route to Toronto (that’s a fancy-pants way of saying on the way), Flappy McNance the Flight Attendant informed me that AFUC would help me with passage on the train. He had it in writing, in a fax.

Well, that’s all great except now I already had a ticket. It turns out that Dweebly von Prique was full of it. I could have just contacted VIA and taken the train using my boarding pass.

I got home finally and I had to call AFUC and tell them I wouldn’t be taking their stupid plane 32 hours from now.

The agent, Betty au Jus, was actually pretty nice and confirmed that Dweebly von Prique was full of it. She also told me I’d been rebooked again for Monday morning. Air FU Canada never informed me of this. I got nothing. Can you imagine if I’d waited the 32 hours and had missed my plane?

Then I spent $45 minutes filling out the "simple" online form and demanded payment for a train ticket, bag storage, meals, a few beers, lapdances, tickets and tolls.

They’ll get back to me, they promise, in 25 business days.

A couple of days later, I find myself on the way to Vegas again. This time I booked with WestJet. Because not Air FU Canada.

I drove to Ottawa this afternoon from Flusherville.

The plan was to fly to Toronto at 5:00 and on the Vegas at 8:35 or so. I’d have time for a nice leisurely dinner in Toronto…

When I checked in online, the upgrade to Plus, which includes priority boarding, free cocktails, food, and access to the lounge in Toronto, was only $100. No brainer!

I jumped at it. I hit Ottawa at about 3:00, grabbed a buffalo chicken sandwich (BEEFALOOOOO!!!) at Harvey’s, and sauntered over to the Nexus line at security.

Well, they did NOT take a liking to me. My stuff was scanned four times. I had the jazz hands patdown from Cletus Boileroom (part time cat taxidermist), got asked a bunch of questions, had my stuff unpacked, and had about 12 swabs of various pieces of electronics, my bag, my ass, and, by mistake, a smudged up receipt for a Harvey’s buffalo chicken sandwich (BEEFALOOOOO!!!).

Christ what a mauling. I hadn’t been worked over like that since the time I tried out to be a boxing model. I did manage to get through, just in time to find out my 5:00 flight was delayed to 5:45 and then 6:00 - because of those runway construction airport delays in Toronto.

Finally aboard the plane, we taxied out to the runway, started rolling and then… Stopped.

Ground stop in Toronto. Too many planes coming in. Rescheduled for 6:45.

This puts me in Toronto 25 minutes before boarding for the Vegas flight.

I won’t get a leisurely dinner, and I won’t get to use the lounge. And I think its likely that I will either miss the plane to Vegas entirely, or it will be delayed and I won’t get to Vegas in time to use the $10 freeplay I’m supposed to get today.

You can kind of see it coming, can’t you.




Update!

Air FU Canada did get back to me. They won't reimburse my train ticket. They did offer me a discount on a future flight - 25%, which is actually not too shabby, but it is only useful if I ever buy a ticket from them again, and meanwhile, I didn't get what I paid for, and they could resell it (the last leg of my flight home from Regina) to someone else. Plus I am out money for a train ticket.

I filled out the online form - again - and pointed out to them that I had it in writing that they'd help with VIA rail transportation. And to please reimburse me or I will tell the tens of blog readers what happened. Oopsies, I've already done that! My bad.

This time they said they'd get back to me within 30 days.

Now, let's take a look at WestJet. Yes, we were delayed, but we were always kept informed.

When I checked my WestJet Rewards account today, look what I saw:

Yep. A $25 credit because they didn't leave Ottawa on time.

I didn't have to ask for it, or fill out a stupid online form - they just gave it to me. I didn't even know it was a thing!!!

Let's just recap Air FU Canada vs. WestJet:

Air FU Canada WestJet
Calls decision to cancel every flight to Flusherville "out of their control", blaming runway construction.Keeps passengers up to date about why there is a delay, how long it might go on, and when we might get underway.
Cancels flight the night before, rebooking with a 32 hour layover.Hot flight attendants that are also funny.
Phone rep gives incorrect information, telling me to buy a train ticket and I'll be reimbursed 'easily'.Plus upgrade puts me up front, with food, and free drinks. $100 well spent.
Refuses to reimburse train ticket even though I have it in writing.

States turnaround times of 25 to 30 business days even though they gave me less than 8 hours notice about a cancelled flight.
Gave me $25 because my flight was late, even though I still made my connection no problem. I didn't even have to ask for it.
Three different reps, three different stories about what to do. All of them end with me filling out internet forms.Gives 'the bumps' en route just for fun, if a birthday passenger requests it!
Air FU Canada's movie character patron saint:
Nurse Diesel in Mel Brooks' High Anxiety.
WestJet's movie character patron saint:
Peter Pan
Quote:
"Those who are tardy do not get fruit cup."




Quote:
"Second star to the right and straight on till morning."






8 comments:

  1. Shoot, Flushy... You got to Pearson in PLENTY of time!

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  2. We recently got a letter from the President of WestJet, apologizing for the delays and cancellations of their flights at Pearson...(not caused by them). It was AFTER I got home from Vegas, and I'd only had slight delays that did not worry me at the time. I have a FU Canada flight booked in August, to go out west, so until that time, I will keep standing in the middle of my hallway with my eyes closed and trying the "Beam Me Up Scotty" chant, hoping that one day it WILL finally work. It is sort of nice though, that the airlines always try so hard to give you such great blogging material.

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  3. Royal, all that reading makes me ill. Only imagine what it does to you. There is an answer of course, you need to relo to the states. Get closer to LV and life will be much better....Have a small place waiting for you in Wisconsin - my shed but sure you could fix it up and be most livable. Godspeed in LV. You NEED a good visit.

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  4. You know Royal, if you moved closer to Vegas you could eliminate many of these headaches.
    -wpete

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  5. canada doesnt want you leaving with all that cash.

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  6. Come on down to Texas, Royal. We have the best fried chicken and not to mention Throw up country gravy and BBQ. We live about 10 min from the airport which is just a 3 hour flight to Vegas on Southwest!

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  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  8. Well that was frustrating start....On to day 2. RedChip

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