It seems that Air Canada had a rough night at Japan’s Narita airport this past Sunday night that ended in the flight to Vancouver canceled and the irline telling affected passengers to effectively go “pound sand”.
The airline first claimed that there was a weather related delay and then that due to airport curfew the flight would be canceled, although they were told at the airport that the crew had timed out.
You can access the Vancouver Sun article here of which below is an excerpt:
Sometime after 9 a.m. the next morning, Air Canada staff began handing out about $20 in food vouchers, plus about $30 in cash as “an apology,” said Soldano.
After they returned home, Soldano complained to Air Canada about their experience and received an email stating that Air Canada regrets his recent travel “was marred by the weather problems.”
“Be assured we do everything in our power to be ready for weather challenges. Careful planning by our expert operational departments helps us cope with the havoc Mother Nature can throw our way,” said Christina King, with Air Canada customer relations, in the email on Tuesday.
“Considerable efforts are made to take care of our customers and we expect that our employees will do their best to help during these situations. We are sorry your travel was disrupted and we apologize if we let you down.”
She then says the airline cannot offer a refund but will offer a 15 per cent discount off their next Air Canada flight.
Not sure what was the situation with hotel rooms around Narita this past Sunday, but I would have just booked a hotel if available and dealt with the airline later. The hotels in Narita are usually not that expensive and definitely more comfortable than spending 12+ hours on the airport floor.
The airlines tend to blame weather for their own issues and then use that as an excuse for not having to take care of affected passenger.
More countries should implement European style legislation where airlines are required to take care of passengers even when there are weather related delays and cancellations.