Compensation Clinic: Air Canada Premium Economy Inflight Service On Taipei – Vancouver Route

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Our Compensation Clinic case this week handles a complaint I filed with Air Canada after a less than satisfactory inflight service from the purser on a recent Taipei to Vancouver flight.

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Air Canada isn’t known for their warm service but at least their Premium Economy and Business Class hard product is quite decent – or so I thought.

During the flight from Taipei to Vancouver I encountered the following issues en route:

  • Premium Check-In counters at TPE congested with guests who were allowed to repack their luggage
  • Aircraft Cleanliness: Spaghetti sauce (I hope) splattered all over the window
  • Argument with the purser who took both both pillows and blankets from the unoccupied seat next to me and gave them to another passenger, telling me “she can do whatever she likes with open seats and what’s placed on it”
  • Insect bites the definitely occurred during the flight

The argument with the purser of all people was totally ridiculous. It was obvious that the stuff placed on there was mine so taking all of it to distribute to another pax who requests extra pillows and blankets is insane.

I complained to Air Canada customer relations and also the Canadian Transportation Agency.

The following reply was received:

I’m sorry to learn you encountered difficulties during the check-in process for your flight to Vancouver. I have taken your comments and sent them to our Taipei station for review.
We can certainly appreciate your concerns regarding the cleanliness of our aircraft on AC18 on May 22nd. While the thoroughness of cabin grooming is dependent upon the available station time in each specific case, there is no excuse for the conditions you encountered. Your comments have been documented and brought to the attention of Management of the grooming team, for internal review.
I’m really sorry to hear about the poor service you received from our inflight crew when you were traveling to Vancouver. Offering our customers excellent customer service is extremely important to us and we are disappointed to hear that you were not given proper support.
We’ve shared your comments with our Inflight team for internal review. We treat these matters seriously, and we will use your feedback to prevent this from happening again.
Regarding your web check-in, I am sorry an error message was received when you were using our web check-in feature on www.aircanada.com. …
I understand that you have already completed your journey with us. While I am unable to undo the experience you had, as a gesture of goodwill, I am happy to offer a 15% promo code. Details are below.

The 15% Discount Code Air Canada offered is actually somewhat useful when booking Premium Economy or Business Class fares which are currently quite affordable ex Asia to North America with Premium Economy available for roughly $1,200 and Business Class $2,300 round trip.

The 15% discount could be worth a savings of at least $200-300 based what I typically spend on a ticket (I don’t like to value such voucher based on a number that I’d never really spend). I was satisfied with the outcome because the Air Canada codes can be used on code share flights as well, opposite to similar discounts United provides.

Conclusion

Air Canada has never been very responsive to customer complaints which is likely the result of the arrogance when you have a monopoly in transportation in a country such as it is the case in Canada. Their prices are ridiculous and so is their attitude both on the ground and in the air.

The airline has currently filed some decent fares from almost any secondary market (Canada excluded) so that provides an extra incentive for booking a Premium Economy or Business Class ticket on them and hope the service will be better next time.

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