From: electrobilge on 5 Apr 2008 10:40
> You met one of the Air Canada Atilla-the-Hun stewardesses :-)
Trust me, I have met MANY. Atilla would be a fine hostess by
comparison to these Trunchbulls.
> In fairness, I can understand why the FA would have been very stern with
> you: it is to prevent a sort of panic movement that would spread
> throughout all passengers.
Have a look at the pictures - there was no panic, only concern and
anxiety. Neither myself nor the other two passengers who did not wish
to fly on that particular aircraft where being loud or abusive. In
fact, when I approached the stewardess I was very quiet about it. I
was not trying to create any sort of problem, I was not loud, I was
Flight attendants get training on crowd
> control, and they are trained to use "force" (strong/loud) voice to
> ensure passengers comply (think about evacuation where some passengers
> in shock might need strong stern calls to get them to move.)
The FA's words were to this affect: "Do you really want to get off and
have us have to unload your luggage and cause a delay and
inconvenience to your fellow passengers?" Those comments were
delivered in such a way that it was obvious the entire cabin would
hear. It was about humiliating and silencing a passenger with a
legitimate concern about the safety of the aircraft
It had nothing to do with crowd control. It had EVERYTHING to do with
minimizing expense for Air Canada. I was terrified and I was not
alone. You can see the concern on the faces of the other passengers
who were also scared.
> Whether such tone was called for in your situation is, of course,
> debatable. If you had managed to get to the FA in a more private area
> (galley for instance), it is likely the FA might have had a more
> peer-to-peer conversation with you, knowing it would not be heard by
> other passengers.
That did occur with the first flight attendant who said she would pass
along our names to the Purser. The FA who made the loud, abusive
speech made her way back to my seat about 10 minutes after I gave our
names to the first flight attendant. A perfect example of Air Canada
making a bad situation worse, all so they could maybe save a few
bucks. It certainly did not inspire any confidence in the repairs that
were going on while this was happening.
> The in-plane experience is not too obvious. The FAs obey what the
> captain tells them, and if the Captain thinks they can fix it in less
> than X minutes, then it might be worth to stay put since deplaning and
> replaning might take more time.
We had already been deplaned. Why put us back on if there was still a
question about the aircraft's airworthiness or ability to even start
If you were still at the gate, I don't
> understand why they didn't plug the aircraft into the airport air
> conditioning system or just cart one of the portable units and plug the
> flexible duct into the aircraft.
Neither do I. Maybe it would have cost them $$$.
> Opening the doors was probably a huge undertaking for those FAs. They
> are just not used to such activities...
I'm having a hard time feeling sorry for them.
Did they take any steps to
> prevent passenger from falling out of the aircraft ? (good chance of death).
> or were the doors just pulled in to have a slight opening with no danger
> of anyone falling out ?
As above - just a crack and they stood by the doors.
> One thing you did not mention about the airport staff is whether they
> were Air Canada employees or employees of a generic company hired by Air
> Canada to process the cattle.
I believe these were Air Canada regular staff.
> Air Canada is not known for handling things well when things go bezerk.
> And your experience provides a great glimpse of what Air Canada is all
> about. As long as revenu comes in and planes fly, it is a palatable
> airline, but when things don't run normally, it just doesn't have what
> it takes to come anywhere near real airlines like Singapore or Cathay.
And I want as many people as possible to know this. It pisses me off
that they even use the word Canada in their name.
> In terms of having insufficient staff at the counters, one possible
> reason is that if the AC crew normally arrives at say 07:30 for the
> first flight out (I think it is normally at 10:00), it isn't extremely
> obvious that they could have called them the night before to tell them
> to arrive at 06:00 instead.
And pay overtime? They had the presence of mind to have boarding
passes printed in advance...
> I am in no way trying to defend Air Canada , just trying to see why
> thing go wrong. And yes, a good airline would have taken measures to
> alleviate this situation, and it those situations that separate the good
> airlines from the bad ones.
Yes. And Air Canada is a BAD airline. They need a whack on the nose
with a newspaper and I'm just the guy to roll one up and give it to
them - here and anywhere else I can.
> What is a shame is that the AC civil servants will probably process your
> complaint and file it whertever they file complainst in India.
You think I don't know this? Why do you think I'm posting this all
over the internet?
> think that they consider that passengers can teach the airline anything
> whcih is why they've moved those departments (as well as baggage
> complaints) to India.
Maybe they should call it Air India then.
From: whitely525 on 6 Apr 2008 17:12
On 5 Apr, 02:12, electrobi...(a)hotmail.com wrote:
> First, some pictures for you:
> April 1, 2008
> Air Canada Customer Service
> RE: AC 875 / AC2875
> To Whom it may concern:
Lucky it wasn't an A380 configured for economy.
From: Xanf on 8 Apr 2008 06:13
I'm one of the passengers of that flight too - and I'm going to pass
my complain to the Air Canada office here in Frankfurt today. (it's
only today I finally got time to file it all together).
I can confirm everything what was said here by the author of the
original message. Just the timing I have is different: as I saw it -
it was longer on every stage than he writes. First 1.5 hours delay
before first boarding, then 2 hours in the plane before fisrt
unboarding, then another 2 hours in the gate before second boarding
attempt. And then 5 hours in the aircraft - at least for us who was
taken by the last bus from the plane. So total delay was more than 10
hours before cancellation came.
Those photos that show people pulling the clothing on and off are 100%
correct: when it was already about 35-40 degree Celsius in the cabin
(I had a termometer for our baby - so we saw the temperature on it),
the crew opened the doors for some time - and for those fully wet (of
sweat) people sitting near the doors it was an urgent necessity to
pull something on when the wind of +3 degree celsius came in -
otherwise they'd ctach a flu or worse. For us with a baby it was even
worse - we had to pull it in and out the clothes too and it's not so
easy as you know, especially when the baby is stressed and screaming
all the time.
For us the worst thing was that near the end of the first day we were
already short of special baby food - and for a surprize there were no
baby food onboard! I never seen that before - Quantas and other
airlines always have some. And when they first promised to and then
declined to give the baggage back (where we had more baby food) - we
were really desperate. We had to run about to the shops to find some
baby food immediately.
On 5 ÁÐÒ, 03:12, electrobi...(a)hotmail.com wrote:
> First, some pictures for you:
> April 1, 2008
From: Quark on 8 Apr 2008 13:55
I can attest that AC is a terrible, lousy, uncaring, ghastly airline.
Last June I was at Toronto, their home base, trying to fly to the US
with 3 elderly people, all needing wheelchairs. All of us were full
fare paying passengers. It was late morning on a weekday. This was the
1) We arrived 2.5 hours before the flight time. i helped the elders
from the taxi and seated them near the door. I went to seek assistance
from the counter staff, as the phone agent ahd advised me to do.
2) not one AC counter person seemed to know where one should request
wheelchairs. finally someone said to go to the special help counter.
This took 45 minutes.
3) The special help counter person didnt seem to have heard of a
wheelchair, much less know that she was supposed to help passengers
with such issues. while she was pondering this a female passenger
showed up with a small box of some homemade pastry which the airline
wouldnt let her take on board for some eprson. she asked the counter
person to help her pack it for check in! the counter person
immediately ignored me and started rummaging in her counter for some
kind of carton.
4) seeing that i was not going to get help I looked around in
desperation and saw a bunch of wheelchairs and decided to help myself.
fortunately, one of the wheelchair attendants arrived. She seemed to
have seen it all before. She helped me load the elders into the
wheelchairs and then took us to the correct counter designated for
wheelchair passengers. This was not the one one I had been directed to
originally by AC employees. Of course there were no signs or
5) There was no one at the counter. Now there was onl 60 minutes left
for the flight and we had to go through US immigration.
6) Again I looked around and saw an AC employee in uniform ambling by.
I told her the situation and she called someone else.
7) half an hour later someone came behind the counter and started to
process people. she hustled us through security and immigration
Yes, we finally made it but at the cost of very considerable stress
to me and to 3 elderly people and a constant feeling that AC couldn't
care less what happened to us.
The only thing their inefficency accomplished is to tell me and the
people with me and everyone I have told this experience to, not to fly
> > What is a shame is that the AC civil servants will probably process your
> > complaint and file it whertever they file complainst in India.
> You think I don't know this? Why do you think I'm posting this all
> over the internet?
> I don't
> > think that they consider that passengers can teach the airline anything
> > whcih is why they've moved those departments (as well as baggage
> > complaints) to India.
> Maybe they should call it Air India then.
Why blame India for this? They only do what AC tells them to do.
From: electrobilge on 8 Apr 2008 13:57
On Apr 8, 3:13 am, Xanf <selen...(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> I'm one of the passengers of that flight too - and I'm going to pass
> my complain to the Air Canada office here in Frankfurt today. (it's
> only today I finally got time to file it all together).
> I can confirm everything what was said here by the author of the
> original message. Just the timing I have is different: as I saw it -
> it was longer on every stage than he writes. First 1.5 hours delay
> before first boarding, then 2 hours in the plane before fisrt
> unboarding, then another 2 hours in the gate before second boarding
> attempt. And then 5 hours in the aircraft - at least for us who was
> taken by the last bus from the plane. So total delay was more than 10
> hours before cancellation came.
> Those photos that show people pulling the clothing on and off are 100%
> correct: when it was already about 35-40 degree Celsius in the cabin
> (I had a termometer for our baby - so we saw the temperature on it),
> the crew opened the doors for some time - and for those fully wet (of
> sweat) people sitting near the doors it was an urgent necessity to
> pull something on when the wind of +3 degree celsius came in -
> otherwise they'd ctach a flu or worse. For us with a baby it was even
> worse - we had to pull it in and out the clothes too and it's not so
> easy as you know, especially when the baby is stressed and screaming
> all the time.
> For us the worst thing was that near the end of the first day we were
> already short of special baby food - and for a surprize there were no
> baby food onboard! I never seen that before - Quantas and other
> airlines always have some. And when they first promised to and then
> declined to give the baggage back (where we had more baby food) - we
> were really desperate. We had to run about to the shops to find some
> baby food immediately.
> On 5 ÁÐÒ, 03:12, electrobi...(a)hotmail.com wrote:
> > First, some pictures for you:
> > April 1, 2008
> > skipped
Xanf and I have different recollections of the chronology. I do know
that the flight boarded on time, there is no doubt there, but if
anything Xanf's comments only underline the suffering of the
passengers when time becomes distorted - especially when traveling
with an infant. Xanf's comments bring to light a whole new and
different understanding of the level of discomfort that was
experienced by all of the passengers, but in particular those with
infants (there were at least 2 that were less than 1 year old and I
have video of one infant who is red from the heat and crying with the
mother trying to offer some comfort - I'm trying to get that one
televised on national TV). And of course there were several elderly
passengers who were also suffering greatly.
In my recollections what stood out was the heat and odor inside the
cabin, however Xanf is correct - when the FA's opened the doors it
must have been terribly cold for those sitting nearby.
I have yet to hear any sort of reply from Air Canada with regard to my
I certainly hope other passengers on this flight step forward with
their personal experiences. As I said - I'm not about to let Air
Canada off the hook on this one.