Thursday, March 17, 2011

GREAT Customer Service from Air Canada!

Believe it or not! Read on to find out...

On my first visit back to Saskatoon from Montreal, Air Canada let a connecting flight in Toronto leave without me. Some details here. Every flight from Toronto to Saskatoon was full and it was looking like I would be spending the night, so when I heard a boarding call to Regina I ran to the gate and got on that plane with seconds to spare. Robyn picked me up from Regina - how nice!

The catch: because I didn't talk to Customer Service in the Toronto airport, I was told I wouldn't receive any compensation for the inconvenience (that gate agent who got me to Regina was great, though - she was just telling it like she saw it).

I wrote Air Canada's Customer Relations department a letter where I explained the timing of the whole situation, provided my confirmation numbers, and requested compensation. The last two paragraphs looked like this:

To summarize, my desire to get home and spend time with family and friends caused me to miss being compensated by Customer Service for the missed connection, and caused my (patient, loving) girlfriend to incur a 500km round-trip to pick me up in her vehicle. I am requesting a $200 travel voucher from Air Canada to fix this inconvenience.  
Considering I avoided a night in a hotel at Air Canada’s expense, and considering the costs of gas and mileage on my girlfriend’s vehicle, I believe this figure is fair. If that’s not enough, this show of good faith from Customer Relations would guarantee Air Canada gets my business over WestJet for the next year’s worth of Montreal-to-Saskatoon round trips (13 in all, or about $8,450 with today’s prices), and guarantee a positive recommendation to friends, family, and colleagues. 
Without prejudice,
Brahm Neufeld
Well lo and behold! I got an email today that read:

Dear Mr. Neufeld,
Thank you for taking the time to contact our office. 
I sincerely regret to learn of the difficulties you experienced while travelling to Saskatoon on February 25, 2011 and on behalf of Air Canada, offer our most sincere apologies. 
As a gesture of goodwill and in recognition of your valued support, I have taken the liberty of issuing a future travel credit in the amount of $200.00 CAD.  
.... {details of the travel credit} 
We look forward to serving you again under less extenuating circumstances. It will be our privilege to welcome you on board. 
Sincerely,
{redacted}
Customer Relations

So there you have it - an excellent resolution!

Truthfully, I didn't know whether my letter would have any effect - I've never asked for anything like this. But Air Canada came through, surprised me with a very clear apology and exactly the compensation I asked for.

And I'll hold up my end of the bargain - I'll be flying Air Canada the rest of the year, wherever possible. Errr... except the two trips I already have booked on WestJet.