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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Talk about being boned and bummed
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Talk about being boned and bummed

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
For the last 2 weeks I've been checking Big White's ski report, playing with my never used skis and poles in my living room and dreaming of the excellent snow they're supposed to have. Got on the plane (Air Canada) yesterday 3/6 and actually left on time! 40 miles out plane loses #2 engine,gotta go back and "fix" it. Three and a half hours later we try again only to have #2 fart out again 40 miles out.
Now it's eight and a half hours since I got to the airport and we're told don't worry, we leave at 9 am 3/7. I scramble on the phone to adjust my connections and reservations and pay extra $$$ due to the changes. I figure three and a half days is now three but that's still ok.
Today 3/7 we're all there checking in at 6:10am, 815am boarding time the plane's ready, the passengers are ready but wait! NO CREW!! They show up an hour late like nobody cares and blame traffic and difficulty getting a cab!
Now my connections are all blown to hell and the airline won't help me get any connections to Big White. I even call Whistler and am told only the priciest rooms are available.
Realizing I got no confirmed seats to Big White now and no guarantee of even getting to Whistler I tell the gate agent I can't get on the plane or I'll risk getting stranded in Vancouver for nothing.
The guy actually blames me for complicating his life as if he's the guy who's vacation was BLOWN TO HELL!
2400 dollars and 2 days later I'm sitting in Hawaii wondering how things could possibly have screwed up this bad. :
post #2 of 16
Man this sucks. You can usually use airfare towards later date for a small change fee. Hotels costs though are probably blown.
post #3 of 16
when the going gets tough, the tough go surfing. Go surfing, make it a full week next year, and make sure you can get a non-stop direct flight into wherever you plan to ski.

post #4 of 16
Hey Ski Doc...you're still alive.

In 1966 in during a brief flight over the English Channel, starboard engine catches fire, the pilot dives and successfully extinguishes it, and continues on.We made it to the continent on one engine. Thank G-d it was a prop engine, a jet engine, and we would have crashed for sure !

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ March 08, 2002 07:43 AM: Message edited 1 time, by wink ]</font>
post #5 of 16
Don't ya just love the airlines? not responsible for anything!
post #6 of 16
Geez! That is a nasty story. If the airline has a psudo site for b!#ching (such as Untied.com, for United), go over there and blast 'em. It won't get any real results, but it might make you feel better. For real results, write a letter (be nice, but firm) to the airline demanding some form of compensation (tell them what compensation you want).
post #7 of 16
I know it is kind of late this time around, but in the future it might help. Ever since I have to plan trips with my wife and kid, I pay for travel insurance. Never had to deal with them but they are supposed to cover weather and health related cancelations.
post #8 of 16
You should demand a refund for everything and, if you booked this through even an on-line company, demand the money through them.

I almost had a similar situation (much more minor, though) in December 1999. Tried flying to Missoula from Newark via Minneapolis. It was right before Christmas. It was supposed to be like a 3 day trip or so, returning on Christmas Eve. When the airline delayed then cancelled our flight, we missed our connection and even though it was not even 6 pm, there was no way to get to Missoula that night. All the airline would offer was to fly us out on the same flight the next day (the cancelled flight had to do with rain and then the mass of flights going thru the airport -- they missed the takeoff window for that hour, I guess). I said "no" immediately, got thru to Travelocity and went to the counter immediately to get whatever processing needed to be done to ensure I wasn't going to be charged for the tickets.

I think the key is to play hardball immediately and to point out it is not your fault and get immediate restitution. I had a flight debacle in Charlottesville, VA once (they changed the time of the outgoing flight and never told me, hence I showed up too late) and I got a free taxi to DC to make my connection to Chicago. When I missed THAT flight, too, I got a free night's stay at the local hotel, then the first flight out the next day. Nothing like being right under their nose to get a response. Be determined and get allies, if needed.

Good luck.

post #9 of 16
Sorry for your luck. Am in total agreement with Lisa. Hardball all the way on the spot. DEMAND to talk to the head cheese and then DEMAND to talk to his upper. Nothing will get faster results the higher up the food chain you go. Best of luck next year.
post #10 of 16
Maybe if you had brought your gun...
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the support and advice. I still feel like I'm in a bad dream and I'll wake up but that is looking less likely all the time.
My lawyer friend who is quite adept at airline reimbursements is going to fire off a letter as have I. I figure I'm going to shake the fruit off the tree before I try to take it down with the chain saw.
Unfortunately I bought the stuff from Travelocity 2 months ago and my payments are all done and so Travelocity has been of no help.
MilesB, bad thoughts did cross my mind but I've heard that in these type of cases losing it might decrease my leverage.
I'll tell you though, very few people working for Air Canada gave a damn about my plight. Kinda makes you wonder. skidoc
post #12 of 16
You didn't by any chance use a credit card, did you?

Not only are they good for denying charges but I think some of the better ones even have some kind of trip insurance.

By the way, if I were in your shoes I would find out the name of the president of the airline and write him a detailed, but succinct letter regarding your experience.

Don't ask for anything, just let him or her know that you aren't happy and wanted someone at the top to know how big a mess things were at the bottom.

If they're at all inclined to help you, that letter will do the trick.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Forgot to mention that West Jet graciously has credited my flights Vancouver to Kelowna and I have a year to use it. Pretty nice considering they had nothing to do with the failure.
post #14 of 16

I feel for ya. Air Canada has pretty much a monopoly on major routes in Canada, and their attitude reflects that. Good luck on your dealing with them. I wouldn't be surprised that you'll need your lawyer friend's letter to get any action.

The family flew Calgary to Kelowna last month. WestJet price for the flight was probably about 20% of Air Canada's. I'll fly WestJet every time I can, over AC.

I don't want to rub it in, but we had a great time at Big White. Enjoyed it thoroughly. Go next year, for sure.
post #15 of 16
I am also taking Air Canada from Maui to Vancouver in a couple of weeks for a family ski trip. Your story makes me nervous. Hope I have more success. P.S. I've been spring skiing the last few years at Whistler and it's been great.
post #16 of 16
Unfortunately the airlines in Canada turned into a one-horse town when Canadian Air went belly up. Sorry to hear about your truly crappy experience with Air Canada. But as they say, no bad deed goes unnoticed and I will be taking my business elsewhere whenever possible....

Next time around, you might consider flying through Seattle or even driving from Vancouver if you miss your connection. Hope you make it up here to the Okanagan next season (have a look at Silver Star-- it's great for families and they're expanding) Take care,
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