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Air Canadaburnt on flight and staff did no care

I am incredibly shocked at the treatment and deaf ears that I have encountered when reporting the incident that happened to me on flight AC 848 on Oct 2nd, 2009 from Toronto - YYZ to Heathrow, London. I am currently writing up my full statement of this appalling incident and response by your staff both in-flight crew and on the ground in London.
I have been traveling with Air Canada since I was a child and to be treated with such treatment which is borderline if not directly prejudice, disgusting, unprofessional and permanently damaging and emotionally hurtful. I was totally uncared for during the unbelievable shocking incident. The flight attendant who poured the coffee did absolutely nothing!
The woman sitting in front of me turned around to grab her pillow that came through the seat onto my feet and knocked my tray right up spilling my coffee all over my lap and crotch to be exact. The flight attendant gave me a little square napkin as I sat there in pain biting my tongue from the burning coffee. She was way more attentive to the woman (white middle aged) than I who was sitting wet with hot coffee all over me. She never returned to ask if I was okay the rest of the flight as I sat next to a VP from RIM whom was embarrassed and felt sorry for me and asked if I was ok.
There was clearly a colour issue here which I never have experienced so blatantly in my life. I am a young black male that works abroad as a government communications advisor in the GCC – Gulf region. I truly believe my lack of attention to my incident and burn was based on negative biased face value by your staff in-flight and on the ground. I did not matter to them even though I was extremely polite and did my best to calmly and clearly bring this incident forward to be attended to.
When I brought it to flight director’s attention after sitting in the wet coffee drenched seat the entire rest of the flight, nothing was done and also ground personal in customer service in Heathrow (Russell) nothing was done. No note or no report. I did however receive to strips of paper of customer service contact info by Russell (Heathrow AC Customer Service) who honestly was bewildered and shocked no one on flight had made any report or given me any attentive service or instructions of who to contact.
In my return flight (Oct 17th 869 – Heathrow to YYZ) the check in agent – was extremely snappy and was not helpful but gave me a customer service card and asked I speak to a supervisor at the gate. The ground gate supervisor whom I approached and tried to explain snapped at me in front of other passengers when I was explaining the incident and refused to give me her name and turned badge around and told me to sit down aggressively and boldly like I was a second class citizen or child. I did ask for an upgrade on the return due to the incident and discomfort I was feeling from the rash like developments from the burn.
I was on an intensive schedule of meetings, interviews and film festival conference (MEIFF) and I could not have altered this schedule based on what occurred during my flight to London. I tried my best to take care of the burn while in my travels that took me to London, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Dubai and then return on the 17th. The Supervisor in London Heathrow was the last straw who balked at me because there was nothing in her system on the incident and pretty much blamed me for being a bother. It was so humiliating telling her about the burn and irritation on my crotch in front of other passengers in line to have her to have her react so rough and terribly aggressive.
I sat and took notes and watched her demeanor with other passengers of different colour and creed. I might say that I honestly never wished I was a middle aged white woman or a white male in a suit or even slacks and shirt until then. This was the last straw for me with this really clear and needed to be brought to your attention matter! Your staff needs to be trained on racial issues and biases and I am not going to stop until this matter gets addressed clearly and timely. You’re an airline of this country, which has remarkably people of multiple beautiful origins and races and your teams need to be sensitive and not approach people based on their colour, age, class or even sexuality. This was a gross misconduct of service and obvious bias in treatment
To make it worse I have had to see a doctor on my burn and currently having to apply cream to my crotch area. I am going to see another doctor for a second opinion on the discomfort I am feeling by my scrotum.
During my 16 day trip it was uncomfortable to walk at times, to cross my legs and to even participate in any sociable opportunity such as dancing. I am very disgusted by this and I am now seeking your immediate attention, further discussion and handling of this matter.

Responses

  • Zh
    ZHK Nov 22, 2010

    As a too-frequent AC traveller, I can assure you that the AC employees who were so rude to you are not doing so because they are racist. They are merely following the AC motto that they say to themselves every day on their way to work: "We're not happy until the customer is not happy!"

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