Air Canadano handicap service, missed/cancelled flights, no reimbursement on lost hotel/flights, ignored complaint

A Nov 15, 2019

I have a travel issue/story I would love to be told. I will paste it below, but I think it is unique as it is almost comical in how horrible it was. It is ongoing to the point where now air canada refuses to let me speak to any superiors and is ignoring my issues. I honestly am never one to complain, but I am a businesswoman and feel this is a little over the top of how it was handled; it needs to be shared to help others not end up in similar situations. I never received my lost monetary value for missed hotel/flights, etc; as well as never got. Call from a manager like I requested when I contacted air canada.

Thank you for your time, and I apologize in advance that the story is a bit long, but a lot happened to us. 

Keep in mind that if even one of these things happened, it is considered a normal issue with traveling, but the fact that everything that could of went wrong, and more… went wrong, shows that there are more issues with the service you provide.
Passengers/ air canada confirmation #s:
Alexia tuttle & katherine bradley #qu56dm
Martha savas #apsef5 (grandmother who is 78 years old)
*please note I had to book my grandmother separately as her plans were a bit different than my own overall in our travels

Flights referenced:
- ac 8847 bdl to yul 2:45pm 8/6
- ac 1902 yul to ath 4:40pm 8/6 (missed)
- ac 892 yul to rome fco 7:25 8/6 (cancelled)
- oa 204 ath to rho 12:30 8/7
- oa 204 ath to rho 12:30 8/8

My plans were to fly to athens to stay there one day with katherine, while my grandmother went straight to rhodes greece. I had booked a separate flight to rhodes from athens myself for the 8th.

This started when we were only given a 40-minute layover to get to flight 1902 in which we did not have someone with a wheelchair waiting for my grandmother and tried to get to this gate (which was changed). Now keep in mind, we were never told to wait on board like brittany explained we should of done; we waited outside the airplane door. Halfway to our connection to athens, we asked someone to drive us in a cart in which they did and walkied to the gate telling them we were on our way.

The plane was still at the gate when we arrived, and we were rudely told we didn't make it and they couldn't take us due to the fact we had luggage (I understand you need to travel with your own bag by policy). A mistake was that the gate was told we were on our way and obviously could of held our bags there until we got there.

Next we were directed to a service kiosk where two women were working to her us reschedule our flights. This took well over an hour and they scheduled us on flight 892 to rome which added an extra stop before athens. This flight left at 7:25pm, and we needed help getting through the airport with my grandmother to get there. It took a very long time to get a wheelchair, then I had to wait for the women to help more people in line (another woman was at the desk) to help us and it was cutting it close on time. I eventually went up to her at least 3 times to tell her we needed to go. We had to go through customs, get our baggage through the claim, go through security again, which they made my grandmother take off her flip flops for no reason, then almost missed the rome flight.

We sat on flight 892 for over 3.5 hours due to an issue with mechanics, the entertainment system was barely working at all, and my grandmother was starting to be more in pain given all the stress by this point. The pilot tried taking off twice from what I remember, then eventually told us we had to get off the plane. There was no announcement once we got back into the terminal, but they just gave us vouchers even though almost everything was closed.

We were hungry at this point and my food that I bring (about 10 lbs chicken since I am a nutritionist) had spoiled due to the issues all day), and my grandmother was swollen and in lots of pain at this point. The lines were so long for this one place to get food, I asked to cut in line for her.

We waited another 2.5 hours before they told us the flight was cancelled.

Next we had to get the vouchers for the hotel and transportation. We were taken there with my grandmother in a wheelchair which helped with time, but honestly it still took way longer than it should. We didn't get to the hotel until after 2am and I was on the phone with air canada until 5am. We only got vouchers for two people, not three which was another error; which brittany did not address in the claim. The shuttle took at least 30 minutes to get us. I was trying to get my grandmother on the shuttle first but many air canada pilots were pushing their luggage in front of me and not saying a word, just staring.

While on the phone the first time, the employee I spoke to tried to help but had to keep putting me on hold. After an hour my line went dead and he never called me back. I tried calling again and reached a young woman employee who seemed like she had to ask someone for everything single step we had to take care the beginning of the call I asked if she had a callback number directly just in case the call got cut off, and she said she had my number, confirmed it, and then said she would call me back if that happened. At this point, I was up for almost 24 hours and exhausted, and was put on hold many times. After 1.5 hours, she said it was taken care of and she just needed to "clean up the file" and was put on hold again for about 30 minutes. This call may have lasted 2 hours before it cut off. She never called me back like she said she would. I had to fall asleep at this point.

Due to the flight cancellation, I missed out on athens in its entirety, including my hotel stay costing me $543.26 which brittany did not say anything about in my claim. My plan was to get katherine and myself directly to rhodes in whatever way possible, as well as trying to get on same flights with my grandmother.
We woke up early to try to eat then get to the airport early, about 4.5-5 hours early.

When at the airport, we went straight the counter to talk to sandra. She heard my story and tried to do what she could to help with her supervisor. They may have tried the file for at least 45 minutes before they realized it was a mess. They said whoever worked on my file "missed steps" and they couldn't clean it up at their counter. They were amazed at how bad of shape the file was.

We went to the air canada counter in which only one person was working with a very long line and apparently very complicated issues since we were waiting for over an hour again at this point. Sandra waited for us for a bit, and I asked her to speak to her manager, chantel.

Another hour later, chantel brought over another worker, diane, in which they both took a look at my file and heard everything that happened and were appalled as well. This took a long time, again: hours, since diane said she had to fix it. At this point I also had to buy another ticket on flight oa 204 from ath to rho for my grandmother and had to call myself since they had not available seats for airlines to receive, costing #215.43, which again brittany did not address in my claim. I did this and we finally got an itinerary to leave. I wanted to make sure we got escorted out due to the wheelchair issue, and chantel and diane were very good at making sure we were okay by this point. We also had to wait more than stated in assessable help after all was said and done, about 45 minutes longer than what was stated.

On the return home, we were all very nervous. We had a gate change, both flights delayed a bit, and also our luggage came over 20 minutes late once we were home. There was an airline worker stating we should tell you and complain since it was ridiculously late.

To recap:
* 40 minute layover missed due to no handicap employee waiting for us and last minute gate change
* rebook taking too long, customs-baggage-security annoyance, in which we almost missed next flight
* rome flight cancelled after waiting more than 5 hours with little communication
* all food brought spoiled, and grandmother in pain
*lost $543.26 for athens hotel booked and lost $215.43 for extra ticket I had to purchase
*lost various dollars for the lack of vouchers.
* shuttle took forever, with rude employees not letting my elderly grandmother in
* on phone for over 3 hours with two employees who said the problem was solved, but it wasn't. They never called me back.
* file was a mess that took over 3 hours to fix and I had to include the manager at this point
* waited even longer in assessible pickup. I had to say to the employee we were next when she tried helping someone else.
* delays coming back home and severely delayed luggage claim

Additional loss was the fact that I am a business owner (strictly online business) with thousands of clients around the world in which I was late responding to due to everything that happened. This also set me back days because of the loss of work time, as well as the fact that flights do not contain a working wifi.

Update: now, I did email air canada and request a call from them. The employee, brittany young (ext 5622; claim# cas-1858917-p1d3t3), handling my case sent an email back explaining how because we didn't wait on the actual plane initially, they are not at fault (I was never told to do so, we got off the plane and waited as long as we could). Also, they said "the plane landed in montreal" which led me to believe they did not even read my whole complaint as they would know I never ended up going on the montreal flight since it was cancelled. I asked to speak to the supervisor. They replied that they consider the case closed so emailing them would serve no purpose. She never read my entire complaint as she only responded to it partially, never even mentioning the lost monetary balance I had from the cancelled hotel and added flight I had to pay for. I have not been able to get a response since.

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