There is a lot of airline hatred out there and one thing I try to do on this blog is remind folks that even though things can and will go wrong in the airline business, it is still made up of wonderful people who should not suffer because too many people feel the need to share negative stories versus postive. When I wrote a story on giving the airlines some love, I got emails from quite a few people sharing their positive stories. Instead of just enjoying themself, I wanted to share. This story comes from Robert who lives in Ontario, Canada. Here is his story in his own words:
Air Canada Boeing 777-300ER
We recently took a packaged vacation throughout Britain and Ireland. To get to London and home, we specified Air Canada flights 848 on September 16th and 849 on October 2nd respectively. Ostensibly these were requested for their departure and arrival times, allowing us the most practical time in London. But, honestly, I chose them to ensure we would ride on the Boeing 777-300ER equipment; 18.5-inch seats and 32-inch pitch – more than the rest of the fleet.
Was everything perfect? No. It can never be, but those flights came close to being as good as possible. Things started off with the check-in process at PIA, which to our delight, and using the self-serve kiosks, was almost effortless. Right after I figured out how to get the machines to read our passports that is; a bit better signage might be in order there.
Our air-venture progressed to the gate personnel who did their level best to actually load the aircraft by row number, politely but firmly turning folks away when they tried to barge through. Most of the “airport vultures” were indeed held at bay. And this same effort happened at Heathrow inbound too. Outbound, we backed out more or less on time and arrived within 10-minutes of sked. Inbound, Heathrow ground traffic raised its all-too-normal ugly head, and we were nearly an hour off the published pushback time – not AC’s fault.
Both flights were packed to the gills. I expect that the captains were able to declare themselves as Air Canada “very heavy” to ATC during the departure processes. On-board service, both ways, was totally contrary to, in our experience, the undeserved reputation of Air Canada staff. They were, to a person friendly, prompt, helpful and more-than-willing to assist. Food was okay. Wine or other beverages were readily available. And the AVOD system worked all the way, both ways; including my favourite “where the heck are we” channel. Would someone with some authority officially say thank you for us?
The guys at the front-end were informative, good humoured, and when those timing issues arose in London, honest and forthright. That, plus keeping a firm hand on 375-tons of thoroughbred aircraft to produce the rides we got, deserves a nice note from the higher-ups as well, we think.
The only complaint we have, and it really falls more into a firm request is, please, please enforce, manage, and have passengers observe the carry-on size and quantity rules. Right at check-in. Luckily the triple-sevens have relatively large overhead luggage bays; otherwise some of the extraneous nonsense being hauled into the cabins might have had to be bungee corded to the wings.
Lastly, we were almost an hour from deplaning to receiving our luggage. The GTAA folks really need to build in some staffing contingencies when through no fault by the airlines, planes arrive later than planned. Air Canada is big tenant there; they should feel free to exercise their rights as hub customers.
If you have a positive story about an airline, please send it to me: email@example.com. I would love to share it on a future #AirlineLove story.
Photo by Patcard