Day 01 - Edmonton to Edmonton

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Submitted by brad on Tue, 10/11/2016 - 01:47
He Said:This was supposed to be titled 'Day 01 - Edmonton to Los Angeles, with time to spare', but no such luck. Have I mentioned I hate flying? Lack of control aside, I hate paying for horrible service. Also, my biggest fear is being stuck on the tarmac, unable to leave - so this trip was awesome. The rest of the retelling will be a little bland, but let's just get through it, shall we? We left for the airport at 1:30 for our 4:50 flight. As 4:50 came and went, it became apparent we weren't getting on the flight, but the board still showed "on time". Eventually we loaded, delayed due to the weather in Calgary. Wait on the tarmac (Time number one!), then we were de-boarded. There was an indefinite delay and they'd rather we wait inside. Then, it was cancelled. I called the 1-800 number and they tried to get me on a flight to Vancouver then LA. While he tried to book it we ran to that gate. Delay delay, issue issue, then the phone connection dropped! The woman at the counter was great, though. She tried to fix it, but said the agent had only booked us to Vancouver, not on to LA, and everything was sold out until at least the next afternoon (we didn't check further). Delay delay, she rebooked us on a westjet to Calgary that night followed by a 6:45 am flight out. Back, then, to the waiting. While we waited, two more flights made it out to Calgary, near as I could tell, but we couldn't get on those. Shannon tried to find a hotel in Calgary in the interim, without luck. At that point, though, the woman who had helped us earlier came by calling for me. She had taken the time to get the rest of our itinerary sorted, boarding passes printed, and wanted to deliver them. She also gave us the number for 'displaced guests', where Air Canada has rooms blocked off. She was the bright spot of the day. I was too tired and stressed to remember her name, otherwise I would write a letter congratulating her. Finally we boarded WestJet. Wait on the tarmac much longer this time (time number 2!), then we were de-boarded once again. At this point it was almost 10PM and the kids were worn out. I tracked down an Air Canada agent who told me her customer service rep was dealing with 5 similar cases, if I left the security area I could join her. She even called out to confirm. I swear she said Rosalind, but I must've been wrong. In any case I left the kids laying on the seats with Shannon and exited the boarding area. This is where I ran into the worst agent of the evening. The gentlemen at the Air Canada counter immediately said it wasn't their issue, I was on WestJet, it's now a WestJet ticket. I continued to repeat that I had bought a ticket to LA from Air Canada, Air Canada needs to get me to LA. I continued to repeat that I had been sent out here by an AC rep, to talk to a Rosalind. "What Rosalind? There's no Rosalind here, I have no clue what you mean, how would AC deal with a WestJet ticket?!?" He was really fixated in the Calgary part, too. On just dealing with Calgary to LA which clearly was not the best idea at that point. Eventually he went to talk to two other agents (supervisor?) and I overheard enough of the conversation to know I needed to go over there. Anyway. Long story, him saying things such as "it's the weather?!? what do you expect us to do about the weather?!?" At one point, another agent said they were sorting it out for other customers and thought they had a resolution, to which he replied "Don't get involved, I'm dealing with this one, I'll handle it myself". At which point I said he was not. I looked him straight and the eye and said "You are not being helpful." He was making the problem worse, and I would rather not deal with him. At which point the other agent (supervisor?) started to take over, and the other guy got mad and stormed off. I think he actually left his post. They brought in a replacement but about 40 minutes later as I was still there, I saw him return. Anyway - supervisor called westjet, tickets got xferred back, and they booked us to go to Seattle at 6AM the next morning. All great, but it took another 30-40 minutes, because the tickets had apparently been so screwed up by the 1-800 number guy, they couldn't even retrieve it. Even the return trip was wrecked. Someone called to someone, delay delay, and eventually it was resolved. They even ran over to Alaskan Airlines to get our boarding passes for us. Finally at about 10:30, we checked into a room just off the airport and went to bed, alarms set for 4AM. Miserable, miserable day, but the kids handled it really well. Very impressed with them. My biggest concern at this point are the 5 non-refundable universal studio tickets and the hotel reservation we missed. Best western has a 1-800 number, universal does not. I might be out of luck on that. I'll try to call them when, and if, I ever land. I guess that's the flip side to going somewhere warm when it's cold and miserable here. Getting stuck here because it's cold and miserable. She Said: Not much to add to that. The kids did amazingly well. Better than I did. The airport hotel - actually attached to the airport - is quite modern and cool. The kids loved it. Walking into the lobby is like walking into a night club. We were there for 6 hours. eesh.