I’ve heard some funny lines since finally returning home from a trip to the Philadelphia area, specifically Newark, Del., where we visited the Gore facilities, which in golf means Gore-Tex in reference to outerwear from companies such as Galvin Green, our host for this junket.
It was a short trip as we left on Tuesday morning with departure from Philly scheduled for Wednesday evening — or so we thought.
We had rushed to the Philly airport, admittedly after a sweet round at the FieldStone Golf Club, a private club in Greenville, Del., on Wednesday.
After packing our golf clubs back into our travel bags when we dropped off the rental card, we headed over to check in at the Air Canada desk.
As one wag I know called it later, “Scare Canada.”
Another buddy would rhyme off a joke motto: “At Air Canada, we’re not happy until you’re not happy.”
I’m definitely not happy after this nightmare, which didn’t start off that way. After being ticketed, we still had about an hour-and-a-half to get through airport security and to our gate.
We even stopped for a leisurely coffee when we got past security before heading to our gate, but on the way, one of the scalawag members of our media entourage just happened to notice on one of the airport screens that our flight had been cancelled.
Storms in the Toronto area was the reason given for the cancellation, but from what I understand since arriving back home, the warnings didn’t last long and it seems feasible that the flight coming to Philadelphia could have left later in the evening, albeit late.
I’m also not sure what time the storm warning in Toronto was issued, but I wonder why the people didn’t inform us when they first ticketed us instead of sending us through security. There may be reasons for this, but that’s the problem.
There was nobody to really answer questions. All we were handed by the people at the gate was a number to call, which we did. We were told another there was another airline leaving at 8:30 p.m. and since we got to the gate at 7:30, there wasn’t much time.
Immediately, Galvin Green Canada president Jonathan Wong was on the phone, not a cheap exercise considering the cost of using a cell phone in the U.S. for Canadians, to try and get us on that flight to Toronto, which brings up another question.
If Air Canada couldn’t get a flight down sometime that evening, how could another airline be flying into Toronto if a storm warning was the reason? I digress.
Watching Wong on the phone, he was constantly put on hold and, at one point, he was told that all nine of us would have to call individually, but they relented on that one.
After about an hour of this, needless to say, we didn’t get on to that flight, and had to call around to arrange rooms overnight, which Wong covered, although we were prepared to pony up ourselves because he wasn’t responsible for this travel nightmare.
From our own experiences, we know things go wrong in business, although we all had a lot of questions about this case. The point is that, other than the person who made it difficult for Wong, we still haven’t had any contact with an Air Canada representative.
Damage control was non-existent. They didn’t want to hear about the deadline challenges that this incident caused or the fact that many of us were scheduled to meet the national team at a Golf Canada event on Thursday.
There was no damage control and no attempt at damage control. We were isolated. They didn’t want to hear our problems and, as a result, we don’t want to hear Air Canada’s challenges, which is why they get called Scare Canada.
It seems to be the way many corporations are going these days. I often talk about the virtues of Westjet through my own experiences. There is now one more reason for appreciating the competition.
Air Canada makes it so easy.