Saturday, December 15, 2012

Air Canada and Star Alliance

I just returned from an arduous flight to and from Athens Greece from Vancouver.  I'd just like to thank Air Canada and it's staff for the excellent service.  I flew Aegean and Lufthansa as well. I believe this is part of the whole Star Alliance program.  Air Canada check in staff were gracious, friendly and helpful on the flight out.  They were extremely helpful with my connections in Montreal and Frankfurt. Everything on the way out was superb with great service on board the jets and excellent pilotting and landing.  A joy to be a traveller with this kind of service.
On the way back Aegean Airlines book my luggage through to Vancouver. The flight from Athens to Munich was without a hitch.  Great stewardess and a delightful flight in a marvellous airplane.  In Frankfurt the Lufthansa carrier was hit with a horrible snow storm that had us delayed an hour.  We had to wait in line for de icing and yet through out the pilot was cordial and informative  Despite some bumpiness initially the flight was a delight with great service.
Due to the slowness at Security, change of staff, and Heathrow Airport problems I didn't make the connection for my airplane.  I was infuriated but the Air Canada staff at Heathrow were simply amazing. Understanding my frustration at missing a plane by minutes, they set to finding me alternative arrangements to get me back to Canada.  I wasn't going to arrive at 5 pm as planned but they were able to get me back to Vancouver by 1 am the next morning This would allow me to keep my clinic obligations and cause limitted disruption in my work schedule.  Naturally it would be a hassle and extra strain but it was a solution that I was extremely thankful for. It was clear too that the Air Canada staff were there for me wanting to help me in every way possible and understanding of my tiredness, frustration and desire to meet my obligations by getting back as soon as possible.
In Vancouver 1 30 am I was without my luggage as somehow it got caught up in Customs without me being there to collect it when it arrived and I didn't.  Again the baggage staff were excellent, kindly taking information, offering solicitous remarks, tolerating my peevishness after 30 plus hours of flight and travel. The trouble was that I'd forgotten to take my car keys out of the luggage so now couldn't pick up my car in long term parking. Further there were no taxis at the domestic airlines terminal but fortunately there were at the International.
The next day my luggage was found by Air Canada. They were again extremely helpful and shipped my luggage to me by courier as I wasn't able to 'drive' out and pick it up. With my car keys I was able then to taxi to the airport and retrieve my car.
Travelling internationally with several airplane carriers and all the various personnel is a huge achievement.  The airlines are truly amazing in what they have accomplished for passengers and communications worldwide.  Air Canada outdid itself to help me personally and I'm extremely thankful for their assistance.  The airlines were all star for me in this Star Alliance. Air Canada shone the brightest of all with it's helpful personnel in the airports, in booking and on the flights.  Thank you Air Canada!

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