Long delays, dropped calls ‘temporary problems that can arise with technological changes,’ airline says

Getting through a new telephone system flight booking Air Canada has become something of a mission impossible for potential tourists, such as the peak travel season takes off.

“I’ve tried 127 times to call this number,” said Diana Bereck, who is traveling to Dubai and Singapore with her husband in January to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their wedding.

Air Canada flights departing their first change, then flying them back, add a couple of hours and a stopover for their schedule. Bereck told to call the airline’s customer service line at 1-888-247-2262 to confirm the change.

But despite trying many times, day and night, Bereck not been able to get through to a human.

“It just has a message that they have to change their telephone system and they can not put a call on hold, to try again later,” he said. “It’s frustrating.”

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Other customers have reported waiting on hold for hours, only to have called down.

When the CBC tried the number, we heard a recording of this message: “Air Canada recently introduced a new reservation system and call volume is significantly higher than normal Because of the volume at this time, I am sorry that we can not put you on hold at this. Time . ”

This message indicates the passenger call only within 24 hours of their flight “to allow us to manage calls efficiently and help customers already on the way.”

A different message informing the caller that will take at least an hour to speak with an agent.

Agents face ‘learning curve’

According to Air Canada, since the new reservation system launched 19 Nov. Call volume has been higher than normal, and longer waiting times.

“By way of background, it has become a large, two-year project involving 700,000 hours of development, including the guidance of the IT and expert global airline reservation systems,” the airline spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick in an email.

Fitzpatrick said there had been a technical problem “in some cases,” resulting in longer wait “as our agent on a learning curve to use the new system.”

Transport Canada says it is following the situation closely, and that the minister’s office was in contact with Air Canada.

Starting next Monday, passengers will be able to make complaints about poor customer service under the latest version of the new air passenger protection regulations of Canada, but only if they have been too distracted by the delay or cancellation of flights.

Canadian Transportation Agency shows more customer service complaints should be directed to the provincial consumer protection agencies.

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