Did you know: Osoyoos (BC) gets its name from “Souyoos,” a Syilx’tsn Native word, which describes a narrow waterway. The “O-“ prefix is not indigenous in origin and was attached by settler-promoters wanting to harmonize the name with other O-names in the Okanagan region, including Oliver and American communities of Omak and Oroville.

Someone Has Your Back

On Nov. 18-19, Air Canada switched computer systems.  As would be expected, there were some “hiccoughs” over the following few weeks.  And that’s putting in mildly!  Hold times for some of their departments stretched as long as 7 hours.  General reservations averaged 3-4 hours of hold time; and there were times over the first few weeks where their call centres were so overwhelmed they simply didn’t accept calls.

 

The situation was no better with Aeroplan, Air Canada’s loyalty program. 

In both cases, their websites failed or made “mistakes.”  News reports tell us tickets were emailed out to the wrong customers.  Reservations mysteriously disappeared.  And lots of important tasks, such as the upgrade program, failed outright or worked at a degraded level.

 uring this time, travel agencies managed to maintain efficient, reliable service, with barely a hint of the chaos behind the scenes visible to their clients.

Here’s the thing.  While this situation was a bit out of the ordinary, it isn’t the first time airlines have dragged their customers through this misery along with them.  Every major airline goes through this painful process each time they upgrade to a new, better system.  And, there isn’t a week that goes by in our world where there isn’t a weather crisis, an airline strike, a serious political crisis, or an outbreak of some disease.  Travel agencies cope with all this, plus day-to-day flight cancellations, delays, and schedule changes.  And most of the time, we are solving problems in the background that our clients don’t even know about! 

Next time you see a TV story about thousands of passengers stranded in an airport or some travel horror story, remember this: they probably didn’t use a travel professional.  

 

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