‘Air Canada will ruin my wedding’: Frustrated passengers lash out amid ongoing delays – National | Globalnews.ca

Tarick Ali, 47, from Ottawa, has been planning his wedding for over a year. But now, “Air Canada will ruin my wedding,” he fears.

Ali, along with 200 of his friends and family, have flown from different parts of the world to Trinidad for the special day.

“I wanted it to be absolutely perfect,” Ali, who flew to her wedding destination on July 3 via Air Canada, told Global News on Thursday.

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But, despite all her meticulous planning, what didn’t make it to Ali’s wedding destination was her luggage, which was carrying her wedding outfits.

“Everything is bought, everything is ready. All I had to do was show up in my outfit,” she said. “But it’s all in my luggage and my luggage never arrived.”

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“It is absolutely mind-boggling what is happening. It’s going to ruin everything we had planned,” Ali said.

Ali has been calling Air Canada every day since her arrival in Trinidad, multiple times on a few days, to try to find out where her luggage is, hoping it will arrive in time for her wedding on July 15.

“It’s an absolute nightmare.”

“You will be on the phone for three hours with no answer. No one picks up,” Ali said.

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He filled out a form after getting off the plane in Trinidad — standard protocol when luggage is lost — and even traveled back to the airport to check again if his luggage had been found a few days after arriving, with no luck.

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He also checked the status of his luggage online. She says that the case with her custom wedding suit is still in Canada.

“I spent thousands of dollars to get here, as well as quite a bit of money for a suit that is actually tailored, all the cufflinks and buttons. Everything is perfect for the perfect day,” Ali said. “And, he’s not here. And no, we don’t know what we’re going to do,” she said.

Also packed in the luggage was, in addition to his suit for the reception, his chosen attire to be worn in the Islamic ceremony that was planned to take place in Trinidad before July 15.

“Both are completely missing in action.” Ali said. “No one is responsible for it. They have not called us, they have not sent us an email.

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Another traveler, Marco Rocha, plans to travel to Portugal with his wife and daughter since last November. His Air Canada flight was booked for mid-July 2022.

However, Rocha recently received a “suspicious” email from the airline saying her flight was delayed 15 minutes due to bad weather; his flight wasn’t due for another two weeks.

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“I find it strange, very strange, that they knew two weeks in advance that bad weather would cause a 15-minute delay,” Rocha told Global News from Montreal.

With the horror stories circulating at the airport, and now a delayed flight, Rocha hopes her flight doesn’t get canceled entirely.

“I’m worried about that,” he said. “My first instinct is that they are trying to cover in case more flights are cancelled. I am worried that my flight, all my vacations, will be canceled due to things that are out of my control.”

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Canadian airlines and airports top global list of delays

Canadian airlines and airports top global list of delays

“Aviation is a complex ecosystem made up of many independent players, including airports, customs, caterers, fueling companies, security systems, etc,” an Air Canada spokesperson told Global News in response to continued delays.

“All these organisms must work well together for the system to work properly. The on-time performance of individual carriers can be affected by the performance of any of these partners, which is why we are working with all of our partners to improve industry performance,” they said.

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WestJet, which has also faced massive delays and cancellations, says: “There continue to be significant operational challenges specific to and across the Canadian aviation ecosystem that are beyond our control, contributing to significant delays.”

“We recognize sometimes; collectively we still fall short of delivering the experience our guests expect and for that we apologize. As a result, our number one priority is to ensure that our guests arrive safely at their destination, as on time as the current aviation landscape allows,” a spokesperson told Global News.

Canadian airlines have failed to meet their business goals, according to Gabor Lukacs, an air passenger rights advocate.

“Canadians should be very concerned,” he told Global News.

“The question Canadians should be asking is why does the government allow airlines to behave in this way,” he said.

On Tuesday, Air Canada and Toronto’s Pearson Airport again ranked first for flight delays. Air Canada saw 65 percent of its flights arrive late, according to tracking service FlightAware.

Under air passenger protection rules, when an airline cancels a flight or delays a flight for reasons within its control, it must pay passengers lump sum compensation, according to Lukacs.

Although both Air Canada and WestJet say they meet the requirements, Lukacs says these provisions are currently being ignored by airlines and not enforced by the government.

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The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) has issued 77 Caution Notices and 15 Violation Notices with $97,450 in Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPs) related to the Air Passenger Protection Regulations, since they went into effect in 2019.

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