Was I bamboozled by my favourite mother country flag carrier

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A321
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Was I bamboozled by my favourite mother country flag carrier

#1 Post by A321 » Wed Feb 25, 2015 8:41 pm

Last Sunday, travelling as a legit full fare paying J class pax from LAX-YYZ-YWG... AC792 arrives late from LAX into YYZ but still there is an hour to connect to AC271 YYZ-YWG. Canada Customs press a magic button which allow my 2 checked bags to go directly to my connecting flight when I announce I am returning from a Vay Kay in Hawaii. (guess they did not want to search my macadamia nuts) I proceed to my domestic gate to board AC271 and while in line am redirected by the gate agent to see her colleague at the gate desk. I am told I have been taken off the flight as my 2 checked bags won't make the flight? I am offered a Y class seat on the last flight of the night with a suggestion by the gate agent that the stars may align and I may get to ride in the cabin I paid for. Sent unceremoniously to the Maple Leaf lounge to await my fate, I am granted access to the exclusive club even though I have now been stripped of my upper class status. Within an hour I am presented with a J class boarding pass for the last flight of the night to YWG.

Was I bamboozled by my favourite mother country flag carrier giving away my original highly prized seat 1A on a Jungle jet back to Winnipeg on AC271?
My 2 checked bags went through YYZ without me even seeing them and they were secured for travel from LAX-YYZ-YWG on company aircraft yet I was denied boarding AC271 based on the fact that my bags would not make the flight?

Was I being punished for flying Delta from HNL-LAX in order to avoid flying Rouge? Or was my seat given away prematurely to a company commuter?

Even when you pay full fare J class, you have to role with the punches… :?
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ahramin
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Re: Was I bamboozled by my favourite mother country flag car

#2 Post by ahramin » Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:56 pm

Here's my theory on what happened:

Your bags were not able to go through customs fast enough, and wouldn't make it onto your flight. Their procedures do not allow you to travel without your bags, so you had to wait.
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A321
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Re: Was I bamboozled by my favourite mother country flag car

#3 Post by A321 » Thu Feb 26, 2015 1:15 am

Yes, I would like to believe the 2 checked bags could not keep up with my progress through customs. However, the 2 checked bags were never collected in YYZ as they were given the green light by Canada Customs to proceed through to YWG, based on my declared point of origin not being a place of interest. Traveling from gate F69, clearing Canada Customs then going through security to progress to D36 was what I would think was more than enough time for 2 checked bags with "priority" tags to make it through the behind the scenes automated baggage system. Moreover, the sheepish nature of the gate agent handling the YWG flight AC271 made me think they jumped the gun, giving away my seat on AC271, as the flight was oversold.

Although, I am aware of the requirement to travel on the same aircraft as your checked bags, if the bags were carried on the first flight with the passenger, and never accessed when connecting to a common carrier flight, would these checked bags pose a risk if sent on a later connecting flight without the owner, thus allowing the passenger to maintain the original flight schedule? The purpose of a "J" class ticket is to provide premium service. I felt Canada Customs gave me the best chance of making my connection, but AC had decided to hedge against me ever showing up at the gate for AC271 based on their knowledge of the late inbound company flight from LAX.
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Re: Was I bamboozled by my favourite mother country flag car

#4 Post by ahramin » Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:16 am

I have never worked as a baggage handler, but if they said your bags weren't there, I suspect it's because your bags weren't there.

As for travelling without bags, there are exemptions to be had from Transport Canada. I know one airline has an exemption to carry on without offloading bags if a passenger gets off at an intermediate stop and doesn't get back on. I have no idea what exemptions AC has, if any.
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Re: Was I bamboozled by my favourite mother country flag car

#5 Post by altiplano » Thu Feb 26, 2015 11:41 am

I think the thing about not having to collect your bags and recheck them after customs doesn't mean they aren't scrutinised. All the bags coming off that flight are at the whims and mercy of customs personnel and their processes. Then they have to be sorted and sent out again by a ramp staff stretched to the max in winter operations inside a window that is shortened by your delayed flight... So maybe 35-45 minutes?

As much as it sucks getting delayed, I can't imagine any agent is going to stick there neck out and bump a J passenger or any passenger so a con or commuter can get on. The boarding priorities are clearly established and are now being very closely monitored/scrutinized, pulling a fast one just isn't possible for an agent without getting ripped.

Nor do I think there is a conspiracy from up high to punish you for flying Delta. There are hundreds/thousands of connections everyday from other airlines.

I think it was just that your bag couldn't get sequenced in time for the flight.
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Re: Was I bamboozled by my favourite mother country flag car

#6 Post by av8ts » Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:41 am

Not sure what happened in your case but i know that many times we've carried connecting passengers whose bags didn't make the flight.
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A321
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Re: Was I bamboozled by my favourite mother country flag car

#7 Post by A321 » Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:32 am

Yes… my point exactly. Did my 2 checked bags need to accompany me on the connecting flight to Winnipeg as they were suitable and screened for travel on a company aircraft from LAX-YYZ, never seen or handled by me in YYZ. Do Priority or orange arrow tags with J class travel mean anything? Again, Canada Customs in my view did everything they could to assist me in making the connecting flight to YWG. I even questioned an AC agent before exiting the secured Customs area… "Are you sure I don't have to collect my bags and put them on a conveyor to the domestic terminal?" "Where did you come from?" "HNL" No your bags will go right through.

Was I late to the gate for AC 271 to YWG? no. I lined up to join the general boarding call. I was really caught by surprise being pulled from this flight.
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whiteguy
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Re: Was I bamboozled by my favourite mother country flag car

#8 Post by whiteguy » Fri Feb 27, 2015 5:12 pm

altiplano wrote:I think the thing about not having to collect your bags and recheck them after customs doesn't mean they aren't scrutinised. All the bags coming off that flight are at the whims and mercy of customs personnel and their processes. Then they have to be sorted and sent out again by a ramp staff stretched to the max in winter operations inside a window that is shortened by your delayed flight... So maybe 35-45 minutes?

As much as it sucks getting delayed, I can't imagine any agent is going to stick there neck out and bump a J passenger or any passenger so a con or commuter can get on. The boarding priorities are clearly established and are now being very closely monitored/scrutinized, pulling a fast one just isn't possible for an agent without getting ripped.

Nor do I think there is a conspiracy from up high to punish you for flying Delta. There are hundreds/thousands of connections everyday from other airlines.

I think it was just that your bag couldn't get sequenced in time for the flight.
This is probably exactly why, and because your inbound flight was delayed to begin with, you were probably off loaded and protected on the next flight. You may have hit customs at just the right time to be able to get through so quickly but your connection time probably was within the cut off time.

Min connection time in YYZ, US to Canada, is 1 hr 10 mins...
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A321
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Re: Was I bamboozled by my favourite mother country flag car

#9 Post by A321 » Fri Feb 27, 2015 8:52 pm

Thank you. I was under the impression Min Connecting times such as YYZ @1hr10min was to prevent passengers from constructing unrealistic connections. Instead the company is using this as reason to give away a passenger seat to a standby traveller even when the company is the cause of the delay reducing a connection time from 1hr30min to 1hr.

Published check-in time for Baggage drop off is 45minutes for a domestic flight and the boarding gate closes 20min before departure. I would guess the gate agent had no knowledge as to whether my 2 checked bags had arrived at the gate. Perhaps the 2 checked bags were pulled and held for the later flight as my new itinerary had already been established prior to landing in YYZ.
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Re: Was I bamboozled by my favourite mother country flag car

#10 Post by ywg9 » Sun Mar 08, 2015 10:24 pm

My guess is the bags got held up around customs. I've seen the agent reload people even very last minute if they can so that's my best guess. I can assure you tho as a commuter they don't give staff J class travel unless there is no other option, and d/h crew is booked a month ish in advance in most cases so they wouldn't have bumped you. Sorry to hear
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