Air Canada: we only want your money

You know how much Air Canada wanted for changing a short flight from Fort St John to Vancouver to an earlier one?

$500.

Yeah, that’s more than the entire YXJ to YYZ trip cost. Smooth one, AC.

that’s just great

I’m trying to book tickets for Catherine online at aircanada.com. The site does something bad in Firefox, so the helpdesk person said to use Safari (after suggesting “Tools -> Internet Options”, which in my case I have not got), which is supported. So on I go to the site with Safari, and I’m redirected to:

Unsupported Browser Warning. We have detected that the browser you
are using is not able to view some of the more advanced elements of our website, and may prevent you from completing your booking.

Supported Browsers:

  • Internet Explorer 5.5, 6.0 and above (Windows 98 and higher)
  • Netscape 7.2 (Windows 98 and higher)
  • Firefox 1.0 and higher (Windows 98 and higher, Mac OS X)

Yup, so the browser I had been using is supported, but the one they recommended isn’t. After many retries (‘You failed to check Futile Checkbox #36, and therefore must restart your booking’) it finally worked. Took the best part of an hour. The booking is almost as bad as the flying.

flying sucks

Flying – especially to the US – is such a tawdry experience. You trail out to a part of town that noone would otherwise go to, you wait in line, ticketing systems malfunction in ways that airline staff accept blindly, you wait in line again, a bored immigration official grills you half-heartedly, you wait in line again (this time without shoes), then you look forward to some dinner in the departure lounge – and have to make do with some cardboard pizza, since the only other choice is a hockey bar. And all of this is a good 90 minutes from your departure time.

Why does anyone put up with this?