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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 10:45 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 2:02 pm
Posts: 44
Air Canada is becoming more and more sensitive to the needs of allergic passengers. My daughter just returned from Europe, making a total of five flights with Air Canada, and she was treated with the utmost care and concern. Initially, I spoke with a customer service rep who was very understanding and reassuring. She had DD's allergies and requirements all noted on each of the flight manifests, indicating what precautions DD would take, including pre-boarding to groom the area, etc., etc.
DD presented a copy of her anaphylaxis plan to the flight director (that's who you need to deal with) upon boarding and I believe this is a really important step. It makes the crew aware of the severity of your allergies and raises their level of concern. (the words "life threatening" and the photograph of the epi-pen makes an impact) Example, they provided her with free bottled water; asked frequently after her well-being; when they were offering fish sandwiches for sale they told her they would ask passengers within three rows surrounding her to refrain from eating them (cold tuna/salmon is no problem so DD said no, that was ok). They warned her on one flight that they were serving hot salmon in executive class - that wasn't a problem because she was seated quite far away from there. Also, the filtration systems on most of the planes is so much better than is generally believed. Check out their website. Fortunately, there were no nut/peanut eating passengers near her on any of the flights, (they do not restrict people from bringing them on), but I now believe they would take some action if you were seated near a nut/peanut eating individual. All in all, we were happy with the service and much relieved, because I had heard many bad reports about Air Canada and their attitude to allergies.

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Mum of 19 year old daughter - asthma and life threatening allergies to nuts, peanuts and seafood


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2007 8:04 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 9:25 pm
Posts: 238
Location: Thornhill
Glad to hear about this positive experience. Thanks for the tip about the flight director and travelling with the ana action plan. We've only had letters and of course MedicAlert (and epis and puffers and...). Of the many times we have flown AC, we have only had an understanding crew once (a crew member had a family member with allergies). My girlfriend experienced them announcing her DD's peanut allergy over speaker. I've had "(condescending) smile and nod" attitudes unfortunately. :x
Hope that isn't too... well, less than constructive criticism...
Sigh, another friend was told "If your allergies are so severe, perhaps you shouldn't be flying"

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renie
daughter: ana for egg, sesame, dairy, pistachio/cashew/hazelnut. on contact. allergic+ to soy protein isolate, environmental allergies (e.g. dogs, dust mites). asthma. eczema.
son: peanuts, tree-nuts, OAS, environmental allergies. asthma.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 11:14 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 2:02 pm
Posts: 44
well, I should add that I believe that it ,to a point hit, a matter of who you deal with. My first contact with customer service was terrible and so discouraging. I was also told "if her allergies are that serious, you should consider flying with another airline" and "we don't change how we do things for just one person" - etc., etc., so that was discouraging. But, the next time I called, I told the rep about my previous exerience and she was appalled. We perhaps got lucky with them from that point on, but I believe they are trying to raise their customer service profile - this also according to my friend who is in the business.

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Mum of 19 year old daughter - asthma and life threatening allergies to nuts, peanuts and seafood


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 12:25 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Shirely - if you have the name of the customer service rep that provided such good service, you might consider writing a letter to her boss (or even just to Air Canada's Public or Customer Relations Dept.) witih praise for her, and also pointing out that you were discussing this service on an online forum that can be seen by everyone in the world.

That might help them understand that good service is appreciated and noted, and also that bad service is ALSO noted and really not appreciated. And that we do share that information with each other.

K.

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Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2007 3:52 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 2:02 pm
Posts: 44
Will do, Karen. They've got to hear the good as well as the bad. And now that I know how they (Air Canada) operate, we will stick to this airline as much as possible. Even though not perfect (I would like to see more allergens banned from flights or announcements made to encourage other passengers to refrain from bringing their own nuts/peanuts, etc. - anything to raise awareness and sensitivity among the general population), at least we pretty well know what to expect, now.

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Mum of 19 year old daughter - asthma and life threatening allergies to nuts, peanuts and seafood


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2007 8:31 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 4:04 pm
Posts: 2044
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
You can even provide a link to the forum. That way they know we are talking about them - both the good and the bad. :)

K.

_________________
Karen, proud Mom of
- DS1 (12 yrs): allergic to cashews, pistachios, Brazil nuts, potatoes, some legumes, some fish, pumpkin seeds; OAS
- DS2 (1o yrs): ana. to dairy, eggs, peanuts; asthma


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2007 12:03 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:53 pm
Posts: 1454
Location: Canada
That *is* encouraging! Thanks for posting. I've avoided flying so far, but I know I probably can't forever (although how I could possibly get all my luggage on . . .including all my kitchen supplies will be another major issue!)


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