Final week I gave you the rundown of Air Canada’s deliberate transition to a brand new Amadeus reservation system, scheduled to happen from 8pm EST on November 18 to a while on November 19. In the course of the outage there could be no reserving providers accessible in any respect; not on-line, not by telephone, not even in individual. In fact, Aeroplan reward bookings, which depend on the Air Canada reserving system, would even be down throughout that interval.
Properly, surprising nobody, the transition hasn’t precisely been easy crusing.
On-line and kiosk check-in have been down, no less than intermittently. Some passengers have reported that their bookings have been misplaced, whereas in no less than a small variety of instances, passengers obtained itinerary data belonging to different folks. Textual content updates for flights prompt that there may be time journey. Any flights that have been cancelled whereas the system was down, together with one from Delhi to Toronto, posed a specific downside, with no mechanism for rebooking pissed off passengers.
Even on Sunday, a full week later, name centre maintain occasions have been reported nicely in extra of an hour, with many purchasers complaining of dropped calls exacerbating the issue. It typically appeared that one of the best ways to contact the airline was to complain on Twitter, loudly, and hope to obtain a DM from the social media crew.
When contacted for remark, Air Canada suggested that the conversion was accomplished by mid-day on November 19 and was functioning as anticipated. Though reserving flows had returned to regular, “a comparatively small variety of instances” have been experiencing technical points and prolonged name wait occasions, and the airline was working as shortly as doable to resolve these few issues.
The Aeroplan Wrinkle
Not one of the above is especially surprising giving the magnitude of the mission at hand – Air Canada’s system was many years previous, and expertise has superior only a wee bit since then. The true downside, and one that doesn’t but appear to be below management, is how the conversion impacts Aeroplan’s interplay with Air Canada’s reserving system.
As you could recall, from 2005 till earlier this yr, Aeroplan and Air Canada have been separate corporations. After that lengthy aside, Aeroplan has its personal system that’s separate from the Air Canada methods. Nonetheless, there was a hyperlink in place between it and the previous Air Canada system that was pretty clear to its members, so reward bookings have been fairly easy regardless that the transaction concerned two corporations.
Sadly, the Air Canada conversion broke that hyperlink and the workaround doesn’t appear to be, nicely, working round.
In concept, Aeroplan accounts have been to be paired or mirrored to the brand new system not directly, in order that they may nonetheless speak to one another. In observe, based mostly on what our crew has been listening to from fliers and shoppers, along with what social media is reporting, solely a few of these accounts have been truly migrated, whereas others are nonetheless pending.
Why is that this a difficulty? In case your account isn’t lively within the new system, you may’t redeem miles for flights. Interval. Customer support brokers report that it may well take “as much as 72 hours” for a profile to be activated to allow them to ticket from it, however the motive for that is lower than clear.
Perhaps worse, the system doesn’t present the person something is flawed till a “Flight Redemption Failure” error pops up late within the reserving course of, if the account that the system is making an attempt to drag miles from hasn’t but been activated.
In some instances, which apparently appear to trace with redemptions for airways additionally working on Amadeus, the failed itinerary is preserved and easily will get caught within the ticketing queue till the account is activated. Itineraries on non-Amadeus-using carriers, nevertheless, appear to require far more handbook dealing with to be ticketed in any respect.
As I’m certain you may think about, Aeroplan name volumes are by way of the roof, with many social media customers complaining that they’ve tried the road dozens of occasions over a number of days, however can’t even be placed on maintain, not to mention have the problem truly addressed.
Technical points occur, however this dangerous hyperlink downside is probably going much less an IT error and extra a administration choice. Air Canada is relaunching Aeroplan in June 2020, which can nearly actually embrace a brand new infrastructure for managing the brand new program.
Spending cash on the AC-AP system integration in the present day seems to be a low precedence, because the system will seemingly be out of date in 7 months. It might be an inexpensive enterprise choice, nevertheless it’s past irritating for anybody who’s making an attempt to e book a reward in the present day.
Once more, as a result of everyone knows expertise is a fickle beast, most loyal clients aren’t going to get their knickers in a knot over a conversion challenge, if communication round it’s clear and it’s evident that each one steps are being taken to treatment the issue as shortly as doable.
That hasn’t been the case right here, the place public notification of the pending outage was late, and the primary indication of a redemption downside comes late within the sport, and it’s apparent that extra sources wanted to be devoted to customer support and name centre troubleshooting.
It’s troublesome to flee the impression that Air Canada and Aeroplan gambled on the conversion being easy as silk somewhat than spend the cash to place satisfactory contingency plans in place.
For now, I’d suggest holding off on making an attempt to e book Aeroplan redemption flights that aren’t pressing and await issues to settle down and accounts to be extra absolutely migrated and activated.
How has your expertise with the Air Canada migration been up to now?