Special Pointshogger Contributor Shirley Huang recently visited the state of Nevada flying Air Canada Rouge for the very first time. She describes the experience she had with the new airline.
This is the first time I had flown with Air Canada Rouge (from Ottawa-YOW to Las Vagas-LAS). Since flying Air Canada to our destination would clock in over 500 Aeroplan miles for me, I decided it was an ideal choice. Previously I had read some articles which suggested that this flight team would be one of the most modern and youngest of the Air Canada line. I was pretty ecstatic to see how this would differ from the regular Air Canada airlines. While waiting in our tiny airport at YOW, it would be inevitable for us to see the flight crew board the airplane in which we would be sitting in minutes after.
Shortly enough, from a distance we see a wave of maroon coloured figures walking straight towards our direction. Wearing their trendy “trilby” hats, floral scarves, maroon tops and grey dress bottoms, the Air Canada Rouge team was definitely designed to create sound in the Air Canada brand. With their heads held up high and each footstep skillfully coordinated for the catwalk stage, it reminded me like a group of individuals trying their best to exceed the preliminary rounds of Miss International (or rather something similar).
As I step foot onto the Boeing 767, I was quietly greeted by one of the model figures; standard procedure, there wasn’t anything outstanding to that. Prior to take-off, you’ll always have a flight attendant teach you how to respond if the air flight runs into danger. This is also a standard procedure; however, for Air Canada Rouge, we had 4 flight attendants positioned every few meters on the aisle of the average sized aircraft. I found this a little overwhelming; also, the fact that every few seconds during the demonstration one would turn around to laugh and smile at the other. Overall, a little unprofessional in my opinion.
As the aircraft rolls out of its terminal and makes its way to its designated take-off area, the flight attendants come around to check if seatbelts are on and seats are in an upright position. Personally, I like to set my phone and tablet onto “Airplane Mode” instead of turning them off, in which I thought it meant that this would enable me to keep my devices on during the course of take-off. Consequently, this did not seem to be the case. As one of the maroon figured attendants walked by me during their pre-take off check, she stops and tells me that I needed to take out the earphone I had put in my ear and turn off my device (while my tablet was stowed away in the slot in front of my seat). I was also quite stunned she had made the assumption that my device was on. If this is their way of being professional, I didn’t feel it at all in their tone and attitude.
One of the greatest things about a long flight is the movies they introduce to me; however, I realized after take-off that not only were the little monitors in the seat in front of me completely taken out, but also we were to pay a fee to rent their iPads and download an app which would allow us to watch the movies we were originally entitled to from the first day I started flying (which was over a decade ago).
The rest of the flight was peaceful, if there’s one positive word I should use. All-in-all, compared to most Air Canada flights, the attitude and professionalism on the Air Canada Rouge flights still need some work. I mean, it all comes with experience. After all, these individuals seem to be the youngest members of the Air Canada team. Until they make some improvements on the products and services, I don’t think I’ll be flying with Air Canada Rouge again, even if it means I’ll be losing out on Aeroplan miles. You’re better off earning West Jet Rewards with their free loyalty program; if you’re a frequent flyer, you can earn up to 2.5% back on WestJet flights. Aside from WestJet, if you can find a way to connect through American Airlines/U.S. Airways, Delta Airlines or United Airlines to get the Las Vegas.