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[READER QUESTION] Why I Do Not Write About Air Transat

I had a very bad experience with Air Transat back in 2010 and it left too much of a sour taste in my mouth. It’s one of those, if you have nothing good to say, then don’t say anything at all.

I’m still not ready to say anything good about Air Transat, but I am willing to share the reason why I have yet written about them.

Back in 2010, I was in Paris with my family. We were on our way to the airport to fly back to Canada. Our flight was at 1:00pm. Unfortunately, on our way to the airport, the entire train system was stuck. Everyone on all the trains was unable to get to the airport. People were trying to hop in taxies, and finding alternative means to the airport.

Our first mistake was that we did not put enough effort into waiving down a taxi. But when you have hundreds of people fitting for a taxi and we needed two taxis for our party of 5, there was no way we could win. They ran out of taxies so fast. So everyone had to wait for the train to be fixed.

In the end, the train was fixed and we arrived at the airport at 12:30pm, so we still had 30 minutes to check in. Unfortunately, Air Transat said it was too late for us to check in. Even worse, they told us that we cannot even get bumped to another flight. So we essentially lost our ticket and we had to purchase a new one. Unfortunately we had to wait until the following day to fly back, because that was the next flight.

We could have bought a flight with another airline, but it was less than half the price to buy back with Air Transat because they were willing to waive the tax and fuel surcharges. We ended up getting a flight early the next morning, so we do not bother leaving the airport. We were too paranoid that we would miss our flight again, so we stayed overnight in the airport. The airline was only willing to give us a $60 hotel credit. That is $60 for 5 people, not each. So that’s only $12 per person. Obviously we did not take them on the offer because that would not be enough for a room in Paris.

At the end of the day, I do feel that most of it was our fault, but Air Transat really made it miserable for us. I swore to myself that I would never fly Air Transat again (and have no done so since). This whole bad experience could have been avoided had they delayed the flight a little bit for our party of 5. They could easily explain to the passengers that the trains to the airport was delayed.

It’s too bad that I have to feel this way because the flight was fairly enjoyable and the staff was friendly. Maybe one day I can mend my fences with Air Transat, but not for the moment.

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