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A snowplow clears ramps at Pearson airport in Toronto.

J.P. MOCZULSKI

Air Canada will now automatically notify travellers about cancelled trips through e-mail and text messaging, aiming to ease airport lineups and waits for the call centre.

The country's largest carrier will also provide details directly to consumers about rebooked flights.

"It is an unfortunate fact of life that poor weather and other events sometimes disrupt an airline's schedule but this new rebooking tool will make it easy and convenient for Air Canada customers to adjust their travel without having to line up or contact an agent," Air Canada chief operating officer Duncan Dee said in a statement Tuesday.

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"The rebooking tool will automatically notify customers when their flight has been cancelled or is expected to be cancelled, offer them an alternative flight and give them the option to choose a different flight or cancel their trip altogether."

During last winter's Christmas holidays, Air Canada was flooded with complaints after being forced to cancel or delay flights due to snowstorms.

"Air Canada's strategy is to use technology, such as web-enabled mobile devices and smart phones, including new Apple and Blackberry applications, and enhanced airport kiosks and website functions to communicate better with customers during times of disrupted operations and provide them more choices so they can plan accordingly," Mr. Dee said.

In cases where no e-mail address is on file, passenger information will be routed to call centres, Air Canada said.

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About the Author

Brent Jang is a business reporter in The Globe and Mail’s Vancouver bureau. He joined the Globe in 1995. His former positions include transportation reporter in Toronto, energy correspondent in Calgary and Western columnist for Report on Business. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Alberta, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of The Gateway student newspaper. Mr. More

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