Air Canada Rouge — A Pictorial Guide to An Airline That Needs Some Deep Cleaning

Last week, I provided a business and personal travel review about a recent transatlantic trip on Air Canada Rouge — Air Canada’s “discount” airline-within-an-airline. After hearing from a number of people who have also “been rouged” — a new verb which I might define as “thinking that you are flying Air Canada when you are really flying a completely different airline that looks for the oldest, most inexpensive planes to fly and then only partially updates them" — I thought I’d shared some pictures from my recent trip. Enjoy the visual tour.

Gum, Gum and More Gum — The amount of gum on the floor (and other areas) of the Air Canada Rouge flight was really perplexing. Here is a picture of an old piece of gum on the aisle way in front of my seat.

photo 1

Old Bathrooms — The wear and tear in the bathrooms really showed the age of the aircraft.

photo 2

photo 3

We Don’t Touch That — Many airlines have flight attendants do a light freshening of the lavatories in mid-flight. Evidently the lovely flight attendants (they were very nice, mind you) at Air Canada Rouge did not get the memo. Here is a picture taken six hours into a nine-hour flight.

photo 4

Dirty Vents — Here’s a picture of a floor vent in the first seat of economy. No zoom needed to see the years of dirt accumulation.

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Filth! — Upon sitting in a seat, seeing this was shocking. The gaps around the floor had not been cleaned in what appeared to be months or years. Nothing in any of these photos was manipulated or enhanced. This is how it actually looked in the first window seat in coach on an Air Canada Rouge 767 flying from Rome to Montreal.

photo 4

Don’t Put Your Book in Here — It appears no one had bothered to fix the back of the holding sack in the first row of coach. Not that this mattered — given all the grime, it would not be advisable to put any items in your possession in a working holder anyway.

photo 5

I dare you to clean me — here’s a close-up of the grime in the seat handle in the first row of economy. Notice the diversity of food particles, dirt, rust, and little hairs.

photo 1

This concludes our pictorial tour of an Air Canada Rouge flight flying from Rome to Montreal in August 2014. After washing your hands in solidarity, click here for my original write-up of the experience.

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Voices (7)

  1. Ric:

    Think on this…What is “Rouge”? It is make-up to cover and brighten up any flaws underneath. Ironic that they would pick that name don’t you think?

  2. Dorothy Wollitzer:

    I am mainly concerned with the statement that Rouge has the oldest and cheapest planes. That is scary particularly when they pass themselves off as Air Canada. We are taking a flight to Venice and were initially told it was an Air Canada Flight. It is! to Toronto and then we must change to Air Rouge. for the flight to Venice. We had already booked and paid for this flight when we found out. I am worried about the safety of these old planes. Are my fears justified? I feel like we were tricked into it.

    1. Eric:

      There are lots of old planes flying around, and Canadian maintenance standards are high, you might have more delays because the planes are old, but they are not going to fall out of the sky.

  3. Spencer:

    One very important thing to note is that years ago, Air Canada already had a low-cost subsidiary, called Tango (along with other airlines, namely United’s Ted and Delta’s Song) that failed from the start. I am actually very surprised that they would bother starting up another low-cost airline, considering that:

    A) They already tried, and failed
    B) Air Transat and Westjet, 2 Canadian low-cost airlines are doing very well

    I am interested to see if this venture will fail as with Tango or maybe succeed.

    P.S. – I totally agree with getting Rouged. My co-worker and his wife wanted to go to Barcelona, and chose full-service Air Canada, but were downgraded to Rouge, with NO refund!

  4. Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3:

    I’m nauseated just looking at the photos. I don’t wanna imagine what it would be like to experience that in person! Thanks for the warning!

  5. 123:

    News flash: It isn’t the flight attendants job to clean the bathrooms and gum up off the floor

    1. Src:

      And where did the author say FAs should clean up gum? He mentioned them in the context of the lavatories.

      Maybe AC FAs aren’t contractually obligated to clean the lavs–fine. But it is true that on truly world-class airlines, FAs do spruce up the lavs. In F class, often after every time a passenger uses them.

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