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Air Canada's airport check-in and call center workers go on strike

June 14, 2011|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
(Andrew Vaughan / Associated…)

Air Canada has a message for its customers: Check in online and avoid checking bags. That's the word after the airline's call center agents, airport check-in workers and gate staff went on strike Tuesday after negotiations on a new contract at the Canadian airline fell apart.

In an online statement, Air Canada says it plans to operate a full schedule even though thousands of workers represented by the Canadian Auto Workers union walked off the job. Air Canada says it has deployed 1,700 managers to help handle check-in and reservations in light of the strike.

Here's what the airline says passengers should do to avoid delays:

-- Check in online or on a mobile device up to 24 hours before the flight is scheduled to leave;

-- Avoid checking bags because it slows down the process;

-- Arrive at the airport early because lines for self-service kiosks for ticketing and baggage tags will be longer than usual.

Media reports say the contract dispute is over pension benefits and that baggage handlers, flight attendants and pilots also have been working without a contract since March 31.

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