I overheard the news while eating dinner and almost ended up coughing noodles up through my nose.
As a frequent flier (for a student, anyways), there’s nothing more important to me than the service received from an airline. Fortunately, I grew up in a time when the staff was courteous, and when pillows and blankets and meals was actually included in your ticket, no matter if you’re traveling overseas or domestic.
How times has changed.
Now, I understand the whole economy of things, skyrocketing fuel costs, and major competitions between the airlines are wrecking down the profits earned by these airlines. Excellent services that I use to get no longer seems applicable. Nevertheless, airlines still need to realize that they’re not just hauling bodies across the sky, and some core services still needs to be maintained.
Air Canada, on the other hand, decides that some core services are just not worth it. Now, you’ll have to fork out $25-35 extra on top of your ticket to get assistance in terms of hotel arrangement, car rentals, and other travels, including re-booking flights when you get stranded at airports due to any unexpected delays and cancellations. This is a pretty surprising, not to mention an incredibly stupid move considering the fact that they’ve just reported a no-growth March in terms of passenger number, while West Jet continues to soar (pun totally intended).
This is almost like being asked to pay extra for the use of plates and utensils when I walk into a restaurant.
It’s true what they say, when price responds to competition we usually see a decline in service. But we’re not just talking about an extra in-flight movie or meals here. We’re talking about funding the failure of an airline to honour a purchase and sales agreement that has been in place since the beginning of the air travel industry. I personally believe that when it comes to weather related delays, airline has every right to not get their passenger a complementary hotel stay, after all, the bad weather isn’t their fault, as for mechanical failures, depends on the situations, the airline should make a decision based on the availability of flights and number of passengers for booking hotels, but food and drinks? Definitely should be provided. Instead, travelers will now pay, if it’s a mechanical failure, for their own compensation. How wrong is this picture?
Air Canada definitely needs to seriously rethink their guest-service strategies, and maybe they’ll finally see their passenger numbers go up. Until then, I have decided that I will never ride Air Canada.