A man and his son were removed from an Air Canada flight from Toronto to Orlando after other passengers saw them watching video of the 9/11 attacks. Passengers on the plane, which had not yet left Toronto, told flight attendants that they were not comfortable being on the plane with the passengers watching the movie about the attacks. Flight attendants confronted the man and his son, and had them removed from the plane. They were eventually cleared of any wrongdoing (?), and sent on the next flight.
Said one incredibly over-protective Air Canada employee, “I don’t know if it was the right decision…But better safe than sorry.”
Seriously, this is still going on?
Porter Airlines CEO Robert Deluce is suing Air Canada because the airline took away his and his wife’s lifetime flight pass privileges. Deluce sold his Air Ontario and Austin Airways to Air Canada in 1986, and as part of the sale he and his wife received lifetime flight passes on Air Canada.
He was surprised, then, when his flight privileges were suddenly revoked last year. He probably should not have been surprised as his Porter Airlines has been involved in legal disputes with Air Canada over access to Toronto City Airport.
For its part, an Air Canada spokesperson said that it’s not surprising Deluce would prefer to fly Air Canada (ha).
It’s a holiday weekend, so just a quick update on the pissing match between Southwest and Westjet. In short:
1) Southwest and Westjet enter into codeshare agreement, allowing Southwest passengers to transfer seamlessly to Canada.
2) Media report that Delta is transferring slots at LaGuardia to Westjet and entering into Codeshare together.
3) Depending on whom you believe, Southwest was either dragging its feet, or Westjet requested material changes to their agreement.
4) Southwest, despite its niceguy image, puts out a press release basically telling Westjet to screw off, and that they’ll find another way to serve Canada.
5) I’m not sure what that last part meant, as Westjet was the most obvious partner to serve Canada. Porter is an interesting choice, as they do serve Midway and fly into Toronto’s airport downtown. But their reach in the US is minimal. Air Canada also would be interesting, as they have done lots of innovative stuff in the past (ie, fares). However, their Star Alliance membership makes that seem unlikely.
Have a great weekend…
Air Canada has reached an agreement with the U.S. government that will allow them to continue to provide charter services to NHL teams traveling through the U.S. Officials in the U.S. had banned foreign airlines (such as Air Canada) from providing charters to Canadian teams making multiple stops in the U.S. (for example, they could bring teams from Toronto to Pittsburgh, but if the schedule required the team to then fly from Pittsburgh to Minneapolis to Dallas, that is illegal).
No word on why the government had decided to crack down on a practice that had been going on for years. Air Canada promises to ensure compliance, blah blah blah. Not often we get the intersection of airlines and hockey, but there ya go.
For the 4th time that I’m aware of , two idiots thought they had booked a trip to Sydney, Australia but ended up in Sydney, Nova Scotia. A Dutch man and his grandson booked what they thought were tickets Down Under, but it wasn’t until they departed from Halifax in a tiny plane did it occur to them that this very small aircraft would not be able to make a 9,000 mile nonstop journey. Air Canada, for their part, got them a free room at a hotel in Sydney, NS, and sent them back to Amsterdam to figure out what the hell went wrong.
You may find it a bit annoying after you buy a ticket that once you figure in the various fees for checked bags, etc, your fare is actually far more than you thought. Well, Sabre, the travel agency technology company (known as a GDS, or Global Distribution System), has an answer with their new Attribute-Based Shopping tool. This will allow travel agencies (both online and offline) to allow a passenger to see a list of fees associated with a ticket, and choose which will apply to them. That will allow them to compare the real cost of each ticket.
What does this mean for you? Travelocity will have this tool implemented in 2009 (assuming all goes according to plan). This is actually a pretty tricky thing to handle on the back end, so they may actually have a competitive advantage while other sites catch up.
(Editor’s Note: Reader Mike points out correctly that this is likely a pre-cursor to American offering an Air Canada-like menu pricing structure, where the passenger picks out the services she wants. This new tool will allow for that…)
In case you are obese and were annoyed at having to pay for two seats on a plane, you’re in luck: move to Canada. The Canadian Supreme Court ruled that Air Canada cannot charge obese passengers for two seats if they cannot fit in one. However, they will still have to buy two inflight meals.
As part of its integration with Northwest, Delta is changing some of its fees — you’ll be happy to know they are actually eliminating some:
- No more curbside check-in fees ($3 in your pocket)
- No more fuel surcharges on award tickets (up to $100 in your pocket)
- Reducing telephone booking fee to $20 from $25 ($5 in your pocket)
- Adding a first checked bag fee ($15 from your pocket). However, elite members and business class customers get free checked baggage.
Nice that they’re getting rid of the nuisance fees and it’s not particularly surprising that they’re adding a first checked bag fee.
Keep in mind, I predict that within 18 months airlines will move to an Air Canada-type fee structure where you’ll start with a base fare that just gets you a seat, and you’ll pay to add additional perks on top of that (frequent flyer miles, checked bags, meals, etc).
An Edmonton woman has filed an $85,000 lawsuit against Air Canada after a flight attendant spilled an unspecified hot beverage on her (by accident) during a flight from Vancouver to London. The plaintiff claims that her “inner thighs and pubic area” were burned when the flight attendant spilled the aforementioned drink. She also says her vacation was ruined because of the emotional stress she suffered after spilling her drink.
I believe this speaks for itself.
The AP is reporting that American Airlines will move to an a la carte pricing model in 2009, mirroring the pricing scheme that Air Canada has had in place for about 5 years. You will complain initially, but in the end you will agree with me that it’s the best option. The short version is that you will pay for a base fare, with everything else added on (or subtracted). Assuming it works just like Air Canada (and details are not yet available), you’ll pay a couple of dollars less if you don’t check a bag. You’ll pay more if you want full frequent flyer miles. And so on. If you want really cheap, they’ll give it to you – but you’ll only be getting the flight. Trust me, it’s the fairest way to go without feeling nickel and dimed. The biggest issue for Air Canada is that the GDSs – the systems travel agents use to book tickets – have not been able to support this pricing structure. Sabre (the largest GDS in the US) says they have solved that problem, but it remains to be seen. More details will come in the next few months…
Look for other airlines to match. Until times get good again, and then everything will be thrown out the window.