Category Archives: Air Canada - Page 2

Air Canada to Eliminate 2nd Bag Fee and Build Fuel Surcharges Into Fare…Bravo!

Gotta love Air Canada:  The airline announced that in response to lower fuel costs, they wil drop their 2nd bag fee (previously $25).  And in another consumer-friendly announcement, they will build fuel surcharges into base fares, so that if you see a $159 flight, it actually costs $159 (rather than $159 plus $30 in fuel surcharges).  I expect exactly zero other airlines to do the same, but we should give credit where it’s due.  Well done.

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JetBlue’s Added Legroom Seating Not Available from Your Travel Agent

One small additional piece of info about JetBlue’s new added-legroom seats:  although they’re likely meant to attract business travelers, the seats are not available for sale through travel agents (which is, of course, where many business travelers must purchase their tickets).  This is not the fault of JetBlue (it’s the fault of the GDSs, the tools travel agencies use to book tickets); the GDSs are based on antiquated technology that does not allow (for the most part) for airlines to sell added services such as premium seats.  Air Canada is (was?) in a pissing match with the GDSs over this very issue — the ability for airlines to sell add-ons through the travel agency channel.  In this miserable economic environment a couple of airlines have introduced innovative ways to attract more revenue, and their main technology partner (the GDSs) can’t help them actually sell the new product.  But the GDSs have little reason to innovate, as they’ve locked the airlines into long-term distribution deals and the switching costs for travel agencies are very high.  Hence, the situation we have now where airlines have saved a bit of money on GDS costs while hindering their ability to generate more revenue.

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Air Canada: Fly to Shanghai for $150 with Purchase of Flight Pass

An interesting deal from Air Canada:  purchase one of their two-month airpasses, and they’ll give you a roundtrip flight to London, Paris or Shanghai for just $150 (and that includes taxes).  Two month passes start at $549/month for unlimited flying Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays in a single geographic region.  If you’re flying to Canada quite a bit, it’s a great deal, especially when you throw in the cheap flight to Shanghai…

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Air Canada Flight Diverted After Co-Pilot Suffers Nervous Breakdown

An Air Canada flight from Toronto to London was diverted to Shannon, Ireland, after the co-pilot appeared to suffer a nervous breakdown during the flight.  According to reports, he began “acting in a peculiar manner and was talking loudly to himself” (which is normal on a subway, but not so normal in a cockpit).  The captain notified authorities at the airport that a crew member was ill, but passengers had to wait for a replacement crew before continuing the flight.

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10 Injured in Clear Air Turbulence Incident on Air Canada

If I’ve mentioned it here once, I’ve mentioned it 7 times (or more.  or less.  i don’t remember), you should be far more worried about turbulence than about whether an airline is "safe."  Case in point:  An Air Canada flight from Victoria to Toronto made an emergency landing in Calgary after 10 people were injured (6 badly) when their plane encountered turbulence.  The passengers weren’t wearing seatbelts. 

Wear your seatbelt. 

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Airline Espionage in Canada

A bit of airline espionage in Canada:  Wasaya Airways, a small Thunder Bay-based airline, has been accused by cross-town rival NAC Air of stealing a password for their airfare pricing system.  NAC noticed that every time they changed a fare, Wasaya would immediately undercut them.  The fares were primarily for Heath Canada workers flying to remote parts of Canada to provide medical care to First Nation (I believe we would call them Inuit) communities. 

Strangely, a similar accusation was made by Air Canada that a Westjet executive was hacking into their pricing systems a couple of years ago.

(Editor’s Note:  A reader correctly points out that First Nations in Northern Ontario typically refers to Cree and Ojibway, not Inuit, who are located further North.  I shall now promise never, ever to get involved with Canadian anthropology again.)

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How Air Canada Has Changed the Industry

USA Today has a good overview of the revolutionary changes Air Canada has made since a post-9/11 financial disaster.  Specifically, they simplified their fare structure, made nearly every cost associated with travel transparent (ie, reserving seats, checking bags), introduced flight passes and flight subscriptions, put entertainment in regional jets, and sold off its frequent flyer program.  You’ll note that most of those changes specifically benefit the consumer, by allowing them to pay for the parts of travel that matter to them (the ability to change tickets, etc), and not pay for the rest (I don’t care where I’m seated).  Other airlines have begun to follow suit with some of those initiatives, but no carrier has embraced a wholesale re-thinking of their business.  Bravo.

Meanwhile, Delta has launched a new ad campaign all about its revolutionary new initiatives, such as texting you your flight status (you can already text GOOGLE for your flight status), and in-flight TV (revolutionary as of 2000, when JetBlue launched it).  Delta has made huge strides, especially when it comes to flying to places where they can make money.  Well done.  But touting seatback TV seems a little odd, as its  gone-but-not-forgotten cousin Song had that long ago. 

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Blind Woman Files Complaint with Air Canada

This is an odd one, but it’s a slow news morning:

A blind woman has filed a complaint with Air Canada, after she said she was mistreated by a flight attendant on a recent flight.  She was not helped on board, slammed her head into the overhead compartment after the flight attendant pushed her, then berated by said flight attendant for not seeing the overhead compartment (not nice), then had her bags placed by her feet, where she could trip on them during the flight.  Air Canada has not responded.

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Air Canada Launches US Flight Passes

Air Canada has had a great deal of success with their flight passes in Canada – basically, you buy a book of tickets in advance that are good for flights within a certain area. 

The airline has now announced passes that originate in the US.  Passes start at about $1650, but go way up from there depending on whether you’re buying a fixed number of tickets or an unlimited pass, and where you can go with the pass.  My only issue with these is that there are so many combinations that I have no idea how you choose what to purchase.  I would definitely call Air Canada (and your travel agent, if that person knows what they’re doing), to see if this even makes sense for you.

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4 Injured in Air Turbulence Incident

People are always concerned about planes being "safe," but on a day-to-day basis, your biggest concern should be getting injured from unexpected turbulence.  For the 2nd time in a week, a bout of turbulence caused injuries on a flight.  An Air Canada flight from Shanghai to Vancouver made an emergency landing in Tokyo on Sunday after 4 flight attendants were injured when the plane encountered turbulence.  Keep your seatbelt on.  Your plane isn’t going to crash, but smacking your head on the ceiling is going to hurt like hell.

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