Air Canada missing the mark with a number of its policies

Air Canada’s stupid way of assigning seats for toddlers is a head-shaker. Didn’t they listen to flight attendants?

Air Canada’s stupid way of assigning seats for toddlers is a head-shaker. Didn’t they listen to flight attendants?

In one of its previous flings at a separately-branded service, Air Canada would not put people on an earlier flight if they made it to check in early.

It was a well-known maxim in the airline business that getting people into otherwise empty seats was smart business, as the later flight might be delayed or another airline want to pay for the seats when they had trouble. But some control freak in Air Canada hadn’t learned that.

Decades ago travellers preferred Canadian Pacific Airlines over Air Canada, due to better service, but CP was limited by government. Later, WestJet was able to start and prosper by serving customers who were fed up with Air Canada. Not that WestJet is perfect — it botched handling of unaccompanied minors.

Like any other business, sharp thinking, in tune with customers and reality, learning from the past without being a slave to it, are keys to success. Sound values and good thinking skills are fundamentals, as explained on the philosophy page of the profitable Branch Bank and Trust’s web site.

That’s even the case with non-profit organizations. I know of a charity with bad management that was shunned by government; fortunately it reformed, so now has a win-win relationship. I’ve encountered two others who just become profligate with actions like mailing — they developed a bureaucratic mindset.

Pertinent to your area of publishing is the Island Corridor Foundation, which hasn’t organized a market test of commuter service, and apparently doesn’t plan to until well after it gets running again if it ever does. Air Canada’s foolishness is ho-hum compared to that, because it competes in the marketplace whereas the ICF is subsidized by taxpayers.


Keith Sketchley


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