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By VINAY MENONEntertainment Columnist
Fri., May 11, 2018
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In the future, if Air Canada ever charges me for soggy chicken alfredo, loses my Samsonite, bumps me from a flight, kills my cat, runs out of Grey Goose, damages my MacBook, sits me next to a screaming baby or does anything even mildly annoying, I’m going to invoke the name of C.J. Poirier and raise bloody hell.

“Excuse me? You gave that lovestruck teen from Michigan a free flight and now you’re charging me 30 bucks to rent a filthy tablet so I can watch an Avengers movie in which the audio is garbled as I lose circulation in my legs because I’m jammed into a middle-row seat smaller than my daughter’s first highchair while I nibble on $10 peanuts that taste like gravel? Are you kidding?”

I’m telling you, Air Canada does not realize what it has just done.

It has given every customer another reason to grumble about Air Canada.

On Friday, in what may be the most useless and idiotic PR stunt in airline history, Air Canada awarded a free flight to Poirier. Why? So the 19-year-old American can travel to Newfoundland and meet his girlfriend, Becca.

This is a feel-good story that feels utterly ridiculous.

What’s next, Air Canada? Are you going to hold a contest and hand out a boarding pass to someone who doesn’t live near a Taco Bell but is really jonesing for a Nacho Crunch Double Layer Taco? How about a free ride to NYC for someone who wants to loiter inside Rihanna’s new pop-up lingerie store? I’d love a ticket to Winnipeg so I can cheer on the Jets in the next round of the playoffs — what say you?

This foolish tale of teen love and corporate marketing started earlier this month when Poirier reached out to Air Canada on Twitter. How many retweets would it take, he asked, for a round-trip ticket from Detroit to Deer Lake?

Air Canada’s response: 530,000 (population of Newfoundland and Labrador).

So Poirier kicked off his #530KforBecca campaign. And he failed miserably. By the deadline earlier this week, he was stalled at about 30,000 retweets. He didn’t even hit 10 per cent of the target. Imagine if Nike said it would give you a free pair of Air Max 270s every year for life if you could jog “from Toronto to Montreal” and then quickly altered the route to “from the CN Tower to the Eaton Centre.”

That is exactly what Air Canada did. The fix was in from the start. So it kept changing the rules to ensure Poirier “earned” his free flight and, more crucially, it earned some free publicity. After Air Canada tried and failed to lure Justin Trudeau and Drake into its little stunt — you know a social media campaign is DOA if you can’t rouse those two publicity hounds — the carrier invented new ways to nudge Poirier past the 530,000 figure it made up, even though he’s stillnot past 32,000.

If Poirier was an Uber driver and Air Canada was the passenger, it would give him a 5-star rating after he crashed into a tree. I’m afraid this free flight just proves Air Canada doesn’t care about rules, something to keep in mind next time you’re rudely informed your carry-on bag is too big.

If the airline was so keen to give a free flight to someone for the sake of publicity, shouldn’t it have at least found a more worthy cause? Surely there is a Canadian out there who can’t afford to attend a funeral for a distant loved one. Surely there is a Canadian out there who has a rare disease and doesn’t live within driving distance of a specialist. In fact, if you start a list of Good Reasons For Free Flights — unemployed single parent with a job interview in a different city, charity outreach, reunion with a long lost twin — “young love” doesn’t crack the Top 100.

No offense to Poirier: he is just 19! He’s never met Becca in real life! Teenage love can be emotionally intense. But it’s also wildly fickle. This “relationship” could be over before Poirier boards the return flight to Michigan. He dropped out of college and is a Starbucks barista. If anything, Air Canada should have offered him free tuition if he goes back to school so there’s less of a chance he’ll eventually sneak into Canada and end up on social assistance.

I understand the airlines must be desperate for good news.

From passengers getting beaten and dragged off flights to mysterious deaths of giant rabbits to lost vintage guitars to horror stories at every stage of the air travel experience, when the industry makes news these days, it tends to be bad.

So you can’t blame Air Canada for trying to rustle up some positive vibes.

Unfortunately, this free flight only makes the rest of us remember all the things we never get while flying. This is one sweet gesture that feels like a slap in the face.

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kills my cat, runs out of Grey Goose

 

Yup two are really comparable.

I guess that he actually does not give a crap about his cat.

Stupid. two bit reporters.

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3 minutes ago, Fido said:

 

Yup two are really comparable.

I guess that he actually does not give a crap about his cat.

Stupid. two bit reporters.

At this point. I'm liking this story. ?

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"Entertainment Columnist"

Really? Entertainment? For who? Short on ideas I think...

No ideas? Bash AC with things I make up... not much credibility with the complaints here...

How did they damage your macbook? kill your cat? tablet rentals aren't $30 on rouge. Were you on rouge? which doesn't have duty free, so did they really run out of overpriced vodka? and why didn't you use your macbook instead of renting a tablet? if you were on mainline, why didn't you enjoy the seatback entertsinment and pre:order your overpriced/overrated vodka? speaking of thinking ahead, middle seat? somebody has to sit there, I guess you didn't do preselected seating which is available. 

Oh, and worthy free flights?

Like the kids and families that AC and the employees have taken to Disney for the past 28 years from 8 different Canadian cities?

Like the disaster relief flights it has operated in efforts from Japan to Haiti?

Like the free tickets it gives to support humanitarian agencies?

Or maybe the school supplies and clothing it ships, and support it offers through the Air Canada Foundation to communities around the world?

Major credibility issues from this "reporter".

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This story is funny as the reporter is just another typical passenger who complans about anything most likely not just Air Canada. The Air Canada free ticket on Twitter was a fun feel good thing to do in a time were we don’t get that much fun from the media every day. This was taken right out of the 20 year old Westjet playbook, which they don’t use as much. Must be the pressure of labour issues and trying to be everything to everyone is catching up with the not so little airline that could. 

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  • 1 month later...
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Air Canada Foundation Netted More Than $1,000,000 to Help Canadian Children's Charities Français


News provided by

Air Canada Foundation

14:05 ET MONTREAL, July 10, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - The Air Canada Foundation's seventh annual golf tournament netted over $1,000,000 in support of organizations focused on the health and well-being of children in Canada.  The tournament took place Monday, July 9 at the Saint Raphaël Golf Club in Ile-Bizard, Quebec, and featured close to 350 attendees from around the world. It included a full day of golf followed by a cocktail-style dinner, as well as silent and live auctions of items donated by tournament partners and Air Canada Foundation supporters.

 

"The overwhelming generosity of Air Canada's partners and friends has once again made the Air Canada Foundation's golf tournament a huge success with over $1 million raised," said Priscille LeBlanc, Chair of the Air Canada Foundation. "We also appreciate the tireless work of Air Canada employee volunteers who helped organize and facilitate the event, which was once again a sellout, allowing the majority of the funds raised to directly benefit children in need. On behalf of all the children and their families whose lives are touched by the Foundation, I thank our loyal sponsors, participants and volunteers for their on-going generosity and support."

Two young boys – Justin and Kaleb – who benefited from the support provided by the Air Canada Foundation played an important role during the day by manning the highly coveted lemonade stand. They helped raise a record amount of $11,713.50 for the Foundation as they enticed golfers with their refreshming lemonade on a sunny day.

The Air Canada Foundation was proud to welcome AMADEUS as Presenting Partner of this year's event, which was supported by more than 100 Canadian, American and international corporations and organizations.

This year's Patrons of Honour are:

AAR

 

Citi

 

KPMG

Air Canada

 

Jazz Aviation LP

 

Macquarie Bank

Air Georgian

 

Exxon Mobil

 

Rockwell Collins

SAP Ariba

 

GA Telesis

 

Sky Regional Airlines

Bell Canada

 

GE Aviation

 

Visa Canada

Bombardier

 

HSBC

   

CIBC Capital Markets

 

Airbase Canada

   

As a registered not-for-profit organization, the Air Canada Foundation's mission is to help connect sick children to the medical care they need, grant children's wishes and alleviate child poverty.

In 2017, the Air Canada Foundation granted over $5.4 million (financial and in-kind) to support Canadian registered charities. Funds were donated to programs or projects submitted by eligible registered charitable organizations in line with the Air Canada Foundation's mission.

Financial donations

The Air Canada Foundation provided financial support for a total amount of $1,585,300 to 50 registered charities across Canada. Some of the initiatives we helped support include:

  • Children with special needs in summer camps were treated to a more enjoyable experience thanks to Reach (formerly known as Reach for the Rainbow), which purchased adaptive equipment to ensure accessibility and security for them
  • The Sainte-Justine Hospital, through Bye-Bye Allergies, opened its oral immunotherapy clinic and address severe food allergies
  • The country's largest pediatric hospitals received more Fun Centres thanks to the support of the Starlight Children's Foundation Canada
  • Three Aboriginal schools received the support of the Breakfast Club of Canada, which covered food and kitchen equipment purchases

In-Kind Support

  • Enabled eight Dreams Take Flight trips from across Canada (Halifax, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Vancouver) for a magical day at Disney.
  • 1,348 round trip airline tickets were donated to more than 350 charitable organizations in support their fundraising initiatives.
  • Partnership with the RCMP Child Recovery Program to ensure the safe return of missing children.
  • The Air Canada Foundation Hospital Transportation Program donated over 6.65 million Aeroplan Miles to 15 pediatric hospitals across Canada allowing children to access medical care not available in their own communities.
  • The Air Canada Foundation Volunteer Involvement Program, which was designed to recognize the active involvement of employees in their own communities, awarded a pair of airline tickets to 80 charitable organizations for their fundraising events.
    The charitable organizations supported by the Volunteer Involvement Program include:
    • BC – Family Services of the North Shore
    • BC / QC – Canadian Cancer Society
    • QC – Fondation de l'Institut de Cardiologie de Montréal
    • QC – Families for Children
    • ON – Kids Connection Haiti
    • ON ­– Spinal Cord Injury Ontario
    • ON – Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Ontario
    • ON – Canadian Diabetes Association
    • MB ­– Manitoba Riding for the Disabled Association
    • NL – Newfoundland and Labrador Down Syndrome Society
    • NL – Young Adult Cancer Canada
    • AB – Salvation Army Kate Booth House
    • NB – St. Joseph's Hospital Foundation of Saint John

About the Air Canada Foundation

The Air Canada Foundation, a not-for-profit organization focused on the health and well-being of children and youth, was launched in 2012. It offers both financial and in-kind support, through travel assistance, to Canadian registered charities.  Core programs include the Hospital Transportation Program which donates Aeroplan Miles to pediatric hospitals across Canada enabling children to access medical care unavailable locally and the Volunteer Involvement Program which recognizes the involvement of employees in their local community by providing airline tickets to the registered charities in support of their fundraising initiatives.  The Foundation, in collaboration with the airline, also engages directly in fundraising activities such as the Every Bit Counts program, which encourages customers to donate loose change of all denominations onboard flights or through airport collection containers. The Foundation also offers continued support to major health-related causes that benefit Canadians and is an active participant in international humanitarian relief activity as the need arises.  For more information about the Air Canada Foundation, please visit www.aircanada.com/foundation or the 2016 Corporate Sustainability Report, Citizens of the World, online at www.aircanada.com/csr.

 

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