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'A brutal summer': Air Canada paying the price for airport chaos

Shares have fallen 23% in three months for second biggest decline in the Bloomberg Americas Airlines Index

Author of the article:

Bloomberg News
Bloomberg News
Ana Paula Barreto Pereira
Publishing date:
Jul 11, 2022  •  22 hours ago  •  3 minute read  •ple wait in line to check in at Pearson International Airport in Toronto. PHOTO BY NATHAN DENETTE /THE CANADIAN PRESS

 

Air Canada’s hope for a strong recovery in 2022 has been foiled by chaos at Canada’s biggest airports.

Travellers are back in big numbers as the summer vacation season kicks off. But Toronto’s Pearson International Airport has descended into scenes of long lines and a sea of luggage, and the nation’s largest airline is paying the price.

About 65 per cent of Air Canada flights tracked by FlightAware.com were delayed on Friday and Saturday, again making it one of the worst-performing airlines in the aviation website’s daily rankings. More than half of Pearson departures — for all airlines — took off late on those two days, the site said. Nearly half of departures from Montreal’s Trudeau International were delayed on Saturday.

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CANADIAN AVIATION NEWS

CANADIAN AIRLINE AND INDUSTRY NEWS

Air Canada and United Airlines Expand Relationship to Make Transborder Travel Easier, With More Choice

Expanded relationship to bring more flights, improved schedule coordination and shared reward benefits between the MileagePlus and Aeroplan loyalty programs

Air Canada and United Airlines Expand Relationship to Make Transborder Travel Easier, With More Choice (CNW Group/Air Canada)

MONTREAL, July 22, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada and United Airlines today announced a joint business agreement for the Canada-U.S. transborder market, building on their long-standing alliance, that will give more flight options and better flight schedules to customers traveling between the two countries. Customers will be able to connect to 38 codeshare destinations in the U.S. and eight of the most popular cities in Canada — all while enjoying the benefits of the carriers’ MileagePlus® and Aeroplan loyalty programs. The agreement will also strengthen and grow both carriers’ networks and help accelerate their COVID-19 recovery.

“United is a world-class airline and we are pleased to significantly expand our well-established partnership to further enhance the customer journey between Canada and the U.S. by offering more choice, greater convenience and an improved airport experience,” said Mark Galardo, Senior Vice President of Network Planning and Revenue Management at Air Canada. “This agreement marks a new phase in our evolving relationship that will speed the recovery from the pandemic and strengthen both carriers. It will also enable us to optimize our hubs and schedules and to broaden our global network connectivity to maintain our leadership in the market.”

“With this new agreement, we are further strengthening our long-standing partnership with Air Canada,” said Patrick Quayle, Senior Vice President of Global Network Planning and Alliances at United. “As international travel continues to recover, this expanded partnership will provide an enhanced experience for all transborder travel.”

Customers who search for flights between the U.S. and Canada on United’s or Air Canada’s websites and apps will find more flight options scheduled at more convenient times. Codeshare between the two carriers will also be expanded and members of both the MileagePlus and Aeroplan programs will have more accrual and redemption options.

In 2019, the U.S.-Canada transborder market was the second largest international passenger air transportation market in the world and the largest international market for both Canada and the U.S., as measured by seats.

Air Canada and United already cooperate in the transborder market, according to the terms of their existing U.S. antitrust immunity. Under the joint business agreement, subject to compliance with U.S. and Canadian regulatory and antitrust requirements, the two airlines will now be able to:

  • Coordinate their networks and schedules, enabling the carriers to offer customers more choice, including more flights throughout the day and more access to each airline’s seat inventory.
  • Enhance codeshare on transborder flights, excluding certain U.S. leisure markets and territories. The carriers anticipate customers will be able to connect to 46 transborder codeshare destinations with more than 400 daily frequencies in 2022 – with opportunities to add more codeshare destinations for domestic routes within Canada and the U.S.
  • Sell seats on each other’s transborder flights and share revenue on flights between hub markets (where regulatory authorities and antitrust requirements allow), allowing the carriers to grow their overall capacities.
  • Align customer policies for greater consistency and enable the seamless provision of onboard products, establish airport co-locations where available and provide extra value to each carriers’ frequent flyer programs.
  • Allow the two carriers to work closer together to advance their sustainability objectives.

The implementation of an expanded partnership builds on the existing close cooperation of the two carriers and previously acquired regulatory approvals. United and Air Canada are also founding members of Star Alliance and a transatlantic joint business agreement with the Lufthansa Group.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just goes to show that when allowing a relative to travel on your passes, you must make sure they understand the pass policy. 

Quote

Air Canada revoked a worker's flying privileges after her daughter complained about poor service

7 hours ago
 
  • Air Canada revoked an employee's flying privileges after her daughter complained.
  • The woman was upset that her mother was being punished for an issue between her and Air Canada.
  • The airline said the employee broke its code by allowing a family member to file a grievance. 

 

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20 hours ago, Kargokings said:

Just goes to show that when allowing a relative to travel on your passes, you must make sure they understand the pass policy. 

 

Whenever I give out travel privileges to whom ever, on top of a guide for a dress code above and beyond what the rules are…..it comes with a speech that goes something like this….maybe not exactly that direct but they know where they stand if they ever want to use a pass again.

 

 

8AF34BCE-845D-4DAB-BA16-5098EE9C46EF.jpeg

C935C2DB-70D8-4FEE-8618-291D581D03F2.png

Edited by Jaydee
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Air Canada Revokes Employee Travel Privileges - One Mile at a Time

Quote

Air Canada Revokes Ridiculously Entitled Person’s Employee Travel Privileges

  • Ben Schlappig
  • 2 hours ago
  •  8
 
 

One of the awesome benefits of working in the airline industry is that you get travel privileges. However, some people don’t seem to get that this comes with certain expectations related to conduct and how to behave.

Why Air Canada revoked employee’s travel perks

Some people don’t seem to know when to stop. The daughter of an Air Canada employee is complaining to the media after her mother’s employee travel privileges with the airline were suspended.

The woman claims that she filed a complaint with the airline after receiving what she deemed to be poor customer service by ground staff while traveling with her mother’s employee travel privileges. The woman not only emailed senior officials at the airline, but also copied media outlets. The woman also allegedly misrepresented herself as a revenue customer, rather than someone traveling on employee privileges.

Both the 62-year-old Air Canada employee (who is an administrator) and her daughter have had their travel privileges with the airline suspended for a period of two years due to this incident. The woman claims that the travel privileges are one of the main reasons her mother worked for Air Canada, and she’s worried that her mother might lose her job if the situation escalates.

Now the woman is going to the media again to complain about the treatment she and her mother received, with having their privileges suspended:

“I had a really like sickening feeling when my mother told me what they did to her. It’s one thing for me to be reprimanded, but it’s totally different for my actions impacting my mom.”

The employee allegedly went to the union to try to protest this decision, but the union stated there was nothing that could be done, and suggested she apologize to the airline to reduce her penalty.

An Air Canada spokesperson issued the following statement regarding this situation:

“We deal with our employees directly on internal matters. However, we can confirm employee travel is a special privilege and a unique and generous perk of working for an airline that comes with responsibilities which the overwhelming majority of employees and families understand and value.

“We take feedback about our services seriously. In fact, we undertook an investigation into the complaint lodged, and subsequently found facts which did not align with what was presented.”

 Air Canada suspended an employee’s travel privileges

This is RIDICULOUS

We obviously don’t know the substance of the complaint that was filed with Air Canada. However, no matter how you slice it, the daughter of the employee crossed the line, and keeps digging herself (and her mother) a deeper hole:

  • When you take advantage of employee travel perks, you have to agree to certain terms and codes of conduct
  • Even if she had a legitimate complaint, you can’t misrepresent yourself as a paying customer, and you shouldn’t try to get media involved in trying to solve an internal issue
  • She’s outraged that her mom is being reprimanded for her actions; that’s how it works when you take advantage of employee travel privileges
  • Even the union made it clear that nothing could be done to defend the employee, and that she should just apologize
  • Even after all this happened, the woman is still trying to go to the media to complain about the outcome of this, claiming she fears her mother could now lose her job (which very well could happen if she keeps this up)

The level of entitlement here is kind of mind-boggling. Unfortunately this isn’t the first time we’ve seen someone traveling with non-rev perks act this way, and it’s also why some airline employees are hesitant to extend travel privileges to friends & family, since they fear this kind of behavior.

This behavior is literally the definition of looking a gift horse in the mouth…

 This traveler doesn’t seem to understand what a privilege is

Bottom line

While airline employee travel privileges are awesome, they come with certain behavior expectations. I think the daughter of this Air Canada employee is the perfect example of how not to act when you’re traveling with airline benefits.

The fact that this person is still trying to go to the media to essentially mediate is a very odd approach to take, if you ask me… I don’t see this ending well for her or her mother.

 

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13 minutes ago, Specs said:

Lets not forget that we're talking airline employees here.  

It was the daughter of the employee who is the entitled one. There is nothing g in the article to even suggest the employee was aware and/or approved of the daughter’s complaints to management and media

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4 hours ago, neverminds said:

It was the daughter of the employee who is the entitled one. There is nothing g in the article to even suggest the employee was aware and/or approved of the daughter’s complaints to management and media

Fair enough.  I will delete my comment

 

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Air Canada Misses Estimates Amid Second Quarter Airport Chaos

800x-1.jpg

Tue Aug 2, 2022 - Bloomberg News
By Mathieu Dion

Air Canada reported results below estimates in the second quarter, a period in which the global aviation industry could not meet passenger demand.

Operating revenue was nearly five times the same quarter as 2021, when Covid-related travel restrictions were still in place, at C$3.98 billion ($3.1 billion), but short of the C$4.02 billion expected by Bloomberg’s consensus estimates. The company also recorded a C$1.60 net loss per share, about double what analysts predicted.

“Despite meticulous planning and projecting, participants involved in the air transport system are facing significant pressure in restarting,” said Michael Rousseau, President and Chief Executive Officer of Air Canada. “We acknowledge the inconveniences and disruptions some of our customers have faced, and we deeply regret this. This is not business as usual.”

Canada’s largest airline had to cut dozens of daily flights amid labor shortages and wider airport disruptions. For the quarter, Air Canada still managed to increase its available seat miles, a measure of airlines’ capacity, about five times from the same period in 2021. That was in line with projections made in April. Capacity was still 73% of levels in the second quarter of 2019.

Air Canada hopes to regain 74% of its 2019 available seat miles capacity this year.

In late June, the airline had to cancel about 154, or 8%, of its scheduled flights per day in July and August.

Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, Air Canada’s biggest hub, was recently ranked the world’s worst for delays, according to flight tracking service FlightAware.

As of last Friday, Air Canada had slightly underperformed its peers since the start of the year with a negative return of -17.66%. 

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On 7/31/2022 at 8:31 AM, Kargokings said:

Just goes to show that when allowing a relative to travel on your passes, you must make sure they understand the pass policy. 

 

The dingbat daughter never learned that when you find yourself in a hole, it’s tough to get out when you keep digging it deeper.

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  • 1 month later...

Air Canada ordered to pay passengers $2,000 for flight cancellation caused by crew shortage

Crew shortages are generally within an airline's control, Canada's transport regulator says

air-canada.jpg

Thu Sep 15, 2022 - CBC News
by Sophia Harris

A recent ruling by Canada's transport regulator in favour of two Air Canada passengers whose flight was delayed is the latest development in the ongoing battle over whether airlines must compensate passengers for flight disruptions caused by crew shortages. 

In a decision published on Aug. 25, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) ordered Air Canada to compensate passenger Lisa Crawford and her son $1,000 each following a flight cancellation that delayed their August 2021 trip from their home city of Fort St. John, B.C., to Halifax by almost 16 hours.

According to the CTA, Air Canada initially told Crawford the flight cancellation was caused by a crew shortage linked to COVID-19, and was safety-related — so she wasn't eligible for compensation. 

The airline's response prompted Crawford to take her case to the CTA, a quasi-judicial tribunal.

"Staffing and other aspects of operations are the employer's responsibility to manage," said Crawford in an email to CBC News. 

The CTA agreed, stating in its decision that Air Canada failed to provide evidence "establishing that the crew shortage was unavoidable despite proper planning," so Crawford and her son must be compensated.

Under Canada's Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR), airlines only have to pay compensation — up to $1,000 per passenger — if a flight cancellation or delay is within the airline's control and not required for safety reasons. 

"I was thrilled with the CTA's finding," said Crawford, though she and others question if the case will carry much weight.

"Given the ongoing disagreement on how the regulations are to be interpreted and/or applied, I believe the real outcome for my case and likely many others, remains to be seen," said Crawford. 

Court battles raise questions

According to the CTA, it has received 13,743 air passenger complaints since May 1, of which 87 per cent are related to flight disruptions.

The CTA's ruling in the WestJet case, issued on July 8, was supposed to help clear the air on some of those compensation disputes.

In that case, WestJet initially denied passenger Owen Lareau of Ottawa compensation for a cancelled flight, stating it "was impacted due to flight crew member availability and required for safety purposes."

In its decision, the CTA clarified that staffing issues typically warrant compensation because, in general, they are an airline's responsibility and can't be categorized as a safety matter. 

The agency also ordered WestJet to pay Lareau $1,000. 

"Training and staffing are within airline control and therefore crew shortages are within airline control, unless there's compelling evidence" to the contrary, said CTA spokesperson Tom Oommen in an interview. "It's a high threshold."

But in a motion filed in the Federal Court of Appeal on Aug. 10, WestJet argued that, according to the APPR, the CTA can't presume crew shortages warrant compensation and then put the onus on airlines to disprove it. 

Consumer advocate and lawyer, John Lawford said WestJet is offering a narrow reading of the rules, and that the CTA ruling in July set out to clarify them.

"[The airline is] saying, 'That's nice, the actual wording of the regulations is all we will follow and we're going to court.' "

WestJet, the CTA and passenger Lareau have each declined to comment on the case.

"They're going to continue down this path until they're told otherwise," said Gradek, a lecturer and program co-ordinator for the aviation management program at McGill University.

"They'll keep trying to get away without paying, because it is a very serious expense."

'Minister should be spanking these guys'

CBC News asked Air Canada if, like WestJet, it planned to appeal the CTA's ruling that it must pay Crawford and her son compensation. 

Spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick replied that the airline was unable to comment as it's still reviewing the ruling.

But Air Canada is already taking part in a legal battle that calls into question Canada's compensation regulations. The airline is one of more than a dozen applicants, including the International Air Transport Association, which filed a motion in 2019 to appeal the APPR.

In that case, which is still before the Federal Court of Appeal, the applicants argue the regulations are "invalid" for international flights because they differ from the Montreal Convention, a treaty adopted by many countries — including Canada — which establishes airline liability for flight disruptions. 

"I suspect before Christmas, we will find out from the Federal Court of Appeal if the entire APPR regime gets tossed or not," said Lawford, executive director of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre.

Some travellers say they’re being denied compensation for cancelled Air Canada flights as the airline claims the flight disruptions were 'due to crew constraints' and beyond their control.

Lawford said federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra should assist passengers with compensation claims by sending a stern message to airlines that they must abide by the compensation rules set out by the CTA.

"The Minister should be spanking these guys, these airlines, and saying, 'How dare you, how dare you screw up my regulations,'" said Lawford.

Since August, Alghabra has repeatedly issued public warnings to airlines that they must follow the rules. 

"Passengers have rights and they need to be respected," he said in a statement just last week. "We will continue to protect the interests of passengers when travel doesn't go according to plan."

But, so far, the warnings haven't curtailed the flood of air passenger complaints pouring in to the CTA; it currently faces a backlog of more than 23,000 grievances. 

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Air Canada ‘temporarily suspending’ YK flights to Calgary, Edmonton

Published: September 22, 2022 at 10:09amCAITRIN PILKINGTON


Air Canada has quietly made a significant change to its daily Yellowknife flight schedule that means non-stop flights to Calgary and Edmonton will soon disappear.

Over the past week, passengers booked on forthcoming flights involving Yellowknife and either Edmonton or Calgary received notices that they will be re-routed through Vancouver.

Approached for comment by Cabin Radio, Air Canada said the change would not be permanent but did not state when passengers can expect flights to resume.

 

“Non-stop flights will be temporarily suspended from Yellowknife to Edmonton starting October 1 and to Calgary starting November 1,” an Air Canada representative wrote in an email to Cabin Radio.

“Affected passengers are being offered travel options including rebooking over YVR.”

The airline gave no clear reason for the shift.

“We made some seasonal adjustments to our fall and winter schedule to bring more resiliency into the overall winter and summer 2023 schedule,” the representative stated.

“Air Canada continues to operate daily flights from Yellowknife to Vancouver.”

 

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On 9/15/2022 at 10:08 AM, Airband said:

Air Canada ordered to pay passengers $2,000 for flight cancellation caused by crew shortage

Crew shortages are generally within an airline's control, Canada's transport regulator says

air-canada.jpg

Thu Sep 15, 2022 - CBC News
by Sophia Harris

A recent ruling by Canada's transport regulator in favour of two Air Canada passengers whose flight was delayed is the latest development in the ongoing battle over whether airlines must compensate passengers for flight disruptions caused by crew shortages. 

In a decision published on Aug. 25, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) ordered Air Canada to compensate passenger Lisa Crawford and her son $1,000 each following a flight cancellation that delayed their August 2021 trip from their home city of Fort St. John, B.C., to Halifax by almost 16 hours.

According to the CTA, Air Canada initially told Crawford the flight cancellation was caused by a crew shortage linked to COVID-19, and was safety-related — so she wasn't eligible for compensation. 

The airline's response prompted Crawford to take her case to the CTA, a quasi-judicial tribunal.

"Staffing and other aspects of operations are the employer's responsibility to manage," said Crawford in an email to CBC News. 

The CTA agreed, stating in its decision that Air Canada failed to provide evidence "establishing that the crew shortage was unavoidable despite proper planning," so Crawford and her son must be compensated.

Under Canada's Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR), airlines only have to pay compensation — up to $1,000 per passenger — if a flight cancellation or delay is within the airline's control and not required for safety reasons. 

"I was thrilled with the CTA's finding," said Crawford, though she and others question if the case will carry much weight.

"Given the ongoing disagreement on how the regulations are to be interpreted and/or applied, I believe the real outcome for my case and likely many others, remains to be seen," said Crawford. 

Court battles raise questions

According to the CTA, it has received 13,743 air passenger complaints since May 1, of which 87 per cent are related to flight disruptions.

The CTA's ruling in the WestJet case, issued on July 8, was supposed to help clear the air on some of those compensation disputes.

In that case, WestJet initially denied passenger Owen Lareau of Ottawa compensation for a cancelled flight, stating it "was impacted due to flight crew member availability and required for safety purposes."

In its decision, the CTA clarified that staffing issues typically warrant compensation because, in general, they are an airline's responsibility and can't be categorized as a safety matter. 

The agency also ordered WestJet to pay Lareau $1,000. 

"Training and staffing are within airline control and therefore crew shortages are within airline control, unless there's compelling evidence" to the contrary, said CTA spokesperson Tom Oommen in an interview. "It's a high threshold."

But in a motion filed in the Federal Court of Appeal on Aug. 10, WestJet argued that, according to the APPR, the CTA can't presume crew shortages warrant compensation and then put the onus on airlines to disprove it. 

Consumer advocate and lawyer, John Lawford said WestJet is offering a narrow reading of the rules, and that the CTA ruling in July set out to clarify them.

"[The airline is] saying, 'That's nice, the actual wording of the regulations is all we will follow and we're going to court.' "

WestJet, the CTA and passenger Lareau have each declined to comment on the case.

"They're going to continue down this path until they're told otherwise," said Gradek, a lecturer and program co-ordinator for the aviation management program at McGill University.

"They'll keep trying to get away without paying, because it is a very serious expense."

'Minister should be spanking these guys'

CBC News asked Air Canada if, like WestJet, it planned to appeal the CTA's ruling that it must pay Crawford and her son compensation. 

Spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick replied that the airline was unable to comment as it's still reviewing the ruling.

But Air Canada is already taking part in a legal battle that calls into question Canada's compensation regulations. The airline is one of more than a dozen applicants, including the International Air Transport Association, which filed a motion in 2019 to appeal the APPR.

In that case, which is still before the Federal Court of Appeal, the applicants argue the regulations are "invalid" for international flights because they differ from the Montreal Convention, a treaty adopted by many countries — including Canada — which establishes airline liability for flight disruptions. 

"I suspect before Christmas, we will find out from the Federal Court of Appeal if the entire APPR regime gets tossed or not," said Lawford, executive director of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre.

Some travellers say they’re being denied compensation for cancelled Air Canada flights as the airline claims the flight disruptions were 'due to crew constraints' and beyond their control.

Lawford said federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra should assist passengers with compensation claims by sending a stern message to airlines that they must abide by the compensation rules set out by the CTA.

"The Minister should be spanking these guys, these airlines, and saying, 'How dare you, how dare you screw up my regulations,'" said Lawford.

Since August, Alghabra has repeatedly issued public warnings to airlines that they must follow the rules. 

"Passengers have rights and they need to be respected," he said in a statement just last week. "We will continue to protect the interests of passengers when travel doesn't go according to plan."

But, so far, the warnings haven't curtailed the flood of air passenger complaints pouring in to the CTA; it currently faces a backlog of more than 23,000 grievances. 

If there is no crew, there is no safety issue.  Kind of like "nobody works, nobody gets hurt"

 

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