Air Canada's COVID-19 actions


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20 minutes ago, Innuendo said:

We buy seats the same as every one else off the street these days, with who ever has the price and conditions that suit us best. Our passes have really lost their value.

Same here...since I was punted through the goal posts I have NEVER used a pass...I have a time I want to be at "X" and don't want to be bumped off a flight

Personally for me,  passes aren't of much value, and I would forego even the ability to use a pass if our pensions were indexed....

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For those directly affected by these very difficult decisions as well as those now looking over their shoulder... Having seen a bit of this in a previous life, this too, shall eventually pass to

After reading this thread my thoughts went back 20 years to a recorded telephone message, from Robert Milton, to all employees explaining the Canadian Merger.  His explanation to employees was the Fed

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1 hour ago, Kip Powick said:

I have a time I want to be at "X" and don't want to be bumped off a flight

Personally for me,  passes aren't of much value, and I would forego even the ability to use a pass if our pensions were indexed....

I went a few years without using passes at all back when the CAD was at par with the USD, when fares from the US were dirt cheap and mileage programs were ridiculously generous.  Now that the airlines have devalued their FF programs that has changed.  With the ability to travel in J class more now I find passes to be of tremendous value as long as travel plans are flexible, but retirees have definitely received the short end of that stick.

Many retirees and long time employees became used to using passes when airlines flew with load factors of 60-70% and staff travel privileges were almost the same as travelling confirmed.  That's nowhere near the case now, or at least it wasn't until the current downturn hit.

Edited by FA@AC
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IMO anyone going ahead of active employees on passes is wrong. 

That's what you find at most world legacy carriers. The handful of C1/B1 passes now out there are insignificant anyway. 

All the same, I pick very carefully where and when I'll go on a pass. If I need to be there, or need to get back, I just buy a ticket. It's not worth the stress on a trip watching your flight full up and worrying about getting back in time for work. I'd rather a raise than a pass I may or may not use.

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22 hours ago, Marshall said:

I see there are several categories under the IAMAW AC contract that require being an AME, which is the one that will be travelling with the aircraft or is this a new category?  

Sorry, don't know anything about the different AME categories.

P.S.  Are you really 80?

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14 minutes ago, seeker said:

Sorry, don't know anything about the different AME categories.

P.S.  Are you really 80?

It would likely be a Category 01, who be an "M" class AME.

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3 hours ago, seeker said:

Sorry, don't know anything about the different AME categories.

P.S.  Are you really 80?

No, 76, but most days I feel younger., as long as I avoid a mirror?

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12 minutes ago, Kip Powick said:

Gosh...darn....that doesn't make me feel that good...?

I thought you would feel good since you are a youngster in comparison ?  

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Jeeeez, I'm going to have to be nicer to you guys.  My apologies for all my disrespectful posts/replies/comments.  

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1 hour ago, seeker said:

Jeeeez, I'm going to have to be nicer to you guys.  My apologies for all my disrespectful posts/replies/comments.  

Never saw any of them. ?  debate is good. different is also good. cheers

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Air Canada winds down repatriation flights for Canadians abroad

News from The Globe and Mail – link to story and updates

Eric Atkins, The Globe and Mail Transportation Reporter – Published April 20, 2020

5R5XLKVSGBGADPWH4MC6OBDHB4.jpg A passenger walks out into the arrival area as an Air Canada flight with a group of Canadians passengers from Morocco arrive in Montreal in this file photo from March 21, 2020.ANDREJ IVANOV/THE CANADIAN PRESS

It was mid-March, and the list of countries closing their borders amid the COVID-19 pandemic was lengthening by the day. On March 13, it was Morocco’s turn, a move that caught Air Canada off guard and marooned hundreds of Canadians for whom Casablanca is a popular winter destination.

“We weren’t anticipating suspending service,” recalls Kevin O’Connor, Air Canada’s vice-president of operations, “and then one night we were leaving Montreal and the Moroccan government said, ‘This will be your last [flight], you’re done tomorrow. We’re taking your landing rights away.’”

Air Canada pulled out its crews stationed for rest in Casablanca that night. But it would take several days of careful planning involving Canadian and Moroccan authorities before the airline could return a week later with three flights to bring home more than 1,300 Canadians fearful of being stranded as COVID-19 sealed borders, closed local roads and infected thousands.

The repatriation flights were among 130 to 69 countries co-ordinated by the Canadian government since mid-March. But now that schedule is winding down, although Ottawa has declined to say if or when it will end the program.

“Despite our best efforts, we will not be able to ensure the return of all Canadians who wish to come home,” said Krystyna Dodds, a spokeswoman for Global Affairs Canada.

So far, the flights, operated by Air Canada, WestJet and other airlines, have brought home more than 18,000 Canadians from Ukraine, Spain and other countries. But on Monday, Air Canada said its April 17 flight from Algiers marked the end of its participation in the government program, although it is available for more should the government ask.

WestJet flies to Guatemala City on April 23, and “there are still a few on our radar,” said Lauren Stewart, a WestJet spokeswoman.

More than 351,000 Canadians abroad are registered to access consular services and travel information, including flights home during the pandemic. The repatriation flights have refocused the efforts of Global Affairs Canada. The department’s typical consular responsibilities of trade and bilateral relations have been overtaken by the requests from thousands of Canadians trying to get home.

Air Canada’s three relief flights to and from Casablanca began in Halifax. The crew for the first one and their plane, a Boeing 777 with an enhanced seating capacity of 450, arrived the night before departure so they would be rested for a 19-hour shift.

The crew of four pilots and 12 flight attendants was twice the usual size and allowed employees to rest over the Atlantic. “They’re not normal missions, so it’s not like it’s routine,” said Air Canada’s Mr. O’Connor.

Matthew Goodmurphy, an Air Canada service manager who usually works on flights chartered by National Hockey League teams, said he jumped at the chance to work the flight. He then signed up for two more to Casablanca, along with the rest of the crew.

“Knowing that people were starting to feel a sense of desperation to get back home … I think we were all just really happy to lend a hand, putting ourselves in their shoes as people to travel for a living,” Mr. Goodmurphy said.

Air Canada continues to fly a small number of international commercial routes as the government repatriation flights end. For Canadians unable to get home, Ottawa has approved 1,745 loans worth a total $5.4-million and is processing another 2,000 applications for financial assistance.

Sharon Stein, a researcher at the University of British Columbia, is among those who made it back. Ms. Stein was working with Indigenous people in Brazil’s Amazon before she and her colleagues learned about the halt to air travel.

“The calls for Canadians to come home due to the coronavirus did not reach us until we were very close to the border with Peru,” Ms. Stein said. “So when we found that out, we rescheduled our flights to get back to Canada as soon as we could.”

The next day, she said, “the Peruvian government announced the state of emergency” and cancelled all inbound flights. Ms. Stein then waited several days for an email from the Canadian government for news of a relief flight.

The email contained a flight code and spurred a rush to Air Canada’s website. “Everyone gets the code at the same time and then frantically runs to the Air Canada website to try and book a seat. And, of course, there are many more people wanted to go home than there are seats on the flight,” she said.

Passengers also had to pay for their flights. Ashley Elliott, 38, landed in Lima on March 13 after quitting her bank job in Toronto to pursue her dream of volunteering on wildlife and conservation projects in the rainforest for two-and-a-half months. But Peru went into lockdown, and she never made the trek.

Instead, Ms. Elliott stayed at a friend’s apartment in Lima, venturing outside only to buy groceries. The rest of the time was spent in touch with family, other Canadians in the country and awaiting an email that would allow her a chance to fly home. After one failed attempt, she got a seat on the second available flight to Toronto. It cost $1,400, a price she called “exorbitant.”

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Air Canada to Temporarily Suspend Transborder U.S. Flights


NEWS PROVIDED BY

Air Canada 

Apr 21, 2020, 12:25 ET

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Last flights between Canada and the U.S. will operate April 26, resume May 22

MONTREAL, April 21, 2020 /CNW Telbec/ - Air Canada announced that it will suspend scheduled service to the U.S. after April 26 as a result of the agreement between the governments of Canada and the United States to extend border restrictions by an additional 30 days, effective today. Air Canada plans to resume service to the U.S. May 22, subject to any further government restrictions beyond that date.

The airline is waiving change fees for affected customers with bookings during this period to enable them to reschedule their travel with no additional fee. Customers can find more information about Air Canada's rebooking policies and revised schedule at www.aircanada.com

Since March 16, Air Canada has reduced its schedule by more than 90 per cent as a result of COVID-19. Following the initial announcement of U.S.-Canada travel restrictions on March 21, Air Canada maintained limited service to 11 U.S. destinations from its three Canadian hubs, primarily to facilitate the repatriation of Canadians. The last scheduled commercial flight from the U.S. to Canada will be on April 26.

More information about Air Canada's COVID-19 response is available at https://www.aircanada.com/ca/en/aco/home/book/travel-news-and-updates/2020/covid-19.html

About Air Canada
Air Canada is Canada's largest domestic and international airline. Canada's flag carrier is among the 20 largest airlines in the world and in 2019 served over 51 million customers. Air Canada is a founding member of Star Alliance, the world's most comprehensive air transportation network. Air Canada is the only international network carrier in North America to receive a Four-Star ranking according to independent U.K. research firm Skytrax, which also named Air Canada the 2019 Best Airline in North America. For more information, please visit: aircanada.com/media, follow @AirCanada on Twitter and join Air Canada on Facebook

Internet:         aircanada.com/media

SOURCE Air Canada

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For further information: media@aircanada.ca

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www.aircanada.com

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On 4/13/2020 at 12:58 AM, Kip Powick said:

Same here...since I was punted through the goal posts I have NEVER used a pass...I have a time I want to be at "X" and don't want to be bumped off a flight

Personally for me,  passes aren't of much value, and I would forego even the ability to use a pass if our pensions were indexed....

It would be nice if while traveling on a paid for ticket rather than a pass you didn’t have to pay baggage fees. 

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56 minutes ago, AAS said:

It would be nice if while traveling on a paid for ticket rather than a pass you didn’t have to pay baggage fees. 

I agree and here,I am very fortunate...my 28 years in the RCAF, prior to going airlines,  gives me Veteran status...no baggage fees on any Canadian carrier.

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1 hour ago, Kip Powick said:

I agree and here,I am very fortunate...my 28 years in the RCAF, prior to going airlines,  gives me Veteran status...no baggage fees on any Canadian carrier.

Jeeez, you veterans - always wanting stuff for free.  

 

 

 

 

?

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4 hours ago, seeker said:

Jeeez, you veterans - always wanting stuff for free.  

 

 

 

 

?

You are right but I did see an airline Captain actually pay for a newspaper once..............He wanted to find out where we were.

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2 minutes ago, Kip Powick said:

You are right but I did see an airline Captain actually pay for a newspaper once..............He wanted to find out where we were.

Was that you looking into a mirror? ?

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Continuing the thread drift on passes, I always check the 'con list.'  On any popular destination, going back a lifetime ago to pre-Covid, as a rule there is  rarely a C2 on the list.  The cons are all C1 and above since the corp flooded the system with them.  Retirees with only access to C2's and the ultimate insult, no access to the Jumpseat,  makes pass travels very difficult.

Edited by Johnny
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My wife is the employee and is "active" . Travel plans require advance planning; structuring her bid to arrange suitable days off. We are compelled to be very flexible when travelling and look for flights with the most available seats. We may be headed to Madrid but grab a flight to Munich. However, many a flight appears to have seats but when we get to the gate and again check loads, we find we're behind a number of B1's...employees with only a few years seniority bumping active employees with 30+ years of service. For reasons unknown, many wait until the last moment to list.

And so it goes. Collectively, we accept any emolument regardless of impact on others whether retired or otherwise. Seniority? A principle that is readily abandoned when it suits one's purposes.

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Have to admit, I would have enjoyed an opportunity to do a few scramble intercepts, sounds like a lot of fun!

You sell yourself very, very short Dave. I’ve flown with a good number of pros in my time and you are right there among them. 

Jeff

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1 hour ago, Dave Buggie said:

My son,  Kip and I get 10% off our groceries in our little town

 

1 hour ago, Dave Buggie said:

perhaps Kip should get some free stuff because he was a VIP pilot hanging out with Generals,  politicians, Kings, Queens and such so maybe

Wow...sound a little bitter there Dave.....Just so you know ...I have no idea where you shop but seeing I have been in this little town  for 39 years I have never requested  or received a discount at any store in Ontario, nor do I expect one just because I "served". The only advantage I have, which is restricted to this town, is free meter parking because one of my cars has a Veterans licence plate on it. BTW...All veterans, trade or branch of service does not matter , NOT just pilots, get free luggage on all Canadian Airlines.

Odd remark about me deserving some "free stuff" because I had a couple of tours  flying VIPs... Yes, there were advantages....good over-nights in great locations, and during my USA tour I had the chance to fly aircraft that you and many others might have just dreamed about... My 15 years in the Airline Industry was the icing on the cake of a flying career that spanned  43 years and  I loved  every moment......., would not trade my experiences and memories for any other place in life...

 

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Jeff=JO=Jeff O=penny dropped

Thanks for the kind words and the cooking lessons in Templepatrick many years  ago.

Kip, I'm sorry I offended you, but I'm glad you got to fly airplanes that I dreamed of and I guess you don't shop at Metro or have a CFOne card......good for you.   I guess my hangar flying sense of humour is an acquired taste. To all the other ex-military pilots I offended by suggesting that we don't really deserve nor need free stuff, I also apologize. To any airline pilots getting free trips in retirement I didn't mean to cause you offense.

The one thing I didn't understand is how talking about having fun in airplanes and throwing barbs in humour at pilots on other Squadrons or aircraft types is being bitter; but if it is I am one bitter SOB. I must admit that if I had known about the VIP perks while I was in I might have swallowed what was left of my limited pride and tried to fly Cosmopolitans although the controls were a bit heavy...........oops there I go being bitter again....... but it is a slippery slope....... Cosmos one day and before you know it you're a Boeing pilot. 

I promise that in the future I will attempt to be nicer to my fellow pilots, well almost all of them. I reserve the right to insult Airbus pilots since everyone knows the airplane flies them around not the other way around as God intended...............well that is what a Boeing pilot told me so it must be true.

These are sad times, be nice to some one today.

Sorry for thread drift.

                                                                                                                                                                -30-

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