Sunday, April 01, 2012

Lazy Sunday #214: It Never Hurts To Laugh

There’s been a lot of heated debate over the last week about who’s responsible for the ongoing labor problems at Air Canada. Some say it’s management. Some say it’s the unions. Many blame the government for interfering too much or not meddling enough.

Frankly, I don’t care.

I swore off flying the national airline exactly 8 years ago. Whoever is responsible for the too often grumpy, the customer doesn’t necessarily come first attitude is no longer my concern. I can get pretty much anywhere I need to fly in Canada via Westjet.

Cda Airlines Fuel

Whether my trip is last minute and urgent or burdened by unexpected complications, there’s always somebody on the staff (where everybody is also an owner of the airline) willing to do what they can to help.

It was on Westjet where I first heard cabin staff have fun with the mandatory pre-flight safety lecture, wondering how anyone could still find a seatbelt unfamiliar a half century after they became a compulsory accessory in automobiles.

Flight attendants are introduced by name and with some added, usually embarrassing, personal information.

On one flight I was on out of Calgary, passengers were directed to voice any complaints to “Cathy”…

“She’s back with us after taking a two week anger management course and we need to find out if it took ---- this time…”.

On a cross country flight, a perky Purser invited bored or noisy children to some empty rear seats where he would be teaching them to play poker. After the kids were returned to their seats prior to landing he again got on the public address system.

“I want to thank all the parents who let me entertain their kids. But it’s time to settle up. Katie’s dad owes me 200 bucks and Brian’s folks better come up with 350 big ones if they want off the plane.”

It never hurts to laugh, especially when the thorny issue of screaming kids on planes comes up.

Today, Westjet offered a unique solution…

Happy April Fools! And Enjoy Your Sunday.

1 comment:

David J. Climenhaga said...

Notwithstanding the April Fool's joke, I fly regularly on both Westjet and Air Canada and I see little to differentiate between the two airlines. Cabin service is similar, the ability to make connections is similar, treatment of passengers is similarly brusque. Food service is marginally better on Air Canada. (Beware, if you're at the back of the plane, Westjet will likely run out of food on a long flight.) Prices in northern Alberta are lower on Air Canada too, presumably because they use smaller aircraft. There was a day, it is true, when Westjet service stood out, but those days are gone now that Westjet is becoming a major carrier with all the logistical problems and complexities that go with that role. Westjet continues to live on its past reputation, which it no longer deserves.