Air Canada stripped one of its employees of generous concessionary travel benefits because of her daughter’s behaviour but she is fighting back by touting her story to the media in an attempt to win back her mother’s discounted flight perks.
Like many airlines, Air Canada offers employees the opportunity to fly on standby at heavily discounted prices. Some airline employees see it as one of the best perks of working in the aviation industry, although travelling on standby comes with a long list of written and unwritten rules.
Employees know not to complain and are sometimes on the end of pretty shoddy treatment but it’s generally worth it because you get to fly places at a fraction of the price of pretty much everyone else on the plane.
When airline workers share these benefits with friends and family, they are held responsible for the behaviour of their relatives or acquaintances. Friends and family need to be told not to complain and to be on their best behaviour.
In this case, however, it’s claimed the employee’s daughter received poor customer service from gate agents while she was travelling as a non-rev passenger. She complained about this treatment by writing to senior Air Canada officials and copying in several media outlets.
Air Canada launched an investigation and concluded that the passenger had misrepresented facts about the incident, including the very important point that she was using her mother’s travel benefits.
The daughter received a two-year ban from flying Air Canada on standby and because her mother is responsible for the behaviour of anyone using her travel benefits, she too received the same penalty.
“I had a really like sickening feeling when my mother told me what they did to her,” the unidentified woman told Insider “It’s one thing for me to be reprimanded, but it’s totally different for my actions impacting my mom.”
The woman’s mother apparently chose to work for Air Canada for the travel perks but with the situation escalating, her daughter now fears she might be sacked.
Air Canada was unable to provide much comment on the incident but a spokesperson told Insider: “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.”
The woman’s union has suggested she apologise to Air Canada in an attempt to win a reduction in the length of the penalty.
TOTH: One Mile at a Time.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.