CommentsVictor Kashiwara - March 5, 2019 @ 01:34
As some background, I started my airline career in 1980 with CP Air when they were, dare I say, a well-loved airline. Since then, CP, Wardair and PW were not able to continue operations and were, in effect, "absorbed" by AC to expand their routes, service levels and international presence. Other start-ups have come and gone and WestJet remains the other Canadian airline of record. Their initial "down-home, Western hospitality" approach to their favourable domestic routes won over many Canadian traveler hearts and loyalty. Their strengths were rooted in the Canadian domestic market. Now they are expanding domestically and internationally. Although it's, arguably, an fair comparison but this "outgrowing their own britches" expansion is exactly what began the demise of Pacific Western Airlines. While I'm certain the powers and experts at WestJet have analysed and anticipated any pitfalls of such aggressive growth, it begs the long standing question: Can the Canadian travel market sustain 2 major airlines? We all know that AC, as Canada's flag carrier, will continue to be in the best position to leverage their airline connections and perceived government clout to endure ad infinitum while they battle in-house to improve service levels across the board. Can WestJet complete at this level?
As far as AC-bashing is concerned, much stems from the lack of choice afforded regular business travelers. On the prime business routes within the major corporate centres of Canada, AC has the lion's share. People, simply, like to complain ... it is in our human nature (well, for many) and the grass, proverbially, is always greener on the other side of the fence. These complainers are only wishing they had a fence and which grass to choose.
To summarise, the CBC report was ill-researched and presented in haste. As consumers, we have to remember that front-line employees are there to do their best to ensure customer satisfaction and to reflect a positive corporate image and spirit of their employer. Despite the company's expectations and our hopes, they do not always succeed. A few bad apples can taint a barrel but it doesn't mean the crop is lost.
The travel industry in Canada remains a valued necessity and great contributor to our economy for dollars and employment. It is increasingly prevalent that the expectations in this empowered consumer era have become disportionate to what is practical in reality.
In closing, travel agents can play a major part in educating our clients on the practical realities of travel in Canada and beyond. We can help by not feeding negative preconceptions but, rather, by trying to turn that frown upside-down and reflect a positive outlook towards their travel plans.
Thank you & very best regards!