January 5, 2001
As predicted, Air Canada announced that
it had met and exceeded its goals for improved service - or maybe
the long lines at the check-in have kept you from noticing.
Whatever they've done, it still seems
like the equivalent of a bus service run by the post office.
Still, I suppose it's better than a flight
a friend of mine took in Asia where the pilot after stretching
his legs in the aisle came back to find he was locked out of
the cockpit. No problem - the people in first class (meaning
no goats or chickens) were treated to the sight of the pilot
chopping down the cockpit door with a fire axe.
Now that's flight deck security. What
chance has a crazy hijacker got of grabbing the controls when
they won't even let the pilot inside?
Then there was my recent telephone call
to another foreign airline to enroll in their frequent flyer
program. I was told that they had all the frequent flyers they
needed, thank you, so stop bothering them. Silly me - I thought
frequent flyer programs were designed to attract business and
customer loyalty. They've obviously been taking lessons in customer
service from the banks.
And you might have missed it in the news,
but just before the holidays the flight attendants at Air Canada
Regional voted to join the Teamsters Union.
The Teamsters suffer from somewhat of
an image problem - undeserved I'm sure. It might have something
to do with Teamster President Jimmy Hoffa having been permanently
Although the Teamsters represent working
men and women in all walks of life, I still have trouble picturing
them as flight attendants. I keep seeing two guys who look like
Joe Pesci and Robert DeNiro walking up and down the aisle handing
out pretzels and doing the safety instructions:
"We'd like to welcome youse all
aboard Air Canada flight 32 to Moncton. Your pilot today is Joey
'No-Nose' Tedesco. My name's Vinnie, and I'll be looking after
"Foist of all, I noticed some of
youse wiseguys grabbed more than one pillow. I want you to know
I got my eye on you, and the perpetrators had better put them
back pronto before I starts crackin' heads. We can do this the
easy way or the hard way - it's all the same to me.
"And unless you wanna find out what
it's like flyin' without wings, ya better learn to keep yer feet
and bags outta the asile.
"Since this is a domestic flight
there's no duty free - however, if anyone wants to buy a really
nice watch, feel free to make me an offer on this beauty right
here. We also have cartons of cigarettes below retail - don't
ask me how. All I'll say is I have a cousin in the business.
"The in-flight movie is a comedy.
It's called 'Goodfellas' and we'll be happy to provide you with
headsets for the special price of five bucks, with a modest surcharge
for the widows and orphans fund. Lets call it an even fifty.
Anyone have a problem with that? I thought not.
"So let's make a deal - you don't
give me any lip, and we'll get along just fine.
"And by the way, in case of an emergency
just remember - you didn't see nothin'."