It’s no secret that airlines have not exactly been in our good books this month. Between people being dragged off planes, fist fights breaking out mid-flight and daily stories of vacation-hopefuls being kicked off over-booked flights, things are not looking good for the flying business.
What airlines really needed this week was a heartwarming story to turn their images around and Air Canada was first to the punch.
Leslie and Wilfredo Aburto were planning to fly to Cuba this week but their plans were derailed when the Calgary couple unexpectedly discovered that Leslie was pregnant. With the prevalence of Zika virus in Cuba, Health Canada is advising that pregnant women not visit the country.
Easy fix, right? Transfer the tickets or see about a refund. Nope. Sunwing told the couple that it was against their policy to do either of those things. The Aburtos were out over $6000.
Air Canada to the rescue! When the competing airline heard about the couple’s situation, they stepped right up to help.
“It just tugged at my heartstrings and I just thought we would see what we could do to help them,” Mark Dantu of Air Canada told CTV. The airline offered the couple free tickets to Los Angeles, they gladly accepted and are now all set to take their youngest son to Disneyland on Friday.
What a great thing to do for a family in need. And also a great way to improve your public image. In a survey released this week, Air Canada was found to have the lowest customer satisfaction out of all North American airlines.
Air passenger rights advocate Gabor Lukacs asserts that stunts like this one are relatively cheap for airlines to pull off and are an effective way to improve passenger satisfaction and company image. While nothing Sunwing did was illegal, Air Canada’s public rescue of a vacation makes the company look far better.
So maybe the key to getting the best airline service (and maybe even free tickets) is to be very public about your vacation. So, any airlines want to take us to Hawaii?