Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Out of Touch in the Boardroom

You just knew this story was going to get a bad reaction: 'Air Canada pins hopes on service'. From today's Globe and Mail.

I checked the date. It's not April Fool's Day.

Then I checked the comments section of the story. 170 and still growing (the Globe has a nasty habit of shutting down comments on juicy topics - who knows how long this one will stay open). In the first 50 comments, one person actually suggested AC isn't the worst airline in the world....then ended with 'go Westjet go'.

As a modest AC fan, even I had to admit that if this is AC's plan to avoid their second bankruptcy in a few years - they're done.

How does a management group get so out of touch over so many years? Westjet - their prime competition has made their name on service. As AC's market share declines, Westjet's (and Porter's) continues to grow.

One has to wonder what management was thinking. Maybe they thought it didn't matter?

Pardon the pun, but crap just doesn't fly.

It never did.

But today with on-line rating systems, comment sections, travel advisory sites, blogs and Facebook death is swift, obvious and brutal. I got stuck in a Westjet scew-up a while ago and participated with other passengers in berating their service site from our Blackberries - WHILE WE WERE STILL IN LINE (I even got a response)!

The other day I saw an airport rating site. You don't want to know what the word in the air is about YYZ.

So, poor Air Canada. It seems unlikely that years of creating a bad reputation will be undone in time to save them (although if they're looking for some clues Jeff Jarvis' Dell service story would be a good place to start). It's too bad.

It's not like a Westjet monopoly is a terrific outcome.

For a sampling of some heartfelt thought on AC, check some of these out:

You do NOT have a superior product. Start with a big bowl of reality soup and then talk to reporters. You airline is overrun with mediocre people doing a sub-par job. Deal with it.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.......Service? Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.... Really? Service?

Arrogant SOB's huh?

GO WESTJET!!!

'Air Canada reported Friday that it lost $1-billion last year.'

“It is small comfort that our loss was the result of factors outside of our control – soaring oil prices, foreign exchange losses due to a drop in the Canadian dollar, and the slowing economy,” Mr. Brewer said.'

Yet.... under those same conditions, Westjet was profitable. Strange isn't it. Those condtions weren't under Westjet's control, yet they made money... hmm.....

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