Monday, February 2, 2015

And On A Personal Note...

I thought long and hard before making the decision to post the following, for two reasons: one, in the broader scheme of things it is a quite negligible plaint, and two, it perhaps exposes me as the petty and vindictive person that I on occasion can be. On the other hand, since it deals with what I consider to be exploitative and disdainful corporate practices, it may be of interest to some readers.

I will let this letter that I sent off to Air Transat speak for itself:

To Whom it May Concern:

Recently, my wife and I flew Air Transat to Cuba, departing from Toronto early morning January 23 and arriving back in Toronto January 30 at about 5:00 pm. While our one-week sojourn on the Caribbean island was a delight, our experiences with your airline were not. As a consequence, we will no longer be patronizing Air Transat unless there is absolutely no alternative.

On our previous trip to Cuba, we had a good experience with Sunwing, where a 'snack' is the choice of a substantial sandwich or pizza. A large cookie constituted dessert. Additionally, a glass of champagne and wine with the snack were provided at no charge, as were the headphones. Ensuring that the passengers feel respected appears to be part of Sunwing's business philosophy.

Clearly, Air Transat embraces an entirely different view of the customer, first evidenced by the fact that your airline's 'snack' consisted of a Krispy Kernnels 14 gram (.50 oz.) bag of bbq toasted corn, the quantity about the size of the ones found in bulk Halloween bags. Any sustenance that might have been considered appropriate for a journey of three and one-half hours cost at least $7. To compound the insult, headphones were offered at $8 each.

It is clear from the above that you view your passengers, not as paying guests but rather as cash cows. Since I am not given to the kind of bovine passivity that afflicts so many others, I find such a corporate attitude quite objectionable and unacceptable.

The return trip had even more unpleasantness in store. My sister-in-law, who accompanied us on our trip, paid for preferred seating because she is tall. She was supposed to have been guaranteed the same aisle seat both going and returning. However, she was assigned a different seat on our return, and when she pointed out to the head attendant she needed an aisle seat, she was rather imperiously told, 'That's not going to happen.' When I pointed out to the attendant that she had paid for her seat choice, she said, “Everyone just calm down.” Frankly, I have not been spoken to in such a condescending manner since childhood. I then pointed out to her that it was disgraceful that she didn't get the seat she paid for.

My sister-in-law, when we deplaned, told me that the offending attendant was later conciliatory and told her she would be able to get her seating surcharge reimbursed, so I speak only for myself and my wife here when I say that the attendant's initial disdainful response was disrespectful but hardly surprising, given the attitude your company seems to have toward its customers.

In a few days I shall be posting my comments on some travel forums. I strongly suggest that you rethink your arrogant and exploitative attitudes before you find more and more travellers choosing alternative carriers.


  1. I await your next post with the airline's response. It should be precious.