Discount, Air Canada Style

In the highly irreverent book, “Up the Organization”, the newly hired president of Avis is clawing back market share from then-dominant Hertz. He then has an idea for a discount line of car rentals, one that would compete directly with their bread and butter business.

This particular chapter was on having someone who could tell top management that an idea was stupid. This person told the president something like this: “I don’t know what you call that, but we Polaks call it ‘pissing in the soup’.

So now Air Canada is going to have a discount airline. There has been a lot of pushback from the unions (of course).

In today’s Star there was a new development. Despite later claims of lots of new hires (50 pilots, for example), the new airline is only going to have four planes. And, it is not going to be a new airline – it will be part of Air Canada Vacations.

All of this could have been achieved simply by buying the four planes, so we are left to wonder if it was partly to prove, by doing it, that the unions could be ridden-over, roughshod.

Or it is possible that Air Canada has read Townsend’s book, perhaps recently.

In my opinion, Air Canada Vacations is not going to be a winner as currently configured. We travelled with them once. Once was enough. They damaged my luggage, and then said it was lost. They filled out a claim form on the wrong paper, with no claim number. And, on the aircraft, they charged for food and drinks that SunWing would have provided for free. For the two of us, travelling in two directions, it was over $60.00 Canadian. I perceive this as a form of surcharge. Not much of a discount, compared to their competition. And, on the return leg, the choices of meal were reduced.

Once was enough. Discount, Air Canada style.

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