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Air Canada faces Twitter rage over PR nightmare

Air Canada faces Twitter rage over PR nightmare

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Old Aug 5, 10, 7:01 am
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Air Canada faces Twitter rage over PR nightmare

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle1662593/

There is a common saying among fliers in this country that “Air Canada is not happy until you're not happy.” While we might chuckle at the phrase, the airline's reputation took a turn for the worse online Wednesday night when they let down a dying little boy.

The 8-year-old's name is Tanner. He is fighting muscular dystrophy. This week a group of people, including the boy's aunt and social media star Scott Stratten, organized a Tweet-a-Thon auction to help Tanner live out his final wishes. In just 30 hours the #TutusForTanner Twitter event helped to raise more than $25,000. Wednesday, Tanner travelled with his aunt, Catherine Connors, to New York to run through Central Park in a tutu on Friday with a team of bloggers (just one of his final wishes).

When they arrived at La Guardia airport they discovered that Tanner's wheelchair had been broken beyond repair. According to Connors (@herbadmother on Twitter), the airline promised an immediate loaner for him (he is immobile without it) but when the travellers called the airline from the hotel Wednesday night they were told that Air Canada couldn't do anything about the chair until Monday.
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Old Aug 5, 10, 7:21 am
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Wow tcook052 we both posted on the same subject at the exact same time. It is a draw !

If I knew how, I would defer to your seniority and delete my initial post.
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Old Aug 5, 10, 7:31 am
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Originally Posted by airbus320 View Post
Wow tcook052 we both posted on the same subject at the exact same time. It is a draw !

If I knew how, I would defer to your seniority and delete my initial post.
A nice thought but there aren't many who are senior to you in terms of experience or contributions to this board, AB, and I'm not among them so I'll ask a friendly Mod. to delete my thread, especially since your thread was first despite the identical time stamp.

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Old Aug 5, 10, 8:07 am
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TechEYE.net : "Kid's dying wishes dashed by heartless airline"

Here is the link to "TechEYE.net".

http://www.techeye.net/internet/twit...hon-gone-wrong
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Old Aug 5, 10, 9:03 am
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It really amazes me hoy large corporations "do not get it" in the age of social networking. Here's a kid with a terminal condition, you wreck his wheelchair, he is bedridden without it, and his aunt knows how to use twitter. It takes some serious stupidity to react the way AC did. Then again, BP did pretty much the same on a much larger scale.

Now there's a whole bunch of companies rushing to look good by buying the kid the wheelchair AC broke and wouldn't replace.

Of course probably the story is not as streamlined, I am sure AC was intending to replace the chair all along, and somehow nobody grasped the seriousness of the situation. Honest mistakes happen even in tragic situations. In today's world, however, you either control the narrative, or the narrative controls you. Way too often AC defaults to the latter.
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Old Aug 5, 10, 9:25 am
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Originally Posted by Mauricio23 View Post
Honest mistakes happen even in tragic situations. In today's world, however, you either control the narrative, or the narrative controls you. Way too often AC defaults to the latter.
+1

I wonder what number they used to call. If it was the local (NY) office, I can understand nobody doing a damn thing. If it was head office, then somebody needs a good slapping .

I hope AC gets all the bad PR this deserves.
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Old Aug 5, 10, 9:27 am
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I just learned of this story by reading about it here. Upon clicking on the Globle & Mail link, I've never seen so many people give a thumbs up/down (depending on the reader comments) before... Wow!
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Old Aug 5, 10, 9:33 am
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if i was the in-charge, i would have bought a new chair right away.... and expense it back to the company and fill paperwork on behalf of them!

but then again, if someone did not cause a ruckus, company wouldnt even have bothered to identify a customer service agent going out of their way.

unfortunately 90% of the time customers, companies and media only knows how to respond and sensationalize bad news, but neglects the good samaritans that made someone's lives better by going beyond their means to help....
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Old Aug 5, 10, 10:30 am
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Originally Posted by Mauricio23 View Post
In today's world, however, you either control the narrative, or the narrative controls you. Way too often AC defaults to the latter.
+2.

BTW AC seemed to learn this recently when they repaired a musicians lute and avoided some bad PR but couldn't get ahead of this one.
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Old Aug 5, 10, 11:10 am
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What's next, a report about AC losing a WW2 hero's war medals which are then melted down into scrap metal?

I'm just trying to think of another event that would generate such a high level of mock national outrage. Must be a slow news day today...
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Old Aug 5, 10, 11:27 am
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Originally Posted by tcook052 View Post
+2.

BTW AC seemed to learn this recently when they repaired a musicians lute and avoided some bad PR but couldn't get ahead of this one.
In the case of the lute, the musician shared the blame for not either buying a ticket for his instrument or insuring it properly. Here, however...

Now there is a response from AC saying they immediately offered a manual wheelchair (to a kid with muscular distrophy - that surely helped). Now they are exploring options to replace his custom one. If there is a place where they can find a suitable wheelchair, NYC must be it. Someone needs to get off their behinds fast.
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Old Aug 5, 10, 11:36 am
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Surprise, surprise there is more then one side to the story.


Update on G&M site:

Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick has replied to an e-mail query asking for comment on the incident. Here’s his full reply


“Regrettably Tanner's electric chair arrived in damaged condition at La Guardia airport, we are sorry about this and are investigating. Our manager at the airport immediately sent the broken chair, which is custom made, out for repairs. We also supplied a manual wheelchair and later in the evening an electric wheelchair for his use in the interim. Once we learned the replacement chair was inadequate we got in contact with the family to see what we could do for them. Because the chair is custom-made it is difficult to get it repaired or replaced quickly but we are doing all we can.”
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Old Aug 5, 10, 11:42 am
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AC spokesperson should have tweeted that response back !
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Old Aug 5, 10, 11:42 am
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1- a young child with a life-threatening disease;
2- an irate aunt with no objectivity;
3- Twitter;
4- sloppy, biased Canadian media outlets in the middle of summer;
5- AC;
6- an unfortunate checked item issue;

AC's goose was cooked before the doors on the cargo hold were closed and the airbridge pulled back for the flight to LGA.

No way to win this one. None.

BS.
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Old Aug 5, 10, 1:29 pm
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Latest update....

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle1662593/

Tanner has his chair back. Air Canada fixed the chair and returned it to the family hotel room in New York just after lunch time. In addition to returning his chair, his aunt said the company has also promised to fulfill one of his wishes: Going to a Disney theme park.


Cheers
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