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Air Canada Customers - Cheap with High Expectations?

Air Canada Customers - Cheap with High Expectations?

Old May 12, 17, 9:35 am
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Air Canada Customers - Cheap with High Expectations?

Are Air Canada customers cheap?
Do they have high expectations of what they get for what they pay for?
Can they solve problems on their own or do they rely on the media?
-------

I didn't want to stat a new thread. I searched for a thread where the question could or would have been discussed. (Mods, feel free to move/merge)

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/air-c...-airlines.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/air-c...er-2016-a.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/air-c...-industry.html

and even

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/air-c...t-s-point.html


-----

That said....I read this short piece in Bloomberg and thought I'd ask the question if it applies equally to Canadians, or even more so.

Cheap Fares Are Really How Americans Judge Airlines

Bloomberg - by Justin Bachman and Michael Sasso
May 10, 2017, 6:00 AM EDT

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...ecent-outrages


I also noted this quote and thought that this does apply to Air Canada, just a slight different "tornado" methodology:

"Some people’s frustration with carriers is keyed to sometimes unreasonable expectations, said Donna Towle, a former United vice president who worked with front-line workers. Passengers can perform so many booking functions online that they communicate with employees only when there’s a problem, she said. And then they want the problem fixed immediately.

Adding to the pressures is that “social media has created a tornado for anything and everything,” she said. For unhappy travelers, “that’s their avenue now -- they’re not writing letters to the chairman of the board.”
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Old May 12, 17, 9:39 am
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Some posters on this forum immediately come to mind. 24left, you know who I'm referring to.

By the way, congratulations on passing 10,000.
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Old May 12, 17, 9:47 am
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Originally Posted by CanRulez View Post
Some posters on this forum immediately come to mind. 24left, you know who I'm referring to.

By the way, congratulations on passing 10,000.
Aw, thanks!

Still, I'm curious about AC customers. Some of us are. Some of us are not, some of us have relatives and friends who buy those "very low priced" seats. Some complain.
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Old May 12, 17, 10:34 am
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I think FFs are different in expectations and that is probably not who the airline is talking about. I think they are talking about the Tango fare buyers who complain their family can't sit together or they aren't automatically protected on irrops.

The problem is that nobody tells anybody bad news any more. Governments and prospective governments campaigning don't say "you can't get the healthcare / road works / home heating /etc. for the amount of tax you are willing to pay." They simply say what people want to hear and get elected for that and vilified for not finding a rabbit in their hat.

A lot of pop culture revolves around the gold-plated premium experience (viz hiphop, which to my aging eyes looks like little more than a recitation of brand names) and is actualized by consumers as buying licensed logo appliqués on garbage from the outlet mall. The mash-up is the unsustainable expectation of paying the discount price but getting the first class service.

In the discussion of several recent cases, many comments have pointed to the need for AC to explicitly alert passengers that Tango may be IDB, may not have a desirable seat or ability to change seat, etc. It is hard to completely blame AC for not emphasizing that when the marketplace rewards people who will make patently impossible promises and claims. AC could and should have done better than it did in many of the cases that have hit the fan, and in cases we each have experienced, but I would not want to be AC in trying to deal with the marketplace of unreasonable expectations that affect every commodity, from politics to tourism to apparel and accessories.

(And congrats on promotion to Evangelist!)
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Old May 12, 17, 10:57 am
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The problem is not high expectations from the customer side, most customers were SOLD an unrealistically high sales job. For instance today.......

- 4 STAR airline Skytraxx
- Air Canada has a proud history of supporting organizations that focus on improving the lives of Canadians
- Over 10,000 young travellers fly unaccompanied with us each year. And with our Unaccompanied Minor service, every one of them receives the best care from our highly trained staff from the moment they arrive at airport until they reach their destination.
- your vacation will start the moment you step on board. (this is ROUGE no less)
- Sit back, relax, and enjoy our menus in Economy Class on International flights. We want to make your flight with us a pleasurable one.
- Laugh, shed a tear or cheer your way to your destination (talking about IFE)


Don't blame the customer for putting down their money and expecting what has been promised.
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Old May 12, 17, 11:51 am
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Originally Posted by The smallest state View Post
The problem is not high expectations from the customer side, most customers were SOLD an unrealistically high sales job. For instance today.......

- 4 STAR airline Skytraxx
- Air Canada has a proud history of supporting organizations that focus on improving the lives of Canadians
- Over 10,000 young travellers fly unaccompanied with us each year. And with our Unaccompanied Minor service, every one of them receives the best care from our highly trained staff from the moment they arrive at airport until they reach their destination.
- your vacation will start the moment you step on board. (this is ROUGE no less)
- Sit back, relax, and enjoy our menus in Economy Class on International flights. We want to make your flight with us a pleasurable one.
- Laugh, shed a tear or cheer your way to your destination (talking about IFE)


Don't blame the customer for putting down their money and expecting what has been promised.
99% of the time AC give what they promise. The problem is Canadian entitlement and cheapness. Canadian are becoming very demanding and "think" they deserve way to much in life in general, without paying for it. Plus we are taking less and less responsibility for ourselves.
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Old May 12, 17, 12:04 pm
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Originally Posted by Wpgjetse View Post
99% of the time AC give what they promise. The problem is Canadian entitlement and cheapness. Canadian are becoming very demanding and "think" they deserve way to much in life in general, without paying for it. Plus we are taking less and less responsibility for ourselves.
Ah speak of the devil. Too much money, not enough brains...

You judge a company by how they treat customers when things go wrong. This isn't about Canadian entitlement at all.
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Old May 12, 17, 12:16 pm
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Originally Posted by Wpgjetse View Post
99% of the time AC give what they promise. The problem is Canadian entitlement and cheapness. Canadian are becoming very demanding and "think" they deserve way to much in life in general, without paying for it. Plus we are taking less and less responsibility for ourselves.
That is a current populist sentiment but I think the word "entitlement" is entirely overused as a pejorative.

It is not entitlement when in any other consumer situation to receive goods/services in exchange for consideration; that is a contract. When a consumer buys a ticket for a flight, even at the lowest fare, the reasonable expectation is to get from point A to point B with a seat, closely to on-time, and responsible and courteous customer service when things go wrong (IRROPS). Sure, some people expect AC to control the weather or rant about other similar extraordinary circumstances and drama that makes the headlines that is a tiny fraction of the customer base. It shouldn't be the customers' job to be a better expert on the in's-and-out's of AC's bureaucracy than their front-line CS staff.
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Old May 12, 17, 12:17 pm
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Originally Posted by CanRulez View Post
Ah speak of the devil. Too much money, not enough brains...

You judge a company by how they treat customers when things go wrong. This isn't about Canadian entitlement at all.
Your money comment is the standard response of cheap people. You should always judge a company how they treat customers when things go wrong. The problem is, Canadian's are complaining even when things go right. They always want better, but don't want to pay for it. That is entitlement.
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Old May 12, 17, 12:21 pm
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Originally Posted by robsaw View Post
That is a current populist sentiment but I think the word "entitlement" is entirely overused as a pejorative.

It is not entitlement when in any other consumer situation to receive goods/services in exchange for consideration; that is a contract. When a consumer buys a ticket for a flight, even at the lowest fare, the reasonable expectation is to get from point A to point B with a seat, closely to on-time, and responsible and courteous customer service when things go wrong (IRROPS). Sure, some people expect AC to control the weather or rant about other similar extraordinary circumstances and drama that makes the headlines that is a tiny fraction of the customer base. It shouldn't be the customers' job to be a better expert on the in's-and-out's of AC's bureaucracy than their front-line CS staff.
You are talking about the 1% not the 99%.
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Old May 12, 17, 12:22 pm
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Originally Posted by robsaw View Post
That is a current populist sentiment but I think the word "entitlement" is entirely overused as a pejorative.

It is not entitlement when in any other consumer situation to receive goods/services in exchange for consideration; that is a contract. When a consumer buys a ticket for a flight, even at the lowest fare, the reasonable expectation is to get from point A to point B with a seat, closely to on-time, and responsible and courteous customer service when things go wrong (IRROPS). Sure, some people expect AC to control the weather or rant about other similar extraordinary circumstances and drama that makes the headlines that is a tiny fraction of the customer base. It shouldn't be the customers' job to be a better expert on the in's-and-out's of AC's bureaucracy than their front-line CS staff.
Precisely.

Another word used often in this forum in a pejorative fashion: Apologist.

Irks me almost as much as fan boy...as in Apply fan boy.
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Old May 12, 17, 12:40 pm
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Seems like a generalization but Canadians will complain about every little inconvenience. Brits do it best IMHO. But in reality it comes with living in a country where most things are going well for us, but small inconveniences are worthy of a complaint. Or worthy of/or requiring calls for the government to step in somehow to rescue.

People still have expectations when it comes to air travel, with the cost of travel being high and people wanting to get their money's worth. Most of us on this forum hopefully know that the cost of the ticket most of the time only pertains to that, getting us from point A to point B.

It doesn't help that the industry thrives on segmentation, where the guy next to you could be getting all the frills and you are not: the difference being that he paid more but you have no way of telling that since all you see is that he's sharing an armrest with you.

There was also an article I read a few weeks ago (I can't find the link) that talks about how airlines are degrading Economy service to the point where the passenger will want to spend more to have an experience that's better but used to be the norm.
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Old May 12, 17, 1:37 pm
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Originally Posted by flyquiet View Post
......(And congrats on promotion to Evangelist!)
Thanks. I did not receive the pay raise to go with it.


Originally Posted by flyquiet View Post
I think FFs are different in expectations and that is probably not who the airline is talking about. I think they are talking about the Tango fare buyers who complain their family can't sit together or they aren't automatically protected on irrops.

........

In the discussion of several recent cases, many comments have pointed to the need for AC to explicitly alert passengers that Tango may be IDB, may not have a desirable seat or ability to change seat, etc. It is hard to completely blame AC for not emphasizing that when the marketplace rewards people who will make patently impossible promises and claims. AC could and should have done better than it did in many of the cases that have hit the fan, and in cases we each have experienced, but I would not want to be AC in trying to deal with the marketplace of unreasonable expectations that affect every commodity, from politics to tourism to apparel and accessories.

......
Agree with all points.

Not long after that mom on my morning flight to LAX threw a major tantrum for having her family separated (and recall that FA had asked her if she had paid for seat selection), a few of us suggested to AC that they have pop-up windows during the booking process especially for Tango tickets that seat selection costs $.

AC has decent enough charts on the website with all the ancillary costs listed, but no one likes to look there, many buy on OTA where there may not be flashing red lights and in the end, IMHO, AC is still the carrier and should do a better job of pointing out the rules and such. I think too many airlines are afraid they will lose a customer if the total trip costs $5 more. Everyone who flies Spirit or RyanAir knows exactly what they are paying for, piece by piece.


Originally Posted by flyquiet View Post
........The problem is that nobody tells anybody bad news any more. Governments and prospective governments campaigning don't say "you can't get the healthcare / road works / home heating /etc. for the amount of tax you are willing to pay." They simply say what people want to hear and get elected for that and vilified for not finding a rabbit in their hat.

......
All politicians lie, it's just a varying degree of how much and how often.



Originally Posted by ETStar View Post
....There was also an article I read a few weeks ago (I can't find the link) that talks about how airlines are degrading Economy service to the point where the passenger will want to spend more to have an experience that's better but used to be the norm.

EDIT TO ADD:

Ah, found this:

"The airlines will tell you these Basic Economy fares – no advance seat assignments, no changes, no upgrades – are about bringing people lower fares. They’re not. They’re about giving consumers less at the same fare they pay now and generating incremental revenue in the form of:...

The Truth About Basic Economy: Airlines Aren’t Creating a “Class Below Economy

by Gary Leff on May 24, 2016

http://viewfromthewing.boardingarea....class-economy/
.

Last edited by 24left; May 12, 17 at 1:43 pm Reason: add info
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Old May 12, 17, 1:46 pm
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I only fly AC for USA-Canada and domestic flights and always in Tango
I already know what to expect, so I don't expect much.

Last time when I was flying from ORD-YYZ with my mom we were upgraded to exit row. Not sure if it was because of my TK*G status.
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Old May 12, 17, 2:59 pm
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Well, of course Air Canada customers are cheap. Humans are cheap. This is not news.

I think it's hard to talk about the issues in a general way, though.

Take seat selection. Before paying for seat selection was "a thing", people on one PNR generally got seated together. Now they don't. People didn't stop paying for seat selection, things just got worse.

Or how about Aeroplan rewards -- they promote getting what you want (see: "plan A" commercials), but reality is different. They're setting expectations that are unrealistic to begin with.

Change fees -- only seem to go in one direction, and are clearly out of proportion of the clerical costs of the change, almost to the point that the change fee substantially approaches the cost of the leg you're changing. Kinda hard to not be grumpy about it, especially when most changes are probably ALSO resulting in higher airfare on top of the change fee.

I could go on Some passengers' grumbling is over the top, but there's a lot of blame to be spread around here...
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