Another unaccompanied issue for AC

Discussion in 'Air Canada | Aeroplan' started by milchap, Jul 12, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    Mom demands apology from Air Canada
    CBC News

    Posted: Jul 12, 2012 8:31 AM CT

    Last Updated: Jul 12, 2012 8:39 AM CT


    A Winnipeg mother is demanding an apology from Air Canada after her daughter was left alone in the Edmonton airport.
    Elaine Arseny paid the airline $100 to have her 12-year-old daughter, Kennedy Barker, accompanied as a minor during a trip to Edmonton last month.
    Barker was supposed to be escorted to a waiting relative but that never happened.
    "I'm just disgusted by the whole situation. I'm really disappointed that I put my trust into this company and they didn't follow through," Arseny said.
    Barker spent about 25 minutes wandering around. Fortunately, she had a cell phone and called Arseny, who calmed her down until the relative spotted Barker.
    "I was scared for her. I was shocked and disgusted," Arseny said. "The worst thing could have came out of this and I was really upset."
    Barker said the July 1 flight was the first time she ever got on a plane and was nervous about the tip.
    Arseny has since phoned Air Canada to complain. She was told to send an email.
    Air Canada has told CBC News it is looking into the matter.
     
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  2. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    AC has eventually to apologize.
     
  3. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    ....and refund the fee, assuming that the story is accurate.
     
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  4. tcook052
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    tcook052 Silver Member

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  5. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    One screwup in this program is too much.......and to term such event as minor is puzzling....
     
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  6. southender
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    southender Silver Member

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    Sorry- call me over protective but putting a Minor in a tube without a responsible parent-caregiver is a sad statement on priorities...
     
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  7. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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    I agree.
    My grandchildren always come to visit accompanied either with grandpa or grandma.
     
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  8. many children who travel alone do so as the result of divorced parents. My point holds. The kid in this incident was 12 and had a cell phone and if the process was done correctly she had a big name tag on her. She also would have been told not to wander from the gate upon arrival as part of the drill the kids are given. We simply don't live in a perfect world and AC generally does a wonderful job escorting unaccompanied kids, including the on board staff keeping an eye on them. Blowing up a very isolated incident w/o the full facts is unfair to the airline.
     
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  9. AC_Flyer

    AC_Flyer Silver Member

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    When $100 is charged for this service, then service is expected. Hate this 'crap' about being bad parents for sending a child as UM regardless of age. I hate it when people apologize for sheer incompetence. If AC does not want to be in this business then don't offer the service.
     
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  10. You are correct about paying for service and expecting to get it. However, are you fully satisfied everytime you pay for other services? Stuff happens and as stated earlier we really don't know the full story. AC took the hit as they should have but IMHO there might be more to the story than meets the eye. Why did the young lady leave the gate area when they are all told not to in front of their parent guardian as part of the pre take off process. She may have simply followed the other passengers towards the baggage area or the exit.

    Circumstances sometimes go beyond normal operating procedure
     
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  11. tcook052
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    tcook052 Silver Member

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    Somewhat compounding the poor PR is how the whole thing was handled as it seems AC only came fully clean after the story hit the media:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/story/2012/07/12/mb-airport-girl-alone-edmonton-winnipeg.html

    Arseny said she phoned Air Canada to complain, but she was told to send an email.

    Air Canada said on Thursday that it has apologized to Arseny and offered her a full refund and a $100 voucher toward another flight.

    Regardless of the optics of this one particular case, AC does transport 10,000 UM's per year and I'd bet there are very few problems system-wide of that total so no system is perfect. Not saying AC shouldn't try and make improvements as there`s always room for improvements but if the system were so flawed we`d be hearing and reading these stories nonstop.

    Just MHO, of course.
     
  12. The Lev
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    The Lev Silver Member

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    I'll call you a typical modern "helicopter parent".

    Back in the neolithic period when I was growing up my parents thought nothing about letting me walk to school alone on busy streets at age 5, take public transportation by age 7 and I was flying solo internationally before I was 10. Somehow my peers and I survived - nay thrived.
     
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  13. So, do you think AC should have called a press conference and announced the screw up prior to the mother phoning some newspaper? Maybe they should have and stated how the girl walked away from the gate when she was explicitely told that was a muster point.
     
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  14. +1
     
  15. southender
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    southender Silver Member

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    Guilty as charged. Especially when you layer on the increasingly rare concept of taking individual responsibility for one's decisions regarding a child as a key component of our admittedly hands on approach to parenting.
    One question for you- way back in the neolithic, did your parent(s) run to the press everytime you were out there 'thriving' and something went a bit sideways? Or did you collectively suck it up and adjust the plan for next time?
     
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  16. AC_Flyer

    AC_Flyer Silver Member

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    I agree. I started flying on my own at 7. A few times as UM as well. My gripe with the process is we are quick to defend AC or say WS does not do that. When a service is offered, even losing one person out of 1 million is 1 too many. I think so long as we have that attitude AC Customer Service will not improve as we always set the bar low enough or justify that.. Especially when they charge for the service now...

    P.S. I flew SQ as UM on an intercontinental service over 30 years ago. They were very attentive. I have flown BA, MH, UL and QF. All were very good. I would say BA was probably the worst. But even they were good and I did not get lost... ;) And it was free...
     
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  17. tcook052
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    tcook052 Silver Member

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    That's the whole point: according to AC's own rules she isn't supposed to be "explicitely told" where to wait, she's to be escorted off the plane by staff:

    http://www.aircanada.com/en/travelinfo/before/youngtravellers/minors.html#faq:0-*

    Upon arrival at your child's destination, the In-flight Service Director will help your child disembark, and will hand them over to an airport agent. This agent will escort your child to the Arrivals section to meet the person designated on the UM envelope.

    IMHO AC could've headed this one off when the mother first contacted them with a quick check of the story and quiet admission it erred and a refund but instead threw up the standard bureaucratic stonewall of sending an email to customer service before bidding a hasty public releations retreat once the media spread the story. As always however that is only MHO and YMMV.
     
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  18. I have paid for this UM fee in the past and while the procedure is exactly that as explained the child is also told not to leave the gate area alone and to make sure an Ac agent accompanies them to arrivals, waiting with them for bags to arrive,etc. That's part of the overall procedure.
     
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  19. tcook052
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    tcook052 Silver Member

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    So it's the child's duty to ensure airline staff follow their own procedure? They should "make sure" staff do their jobs? Sorry but telling kids something is not and should not be a replacement for doing it with them, especially when it's company protocol.
     
  20. global_happy_traveller
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    global_happy_traveller Silver Member

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    Where is umpa lumpa when you need them?
     
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  21. That's not what was intended. The point being that when things go wrong there is usually some circumstance. Some well meaning adult adult may have offered to take the kid to the baggage area and arrivals w/o telling the airline personnel. The plane may have landed late or early and the designated employee may not have made it to the gate. The designated employee may have been distracted by some other passenger much as I've seen every time I land.
    Telling the kid what the rules are is backup for possible snafus. Everyone who has kids, especially a pre teen, know they can be easily distracted but also know they are old enough to understand. No one is defending the airline per se but simply pointing out that perfection does not always happen. When was the last time this type of incident got any attention? 10,000 kids per year and one complaint in say the last 10 years is not something to bray about in terms of the airline's (in)competence.

    The op was also being a little disingenius by using the "another" in his title. My recollection of the CBC report did not mention this as an ongoing or repeat issue with the airline.
     
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  22. tcook052
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    tcook052 Silver Member

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    Yes and I said as much in post #12. IMHO AC should chalk this up as a learning lesson that the UM rules are there to be followed regardless of what circumstances arise on the ground.
     
  23. wow:rolleyes: some people just don't get it. this thread is done.
     
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  24. tcook052
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    tcook052 Silver Member

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    Reading a few posts it's readily apparent some never did.
     

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