Stranded at airport, violinist wants apology from Air Canada CEO

Discussion in 'Air Canada | Aeroplan' started by sobore, Apr 2, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
    Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

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    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news...er-being-stranded-in-airport/article17765605/

    Air Canada officials are trying to get to the bottom of events involving an embarrassing incident at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport that left disabled globe-girdling violinist Itzhak Perlman calling for a personal apology from the carrier’s chief executive.

    Mr. Perlman, who rides a scooter, says he was unceremoniously dumped at the busy airport Monday by a disability assistant who was supposed to help him with his luggage, crutches and violin.

    The world-renowned Israeli-American violinist complained that he was left stranded with his gear in the zone between the arrival gates and passport control.

    He had just arrived in Toronto for a charity concert that evening.

    He said the unidentified assistant helped him into one elevator but then left him alone at a second.

    Read More: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news...er-being-stranded-in-airport/article17765605/
     
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  2. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    Class and tact evidently can't be learned.
     
  3. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    Okay. I am walking on thin ice here.
    But I was really wondering, is this a little much to ask for a personal apology from the CEO for a mistake made by one of its many employees?
    Air Canada did apologised but nothing except from the top is deemed acceptable.
    Just a thought about appropriate expectations.
     
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  4. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    Maybe it was a "DYKWIA?", but I doubt it. Just sad someone disabled with bag in tow wasn't helped
     
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  5. slalom

    slalom Silver Member

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    Think he'd be happy if he got the employee fired?
     
  6. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    Is it possible that asking for an apology from the "top" has as a subtext the hope for attention and training so this doesn't happen to others? Better chance of getting a problem fixed if the chief gets involved I think. In this case being famous may mean more attention than if a "peon" was inconvenienced.
     
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  7. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    You could still do that without going all the way to the top or involving the whole world.
    I just felt that in our current society, there are much bigger worries.

    Accepting the situation as reported by the violinist, the employee is at fault for doing what he did and he needs some sensitivity training (certainly more so than the recent baggage handler) but is it a corporate strategic matter that requires the attention of the CEO no less.

    Unless I am badly mistaken, Air Canada most likely already have trainings and programs in place but it always comes down to the individual staff performing his/her duties.
    While this does not absolve Air Canada of their responsibilities for actions undertaken by their employees in their line of duty, it is certainly not a corporate crisis.
    If such were the case, then all CEOs of any medium sized business (and larger) would be spending their time making personal apologies to various slights faced by their customers that were not in line with the corporate policy.
     
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  8. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    I agree that this is hardly "DYKWIA". Perlman saw this as a "teaching moment", not just for AC or even the airline industry alone, but for the world at large to be mindful of those who have shortcomings that are of no fault of their own.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
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  9. foxberg

    foxberg Gold Member

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    This what differentiates a good CEO from just another high executive. I'm sure AC CEO can ask someone to write a letter of an apology and then sign it. That would actually make AC look good. Especially when such a renown celebrity is concerned.
     
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  10. ducster
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    ducster Gold Member

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    As a business matter, it makes sense that when a major celebrity is involved, it will have a bearing on the response. If a CEO sees that the PR fallout from an incident will damage the business, it makes sense for him or her to respond.

    I was wondering as I was reading this thread what would have happened if it had been Gordie Howe, who suffers from dementia, who was involved rather than Perlman. I would suspect that if his people had wanted the CEO to apologize, there may have been a quick response from the top. Again, less about DYKWIA, and more about the damage that the poor PR would do to his company. Hypothetical, certainly (especially since Gordie would have put the employee's lights out himself!), but to me interesting.
     
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  11. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    In the spirit of a healthy discussion, my take is that by responding differently to celebrities, high profile passengers (CEO comes out and apologise by default) this also subjects the company to another can of worms.

    Is a normal disabled person then less entitled to an apology from the CEO an a general apology will suffice?

    I do not agree with the actions of the staff and neither does AC.

    From the article, AC had issued an apology but it was rejected by Perlman. Perlman wanted nothing short of an apology from the CEO.

    This is the part I am struggling with. We know its wrong and the company apologise but it has to come from the CEO because it was a celebrity involved? Non-celebrity does not matter. If you say non-celebrity deserves equal treatment, then the CEO will kept busy for the wrong reasons.

    Not saying it was done here, does a head (VP / Director) of Customer Service count?

    It might have been a different feeling if Perlman had said that he did not feel the current apology received was sincere enough but to say, no, I want the CEO to do it does have a sense of DYKWIA (mush as I hate to state it).

    I will certainly not demand a personal apology of a CEO in public news.
     
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