December 3, 2008
Home for the holidays. It has a melodic ring to it, but the idea of lost baggage can be wincing.
Air Canada has announced some customer service initiatives around baggage that are truly responsive to travelers needs.
Workers in Alberta’s oil region have been carrying their tools home to Newfoundland, and then flying them back to Alberta. Air Canada has partnered with some companies to provide storage for these tools. This saves the travelers the inconvenience while freeing up cargo space. Win win.
Employees travelling during the holidays will have their bags placed on lower handling priority than paying passengers. (I appreciate this as several of the premium seats on my Thanksgiving flight were filled by airline staff, which did nothing to enhance my impression of the carrier — if, for nothing else, because they didn�t bother to tell employees not to wear their uniforms. But that is another rant)
If Air Canada bags do not arrive, passengers can park for free in short term parking to retrieve their bags. This may seem small, but it is like lemon juice in a papercut to have to hand over dollars to pick up something that should have left the airport with you the first time.
There is a lot of talk about improving airlines brand favourability, providing responsive service, and demonstrating customer care. It was only a decade ago that Air Canada’s baggage service was so deplorable that the CEO took out a full page newspaper ad apologizing. My, how times have changed. US carriers — look north.