- Ernie Zelinski Photo: The Ritz-Carlton Istanbul
Yes, that is right: Air Canada Sucks and the Ritz-Carlton Rocks! Here is why:
In late November KalDer - The National Turkish Society for Quality flew me to Istanbul through London, England, to make an one-hour speech about my book The Joy of Not Working to 2,000 scholars, business executives, and university students.
The Air Canada flight from Edmonton to London was delayed 9 hours due to a navigation computer having to be repaired and then a new flight crew having to be flown in from Vancouver. Instead of arriving in London at 9:35 AM, I arrived at 6:30 PM.
I had to incur the added expense for a hotel room that I would otherwise not had to get plus much inconvenience. I also missed attending a performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London with two friends — the ticket was wasted, of course.
Despite the fact that my Air Canada Premium Business Class return flight between Edmonton and London cost my client a total of $11,500, Air Canada refused to compensate me in any way aside from a $75 voucher — the same compensation they gave to everyone else on the plane including those in economy whose flight cost only $1,200 return with taxes.
I would think that the fact that I asked my client to provide me with Premium Business Class as a cost of 11,500, Air Canada could afford to compensate me more than a measly $75 voucher.That is why Air Canada Sucks!
Here is why the Ritz-Carlton Rocks! On this same trip I stayed at the Ritz Carlton in Istanbul in an executive suite overlooking the Bosphorus that with tax goes for 710 Euro ($1,280 Canadian) a night. The other day I noticed a charge of $48 to my VISA by the Ritz-Carlton that shouldn't have been there.
I sent a note to the Ritz-Carlton and got a response within 24 hours. Get this: The manager of The Ritz Carlton apologized, said the hotel would immediately reverse the charges, and in compensation they will give me two free nights of equal accommodation at the Ritz-Carlton the next time I visit Istanbul. Remember this suite goes for $1,280 a night.
Photo of the bedroom in the Executive Suite at the Ritz-Carlton in Istanbul
Now do you see why Air Canada Sucks and the Ritz-Carlton Rocks? From now on I will avoid Air Canada any time I can. I have already booked a flight to Vancouver with Westjet even though I could have used the Air Canada voucher.
When a client wants me to go to Europe again, I will ask for tickets with British Airways even though I will have to fly to Calgary first before I head to London.
Quite frankly, the management at Air Canada doesn't know all that much about customer service. They could have compensated me with a free executive class flight to Hawaii or London or Cuba! Because the flights are not always at capacity, this would have not cost them very much — just like the Ritz-Carlton providing me with two free nights will not cost them that much.
Instead, Air Canada will continue to get a lot of bad publicity from me.
And given that I am an author and professional speaker, I get to tell tens of thousands of people. So, Air Canada may have saved themselves a measly few hundred dollars by not giving me any compensation — but Air Canada will lose tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars of lost business due to the bad publicity that I give them.
Not very bright, wouldn't you say, on the Air Canada's management's part, given that there is a recession going on? No wonder Air Canada is having the financial problems that it is having.
World-Class Author, Innovator, and Unconventional Career Expert
Author of the Bestseller How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free
(Over 110,000 copies sold and published in 7 foreign languages)
and the International Bestseller The Joy of Not Working
(Over 225,000 copies sold and published in 17 languages)