Wednesday, February 03, 2010

First Air Treats Nunavik Customers Last


It's been a busy time lately, and it seems the only time I blog is when I have a bee in my bonnet. I have a killer bee of a mad on towards a company, so here goes.

I do a lot of flying, but since this is exclusively within the north or to Montreal, I have only experienced the service of two airlines, First Air and Air Inuit. For those of you not familiar with the inner workings of Nunavik commerce and politics, both are subsidiaries of Makivik Corporation, an ethnic (Inuit) organization administering land claims money.

On Monday I flew from Montreal to Kuujjuaq on a flight which carried on to Iqaluit. The plane left 90 minutes late due to mechanical problems, which is fine with me and an indication that the airline places a premium on safety.

The 737 was in full configuration and filled to the gills with passengers for the two destinations.

Two hours later we walked in to the airport and gathered around the luggage carousel. The fifty or so passengers were waiting patiently for their suitcases, cases of beer and consumer products when the PA proclaimed that the airline had left 95 pieces of luggage back in Montreal, and that we would have to wait a day for the next plane to be reunited with our possessions.

What pisses me off was that the airline knew about this when we checked in, but said nothing. I had medication in the suitcase, and had I known I would have removed it. Another choice I had was to give me wife my luggage who was traveling the same day back home via Puvirnituq. Or I could have stayed on in Montreal until such a time as my luggage and myself had a fighting chance of arriving together.

But no, First Air said nothing.

Now, when Boeing designed the 737, they certainly did so with knowledge that the payload should be able to accommodate a full cabin of passengers AND their luggage. The fact that First Air removed the luggage indicates that they had cargo in the hold, which they feel is more important to them financially than keeping their customers satisfied.

What a way to treat their customer base and de facto shareholders! They could at least compensate me by paying my bar tab from that Monday night.

Henceforth I will fly Air Inuit, an airline which also has delays and occasionally loses luggage, but has the decency to be apologetic.

3 Comments:

Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

All airlines are treating their passengers like shit, they figure there's no other choice for the passenger so they can get away with it.

2:23 PM  
Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

Thought they'd have skies instead of wheels...

6:49 PM  
Blogger The Phosgene Kid said...

Can you skin a polagriz?

5:34 PM  

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