Air Canada kicks customers off plane and adds them to no-fly list for refusing to sit in vomit-soaked seats

Originally published at: Air Canada kicks customers off plane and adds them to no-fly list for refusing to sit in vomit-soaked seats | Boing Boing


All of the seat cushions are lightweight and removable - “In case of a water landing, use as a flotation device”. The airlines must know how many soiled seat cushions are expected on any given flight, so they could carry spares. But they won’t.


Go shit in the pilot’s seat and see if they still wanna fly the plane.


They’re really living up to their slogan here: Air Canada - we’re not happy till you’re not happy.

The most surprising part about this is that Air Canada apologized.


Did they apologize or did their PR firm send out a press release with something that sounded like an apology but wasn’t? “We’re sorry that these customers were unhappy with their experience on our airline” or something similar that accepts no responsibility for their role in the situation?

Talk is cheap, especially when senior management is using it to try to defuse a shitstorm of negative publicity headed straight for the company. If they talk the talk but don’t walk the walk their weaselly “apology” is likely to strengthen the storm instead of defusing it!


A bit better than that: Air Canada apologizes to passengers who complained about vomit seats | Financial Post


Wait. Was it THEIR own vomit, or someone else’s?!


You can’t really dust for vomit.


Someone else’s. Other accounts say that there were three people; two women, together, and a man who wasn’t with them apparently, and they were all seated in one row. They found on boarding that all three seats were wet, smelling of vomit, with some vomit residue. The women were removed from the plane, but there doesn’t seem to be any further mention of the man. Maybe he stuck it out for the 5 hour flight.


I would have no problem with Air Canada putting me on their “no fly” list, because I’d definitely be putting them on my “no fly” list.

It is things like this that make me opposed to a universal list that all airlines can contribute to, though.



How hard can it be?

(Oh, wait … late-stage capitalism…)


Same reason why the air quality in planes was actually better when people could smoke: they had to continuously replace the cabin air to get rid of the smoke, but that costs money. With no smoking, they actually replace the air far less. Capitalism!




Unfortunately, here in Canada that would place a number of locations on your ‘no go’ list as Air Canada is the only provider. They are also ‘Star Alliance’, which would remove a number of other major airlines from your options list as well (United, Lufthansa, Air Singapore etc)


Is it though?

Sorry Pop Tv GIF by Schitt's Creek


It is to me. Their customer service is appalling and they usually don’t acknowledge or care when they do something wrong.


“We’re sorry THAT …”?

No, no, that won’t do at all. Is this your first corporate non-apology? You never use ‘that’, because it establishes a fact. The correct formula is:

“We’re sorry IF …”

Let’s blur the lines a bit more. Remember to lead off with a values statement to distract from the fact that our staff basically told people to shut up and go sit in fresh puke. Something like:

“Air Canada is committed to the highest standards of excellence for all our valued customers. We are sorry if these passengers felt that the quality of care offered fell short of the high standards for which our airline is known on this occasion yadda yadda insert stuff about retraining yadda yadda quality again yadda yadda experience yadda yadda looking forward to welcoming them on Air Canada again etc. etc. etc.”

Much better …


When I was working for FM and Wikimedia, I travelled from Toronto → SF twice a month. For five years. Counting personal and other business travel before I emigrated from Canada I’ve flown Air Canada nearly 200 times (and counting) and since then I’ve had the same experiences from east → west coast US on several legacy and “new” US carriers as well.

There are two things that I will state unequivocally:

  1. Air Canada’s customer service, both in-flight and on the ground, remains miles ahead of anyone else, especially if you have no status, and
  2. There are entrenched managers and team leaders within Air Canada that are absolute assholes and exude absolute abhorrent toxicity from their positions of power, and short of some Super Elites complaining about them directly are never going to be disgorged from the system. Those bad apples make it impossible for any real systemic change to happen, and I’ve had several F/A’s or gate attendents specifically tell me “We want to do things the proper way but our manager / team lead won’t let us”.

I’ll bet you a box of Timbits that this flight had one of those assholes working on it.


It doesn’t surprise me at all that it’s a systemic problem. I’ve dealt with a lot of really, really great people at Air Canada, but when they get it wrong it feels like they really get it wrong.


I still miss Canadian Airlines.