Canadian-Romanians banned by Air Canada  

Thrown (Ţâpat) in , , , ,

I just learned about two Romanian-Canadian people, mother and daughter Ana Constantin and Lisa Maria Paun being banned for life by Air Canada and left stranded without proper notice. This is not discrimination, just incredibly poor customer service and it’s an issue almost all of us have to deal with every time we fly.

mother and daughter Ana Constantin and Lisa Maria Paun holiday photoThe first and very important point I am going to make is that it is far better to be banned by Air Canada than shot by a missile, as it happened to Andrei Anghel and the rest of the passengers of that ill-fated flight. But it still hurts.

Crews everywhere are picking fights with customers and have perfected the art of harassing customers to the point that the latter snap, then use poorly conceived policies to punish them and triumph. Customer-facing agents are “triggered” by the slightest real or imaginary customer action, from an “evil eye” to snippets of unrelated, private conversations misinterpreted as criticism. Instead of enjoying themselves, customers need to be careful not to thread on crews’ heightened sense of clique.

So I’m not surprised when I hear of bad experiences with bad airlines. Unfortunately, most of us do no research on customer satisfaction before buying a plane ticket, we only care about price, and that is partly because customer service is virtually non-existent across-the-board, and the barriers of entry in this market make it difficult for a new entrant focused on customer service (I’m looking at you, Virgin/Branson) to gain a significant foothold.


I remember how easy and fun it was to fly before 9/11. I remember taking SwissAir with Minisong in grade III and being offered my first Fanta, getting excellent service and even being offered frog legs for lunch. I remember nearly missing my plane in Amsterdam (in romana) and getting on due to the great people of KLM. I tried Air Canada a while back but didn’t like the customer service and found the cabin staff poorly trained, so even though parents of friends work or worked for that airlines and the CEO is Romanian and born in Bucharest (wiki-rovinescu), they’re on my “avoid” list – an airline I’d fly only at significant discount and/or if there’s no other good option.

Back in the 80s, the joke was that the way to make or be left with 1 million dollars with the airlines was to start by investing 10 million. These guys had some minimal customer service standards, but they were losing money. Then more and more people started flying and RyanAir and a bunch of other “discounters” came along, giving people what they wanted: rock-bottom prices and no included services, and many were happy. And in this environment, where everyone was complaining about what they were getting for their money, yet nobody was willing to pay a bit more for better (i.e., what used to be normal) service, there was no recognition for good customer service, so nobody bothered with that any more.


Many Romanians have experienced discrimination in travel due to the “Gypsy confusion” but I think it’s clearer and clearer that what most of us end up dealing with is a general breakdown in civility. Yes, having a Romanian-born CEO is not a rock-solid guarantee of non-discrimination toward Romanians – everybody is getting the short end of the stick. Nobody gets fired for poor customer service skills anymore – in fact, I suspect that that’s seen as leadership potential and instead of being fired, the idiot on a power trip gets promoted. And we have partly ourselves to blame for being so accepting of security theater and the idiocy that comes with it.

In Canada, air travel is so expensive that it is often cheaper to fly to Europe or Asia (not to mention USA) than to fly within Canada, and we have partly to thank Air Canada and its own regulatory capture for it.


Meanwhile, the only “customer” getting some “customer service” is China, who managed to get Cathay Pacific’s CEO, Rupert Hogg, fired because a few employees participated in the Hong Kong protests – can you believe it?!? (ft-hogg)

The announcement was initially made by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV on its official Weibo account. CCTV’s phone app used a popular Chinese internet meme to report the news, which in effect translates as “if you don’t do stupid things, they won’t come back to bite you”. “This is my first time seeing something like this happen . . . over my career here in Hong Kong covering stocks,” said Ivan Su, an analyst at Morningstar. “We are talking about a Hong Kong company, not a Chinese company. This happens with Chinese companies.”

But if you’re not a “government actor” willing to flex your muscle, make no mistake about it: you ain’t getting no respect.


As we read about tourists stranded on the Greek island Samothraki, some blame the tourists for not accepting and enjoying their supposedly extra free days, without anyone actually bothering to find out all the details. One person who seems to know a few more details is the foreign affairs minister Ramona Manescu, who chastises Greek authorities for not including any Romanian during the first “rescue” transport, hinting and discrimination, giving Greeks priority (hn-manescu). A mother threw her kid overboard. It would be interesting to learn what was the proportion of Romanian tourists on the island vs the size of that first transport.

Have a great weekend and enjoy your summer!

Sources / More info: cbc-paunaircan, wiki-rovinescu, hn-manescu, ft-hogg

Thank you for reading (mulţam fain pentru cetire)! Publicat Friday, August 16, 2019 . Similar articles under the following categories (poţi găsi articole similare sub următoarele categorii): (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe) . Dacă ţi-a plăcut articolul, PinIt-uieste-l, ReddIt-eaza-l, stumble-uieste-l altora, trimite-l pe WhatsApp yMess şi consideră abonarea la fluxul RSS sau prin email. Ma poti de asemenea gasi pe Google. Trackback poateputea fi trimis prin URL-ul de sub Comentarii.
Aici vei găsi ştiri inedite, articole hazoase, perspective originale in politică, societate, economie şi relaţii interumane. QUESTIONS (Intrebări)? We got Answers (Răspunsuri există)!  
blog comments powered by Disqus