Air Canada to employ travellers whose flights have been cancelled

Air Canada to employ travellers whose flights have been cancelled

Moncton — Each day there are several new horror stories emerging about people stuck in airports because their flights have been cancelled.

Whether it’s a mother with three young children forced to sleep on airport floors because the airline will not provide accommodations after cancelling flights, or a man missing his father’s funeral in the Maritimes because he’s stuck in Montreal, or precious belongings lost in the expanding mountains of misplaced luggage, there’s no shortage of harrowing tales that make travelling less appealing than ever.

But fear not: Air Canada — probably the worst offender in all the flight mixups — has a plan. They intend not to add more flights or stop cancelling them on weary customers, but to help those customers kill time while they wait.

“They’re at the airport for like three days anyway — might as well give ’em something to do,” said spokesperson Andrew McCarthy. “We have no front desk agents left, so we’re now recruiting some of the brighter-looking passengers to help out. You know, people who don’t seem like they’d need much training. We’re not offering financial compensation, but a voucher for 5% off a future flight. If it’s not cancelled.”

Other available jobs for stuck passengers include making announcements over the intercom regarding the latest cancellations, and helping field thousands of customer complaints about the abhorrent service.

“My last 8 flights got cancelled, and I’ve been just sitting here in Toronto since Thursday,” said Marie Boulder, who had been trying to get from Vancouver to Fredericton for a wedding that was this past weekend, but is stuck in purgatory, also known as Pearson International Airport. “All the hotels were booked, supposedly, so I’ve been sleeping sitting up, and eating at the only restaurant that’s open. I offered to clean the planes or whatever it takes to just get to my destination, but they said that’s against regulation.

“Anyway, now they’ve offered me a cleaning position, but just the airport bathrooms. It’s something to do, I suppose. Have you seen my toilet scrubber?”

Jackson Neal is in a similar situation, but he offered to work an Air Canada customer service desk.

“Lemme tell you, people are pissed!” he said. “I mean, I am too — I don’t want to live at the airport. So I can relate. The customer service desk has become more of a talk therapy station. I’m someone they can vent at, and I say, ‘Totally, it sucks’ and make people feel a bit better. It doesn’t actually help any of us get where we need to go, but it’s something to do until we get to board a flight.”

Air Canada employees who were not laid off during the pandemic mostly quit, as they were underpaid and treated poorly. They refuse to come back to work until conditions improve.

“Did you know that we only start getting paid when the plane’s wheels leave the ground?” said former flight attendant Amy Smith. “So we could be waiting for several hours at an airport before we even start to receive compensation for our shift. Where’s the incentive?”

Smith now works at Tim Hortons and says that, while it’s minimum wage, it’s still better than working for Air Canada.

“At least the coffee is hot,” she said, “and I can have a fresh muffin that’s not vacuum-sealed in plastic.”

  1. Sheila Thebeau July 4, 2022, 10:44 am

    Two days ago I flew from Bathurst to Montreal to Calgary to Grand Prairie with no cancellation and no gate changes. I was at destination on time. I was one of the lucky ones!

  2. Having just got back from a trip to my home country of Canada and experiencing one flight disaster after another, I can really relate to this. I really needed this dose of humour and have shared it with several other friends and family members already. In fact, it came to my attention because an American friend who had heard about my Air Canada travelling woes sent it to me. He thought it was real!! Haha. Great job, Manatee staff.


Share your thoughts. We reserve the right to remove comments.