Foiled again by Air Canada

The time was 3:00pm and I was sitting in the executive lounge waiting to walk to my gate for my Air Canada flight to Providence, Rhode Island for a business meeting. I was holding my breath as I watched the Departures screen. “Why?” you may ask. Because I have taken this same flight on four previous occasions, and not once have we left on time. Couple that with the fact that this morning’s Providence flight had been cancelled, and you can understand my apprehension to celebrate my good fortune that the flight was showing “On time” only 45 minutes before my departure time.

Alas, it was not to be. In the 10 minutes it took me to walk from the lounge to the gate, my flight got delayed by two hours. For a mechanical problem, or some other excuse that came up.

Why does Air Canada keep doing this to me and why do I keep coming back? It’s simple. Because they can and because I have no choice.

As I sit in the lounge hoping that my flight leaves on time for the new departure time, I just can’t stop wondering what would happen if I ran my business like this? This flight route uses older planes that appear to consistently have mechanical problems causing flight delays and cancellations. So why fly them? Why put your customers through the frustration of showing up, only to deal with delays, cancellations and rude gate agents? Are one of these planes eventually going to stop working in mid-air?

I want to stop writing about Air Canada or have them do something positive so that I can say nice things about them, but they keep giving me new ammunition to build on my previous post To achieve operational excellence, do the opposite of Air Canada. Let’s hope this story has a happy ending. I’ll be sure to let you know.