August 17, 2022

One of the awesome benefits of working in the airline industry is that you get travel privileges. However, some people don’t seem to get that this comes with certain expectations related to conduct and how to behave.

Why Air Canada revoked employee’s travel perks

Some people don’t seem to know when to stop. The daughter of an Air Canada employee is complaining to the media after her mother’s employee travel privileges with the airline were suspended.

The woman claims that she filed a complaint with the airline after receiving what she deemed to be poor customer service by ground staff while traveling with her mother’s employee travel privileges. The woman not only emailed senior officials at the airline, but also copied media outlets. The woman also allegedly misrepresented herself as a revenue customer, rather than someone traveling on employee privileges.

Both the 62-year-old Air Canada employee (who is an administrator) and her daughter have had their travel privileges with the airline suspended for a period of two years due to this incident. The woman claims that the travel privileges are one of the main reasons her mother worked for Air Canada, and she’s worried that her mother might lose her job if the situation escalates.

Now the woman is going to the media again to complain about the treatment she and her mother received, with having their privileges suspended:

“I had a really like sickening feeling when my mother told me what they did to her. It’s one thing for me to be reprimanded, but it’s totally different for my actions impacting my mom.”

The employee allegedly went to the union to try to protest this decision, but the union stated there was nothing that could be done, and suggested she apologize to the airline to reduce her penalty.

An Air Canada spokesperson issued the following statement regarding this situation:

“We deal with our employees directly on internal matters. However, we can confirm employee travel is a special privilege and a unique and generous perk of working for an airline that comes with responsibilities which the overwhelming majority of employees and families understand and value.

“We take feedback about our services seriously. In fact, we undertook an investigation into the complaint lodged, and subsequently found facts which did not align with what was presented.”

Air Canada suspended an employee’s travel privileges


We obviously don’t know the substance of the complaint that was filed with Air Canada. However, no matter how you slice it, the daughter of the employee crossed the line, and keeps digging herself (and her mother) a deeper hole:

  • When you take advantage of employee travel perks, you have to agree to certain terms and codes of conduct
  • Even if she had a legitimate complaint, you can’t misrepresent yourself as a paying customer, and you shouldn’t try to get media involved in trying to solve an internal issue
  • She’s outraged that her mom is being reprimanded for her actions; that’s how it works when you take advantage of employee travel privileges
  • Even the union made it clear that nothing could be done to defend the employee, and that she should just apologize
  • Even after all this happened, the woman is still trying to go to the media to complain about the outcome of this, claiming she fears her mother could now lose her job (which very well could happen if she keeps this up)

The level of entitlement here is kind of mind-boggling. Unfortunately this isn’t the first time we’ve seen someone traveling with non-rev perks act this way, and it’s also why some airline employees are hesitant to extend travel privileges to friends & family, since they fear this kind of behavior.

This behavior is literally the definition of looking a gift horse in the mouth…

This traveler doesn’t seem to understand what a privilege is

Bottom line

While airline employee travel privileges are awesome, they come with certain behavior expectations. I think the daughter of this Air Canada employee is the perfect example of how not to act when you’re traveling with airline benefits.

The fact that this person is still trying to go to the media to essentially mediate is a very odd approach to take, if you ask me… I don’t see this ending well for her or her mother.

What do you make of this Air Canada situation?

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