Air Canada continues its slide into self-parody with a new optional service for fliers: for a mere $25-$35 per trip, the airline will sell you its "On My Way" service. What's "On My Way" service? It's a special number you can call that's staffed with people who aren't anaesthatized, script-reading drones, in the event that the airline loses your luggage, cancels your flight, or otherwise screws you over. This is the same airline that charges coach passengers two bucks for a "pillow" that's actually a ziploc bag you blow up and slip into a paper doily (business- and first-class passengers get their ziploc bags for free), so I guess it's all in keeping with business as usual at Canada's flagship air-carrier.
Air Canada said passengers who opt to pay an additional $25 one-way on short-haul flights and an extra $35 one-way on long-haul routes within North America will receive "speedy" access to "specially-trained" customer service agents who will help rebook flights on Air Canada or other airlines, as well as pay for hotel stays and meals, if necessary.
Air Canada said the program, which applies to any flight cancelled within 48 hours of the scheduled departure, goes beyond the industry practice of assisting customers affected by schedule changes deemed to be the airline's fault, such as mechanical problems with aircraft, scheduling glitches or crew members failing to show up for flights.
But while Air Canada is touting the program as an industry-first, at least one observer said it was once common for big North American carriers to go out of their way to help inconvenienced or stranded customers – free.