- Air Canada was right to revoke an employee’s flight privileges, a flight attendant told Insider.
- Airline revoked the 62-year-old worker’s standby flight rights after her daughter filed a complaint.
- The flight attendant said the woman should “keep her head down” to save her mother’s job.
An Air Canada flight attendant backed the airline and said the daughter of a worker who complained about its service should “keep her head down for two years” to ensure her mother doesn’t get fired.
Insider reported last week that Air Canada had revoked the standby flying privileges of a 62-year-old employee after her daughter complained to executives and media about her experience boarding a flight.
The incident was based on her experience with a group of flight attendants she said ignored her and stopped her from boarding a flight on standby. The daughter also had her privileges revoked indefinitely.
The flight attendant, who wished to remain anonymous citing concerns about job security, told Insider she and other colleagues supported Air Canada’s decision. She said the woman broke the code of conduct by going to the media, and was worried that all employees could lose their privileges as a result.
“It is drilled into us that these passes are a privilege and not an entitlement that can be taken away by any small infraction,” the woman said. “By misrepresenting herself as a revenue passenger and tagging news outlets she broke the code of conduct.”
Air Canada said the woman had misrepresented herself as a normal, revenue-generating customer when she filed the complaint. In a statement to Insider, a spokesperson said after an investigation that “the facts didn’t align with what was presented”, but didn’t elaborate.
The woman said her complaint was only ever about the service she experienced, including she says a flight attendant “yelling” at a passenger, and had nothing to do with her status as a standby flyer.
The flight attendant told Insider that she has often witnessed new employees and their relatives abusing the system, and that the woman at the center of the complaint was just endangering her mother’s job by speaking out.
“Unfortunately the daughters behaviour will make life more difficult for the people who respect the passes,” the woman said.
“This is definitely a case where one bad apple will ruin the whole bushel. This girl should really just keep her head down for 2 years so that she doesn’t get her mom into more trouble.”
The flight attendant said she was prompted to contact Insider after seeing on a Facebook forum that many Air Canada cabin crew agreed that the airline’s response was appropriate. Insider was unable to verify the entire Facebook conversation but has viewed messages from the forum.
AC Component, the union representing Air Canada employees, declined to comment.
In response, the woman who complained said she was bemused that Air Canada and its employees seemed to be focusing on the fact she was flying standby, and not the basis of her complaint, which focused on poor treatment.
“I simply outlined multiple instances of the lack customer service that was given to not just myself but another passenger who was yelled at by the staff members,” she told Insider.
“If the concern is payment, and that will help Air Canada take this seriously, then I have no problem having them charge me for a full flight.”