Oh, Canada

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The airlines could have saved themselves considerable ill will when they slashed commissions if they'd just showed some Canadian common sense.

U.S. carriers, once the thin end of the wedge had been inserted by United, released simple press releases containing a clear message: Today you earn 8%, tomorrow 5%.

Not so Air Canada, which bamboozled agents with a new commission structure that's almost weird enough to be forgiven. If you buy an Air Canada ticket through an agent in Canada, for travel within Canada, that agent earns 5%.

If that same agent books you on an overseas Air Canada flight, the agent earns 8%. But if that ticket is for a flight to the U.S., Bermuda, or the Caribbean, the commission drops back to 5%.

Air Canada tickets booked in the U.S. earn 5%, no matter what the destination is. But none of these changes go into effect until Dec. 1.

I guess they wanted to give you guys enough time to figure it all out.

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