Is there some secret society of airline employees in charge of
scheduling the annual strike lineup? If there is such an
organization -- and I suspect there is -- they're doing a bang-up
This week Air Canada is at the plate, with flight attendants
scheduled to wheel-lock their beverage carts at midnight tonight.
Today's deadline represents a fairly quick turnaround time for Air
Canada workers, who just last year staged a 13-day pilot walkout
that cost the carrier more than $170 million.
Airline execs, however, have found a damage-control tool that
may help keep at least one side of their Canadian bacon fat out of
the fire: their own Web site. Passengers who log on to the Air Canada
site today will find detailed information about how to cope if the
airline is forced to suspend operations. This is a far cry from
last year's strike when passengers were left to stew in the dark as
tickets went unhonored by other carriers and refunds trickled out
slower than glacial melt.
What a customer-service breakthrough! An airline is providing
passengers with information before they need it. What's
more, it's using the Web to do it. The Internet: It's not just for
cheap tickets anymore.