Ever accidentally sent an email with someone cc’d that you wish you could pull back? Odds are one reporter for the Canadian Broadcast Corporation is feeling that way this week. After a reasonably in depth back and forth email between a producer and Air Canada about the airline’s boarding process Michael Enright, the on-air personality set to deliver this particular story, replied back in a most unfortunate way.
We can skip all the bullshit. The bottom line is we say “Air Canada continues to employ the least efficient and most time consuming boarding system.”
Bias in CBC reporting on Air Canada? Top CBC reporter confirms: https://t.co/abLrmIVTib @CBCOmbudsman @jsource @CANmediaCouncil @canadaland pic.twitter.com/ZU2j59w4Ob
— Air Canada (@AirCanada) September 15, 2017
The reply itself is mildly awkward in that it ignores most of what Air Canada introduces by way of explanation for its boarding procedure, one which the CBC seems to dislike (citing a 2014 VOX story that says Southwest is best but ignores things like multiple cabins, assigned seating and other factors). But what makes it really awful is that Enright included the Air Canada officials in the message.
After asking the company for a reply and receiving such the reporter is willing to wholesale dismiss it. That is not unheard of, though it is also not especially common in my experience. I’ve received blow-off answers from companies plenty and that’s their prerogative, of course. I actually think Air Canada could have been more direct in calling out why the 3-year old story is stupid and doesn’t really apply to most airlines or passengers.
So dismissing the company reply in this case is not completely unreasonable. I probably would write it as, “Air Canada reiterated its belief that the current process best serves its passengers,” or something like that. Make the point clear that the company was asked but didn’t deliver an answer that adds much to the conversation. Calling it bullshit, however, is probably a step beyond what’s necessary.
As for what comes next, that’s hard to say. It is hard to believe that this story about boarding procedures is so important that it will still be part of the planned report. Then again, I would’ve said it was so useless that it shouldn’t have been a story anyways and I was wrong about that. Plenty of drama in the news room, no doubt.
Header Image: The Bombardier CS300 in Air Canada Colours via Air Canada/Bombardier
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The CBC has a vendetta on Air Canada because they can always find a story about someone the airline has “screwed over”. Journalistic standards at the network (Enright works the radio side, hosting the flagship Sunday morning magazine radio show akin to CBS’s “Sunday Morning”) and they’re always on the look out for such “human interest” cum “corporate abuse”. Facts like you’ve mentioned (the study referenced uses a single cabin, limited perks, low fare carrier vs a full service, multi-cabin carrier) seldom get in the way of a good story by reporters and editors who have lived in a vacuum and have no real world experience about which they report! CBC used to be a paragon of journalistic standards but alas no more. As you point out, AC’s boarding process is a zoned one similar to that of other North American full service airlines accounting for elite priority, cabin booked etc. As you’ve likely observed (since you admit to sitting in the back of the plane) too many passengers just can’t seem to quickly stow their bag(s) and get out of the aisle so others can pass by and get to their seats! It is amazing to watch the ineptitude and uncaring attitude of too many travelers when boarding flights!
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