Is flying becoming the most painful way to travel?
Airline woes. News and social media are abuzz with stories of air travel gone awry. They range from lost luggage and missed flights to outright assault. Is flying becoming the most painful way to travel?
More from this episode:
- The hard truth about airlines, from a pilot
- Airline crews not equipped to deal with disabilities: Checkup caller
- Pilots rush pre-flight checks
- 'Sit back, relax and behave yourself' when flying, says former travel agent
By now most of us have heard the story of Dr. David Dao. He was dragged off a United Airlines plane by Chicago aviation police earlier this month to make room for airline crew. The incident sparked outrage and an outpouring of stories of passenger mistreatment by airlines in the U.S. and Canada.
Has flying the skies really become this unfriendly or are we just hearing about failed trips when something goes wrong?
Most of the bad news stories aren't as horrible as Dr. Dao's but they are seriously unpleasant.
There was the story of the woman from Toronto who got bumped and missed her trip of a lifetime to the Galapagos Islands. Or the 10-year-old boy bumped from a flight to Costa Rica even though his family wasn't. Or Cooper the dog who was supposed to be flying from Halifax to Newfoundland and Labrador, but somehow he ended up in Hamilton, Ontario. They all add up to a growing feeling that something is not quite right with air travel.
Canada's Minister of Transport Marc Garneau agrees, and promises a passenger bill of rights by 2018. European countries already have them.
Is that what's needed?
Will it prevent the stories of frustration we hear from friends and neighbours and shared on social media? Or do airlines need to step up and try harder?
The airlines are certainly feeling the squeeze of running a high cost business when passengers want rock bottom fares. But must it translate into less legroom, overbooked planes, lost luggage and lineups that stretch on and on and on?
Or do we as passengers bear any of the blame because we all want the cheapest flights but expect the best service?
Our question: "Is flying becoming the most painful way to travel?"
Chair & CEO for Canadian Transportation Agency
- Canadians still waiting for airline passenger rights legislation
- Dad, 2 young kids ordered off Air Canada plane after mother turned away at gate
- 'Should not have occurred' says airline: Family offered compensation after 10-year-old bumped from flight
- Passenger rights: What you need to know to hold airlines accountable
- Air passengers with complaints urged to contact Canadian Transportation Agency
- 'Appalling': Woman bumped from Air Canada flight misses $10,000 Galapagos cruise
- 'Salt in the wound': Couple bumped from Air Canada flight booked months in advance
- United Airlines forcibly removes passenger from overbooked flight (Apr. 10, 2017)
- Ottawa to introduce legislation to address airline bumping
- Why airlines overbook flights and what 'bumped' passengers can do about it
Globe and Mail
- Bill of rights for airline passengers to be in place by 2018: Transport Minister
- WestJet – 'LessJet' – crams more people on flights: It's what Canadians want
- Air Canada apologizes for bumping 10-year-old boy from flight to Costa Rica
- United Airlines reaches settlement with passenger dragged from plane
- Death of giant British rabbit adds to United Airline's woes
- American Airlines tries to learn from United's mistake over conflict on airplane
- Couple en route to their wedding booted off United Airlines flight
- Dog put on wrong flight by WestJet found in Hamilton
- United to reduce, but not eliminate, overbooking and raise payments to bumped flyers up to $10K
- Passenger who was dragged off United Airlines flight settles with airline over 'unfortunate incident'
- Air Canada offers apology and 'very generous compensation' after bumping 10-year-old boy from flight
- Getting bumped: Airlines often oversell flights, bump passengers - here are the rules of the game
- Kevin Libin: The solution to United's passenger abuse is the opposite of what everyone says
- Terence Corcoran: United's passenger-abuse incident starts a panic of bad policy-making
- Chris Selley: Flying the unfriendly skies
- American Airlines flight attendant violently takes baby stroller from mother, tells passenger: 'Hit me'