Amid a barrage of stories of passengers being mistreated and mishandled by airline employees comes word of an airline that went out of its way to go above and beyond for a group of travelers on a New York to Canada flight that had been subject to lengthy delays.
Several Orthodox Jews were among those who were scheduled to travel from New York to Toronto on the afternoon of Friday, April 28th, a flight that would have them arriving at Pearson International Airport well in advance of the Sabbath when both car and airplane travel is expressly forbidden. But when the flight was delayed because of technical difficulties, they found themselves growing concerned that they might not arrive at their destination before the onset of the Sabbath, which would leave them stranded inside the airport until the end of the Sabbath, approximately 25 hours later.
The passengers spoke with Air Canada personnel who assured them that they would do everything in their power to get them to their destination before the Sabbath started and, in fact, once the difficulties were resolved, the flight was given priority status to accommodate the Jewish travelers, ensuring a speedy takeoff.
While in air, Air Canada arranged for special priority to its access gate to accommodate its Sabbath observant passengers and as the flight neared its destination, flight attendants asked travelers to allow Jewish passengers to deplane first so that they would be able to reach their destinations without having to compromise on their religious principles.
Video footage of the flight attendants’ announcement has gone viral on social media (video available upon official media request), with many applauding Air Canada for its extreme sensitivity.
Lisa M. Pierce, senior director of USA sales and market development said that Air Canada prides itself on going the extra mile for its passengers
“We are very familiar with the needs of our diverse clientele who we have been serving for many years, and are glad that our crew’s efforts were recognized by our customers,” said Pierce.
Travel guru Eli Ostreicher (from the presidential suite at the W Beverly Hills. Instagram: @realtravelentrep & lead of the Hollywood hit reality TV show), Founder & CEO of Regal Wings, an Inc. 500 #1 luxury travel provider that spends almost as much time in the air as he does on the ground said, he was impressed with Air Canada’s sensitivity and outstanding customer service.
“So much noise has been made about the few bad apples in the airline industry, but those stories are not representative of what takes place on thousands of flights each and every day all across the globe,” said Ostreicher. “In this case, however, Air Canada’s actions were truly exemplary and Air Canada and its employees continue to prove themselves as paragon of excellence in the travel industry.”
“Kudos to Air Canada for going above and beyond for these customers,” added Dr Bryan Leibman, president and CEO of Frosch, a global leader in the deluxe leisure and corporate travel business. “It is always gratifying to be able to recognize partners for excellence, for as service providers, this is at the core of what we do!”