- Air Canada was right to revoke an employee’s flying privileges, a flight attendant told Insider.
- The airline revoked the 62-year-old worker’s flight standby rights after her daughter filed a complaint.
- The flight attendant said the woman should “keep her head down” to save her mother’s job.
An Air Canada flight attendant backed the airline, saying the daughter of a worker who complained about the service should “keep her head down for two years” to make sure her mother isn’t fired.
Insider reported last week that Air Canada had revoked the standby flight privileges of a 62-year-old employee after her daughter complained to managers and the media about her experience boarding a flight.
The incident was based on her experience with a group of flight attendants she said ignored her and stopped her from boarding an emergency flight. The daughter also had her privileges revoked indefinitely.
The flight attendant, who spoke on condition of anonymity citing job security concerns, told Insider that she and other colleagues supported Air Canada’s decision. She said the woman violated policy by going to the media, and was concerned all employees could lose their privileges as a result.
“It is drilled into us that these passes are a privilege and not a right that can be taken away by any small violation,” the woman said. “By misrepresenting herself as a revenue passer and tagging news outlets, she breached the code of conduct.”
Air Canada said the woman had misrepresented herself as a normal, revenue-generating customer when she filed the complaint. In a statement to Insider, a spokesperson said after an investigation that “the facts did not match what was presented,” but did not elaborate.
The woman said her complaint was only about the service she experienced, including what she says was a flight attendant “yelling” at a passenger, and that it had nothing to do with her status as an emergency pilot.
The flight attendant told Insider that she has often witnessed new employees and their relatives abuse the system, and that the woman at the center of the complaint was only putting her mother’s job at risk by speaking up.
“Unfortunately, her daughter’s behavior will make life more difficult for those who respect the passport,” the woman said.
“This is definitely a case where one bad apple will spoil the whole bushel. This girl should really just keep her head down for 2 years so she doesn’t get her mother in more trouble.”
The flight attendant said she was prompted to contact Insider after seeing on a Facebook forum that many Air Canada cabin crew agreed the airline’s response was appropriate. Insider was unable to confirm the full Facebook conversation, but has seen messages from the forum.
AC Component, the union representing Air Canada employees, declined to comment.
In response, the woman who complained said she was confused that Air Canada and its employees seemed to focus on the fact that she was flying standby, and not the basis of her complaint, which focused on poor treatment.
“I simply outlined several instances of the lack of customer service that was given to not only myself, but another passenger who was yelled at by staff,” she told Insider.
“If the concern is payment, and it would help Air Canada to take this seriously, then I have no problem letting them charge me for a full flight.”