Uncertain Air

In a little under a week, the husband and I will be getting on an airplane and flying down to Florida. Normally, I would be worried about the flight itself. I don’t like to fly. I don’t like the idea that if, all the gods forbid, something were to happen, I would be aware I was on my way to a fiery death for an unacceptably long period of time. There is also all that turbulence; the bumping, jumping and terribly sudden drops that makes you wonder if humankind really was meant to fly. All of these “legitimate concerns” are in the back of my mind, but right now I’m more worried about whether we are going to get to fly at all.

Air Canada, one of Canada’s major airlines (bet you couldn’t have guessed that from their name), is smack in the middle of some pretty major labour disputes. Just about every union that works for Air Canada is revisiting their contracts. Some of the unions have settled, but two of the unions, that of the the pilots and that of the mechanics, the baggage handles, and other ground workers, were just prevented from striking by an act of Parliament. The same bill also prevented Air Canada from locking out their employees. So, it is apparently business as usually at Air Canada… until 19 pilots decided to call in sick this past Saturday.

Are we going to be able to fly on Saturday morning? Right now all we can do is watch the news and hope that things get figured out before then. Plan B would be to try to get a later flight or a flight on another airline. But if we can’t make it to the Ft. Lauderdale before 3pm, our vacation will be over.

I do understand that the pilots and other Air Canada workers have a right to express their frustration with their employer. And I know that by having their right to strike revoked by the government, they don’t have a lot of options left to them. But, at the same time, their customers expect them to be at work, and have paid money (the same money that pays their salaries) to be flown to destinations around the world of reasons ranging from business to pleasure, and everything in between. And if you can’t rely on a company when you need them, how likely are you to use them again?

Air Canada, please get this figured out. Talk to your unions, come to an agreement. Let’s get the planes back in the air, or there may be no one left who wants to fly on them. I know that I have enough worries when flying that I don’t need to be worrying about whether my plane will actually be there for me on top of it all.