Matthew Lewis is clearly angry at Air Canada. As a flight expert, I have some advice
The ‘Harry Potter’ actor took to social media to complain about being unexpectedly bumped from first class
A private theory I have nurtured for years goes like this: the national airlines of countries with a particularly strong reputation for warm and friendly people tend to employ staff at the opposite end of the personality spectrum.
As evidence, I cite multiple disagreeable experiences at the hands of Iberia of Spain and Sri Lankan Airlines. True, there are counter-examples: on Ethiopian Airlines and Ryanair of Ireland I have always found crew to be helpful and good-humoured.
But my argument is that countries with warm, friendly inhabitants are so well-disposed to their fellow humans that they are prepared to accept dismal service. Since home-country nationals make up the largest contingent of passengers, the airline can therefore get away with shoddy service.
Nowhere is this more apparent than at Air Canada. The Canadian national carrier employs some superb aviation professionals, but regrettably this month I have suffered aboard no fewer than four AC flights. All of them departed late, and both of the flights to Toronto (from Quebec City and Winnipeg) spent an additional half-hour on the ground at Canada’s biggest airport awaiting a gate.
Each aircraft was well-maintained (if only the same applied to me) but showing clear signs of age. And the inflight service was as absent as any communication about the reason (for example) why I was still in Chicago even though my ticket said I should be in Montreal.
Indeed, I have already made a couple of podcasts for The Independent this month lamenting my unexpected arrival in Quebec’s largest city in the early hours, and, while awaiting a delayed take-off from Toronto, comparing Air Canada unfavourably with UK-based budget airlines easyJet and Jet2.