Immigration – Algeria Visas and Travel – Air travel is often a hot topic of discussion, and recently an Algerian resident of Canada’s advice about Air Algeria and Air Canada caused an internet stir.
In a wildly popular video, the Algerian shares his strong views on the two airlines. From the beginning, he declared: “Air Algérie is a thousand times better than Air Canada”. While some might expect a critical tone towards the Algerian company, the Algerian shows the nuances and explains the reasons for his opinion.
“It is true that sometimes the Air Algérie service may leave some things unsatisfactory, and sometimes delays occur,” he admits. But he insists that the national wing stands out positively in several areas. He particularly emphasizes the generosity of the meals served on board, which is often an important aspect of the comfort of the passengers. In addition, with regard to baggage, he indicated that a weight of 2 x 23 kg is allowed in addition to the hand baggage granted by Air Algérie, a policy that facilitates the transportation of personal effects of passengers.
In contrast, he evokes a less positive experience with Air Canada. “Air Canada’s service is zero,” he laments. He points out the baggage restrictions, as passengers are allowed only one piece of baggage weighing 23kg. Delays are also at the center of his criticism of Air Canada, where waiting times are frequent. Worse, he points out, flights are sometimes canceled at the last minute, with no possibility of reimbursement, which can create major inconveniences for travellers.
The video ends with al-Jazairi’s categorical advice to future travelers: “Therefore, I advise you not to travel with them,” referring to Air Canada. His words quickly resonated with netizens, who collectively shared his video and agreed with his remarks. Many have described the situation with Air Canada as “disastrous”, emphasizing the importance of reliable, passenger-oriented airlines.
Air Algerie can take advantage of Air Canada’s misfortune
As a reminder, the Canadian airline, Air Canada, recently found itself at the center of controversy when passenger advocates accused the company of disrespecting federal rules by refusing to pay compensation to passengers whose flights were canceled due to staffing shortages.
According to the Canadian Air Passenger Rights Act, airlines must offer compensation of up to $1,000 for delays and cancellations caused by problems attributable to the airline, but not related to safety. This applies if passengers are notified of the cancellation 14 days or less before the departure time. However, airlines are not required to pay compensation in the event of a cancellation for safety reasons.
Controversy erupted when documents revealed that Air Canada described canceled flights due to staff shortages as security concerns, in order to circumvent compensation rules. The company issued a memo to its employees in December 2021, stating that these cancellations were classified as safety issues. This policy was intended to be temporary, but in July 2022 Air Canada admitted that the memorandum was still in effect due to ongoing conditions caused by variants of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Canada Transport Agency (CTA) responded by saying that classifying the understaffing as a safety issue was against federal rules. The CTA considers staff shortages caused by the company’s actions or inactions to fall under the category of attributable to the company.
Gabor Lukasz, head of the Droits des voyageurs press group, accused Air Canada of exploiting a loophole in the charter to avoid paying compensation to its customers. The Foreign Trade Office is required to be more rigorous in enforcing the charter. According to him, Air Canada misinterpreted non-safety issues. By comparison, in the European Union, airlines cannot invoke safety reasons to avoid paying compensation in the event of a cancellation.
For her part, Sylvie Belfi, chair of the Option consommateurs group, criticized Air Canada’s approach. She believes the airline’s priority is to reduce cancellation costs rather than provide good service to its customers. It accuses the company of trying to discourage customers from seeking compensation, which it says does not show that the company truly cares about its customers.
Travel – “I prefer Algeria to Greece”: an Algerian from France raises controversy (video)
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