It’s been 150 years since Confederation, but Canadians were also the blessed recipients of another milestone award today: The nation’s flag carrier was named Best Airline in North America at the International Paris Air Show.
— Air Canada (@AirCanada) June 20, 2017
This is far from Air Canada’s first brush with the global benchmark for industry excellence. The airline has been named the continent’s best by the Skytrax World Airline Awards six times in eight years, in a survey of almost 20 million flyers.
The title, while not elusive, is a coup for the airline that only yesterday made headlines for reportedly refusing to let a three-year-old girl use the nearest bathroom on a Nova Scotia-Calgary flight, resulting in the toddler having to sit in her own urine for three hours.
Benjamin Smith, President, Passenger Airlines at Air Canada, said in a press release: “This award shows customers are enthusiastically embracing the significant investments Air Canada is making in its products and services. These include the introduction of the state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner into our fleet, a widening choice of destinations to choose from in our expanding global network, refurbished aircraft interiors featuring our next generation lie flat Business Class seats on all of our Boeing 777 and 787 aircraft and dedicated Premium Economy cabins, as well as other enhanced amenities ranging from sharply restyled Maple Leaf Lounges to signature dishes and wine pairings onboard.”
An independent, scientific Twitter probe revealed unforeseen results. At least some of the “signature dishes” did not delight passenger palates:
— Jeremiah Tamburrini (@JeremiahT_TW) June 19, 2017
Dear Air Canada, just because you make your employees wear chefs hats, doesn’t mean your guests will be any more impressed with the “food”
— Kristina (@stinaknits) May 29, 2017
Others felt the fare may have benefitted from longer cooking time:
Thanks @AirCanada for giving me frozen and inedible food one way, and food poison on the way home! Much love
— Riley Noik (@rileynik) June 4, 2017
And some did not get to experience the culinary reverie at all:
— Cassandra Topuzoglu (@casselmas) June 20, 2017
Other passengers tweeted about their experience with Rouge, the new leisure airline with “stylishly affordable service” owned and operated by Air Canada:
Getting a rouge plane when you think you’re in normal air Canada is like finding a hair in your food
— SHAUN FRANK (@Shaun_Frank) May 21, 2017
But it’s not all negative press for North America’s finest. Air Canada also achieved a top spot on J.D. Power’s North America Airline Satisfaction Study for 2017. It landed in fifth place, right behind United Airlines.
Air Canada ranked worst airline in North America for satisfaction, but best for joke set-ups.
— 22Minutes (@22_Minutes) May 12, 2017
What do you have to do to be the worst? United has broken guitars and people and they can’t claim the title. Just can’t catch a break!
— lady em (@garbagelady69) May 12, 2017
When Air Canada is voted the best airline in North America, that does tell you how bad the other ones actually are.
— Millie MvK (@millie_elle) April 11, 2017
But it’s really not all bad press. At least one discerning customer was delighted with the experience:
Air Canada is the best airline just because they had @TeenageFanclub‘s new album to listen on the plane
— Raj (@SloopRogB) March 4, 2017