What do you fear about retirement?

Jan 12, 2009

Air Canada Sucks - The Ritz-Carlton Rocks

Yes, that is right:

Air Canada Sucks and the Ritz-Carlton Rocks!

Here is why:

In late November KalDer - The National Turkish Society for Quality flew me to Istanbul through London, England, to make an one-hour speech about my book The Joy of Not Working to 2,000 scholars, business executives, and university students.

The Air Canada flight from Edmonton to London was delayed 9 hours due to a navigation computer having to be repaired and then a new flight crew having to be flown in from Vancouver. Instead of arriving in London at 9:35 AM, I arrived at 6:30 PM. I had to incur the added expense for a hotel room that I would otherwise not had to get plus much inconvenience. I also missed attending a performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London with two friends — the ticket was wasted, of course.

Despite the fact that my Air Canada Premium Business Class return flight between Edmonton and London cost my client a total of $11,500, Air Canada refused to compensate me in any way aside from a $75 voucher - the same compensation they gave to everyone else on the plane including those in economy whose flight cost only $1,200 return with taxes. I would think that the fact that I asked my client to provide me with Premium Business Class as a cost of 11,500, Air Canada could afford to compensate me more than a measly $75 voucher.

That is why Air Canada Sucks!

Here is why the Ritz-Carlton Rocks!

On this same trip I stayed at the Ritz Carlton in Istanbul in an executive suite overlooking the Bosphorus that with tax goes for 710 Euro ($1,280 Canadian) a night. The other day I noticed a charge of $48 to my VISA by the Ritz-Carlton that shouldn't have been there. I sent a note to the Ritz-Carlton and got a response within 24 hours.

Get this: The manager of The Ritz Carlton apologized, said the hotel would immediately reverse the charges, and in compensation they will give me two free nights of equal accommodation at the Ritz-Carlton the next time I visit Istanbul. Remember this suite goes for $1,280 a night.

Below are two photos of my Executive Suite that I had at the Ritz-Carlton. (It had two TVs, two washrooms and 4 phones)

Photo Living Room in Executive Suite (Room #611) at the Ritz-Carlton

Photo: Bedroom in Executive Suite (Room #611) at the Ritz-Carlton

Now do you see why Air Canada Sucks and the Ritz-Carlton Rocks?

From now on I will avoid Air Canada any time I can. I have already booked a flight to Vancouver with
Westjet even though I could have used the Air Canada voucher. When a client wants me to go to Europe again, I will ask for tickets with British Airways even though I will have to fly to Calgary first before I head to London.

Quite frankly, the management at Air Canada don't know much about customer service. They could have compensated me with a free executive class flight to Hawaii or London or Cuba! Because the flights are not always at capacity, this would have not cost them very much — just like the Ritz-Carlton providing me with two free nights will not cost them that much.

Instead, Air Canada will continue to get a lot of bad publicity from me.

And given that I am an author and professional speaker, I get to tell tens of thousands of people.

So, Air Canada may have saved themselves a measly few hundred dollars by not giving me any compensation — but Air Canada will lose tens or hundreds of thousand of lost business due to the bad publicity that I will give them. Not very bright, wouldn't you say?

For the record, here is the letter that I received from the Ritz-Carlton:

    The Ritz-Carlton Istanbul

    Dear Mr. Zelinski,

    First and foremost, I would like to share with you that it was our honor and pleasure to welcome you in The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul as our guest for the first time and then I, personally and on behalf of the Ladies & Gentlemen of our property would like to express our intense and still continuing sorrow felt from the first moment we have learned about your inconvenience.

    I sincerely would like you to know that we have never experienced such an incident before and this is the reason why we feel so desperately sorry for it. I offer no excuses but my sincere apologies for the undesired shortcomings that have resulted in distrust and inappreciativeness on your side.

    You can rest assured that I have shared the incident with our management committee and also with each member of our team carrying the responsibility for this in order to avoid the possibility of similar cases to happen in the future.

    Mr. Zelinski, we have immediately rebated the amount, namely 60,00.- YTL to your credit card recorded in our system. For your next visit to Istanbul, we kindly invite you for two complimentary nights with similar accommodations as in your previous stay. I am certain that we will live up to your expectations and will be honoured to have you back with us.

    Please contact me directly or my personal assistant, Ms. Sibel Esiyok at the following email address sibel.esiyok@ritzcarlton.com in order to arrange for your reservation.

    I sincerely hope that you give me and my team the opportunity to restore your faith in our organization by welcoming you back at The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul in the near future and offer you the excellent service you certainly deserve.

    Warm Regards,

    Raul Salcido,
    General Manager
    The Ritz-Carlton, Istanbul.
    Siizer Plaza, Elmadag, 34367 Istanbul Turkey
    Tel: +90 (212) 3344444- Fax: +90 (212) 3344455

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