Okay, there are some delays for which airlines are not responsible. A bad snowstorm at Pearson can't be blamed on Air Canada, so on that issue perhaps Winnipeg MP Jim Maloway is off track when he proposes his travellers' bill of rights; a bill he hopes to get passed in the House of Commons.
But it was amusing to see a comment from airline officials in today's Star where they suggested that they haven't had time to examine the portion of Maloway's bill that says all airline ads should include taxes and fuel surcharges.
Of course they've had time. This debate has been going on for months and months and months. How long does it take? Or can they not think of a single justification for hiding the fee? I suspect the latter.
I have no sympathy for airlines that disguise fuel surcharges. It's ridiculous to say you're going to charge, to pick a number out of a chapeau, $156 for a flight from Toronto to London and then not include a $200 or so fuel surcharge - each way. Be up front about it, folks.
Taxes? That's another matter. If you think about it, a pair of pants at The Bay that's advertised at $49 doesn't include tax. Nor does the price of a car that's advertised at $15,999. So why should airlines be treated differently than a Nissan Sentra or a pair of Dockers?
TOO MUCH BUREAUCRACY?
I'd like to hear more, but it was curious today to see how former Ontario finance minister Greg Sorbara is proposing changes to boost tourism in the province. Sorbara suggested cash is needed from both the public and private sectors to create more tourist destinations across the province. He's right, especially given the decline in manufacturing that has hit Ontario so hard.
Sorbara, according to Canadian Press, says there needs to be a regional marketing strategy. Oddly, he also suggests the government divide the province into a dozen tourism regions to, as CP put it, "encourage visitors to stay in Ontario longer."
An admirable goal, but do we need more tourism bodies or more money for the ones we already have? It's unclear what Sorbara is talking about just now, but perhaps it'll become more obvious in time.
His comments started me wondering about what the 12 regions would be. A colleague at the Star suggested (with a laugh), "Toronto South, Toronto North, Toronto West, etc...." Probably not likely. So here's a complete guess on what the 12 might be: Niagara, Hamilton and area, Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge-Guelph, southwestern Ontario, Collingwood-Lake-Huron, Toronto, Muskoka, Kawarthas-Peterborough-Belleville, Kingston and the Thousand Islands, Ottawa, the near North and Northern Ontario.
CRUISING FOR A HOLIDAY
Weird stat in a recent issue of travelweek. The magazine reports that an Ipsos Reid/tripharbour.ca poll of Canadians found that 44 per cent of Alberta residents would consider a cruise for their next vacation, compared to just 17 per cent for Quebecers. British Columbia came in at 41 per cent, with Ontario at 40 per cent, Atlantic Canada at 34 per cent and Saskatchewan and Alberta each at 25 per cent. What's up with Quebec folks not wanting to venture out on the high seas? And why are folks in Alberta, other than money, perhaps, so much more willing to look at a cruise than their prairie brethren to the east?
The same poll, by the way, found that 69 per cent of Canadians plan to take a vacation in the next year. Half of Canadians questioned said they play to travel outside Canada. B.C. residents were most likely to leave the country (56 per cent), following by Alberta (54), Ontario (51), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (49), Quebec (43) and Atlantic Canada (42).