It's interesting to note some of the comments made by Sunwing folks in the wake of the announced merger of Sunwing and Signature. And to note how some of my fellow media types phrased their stories.
There was some sense of a larger company being able to offer more efficiencies, but by and large the tone seemed to be the one I took in this space yesterday, which is to suggest that any reduced competition is probably not a great thing for the average Canadian consumer. I hope that's wrong, but it usually seems to work that way.
For now, Sunwing says nothing will change and that Signature will keep operating as normal. There's talk that Sunwing will put a new emphasis on Mexico over the winter, and that's certainly good news for Mexico tourism folks.
I got a bit of reaction from readers to my Tuesday blog. Here are two competing thoughts:
"I hope that Sunwing learns a little bit of customer service from the merger. I travelled recently with Sunwing. There was an issue with my return flight. I hear that Air Canada has bad customer service .. trust me they are great compared to SW. I am not sure why they even have a CS (customer service) department. I am using WestJet for my next trip.. they have the best customer service in the industry."
Another person thought Sunwing was the cat's nightgown.
"I think Sunwing is great and I hope they keep their service just as it is. I've traveled down south a lot over the past 20 years, both with my extended family and with my wife and of all the companies we've flown with, Sunwing has been the best. Reading that they went (from revenues) of $30 million (to) $660 million was a shock, but I guess that's what happens when you provide good service. Good for them."
I've never flown Sunwing, but if money talks they're obviously doing some things right. Or a lot of things.
NICE WORK BY THE MOUSE
Disney is offering a free days' admission to a million guests who complete a day of volunteer work next year, and I gotta give them credit for a lovely idea.
Associated Press reports the "Give a Day, Get a Disney Day" program will give certified volunteers a one-day ticket at Walt Disney World in Orlando or Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. Disney is partnering with HandsOn Network to connect people with projects and to make sure work is done.
Duncan Dickson, who teaches theme park management at the University of Central Florida (who knew there was such a thing?), called it a "smart marketing move," and I couldn't agree more.
(Okay, I can make fun of theme park management, but I confess I took a course in jazz when I was at UCLA. My professor was a guy who had played in Glenn Miller's band, Paul Tanner. One day he told us invented the "electro-theremin," which played the weird, trippy sounding thingy that goes "oooh, oooh, oooh, oooh, oooh" in the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations." I didn't believe him but I later looked it up and he was right. Of course, it took a little more doing as there was no Internet to look these things up on. I also found out he was born in Skunk Hollow, Kentucky, which is one of the great-sounding towns in America, apropo of nothing).
JIM'S DEAL OF THE DAY
Transat Holidays is the latest tour operator to promote holiday season getaways at sale prices. Some of the lowest rates are for
TWICK OR TWEET...CUTE
Nine Marriott/Renaissance Caribbean and Mexico resorts on Oct. 1 will launch a Halloween Twitter promotion called "Twick-or-Tweet."
Sounds like more tweet than twick to me. What you have to do, I'm told, is follow @MarriottResorts on Twitter (hey, while you're at it, follow me to @jbyers11) and then you can check each day for a link that will pull up what they're calling the twick-or-tweet "landing page." Free massages or free nights will be on offer, as well as "tweets" such as free golf in St. Kitts or a $100 resort credit in Cancun.
FREE ROOMS AT SHERATON
Sheraton Hotels and Resorts is celebrating $6 billion in renovations around the world with free rooms for one night only at 86 hotels in North America. Consumers can visit www.sheraton.com/freenight from Oct. 6-9 to reigster for a free room on Oct. 23 at such hotels as the Sheraton Boston, Sheraton Waikiki and Sheraton Phoenix Downtown.
Officials say they have 70,000 new or newly renovated rooms, 50,000 of them in North America, as well as 300 new lobbies and new "sweet sleeper" beds in 83,000 guestrooms. Nearly half the company's North American properties have been renovated, including the Sheraton Montreal.