Potential Air Canada travel woes on the horizon ... Four Seasons goes Disney
Woe is us?
I'm slated to be in Edmonton this week for a Canadian Tourism Commission/Go Media conference, and I'm scheduled to fly back to Toronto on Thursday. As of now, no problem. But Air Canada's flight attendants just finished voting 98 per cent in favour of a strike mandate, and there's talk that a strike COULD happen on Wednesday of next week.
I'll manage fine, of course. I've got a company budget (I think) and probably would have a grand time hanging out at the airport in Edmonton and interviewing folks stuck by a strike, just as I had fun (sort of) in London a year ago when the Iceland volcano forced folks to cancel their travel plans.
But I feel badly for folks who might get screwed in all this.
Of course, given how they jumped in when Air Canada customer service folks went on strike earlier this year (see photo), I'm pretty sure that a more disruptive strike by flight attendants would be greeted with swift action by the Ottawa Tories. Still, there would be disruption - substantial disruption, I think - for a couple days, at least.
A story from Reuters today states that a strike "would seriously hobble Air Canada's ability to fly to the more than 100 destinations it serves in Canada and internationally, analysts said."
In a story by the Star's Vanessa Lu, an Air Canada union official said the strike vote doesn't mean they'll go on strike, but that they will if they need to.
"What we want and still hope for is a negotiated deal with the company,” said Jeff Taylor, president of the Air Canada component of CUPE. "No one wants a strike, but if we can’t reach a tentative agreement which addresses our members concerns, and soon, it could be our only choice."
Air Canada, of course, says it's business as usual. Lu wrote in her story that the airline "acknowledged that in the event the union serves notice of a strike, the airline would reduce service and that a "partial schedule, including codeshare flights operated by its partner airlines" would be brought in.
Lu points out that CUPE has to be aware that when Air Canada’s customer service agents went on strike in June, the federal government warned it would bring in back-to-work legislation, citing a need to protect the fragile economy.
Hours after the legislation was tabled on the third day of the strike, the union and the airline reached a deal, with the most contentious issue, different pension rules for new hires, sent to an arbitrator.
Stay tuned, folks.
FOUR SEASONS IS GOING TO DISNEY
So, the folks at Four Seasons are going to build a new resort INSIDE the park at DisneyWorld in Orlando.
The project is slated to cost about $360 million, according to Barb De Lollis at USAToday. I'm quoting Barb on this story because I didn't get anything sent to me by the folks at Four Seasons. In fairness, however, I should explain that they called me after I posted my original blog criticizing the lack of information. They explained they have a lean operation and that there's no public relations function here in Toronto. They have p.r. people in New York and L.A. to talk about markets there and elsewhere, but there's nobody in Toronto, despite this being their headquarters. I find it puzzling, but it's also good to know they're watching their pennies I guess.
Anyway, they got me onto their RSS feed so I hope to have more Four Seasons notes in future. Thanks for that, guys!
Anyway, USAToday reports the hotel "will be located in Disney's master-planned Golden Oaks near the Osprey Ridge Golf Course, which Four Seasons will eventually manage.
When the resort opens in late 2014, it will be the Toronto-based hotel operator's biggest yet with 444 rooms and an unusual variety of family friendly amenities.
Families who stay there will find a climbing wall, basketball courts and a teen recreation center. In terms of dining, they'll be able to have dinner at a rooftop restaurant with panoramic views of the Magic Kingdom.
Four Seasons expects to fill about half the rooms with families and Disney fans there to strictly to enjoy the park, and the other half with business people there to attend business meetings, conventions and incentive trips - and perhaps bring their families, De Lollis wrote.