Thursday, May 11, 2006

More Air Canada silliness

So there is weirdness and controversy going on regarding Air Canada and St. John's. Big surprise.

The biggest, of course, is whether or not Air Canada is still going to be operating out of St. John's to go to London. VOCM has been all over the place on the story today. First reporting that they were going to going between St. John's and London again, but using smaller planes. Then, there was the story that no decision has been made. I haven't seen any more updates on either VOCM or CBC, so I don't know. I know someone from Air Canada was on Here and Now tonight, but I don't know if they said anything new.

I wonder if Air Canada is reevaluating their decision to run the flight between St. John's and London because of a story that ran in the Toronto Star today saying WestJet was in talks with The St. John's Airport Authority. The plan was to use St. John's as their hub to go to London. Whether WestJet would go to Heathrow or one of the cheaper airports outside of the city is undecided.

I guess the thought of WestJet going international to London has suddenly made Air Canada reconsider the value of St. John's. Bastards. I think I'd sooner hop on a relatively cheap flight using WestJet than use Air Canada.

The other interesting thing I'm hearing the Air Canada official said during the news (via Cathy's mom) was an explanation as to why dogs and cats won't be allowed in the passenger cabin anymore. Apparently, there was an allergic reaction by one of the passengers. Therefore, no more pets.

Now, I could say this is bollocks and unfair and you could label me as an insensitive bastard. That people have allergies and we ought to becareful around them. Think of what they have to go through.

OK, fine. However, here's the thing. I have a wife with a ton of allergies. Seafood, nuts, eggs, soy, bee stings and probably a few others. And she thinks it's bloody stupid. "I've got to conform and adapt to the way things are out there. I can't expect society to change everything just because I have a few allergies. I was taught that at an early age and it's done me well."

We had this discussion a few years ago. There was a mother and her son that were trying to get all nut based treats banned from Empire Cinemas because her son is deathly allergic. And surprisingly we both had the same reaction. "Wow, that really sucks. But that means you don't go see the movies." Seriously, we can't sanitize the world because people have these reactions. It's impossible.

If the person is allergic to dogs or cats, then it's their responsibility to make sure there are no pets in the cabin of the flight. The airlines certainly have the right to tell people "You have to let us know within three weeks of travelling (as an example) if you're taking a pet on with you." But banning them outright...really silly.

And if you don't believe me, believe Cathy. She has to deal with it more than I ever will. And she gets by just fine in life, thanks...


vickyth said...

Re: allergies - I seem to be one of the few parents with an issue to how allergies are treated in schools. No, I don't want kids dropping dead of anaphalactic shock, but should eggs, wheat, milk and nuts be banned? Nope. If you have a kid with allergies that are that serious, "banning" a product from the school only removes the smoke, not the fire.

My knickers were relatively unknotted for the whole peanut thing, but when I heard about schools banning milk, I reversed my decision.

No ban on something like that can make you safe. Someone will always screw up. The only way for a kid to be safe is either not to go out in public or to be taught and monitored until they have been.

As for airlines.... come on, Craig. Did you really expect them to show backbone and have sense?

SkylarKD said...

Schools ban MILK too?!

Melissa said...

i think they should just ban children from schools. much safer, and easier for the teachers.

have a good one!

Owen's Mom said...

Yea Gods.

This foolishness is getting way out of hand. And why didn't we all die of allergies when we were kids - I remember peanut butter sandwiches being a staple in the school cafeteria when I was a kid? Yeah, there were people who were allergic, but they just didn't eat them.

Maybe keeping kids away from these foods will create more sensitivity/allergies?

I have a friend who got yelled at by her play school for giving her son vanilla wafers to bring for his snack at school - apparently, the name brand vanilla wafers are made in a peanut contaminated facility, and the no-name brand ones are made in a peanut free facility.

She had given him the no-name brand, as she was aware that there was a peanut rule at school, but had just put a couple of them in a tupperware container - he didn't need the whole package. THEY TOOK THE COOKIES AWAY FROM THE KID AT SNACK TIME. He was 3. He cried until she came to pick him up, an hour later.

She lost it - after all, all they had to do was give her a quick call and ask whether they were name brand or no-name cookies. Or give him replacement cookies.

She went nuts (pun intended) at the next parents meeting, and demanded that strawberries also be banned, because her kid is allergic to them. (He pukes after eating them.) She also made a point of bringing in the box for what ever snack she packed for her kid and making sure that all the staff read the ingredients and saw that there was no peanut alert on the box.

But then, she's a little nuts. (again, pun intended.)

My daycare provider has a son with a bunch of nasty alergies, a la Cathy variety.

I bring my son to *her house* and all she asks is that I let her know if I have anything with nuts in it in his bag. She's taught her son, who is 2, that he doesn't put any food into his mouth without oking it was an adult.

That sounds like the way Cathy's parents handled it, and I have to agree that it is the appropriate way.

What ever happened to personal responsibility?

Liam O'Brien said...

I have several allergies -- including pretty heavy allergies to pets -- and I would agree that the allergy "activists" are often expecting the complete of whatever item affects their children. This is unreasonable and ridiculous.

There is no rational reason for schools to completely BAN peanuts OR milk. Some of the best allergy experts in the world will tell you that simple precautions can be taking without going to those lengths.

The biggest concern with these allergens is that their residue isn't all around the place. It doesn't take long for pet dander to make its way into upholstry, seats, etc. I suspect some of these bans result from the sheer epxepnse of the sort of intensive cleaning that would be required after each flight in order to keep planes from being unusable by people with allergies.

I've heard that about half the population has some level of allergy sensitivty. It would be unwise to not have a system that accommodates those customers. That said, pet owners can likely be acommodated in some way also. . .

Just looking at it from an heriarchical point of view, I'd say any expenses caused by something like a pet should be covered by those who own the pet. Maybe airlines can come up with some fully contained but comfortable space for pets that pet owners could pay for. . . it's not like it would need to take up much room on the aircraft. That said, on the list of priorities, it ranks a lot lower than the security changes that may still need to be made.

towniebastard said...

To all of this I will only add one more thing...that people can still wear repulsive amounts of perfume or cologne on airplanes.

I don't suffer any real allergies, and I find that far more aggrivating and annoying than any pet. Or milk. Or nuts.

There really are other ways of dealing with things, be it in schools or airplanes, than outright banning them. It's the solution that requires the least brain power. It doesn't make it the best one.