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We Got to the Airport on Time, But the Flight Had Been Rebooked for the Next Day: Roseman



You arrive on time at the airport for a flight, only to find it has been cancelled and rebooked for the next day. Does the airline have to cover a hotel room? What about meals, transportation and other costs you may incur?

This happened to Bill and Fikret Howes when they went to the airport in Istanbul, Turkey, for a long-booked flight home to Toronto.

“Air Canada had cancelled the flight months previously and failed to notify us — even though we confirmed our reservation with a call to Air Canada’s Istanbul office a week earlier,” Bill said.

Without notifying the couple, the airline had rebooked them on the same flight one day later. Tired and upset, they stayed at a reasonably priced airport hotel and asked the airline for compensation when they got home.

“Air Canada sent an auto-reply acknowledging our request, but after more than a month, has not contacted us again,” he told me, asking for help.

Soon after, Air Canada offered a 30 per cent discount for two on a future flight. The couple accepted, since they want to upgrade to premium economy seats on a flight to Istanbul next summer.

Even if your flight is on time, you may find your baggage is damaged when you get to your destination. What are your rights to compensation? And when is a bag too big to carry onto an aircraft? Must you pay a fee to check it?

Each airline must have a set of terms and conditions, called a “tariff,” governing how it will treat passengers under its care. The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) wants to make these tariffs more accessible to the public. At its website, it posts a list of links to airline websites where tariffs can be found.

Scott Streiner is chair and chief executive of the CTA, which regulates the airline industry and handles complaints. After 18 months on the job, he’s keen to stretch his wings and make a difference.

“There is often confusion on the part of passengers about what, if anything, they can expect from an airline if there are disruptions to their travel,” he told the Air Transport Association of Canada in a recent speech. This confusion can contribute to frustration. And frustration can mean customer relations issues for airlines. We need to do better.”

Streiner comes across as a man with a mission. After a 25-year government career, he wants to use his agency’s powers to beef up consumer protection in an industry known for being hard to navigate.

This fall, he wrote to the five largest domestic airlines — Air Canada, WestJet, Air Transat, Sunwing and Porter — asking them to turn their tariffs into plain language and post them prominently on their websites’ front pages.

“The five CEOs had a quite positive reaction,” he told me. “They need to communicate more clearly and be more transparent with consumers. They realize they have reputation issues if they don’t get on top of it.”

Streiner has cleared up a backlog of 200 complaints at the agency, which had led to frustrating delays in providing resolutions to consumers. Now he wants to make airlines finish their complaint investigations within 30 days.

Gabor Lukacs, an airline passenger rights advocate, has spent eight years filing complaints with the agency and trying to get stronger protection for consumers. He feels things are getting worse, not better.

“The agency has turned from an impartial arbiter into an advocate for the industry,” he said.

“Under Mr. Streiner’s leadership, the number of enforcement efforts has dropped to one quarter of the level of 2013-14, while the number of complaints has continued to soar, and agency staff have been turning away passengers with valid complaints, telling them that their file has been closed.”

John Lawford, executive director of the Public Interest Advocacy Centre, a consumer group based in Ottawa, has a more positive view.

“He’s a good leader for the organization,” he said of Streiner, pointing to innovations such as creating videos about passenger rights that can be shown at airports and telling MPs how to reach the CTA with their constituents’ complaints.

The Liberal government has announced its intention to create a passenger rights code. But that could take a year or two to be enacted.

Meanwhile, the CTA will step up its efforts to attract complaints and look for systemic issues that could lead to a tougher law when it’s finally drafted.

Just as the CRTC took a firm line with phone companies and created a wireless code of conduct, the CTA may be creating a flight path to stronger regulation of airlines.

Customers are angry and frustrated. They write to me more often about airlines than about wireless phones. It’s time for the industry to step up and shape up.

Ellen Roseman’s column appears each week

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Beauty Week is back at Hudson’s Bay in Toronto and it’s time to get glam



Beauty enthusiasts rejoice! Beauty Week at Hudson’s Bay is back in Toronto for another year. It’s time to stock up on all of your fall essentials and, maybe discover some new ones. 

From Friday, August 18 to Sunday, August 27, you can expect a truly elevated beauty experience in-store with incredible special offers, limited-time gifts, and exciting activations. 

If you’re a diehard beauty lover, you’ll already know that Hudson’s Bay is the place to shop thanks to its extensive range of over 195 skin and makeup brands from both luxury labels and masstige brands — including Tata Harper, Estée Lauder, YSL, Nars Cosmetics, Bobbi Brown, and so much more.

Throughout The Bay’s Beauty Week, visitors can take in some at-counter activations and interactive expert-led tutorials, where there will be chances to get makeup touch-ups from top-tier brands, try a spritz of the most alluring fragrances, and sample tons of new products.

This year’s Beauty Week highlight is the ‘Best in Beauty’ tote, a meticulously-curated selection of 30 deluxe samples from an array of top-tier brands like Dr. Barbara Sturm and Shiseido spanning skincare, fragrance, and makeup — all in a super sleek bag.

The tote, which is valued at over $300, is retailing for just $39 and is a fantastic way to explore new products (without breaking the bank). However, there is a limited quantity, so if you want to get your hands on one, you’ll need to be fast.

Wondering exactly what Beauty Week’s free gifts with purchases entail? If you spend over $95 at Lancôme, you will receive a six-piece set valued at $130. Or, you can get an Estée Lauder gift valued at $170 with purchases over $80. (And that’s just to name a few.)

If you’re a Hudson’s Bay Rewards member, you’ll also get $20 in Hudson’s Bay rewards when you spend over $100 on beauty.

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The Canadian Armed Forces are hiring for several non-combat military jobs



The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have several non-combat jobs, some of which do not require a college degree or past work experience.

Life in the forces has several benefits, such as paid education plans (college, university and graduate-level programs), 20 paid vacation days, health and dental coverage for you and your family, maternity and paternal leave, and pension plans. You can learn more about the benefits in detail here.

And to make it easier to gauge if you qualify, the listings also include related civilian jobs to see if it’s your ideal role.

Financial services administrator

Related civilian jobs: Financial records entry clerk, financial manager, accounting technician, bookkeeper, budget officer, cashier clerk, business planner technician, and verification manager.

Description: You’ll help budget resources for all military activities besides providing financial assistance.

Education: You need to have completed Grade 10.

Duties: As a financial services administrator, you’ll be responsible for bookkeeping and managing budgets. You’ll also provide support in accounts payable and accounts receivable.

Work environment: Those in this role work at CAF bases, on ships or overseas. You might also be expected to help special operation units, recruiting offices, schools, and medical organizations.

Postal clerk

Related civilian jobs: Mail clerk, mail sorter.

Description: You’ll provide postal services to members and their families at bases and establishments.

Education: Grade 10. No previous work experience or related career skills are required.

Duties: As the postal clerk, you’ll handle mail duties.

Work environment: Besides a postal office, you may work on a ship or a mobile postal van. You might be expected to serve with Royal Canadian Navy, the Army, and the Royal Canadian Air Force in Canada and abroad.

Dental technician

Related civilian jobs: Dental assistant, dental hygienist.

Description: You’ll be helping dental officers provide dental services to CAF members, their families, and dependents.

Education: Level II dental assisting diploma from an accredited college or a National Dental Assisting Examining Board (NDAEB) certificate.

Duties: Those in this role will be responsible for various responsibilities, including disinfection and sterilization of dental equipment, applying rubber dams, placing cavity liners, and controlling bleeding. In addition, you’ll assist in laboratory procedures like creating casts, custom trays, and mouthguards.

Work environment: This role will require you to work in a military dental clinic, a Mobile Dental Clinic, an Air Transportable Dental System, or onboard a ship. You might be expected to work on a base in Canada or other operations in other parts of the world.

Human resources administrator

Related civilian jobs: Records administrator, data entry supervisor, receptionist, office manager, executive assistant, payroll clerk, and information management technician.

Description: Provide administrative and general human resources support.

Education: Grade 10. No previous work experience or related career skills are required.

Duties: In addition to human resources administration and services, you’ll be handling pay and allowances, managing automated pay systems, and maintaining personnel records.

Work environment: HR administrators work at all CAF bases in Canada. They also work on ships and overseas to support the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy, or Royal Canadian Air Force operations.

Medical assistant

Related civilian jobs: Emergency medical responder, ambulance and first aid attendant, registered nursing assistant, licensed practical nurse, and hospital orderly.

Description: Successful candidates will help treat the sick and injured in CAF units. You’ll be assisting and supporting nursing and medical officers.

Education: Minimum of Grade 11 biology, Grade 10 physics or chemistry, and Grade 10 math.

Duties: You’ll provide initial care and essential life support treatments in trauma cases. You’ll help with health assessments (hearing and vision tests, perform basic lab procedures, etc.) and initiate and manage medical records and reports. You’ll also be expected to provide support and first aid during training exercises.

Work environment: Medical assistants may serve with the Royal Canadian Navy, the Royal Canadian Air Force or the Canadian Army as part of the Canadian Forces Health Services Group. Those in this role are exposed to the same risks as the forces they support.

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Porter’s new loyalty program promises to match Air Canada’s Aeroplan status



Porter Airlines is once again stirring the pot among Canadian airline rivals, now going after Air Canada’s Aeroplan members by offering to match their loyalty status to an equivalent of their own.

The beloved airline, which recently ranked as having the best cabin service in North America, challenged the competition for the second time this year, after previously deploying a similar tactic against WestJet in the spring. 

Earlier in April, Porter presented customers with a limited-time offer to match the loyalty status of WestJet’s patrons with VIPorter levels.

Now, they’re offering Aeroplan members to seamlessly transition to an equivalent VIPorter Avid Traveller status based on their existing membership tier.

Members can then take advantage of an array of travel perks that come with flying Porter, including seat selection, baggage, and flight changes.

For those currently holding an Aeroplan membership, there are two ways to acquire the Avid Traveller status for the rest of 2023:

Status-Based Match:
  • Aeroplan 25K members = VIPorter Venture
  • Aeroplan 35K members = VIPorter Ascent
  • Aeroplan 50K, 75K, and Super Elite = VIPorter First
Flight Segments-Based Match:
  • 5 flight segments = VIPorter Passport
  • 8 segments = VIPorter Venture
  • 17 segments = VIPorter Ascent
  • 28 or more segments = VIPorter First

Members will have to first submit their applications on Porter’s website. Registration will remain open until September 6, 2023.

In order to maintain their membership level through 2024, customers will have until the end of 2023 to reach the following reduced qualifying spend (QS) targets:

  • Passport = $500 in QS
  • Venture = $750 in QS
  • Ascent = $1500 in QS
  • First = $2500 in QS

Over the past year, Porter has launched an aggressive expansion strategy, including everything from introducing longer flights on newly-purchased jet planes flying out of Toronto Pearson, free WiFi, and a new all-inclusive economy experience.

With Canadians losing both Swoop and Sunwing as WestJet incorporates both into their mainline business, Porter’s direct competition is welcome to keep prices competitive.

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