Just when you think Canadian airlines are bad, all it takes is a trip on an American carrier to convince you that the Canadian companies are fantastic. In Greek we say (translated): To the blind man, the one-eyed man is king.

My business partner, Carl, subbed for me this week when I took sick with a terrible chest-cold, and went down to New York in my place on Wednesday. He flew American Airlines (AA – how coincidental that they’re also the initials for Alcoholics Anonymous).

Arriving at La Guardia for his return flight home to Montreal on Friday, he was told that the flight was cancelled and there was no other room on any other carrier. Asked what he could do, AA told him to come back next morning for the 6 AM flight; no hotel, no meal vouchers, nada. He decided to rent a car and drive the six hours home with a few other passengers. No refund, he was told by AA.

Isn’t there some kind of Warsaw Convention obligation around this stuff? OTOH, AA is so broke that they can’t afford compensation.

I can say with complete honesty, that in 10 years, I’ve never flown a US carrier without problems. I remember the time I flew Business Class and indicated on the meal selector that I wanted vegetarian. The sumptuous plates began to arrive for my fellow passengers. I got an apple! That’s it….just one apple. That was the extent of the vegetarian option in Business Class.

Flying an American airline is like driving in Greece. When you come back to what you previously thought was the chaotic driving in Montreal, it seems so calm and orderly that I’m usually smiling and waving at motorists who cut me off.

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