Airline News: Weather protection for a fee

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Air Canada has debuted a new service for travelers inconvenienced by delays or travel disruptions while flying in Canada or between Canada and the U.S. Called On My Way, the service will help you rebook a flight on another airline and receive free hotel stays, car rentals, and meals if flight, traffic, or weather-related problems delay your flight in a way that the airline says is "beyond its control." (If the delay is "within its control," such as a mechanical problem, flight re-bookings and similar services are free.) The service costs $25 each way on short flights and $35 each way on long flights, says the airline press release. You pay when you book your ticket reservation.

More details at AirCanada.com.

Jeanne Leblanc, columnist for The Hartford Courant and blogger at Coach Class, says

This is not fair. It's as if you could pay extra to jump the line at a store to return faulty merchandise....

There needs to be a minimum level of decency and service that comes with an airline ticket. Charging for that is a foul idea. It's beastly. It's noxious. It's wrong.

What do you think? Would you pay extra for good customer service when a travel emergency arises?

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