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.

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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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