Airlines must warn customers

Moose Jaw Times Herald - Editorial Staff
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One Canadian is among the 298 people onboard a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 that crashed and burned in eastern Ukraine on Thursday. 

A separatist group allegedly gunned down the flight, which was travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, but one has yet to take responsibility for the incident.

Not only does this raise the obvious questions of why was the airplane plucked from the sky and who was indeed responsible for this egregious act, but also questions like should international airline officials have taken greater notice that this could have happened and could this tragedy have been avoided?

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he wasn’t even calling the crash an incident, or a catastrophe, “but a terrorist act.” The MH17 flight is the second Malaysian Airlines flight since March with which contact was lost. Fortunately, or unfortunately, this plane has been found and the finger pointing has begun. So, should we as travellers be worried that plane crashes are more of a likelihood?

If you’re planning on flying Malaysian Airlines, then maybe worry a little. But on flights with the likes of Air Canada, WestJet, American Airlines and Delta Airlines, there you shouldn’t have to worry — unless they fly over Ukraine.

Air Canada said Thursday that it has been avoiding troubled regions, such as Ukraine, as a precautionary measure for some time already. Why then, are Canadians hearing about this now that a tragedy has occurred? Don’t Canadians deserve to be notified of these decisions?

According to a local travel agent, travel agencies don’t warn customers about a flight’s potential route divergence without an official advisory from an airline. This is legitimate, but Air Canada should have alerted its customers — and travel agencies — about flying around Ukraine before Thursday’s plane crash.

We expect better from Air Canada and all airlines because we as travellers deserve better, especially when it comes to public safety — our safety.

All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.

Organizations: Air Canada, Malaysian Airlines, WestJet American Airlines Delta Airlines

Geographic location: Ukraine, Amsterdam, Kuala Lumpur

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Recent comments

  • dave p
    July 21, 2014 - 07:37

    Airlines avoid restricted airlines and dangerous airspace all over the world, and in canada, everyday. Do people really what to be informed of every decision an airline or the pilots make....I doubt it. Take about a sense of entitlement.