Foreigners use Canadian airlines

Re: "Canadian flyers heading south," Oct. 4.

These statistics indicating droves of Canadians crossing the border for cheaper flights might be accurate but they paint only one side of the picture. How many non-Canadians are filling the seats of our airliners?

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Ten years ago, I wrote a letter in response to an article knocking Air Canada. I had just returned from England on a direct Air Canada flight from London to Vancouver. Of a small group of four passengers sitting together, I was the only Canadian. On my left was a British oceanographer flying out to join a weather ship on the West Coast and behind me were two student teachers from Seattle returning home after a summer abroad.

At the time I wondered, if Air Canada is such a bad airline, why are Britons and Americans choosing it over their own countries' airlines?

Recently, I took that same flight, London to Vancouver by Air Canada and sure enough, my seatmate was a British woman flying out to Portland to visit family. Flights to and from London were fully loaded. Presumably the airlines are happy to sell the seats to paying passengers from any country.

Perhaps the number of Canadians crossing the border to fly only indicates a rapidly shrinking world? I think there is a bigger picture here.

Dianne Grimmer


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