Air Canada Baggage Handlers: Crisis Management Case Study

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    Crisis Management Case Study: Air Canada Baggage Handlers

    Another crisis management case is brought you to by the power of the smartphone.

    Social media strikes back at airline passengers once again, this time with Air Canada as the organization under fire. As Dwayne Stewart sat waiting for his flight to be ready, he observed two of the airline’s baggage handlers dropping excess carry-on luggage from the top of a 20-foot boarding platform to a bin down below. Of course, Stewart didn’t just observe, he notified Air Canada what was going on via Twitter, and then uploaded the video to YouTube:

    To the airline’s credit, it did take action, telling CTV News that the two employees would be terminated following the outcome of an investigation, and delivering the following statement:

    “Their actions clearly contravened our standard baggage-handling procedures which require gate-checked bags to be hand-carried to the ramp,” Air Canada spokesperson Angela Mah said in a statement to CTV News. “We take matters involving the protection of our customers’ personal possessions very seriously.”

    How many crisis management cases and examples do we have to see before everyone from ground-level employees to CEOs understand that in this Digital Age, the camera is always rolling?

    For more resources, see the Free Management Library topic: Crisis Management

    [Jonathan Bernstein is president of Bernstein Crisis Management, Inc., an international crisis management consultancy, and author of Manager’s Guide to Crisis Management and Keeping the Wolves at Bay – Media Training. Erik Bernstein is Social Media Manager for the firm, and also the editor of its newsletter, Crisis Manager]