Screw you customers, you aren’t even paying yourself

From CBC News via The Business Ethics Blog: the MBA program director of University of Ottawa is upset that business class fliers like him are getting overcharged by Air Canada.

Mike Miles, director of the MBA program at the University of Ottawa, said Air Canada offers frequent flyers, like him, coupons to upgrade their flights to business class. However, travellers have to purchase their tickets at a higher fare to qualify for the upgrade.

Miles said because much of his travel is for his work as a business professor, those extra costs would be passed on to the university, and it's unethical for the airline to put him in that dilemma.

I am reading between the lines according to the reporter's wish: this should be his point. Screw it, we all know you don't pay a dime yourself. The real patron is your employer, so who cares?

Mileage collection is probably one of the biggest employee benefits not stated in the contract. Several years ago, the accounting group of the company I worked for issued an "official" requirement that flight tickets must be purchased without the mileage benefit to cut costs. Not a single executive I knew of followed it, even though they preached around the importance of cost-cutting in every occasion.

Mileage collection is also one of the biggest employee benefits that are not talked about. The usually pushy and talkative executives strangely keep their mouse shut on this subject. It is because the benefit is huge. Free access to airline lounge complete with cushy sofa, free lunch, fast Internet access and (almost) free access to Business class with all above luxuries plus in-flight entertainment PLUS attractive flight attendants who call you by your name. For men, especially older men, those are equivalent of adult entertainment for teenagers. Everybody is afraid of losing them by bringing them up into scrutiny, by such as–a female director of the accounting division.

I believe the reporter did enough damage to the quoted professor by simply allowing his employer to rethink about the whole upgrade plan. Good job.

As the protégé says in Up in the Air, "Guys don't grow up, it's like you need to pee on everything".