Mayor Lantz defends claims of A/C discrimination

Fort St. John’s Mayor has elaborated on his plea to Air Canada regarding a new price structure for flight passes.

As reported earlier, Bruce Lantz sent a letter to Air Canada on Monday, regarding a pricing change that he says “severely discriminates” against airline customers in Northeastern B.C.

The mayor says the City has now been informed that only in Northeastern B.C., the price for flight passes will double. In addition, the passes will now be restricted to 25 people, rather than 300 as before, and ineligible on flights to Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

While Lantz admits any business has a right to set its own prices, he suggests those prices should not change from region to region. [asset|aid=2322|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=1aaf31ba67a86cc895cd34cd4fdf5c9a-Lantz-AC-2_1_Pub.mp3]

Lantz says since writing the letter, he’s done further research, which shows that Fort St. John residents fly much more frequently than residents of other centres. He says Fort St. John residents average 1.4 flights per person, per year. That compares to 0.6 in Kelowna, 0.5 in Prince George, and 0.1 in Vancouver. [asset|aid=2323|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=1aaf31ba67a86cc895cd34cd4fdf5c9a-Lantz-AC-1_1_Pub.mp3]

Lantz has not heard back from Air Canada, and he doesn’t expect to hear back during the holiday season. But, he confirms he is prepared to take his fight to other levels of government and businesses. [asset|aid=2324|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=1aaf31ba67a86cc895cd34cd4fdf5c9a-Lantz-AC-3_1_Pub.mp3]

But, Lantz also says Air Canada’s service is important to residents of Northern B.C., particularly in Fort St. John, which outside of Air Canada, is served by only Swanberg Air and Central Mountain Air, both of which have limited service. Lantz says Premier Gordon Campbell recently stated that the 2010’s would be the decade of the North.

He says if that’s going to be the case, the transportation system in the North will need to be overhauled. Regarding the possibility of getting other Airlines, such as Westjet, to come to Fort St. John, Mayor Lantz says that responsibility lies with both residents and officials. [asset|aid=2325|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=1aaf31ba67a86cc895cd34cd4fdf5c9a-Lantz-AC-4_1_Pub.mp3]

For the previous story, or a copy of the Mayor’s letter, click here.

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