Subject: Moaning about Airlines
Frances and Ziners,

Air travel is now "a bus that flies". In 2005 I flew Air France with my mother-in-law who has trouble walking and is in a constant state of caution. Flying out of Montreal, we were able to board first because we were flying Business Class. Boarding our flight from Paris to Copenhagen, we were told that in France everyone waits to board. We objected and were permitted to board early. Behind us were a number of older passengers who decided to claim the same right. It makes sense to me to board passengers who need help (the elderly and families with children) because if they can't board first they hold up the remaining passengers. Flying back to Canada, the boarding service was equally bad. I complained to Air France after our return and received an explanation and some extra air miles on my account.

I also experienced this less than best stellar service on Air France when I flew First Class out of Marseilles to Toronto. Pre-boarding was not permitted. Added to these woes, I've encountered earphones, videos and seats that don't operate properly. I always point these out to the cabin crew and have been given a bottle of champagne as recompense. (Nice to enjoy at home.) Then I write a letter to the airline and have always been given air miles to my account.

In my experience. British Airways has always been a model of service and understanding in the air. On the ground is another story. BA ground staff have often been less than helpful.

As for roomy seats, my experience has been that trans- Atlantic flights are generally uncomfortable when flying in regular fare seats. Our trans-Pacific flights even in the "cheap seats" have been more comfortable. Not sure why.

Among the charters flying from Canada, Skyservice has always been fine.

Lucy, Toronto