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Dr. Eliyahu M. Goldratt, 1947 – 2011

On June 11, the world lost a giant in the world of business transformation. Dr. Goldratt entered the world of business with a background in theoretical physics. Over the years he challenged conventional wisdom and introduced many concepts that are being used successfully every day. His body of work was codified in what is now called the Theory of Constraints (TOC). Anybody who has looked at our web site or worked with us knows the tremendous influence he has on us.
Dr. Goldratt was a master of not only content, but with message delivery. Instead of dense textbooks, he revealed his concepts in business novels. His most famous ones:

  • The Goal – The story of Alex Rogo’s struggles and ultimate triumph in saving his manufacturing plant. Here he explains the 5 focusing steps, drum-buffer-rope and the fact that sales drives profitability and cash flow, not operational efficiency.
  • It’s Not Luck – Rogo, now a division vice president, must choose what businesses to sell, what ones to keep and how to sell them. Here current reality trees and mafia offers help Rogo vastly improve the company.
  • Critical Chain – Goldratt explains how project management using critical path is designed to fail. Critical chain deals with the student’s syndrome as well as the manager’s tendency to negotiate as much time as possible for projects.
  • The Race – A workbook where students can work on practical problems with drum-buffer-rope.
  • The Choice – Goldratt describes how TOC has formed his philosophy and how it is his contribution to society.

Dr. Eliyahu Goldratt, 1947 - 2011

Many kind words have been written about Dr. Goldratt in the past few days. My perspective is he gave me structure to the intuition I felt about business. TOC is a model just like thermodynamics or quantum mechanics. One can use these principles and apply them to countless situations. Goldratt has done for business what Newton did for engineering: delivered a sound set of principles for the design and operation of virtually everything. Like Newtonian Physics, TOC isn’t exactly correct, but is vastly superior to anything else available. Eventually, Einstein’s theory of relativity was needed for design of things like satellites and GPS’s, but even after 300+ years, Newton’s equations are still extremely effective. Time will tell how long TOC will last, but I don’t see it going away any time soon.
One characteristic of a great model is it makes seemingly complex situations very simple. This elegance has beauty and Seth Godin’s Linchpin describes it as art. Instead of trying to convey this by paraphrasing, I’ll just quote Dr. Goldratt from The Choice:

“I smile and start to count on my fingers: One, people are good. Two, every conflict can be removed. Three, every situation, no matter how complex it initially looks, is exceedingly simple. Four, every situation can be substantially improved; even the sky is not the limit. Five, every person can reach a full life. Six, there is always a win-win solution. Shall I continue to count?”

If you would like to send condolences, thoughts or stories to the Goldratt family and the rest the TOC community you can do so at www.eligoldratt.com/messages.


The Benevolent Dictator: A Review

The Benevolent DictatorThe Benevolent Dictator is the new book by Michael Feuer, who was the founder and CEO of OfficeMax until it was sold to Boise Cascade in 2003. Feuer now runs Max-Wellness, a company that sells medical and personal care supplies. The company has 4 stores but Feuer has plans to grow it into a national retailer.

This book is not a biography. It does not tell the tale of the founding and building of OfficeMax in its entirety. Instead, Feuer uses examples from his personal experience to illustrate 40 lessons for entrepreneurs. He sorts these 40 lessons into 4 phases:

  1. Start-Up
  2. Build Out And Put The Idea To The Test
  3. Constant Reinvention
  4. The Payday

Although the latter two phases cover areas of importance to large corporations, this book is really written for entrepreneurs. Feuer is one of the rare people who has the ability to found, build and manage a company as a large enterprise. From reading the book, it is evident that he maintained an entrepreneurial mindset throughout his journey.

One of the more interesting insights into Feuer’s process of building businesses was that a significant amount of research and planning was undertaken before making major decisions. He cautions not to become paralyzed by endless analysis but he credits a lot of his success to having a methodical approach to building businesses. This flies in the face of those who believe that an entrepreneur is a modern day gunslinger who makes decisions with his gut without regard for the risks involved. Feuer takes risks but they are calculated risks.

Another insight was how much time Feuer spends on the floor of his own stores and those of his competitors. He makes a big effort to make sure that he is getting information directly from customer facing employees. I am always amazed at how the bosses in the TV show Undercover Boss don’t seem to know what their own organizations do. I doubt Feuer has this issue.

There is a lot of good advice in this book. Some of the writing was a little rough in spots but I think reading the book is worthwhile. You may not have an interest in starting or building a national retailer but I think there is a lot that can be learned from entrepreneurs outside of your own industry.

In the interest of full disclosure, we received an advance copy of the book, free of charge. We were asked to give it an honest review, which we have.


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Small Message, Big Impact: A Review

Terry L. Sjodin has written Small Message, Big Impact: How To Put The Power Of The Elevator Speech Effect To Work For You. Sjodin is founder of Sjodin Communications, a firm that specializes in communications training for business.

Small Message, Big Impact

When I first starting reading this book, I had my doubts. I’ve never been a big fan of elevator speeches. I’ve been in elevator speech workshops in the past and I can tell you it was painful to listen to dozens of people prattle on with some nonsense about how if you would only buy their services they could help you achieve all your dreams. The only saving grace was that they had to keep it to a couple of minutes each.

This book doesn’t do that. It is a book about communicating ideas in a short amount of time. Sjodin has a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Speech Communication and she was a self-professed “speech geek” throughout high school and college. Her education and debating experience really shows in this this book. Her approach is logical and built on a solid academic foundation.

The book will take your speech from a blank sheet of paper to getting in front of your prospect to present it. The book includes many worksheets to help you organize your ideas. One of my favourite parts of the book talks about how to make a speech “memorable, impactful and effective”. She writes that these speeches meet 3 benchmarks:

  1. Case – A logical argument with evidence to back it up.
  2. Creativity – The need to make it interesting for the listener.
  3. Delivery – Present the message in your authentic voice

I think the third benchmark is often overlooked. Most elevator speeches I’ve heard sound like a politician trying to sell me something. They don’t sound natural and this leaves the impression the speaker is not being honest. While Sjodin talks about taking a scrappy approach to get in front of your prospect, she doesn’t promote anything unethical. This is keeping in line with using an honest voice. An elevator speech should communicate your idea in a short amount of time, it shouldn’t be an acting performance given by some character you are playing.

My only criticism of the book is that the first chapter tries to hammer home the value of the elevator speech. It is repetitious in doing so and it gets annoying quickly. However, the chapter is short and the excellent content in rest of the book makes this a minor irritation. If you are having the same issues with the first chapter that I did, I recommend that you just push though.

The communications lessons in this book will be useful for anyone who has to make a pitch for something in a short amount of time. People often think that because they are not in sales, a book like this wouldn’t be useful. In my experience, everyone at some time has to make a persuasive argument for something. This book can help you be prepared for those moments.

In the interest of full disclosure, we received an advance copy of the book, free of charge. We were asked to give it an honest review, which we have.


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Technology Use – A Golf Case Study

As everybody knows, we live in a technological society. Technology has come into every part of our lives. Sometimes it’s a great thing. Other times we implement technology that doesn’t help anything at all. This blog is about how I’m using technology to improve my golf game.
I’m pretty much self-taught in golf, but I look for tips wherever I can find them. I hit a plateau a while back and the start of the season this year has been pretty brutal. The troubles with my game are:

  • Inconsistent ball striking
  • Lots of misses way left of the target
  • Poor distance control on short pitch and chip shots

These are pretty typical problems, but I didn’t know what to work on. Bashing balls at the range and hitting endless shots at the practice green will only ingrain swing faults. Here’s what I’m doing instead.

The Gear
This winter I picked up a Flip Video camera for vacations and coaching. With a battery pack I paid $130 for it. It has a total of three buttons and shoots up to an hour of HD video. The camera has a USB connection and software built into the system. The interface is very simple to use. No geek required.

The Flip camera mounts on the golf cart using the Joby flexible tripod.

I found a flexible tripod made by Joby at Future Shop ($30). This tripod allows you to attach your camera to anything you can wrap the legs around. When attached to a golf cart, it provides a stable mount for video recording.

The Results
Full Swing
It didn’t take long for me to see where my swing faults came from. The video shows that although my balance and tempo were okay, there were several faults causing problems.
My driver swing.

The problems are:
Alignment: Feet are closed and shoulders are open.
Backswing: Way too far. It’s past parallel at the top and I’m no John Daly.
Wrist Position: Losing wrist angle early in the downswing causes thin and fat shots and robs all power from the swing.

Short Game
The short game swing showed the same types of problems as the full swing. The troubles with this swing it’s way too long, leading to deceleration in the downswing and too much wrist breakdown.

My 35 yard sand wedge swing.

The Theory of Constraints states that technology is useful only if it removes a constraint. Here, the constraint was I didn’t know what I was doing wrong. Now that I see my faults, I can move towards fixing them. For the cost of a wedge, I now have insight to my swing flaws. For this to be effective, I now have to work on correcting the flaws the video uncovered. Its too bad Cisco is shutting down the Flip line, but there are still some cameras available. If anybody sees any other swing flaws I should be working on, please let me know. See you on the course!


Like our readers, we keep our eyes open for business insight on the web. We came across John Warrillow, a writer for the Globe and Mail. He comes with the credentials of a newspaper writer – published author, successful businessman. It’s quite shocking to read his blog. Each post contains a statement that is either obvious or ridiculous. Here is a short sampling of his work.

Golden nugget #1: If you are looking for entrepreneurs, screen out MBAs. Here he states that the best way to hire entrepreneurs is to eliminate MBAs from your hiring pool. He sites a study that concluded that MBAs don’t think like entrepreneurs. That somehow, all of the different programs offered throughout the world produce a bland, unimaginative robot that can only think linearly. If the MBA didn’t see a similar case study in class, he will be helpless. This is like me saying that all dentists make for bad golf buddies or all teachers can’t do their taxes. It’s just crap.

Golden nugget #2: Winners look within for success. Losers look outward for excuses for failure. Well, duh. My high school football coach summed it up in one sentence in 1985 – “Excuses are for losers.” (Thanks Mr. Sekulich!)

Golden nugget #3: Smart people hate it when you ask stupid questions. Here’s another obvious statement. When you have an excellent team, you can’t lead them by always asking leading questions. Even the dullest genius will see that form of treatment as clumsy passive-aggressiveness.

Golden nugget #4: Business plans are a waste of time. Warrillow, in a fine demonstration of tortured logic, describes how he wrote a business plan for a product that nobody wanted and blamed its failure on the time wasted writing the plan. He didn’t test the veracity of his assumptions and found out too late that he didn’t have a viable business plan. He then makes the tremendous leap to say that business planning is a waste of time.

Is John Warrillow our version of....

...this fair and balanced pundit?

Is the Globe using Warrillow’s column to stir up interest like Fox used Glenn Beck’s paranoid rants to stake out new ground on the American political right? It’s either this or they aren’t reading his columns too closely. If their intent is to generate web traffic, it’s probably working. I like reading columns that challenge the status quo, but if you replace conventional wisdom with stupid rules of thumb, have you really added anything to the debate?
Whenever I read something like these blogs, my faith in common sense and logic takes a hit. Thankfully, the comments section is there to restore this faith. An exceptional comment came from the inc.com posting of the business plan blog. Rj, whoever you are, you’re my hero:

“I had no basis for this assumption. I just made it up—which, of course, is the problem with the business plan of most start-ups…”

When Science is a Waste of Time
I believed I could turn water in solid gold by combining it with dirt and cinnamon. I had no basis for this assumption, but I did some experiments and it turned out that it didn’t work. And that’s why scientific experimentation is pointless.
Posted by Rj – 04/14/2011 02:25 pm.

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Don’t Compromise

Why do people think that compromise is the best solution? More often than not, it is the worst solution. Here’s why.

I was sitting in on a mediation hearing last week about how to settle an outstanding invoice with a building owner whose lessee went bankrupt. The details of the case don’t matter to this blog, but what was remarkable was the mediator’s approach to a resolution. He didn’t have authority to rule on the case and he wasn’t a legal expert, so he tried to get both sides to compromise their position. The case is still in process, and there might be a deal that both sides will accept. Any compromise will be a long way from ideal for both sides.

At first glance, a compromise seems to be the best way for differing parties to solve their disputes. The trouble is compromise is a poor substitute for investigation. For example, suppose you visit a bungee jump company. When they get you fitted with the right strength of cords, they weigh you with two scales. What if the first one says you weigh 100 pounds and the second one says you weigh 200 lbs? If the jump company operator compromised, you would have gear for 150 lbs. This will make for either a boring jump or the last thing you ever experience.

This guy hopes his bungee cord wasn't selected by compromise.

Another problem with compromise is the parties will soon see it for what it is – a game. Instead of coming to a mutual understanding, savvy participants will make their positions as extreme as possible. This will improve their final results while making them look good because they “moved a long way” from their initial position. If you manage your employees this way, you will be nurturing a litigious and combative culture. What’s your alternative?

One of the best features of TOC is how it handles conflict. It states that there are no real conflicts in nature, only mistaken assumptions. If you focus your efforts on testing the assumptions and eliminating the incorrect ones, you will do yourself a great favour. In the bungee example, the operator could use a known weight to test both scales. They would quickly find out which one (or both) was out of calibration. That way they could fit you with the right cords and give you the precise amount of excitement you paid for.

By using this technique to eliminate conflicts, you will promote a knowledge and information-seeking culture. It also promotes cooperation because both parties are working together to test the assumptions. Finally, it discourages gaming the system.

If we were to use this approach to the mediation, one side would emerge the winner and one would be the loser, so this is not for the faint-of-heart. But for managers courageous and thorough enough, it is a superior way to manage conflict.


Surviving Your Serengeti: A Review

Surviving Your Serengeti

Surviving Your Serengeti

The new book, Surviving Your Serengeti, teaches 7 essential skills for success in life and business through the metaphor of African animals on the Serengeti. Written by businessman and real estate expert Stefan Swanepoel, the book draws from the author’s experience growing up in Africa and applies the lessons he learned from the animals to our everyday lives.

The book is written as a novel in a style reminiscent of The Goal, where the protagonist is at a crossroads with his business and is mentored by a old friend that has reentered his life. The book follows Sean & Ashley, a couple on a trip to the Serengeti who are mentored by Zachariah, an old college friend of Sean’s. Zachariah takes them to see the animals in their natural habitats and he explains the main survival skill that makes each one of them successful. He draws parallels between the skills of the animals and the skills necessary to thrive in life and business.

This is an easy to read book that can be completed in a few hours. Although there is nothing really new here and this material has been covered in different forms in many different books over the years, this book is worth reading. The book makes an excellent point by saying:

“Often, our comfortable existence lets us become complacent-and we fail to identify or grow our skills.”

For this reason, it is worth reading this book if only to get a refresher of the skills that are important to success and a reminder that we need to continually work on them to become better at what we do. The storytelling and the picturesque African setting make this process a pleasant experience. Each chapter contains a helpful summary of the lesson learned, which is useful for quickly going back to reconfirm one’s understanding of each concept.

The publisher has put up a site called What Animal Am I? It has an online quiz that allow you to identify which African animal you are most closely identified with by comparing your dominant survival skills. It’s a fun quiz that will take less than 10 minutes and it will get you thinking about how you can work to improve your less dominant survival skills.

If this book been 400 pages of ponderous repetition, I couldn’t recommend it but as the author gets to the point quickly and covers universally important concepts, the book is well worth reading.

In the interest of full disclosure, we received an advance copy of the book, free of charge. We were asked to give it an honest review, which we have.



As reported by Bob Weekes, the Canadian Curling Association is looking at changing the format of the Brier, as well as their other national championships. They are experimenting with moving to a 14-team system.

  • Team Canada, Northern Ontario and separate Yukon and Northwest Territories entries plus one team from each Province.
  • The field would still be 12 teams with the 12th-place finisher from the previous year dropping into a pool with two other teams which didn’t make it in playing a relegation round just before the start of the national event (probably at a curling club in the same locale).

The rationale for this is by having Team Canada, you are basically assured of another strong team competing for the title. It will also bring some drama to the end of the week for teams at the bottom of the standings as they try to avoid relegation. Maybe they feel that the returning champion will increase interest in the events, thereby selling more seats, beer in the Brier Patch and sponsorships.
I feel this is akin to killing the goose that laid the golden egg. Here’s why:

The CCA is trying to turn their championships into toxic goose meat.

  • One only needs to go to a Brier to see that it is much more than a sporting event. At any game you can see Nova Scotia fans with rain coats and blue noses, Territories fans with their moose calls and Saskatchewan fans in full green. Taking one of those teams out of the competition would put a serious dent in the event.
  • At any National Championship, there are usually six teams with a realistic shot at winning with two or three favourites. Adding team Canada would add another favourite. So instead of one or two marquis matchups during the week they would have two or three. I don’t think the organizers would be able to measure the uptick in revenue from this.
  • What happens to the relegated teams the following year? Instead of playing for a spot at the Brier, they are playing for a chance to get to the Brier. This will depress interest in the sport where it is most vulnerable.
  • What about the total disaster scenario of no host team at an event? Try getting volunteers, decent gate attendance and other revenue when you don’t have a home team in the event.
  • By having last year’s champions return as Team Canada, it makes it much easier to repeat. This assaults the record books and cheapens the title of Canadian Champion.

The curling elite have done a good job of whining themselves into preferred positions. Many of these teams already get a bye into their Provincial Finals, but they will try to convince the CCA that having more elite teams will add to a more successful championship. If this is the case, why do they play their Grand Slam events to half empty arenas? Remember when these teams boycotted the Brier for a few years? Nobody missed them. The Briers were great events and the Canadian champions fared well at World Championships.
If the CCA wants to improve things, why not make this a true national championship? Everybody starts on the same starting line. That genie is out of the bottle, but the magic and allure of the Brier has suffered as a result.
If the CCA goes ahead with this change, I predict that instead of a bounty of gold, they will end up with tainted goose meat.


We Just Need 2% Of The Market

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard entrepreneurs say this or how many times I’ve read it in a business plan. It seems simple, right? How could the business not get such a small percentage of the market? And given that the market it huge, they’ll be doing 8 figures by their third year. Unfortunately, this weak reasoning often lulls entrepreneurs into a false sense of security. No one gives you market share for just showing up.

The market you are entering is huge. That’s great. It means that should you become successful and be able to gain market share, the rewards will be big but it’s nothing to base your financial projections on. If you load up on debt based on these mistaken projections, you will learn the impact of negative cash flow in a hurry.

I remember a restaurant that based their projections on an assumption that they could get a certain level of gross revenue. The problem was that when I took into account the seating capacity of the restaurant, the hours it was open, and the expected table turn over rate the average spend per customer would have to be $100 to achieve their revenue projection. I don’t know about you, but I frequently spend less that $100 when going to a casual dining restaurant. Clearly their gross revenue assumption was unreasonable. The restaurant in question closed down after 4 months of operation. The owners weren’t willing or able to fund the monthly losses.

A much better way to have done the revenue projection would have been to work it from the bottom up. If they would have made an estimate of the average number of customers through their establishment in a day and the average amount each customer would have spent, they could then have calculated the gross revenue for the business based on these numbers. After deducting the direct cost of goods sold (such as food) and the overhead costs (like rent) they could have determined whether or not this combination of the number of customers and the average spend per customer would have given them the financial return they wanted. If not, they could change either variable to see what it would take to break even.

This method of calculating financial projections has an advantage in that it is easier to determine if the revenue number is reasonable. Going back to my example, the prospective restauranteurs would have been able to tell very easily that their gross revenue number was not reasonable because it was not likely that the average customer would spend that much money per visit. They would have then known to rework their cost structure so that the restaurant could have turned a profit at a more reasonable level of customer spending. On the other hand, they may have decided to give up on the project, which would have been a better decision that would have saved their investment capital. There is a lot of value in learning that you shouldn’t make an investment.

It’s a good idea to research the size of the potential market for your product. It lets you know what a major success could look like. It also lets investors know the size of their opportunity. What it doesn’t do is let you know how much market share you’ll get. Work from your business’s fundamentals and build up. While it won’t give you a perfect prediction of the future, it will allow you to make a better judgement of what is or isn’t reasonable.

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On my earlier rant, I described how Air Canada made me choose between the right airport, wrong date and wrong airport, right date. I sent an email to their website to complain about how they handled the situation. Here is the email:

From: Sean McAlpine
Sent: 24/01/2011 11:52 AM
Subject : Is San Diego the same as Los Angeles?
Message : We booked the flight to get to San Diego.
In Saskatoon, the jet arrived at the gate at 7:20, instead of boarding at 6:35 am. After boarding, the pilot announced an engine valve problem and he was attempting to fix this by revving the engine. Once this was successful, he announced that we used too much fuel and had to refuel. Once we refueled, we took off at 9:00 am, 2 hours behind schedule.
Once in the air, I asked the flight attendant about our options as we would now miss our connecting flight (AC 580, 8:40 am) out of Vancouver. She contacted customer service in Vancouver, and told us we would have a rep waiting for us.
In Vancouver, the customer service rep handed us tickets to Los Angeles and told us to go on the Internet to book a shuttle to San Diego. He told us that our only alternative was to wait until the next day to fly to San Diego. We had under an hour to get through customs and get to the gate so we took the tickets. Once in Los Angeles, we contacted Air Canada customer service. They arranged a shuttle to the San Diego Airport. I ended up paying the shuttle driver $70 to take us directly to our hotel.
Does giving customers a choice between the wrong city and wrong date amount to acceptable customer service? I think it is a failure of service.
To be clear, the crew of the original flight did everything right. They kept safety as their top priority, got the ball rolling on alternative arrangements and were apologetic about the delay.
The problems I have are in the readiness of the jet and the Vancouver customer service. The jet was 45 minutes late to the gate. This is understandable for an incoming flight but the jet was in the hangar. The engine valve was said to be weather-related but it was -20 C with no snow. If these conditions prevent on-time departures, you shouldn’t operate in the Prairies. Secondly, the customer service agent handed the tickets to Los Angeles and told us to book our own shuttle to San Diego. He showed me his Iphone and said that he couldn’t connect to the shuttle service. I think he wanted to show me that he tried to help. Once I accepted this very time-sensitive alternative, he felt his job was done.
What I would like from Air Canada:
– Reimbursement of the extra $70 I paid to get to my hotel. A travel voucher is unacceptable, because that presumes that I will book with Air Canada.
– An acknowledgment that giving a customer the choice between the wrong city and wrong date is unacceptable customer service.
– If you want, explain why I should consider booking flights with Air Canada in the future.
Thank you,
Sean McAlpine

PS: This is the third time I tried to submit this feedback. A technical issue prevented transmission.

Pretty polite, wasn’t it? In the first blog post, I predicted a $70 travel voucher and some boilerplate niceties about how they value me as a customer. Here’s the reply:

Dear Mr. McAlpine,

Thank you for your e-mail.

We appreciate the time you have taken to contact us and are pleased to address your concerns. On behalf of Air Canada, I offer my sincere apologies for the inconvenience that you and your family experienced, with your delayed flight departing Saskatoon and subsequent missed connection in Vancouver.

While we make every effort to operate our flights as scheduled, regretfully, mechanical delays sometimes occur. In these circumstances, it is very important to ensure that the needs of all affected customers are being met. When handled with courtesy and professionalism, most passengers will accept the inconvenience and understand (as you do), that their safe travel must always be our first priority. Unfortunately, valves can get stuck for a variety of reasons. Moisture build up is common simply by airplane ascending and descending to different elevations.

We realize how important on-time departures are for our customers, and certainly regret the inconvenience you experienced as a result of this delay. As there are instances where avoiding a flight delay is impossible, times shown on tickets are not guaranteed, and do not form part of the contract for carriage on any airline.

You as a good question as many airports in different cites are considered the same airport. Los Angeles alone has four “sister city” airports. San Diego is considered a different city, therefore, we will refund your airfare between Los Angeles and San Diego, though the difference is not likely very much. Your tickets have been sent into Revenue Accounting for review, with any refund going back towards your original form of payment. This process may take a few weeks due to an unexpected backlog.

Unfortunately, we are not able to directly reimburse you the cost of your limousine, as you could have over-night in Vancouver and accepted a booking the next day. We would have provided a hotel due the missed connection being our fault. We regret if all options were not explained but it appears you had to decide quickly, or risk missing the flight to Los Angeles.

As a gesture of goodwill, we are pleased to provide your family with an electronic travel voucher in the amount of $200.00CAD. This transferable voucher may be used toward the base fare when you purchase an Air Canada ticket for travel on Air Canada and is valid until one year from today. This means that it must be applied to new tickets purchased within that time frame, however, travel does not have to commence within the year. Your voucher number is: xxxxxxxxxxxxx.

If booking through our Call Centre, simply provide the number shown above to the agent at the time of booking.

If booking on our website or through a travel agent, please wait until travel has been completed to submit your online request for deferred credit to the original form of payment. Simply visit the EMCO/Travel Voucher Request form at the link below to redeem your travel voucher.


Your travel voucher is fully transferable to the customer of your choice when using the EMCO/Travel Voucher Request form. Please ensure you indicate you are using your voucher as credit towards the purchase of a ticket for another passenger where asked on the online form.

Thank you for choosing Air Canada. We look forward to the opportunity of welcoming you and your family on-board in the future, we trust under more pleasant conditions.


Once we got to California, my daughter and I were happy to find more reliable transportation.

So it looks like they have exceeded my (low) expectations. Instead of a $70 voucher they offered a $200 voucher plus the difference in the cost of the flights. It looks like Jeremy actually read the email and wrote a response to it. In fact, I feel bad for Jeremy if responding to these types of complaints is his job. The trouble with the response is the same as my whole experience with them: their primary mission is cost control. Jeremy probably did everything in his power to make this right. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like he has much power.

My advice to Air Canada: Cost cutting is fine, but not if it affects reliability. If I’m right, Air Canada has cut back on hangar and maintenance hours to reduce labour costs. The valve issue was worsened because the jet was late to the gate. I’m sure that a two-hour delay on my flight cascaded into more delays all day for anybody flying on that jet. Who knows how many other $200 vouchers Jeremy had to issue because of this?
Finally, I have to rescind my offer to give the voucher away. My wife has already promised it to somebody else. Hopefully they will have better luck.