Canadian Airlines’ Battle Of Good Cheer

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Competition between airlines is nothing new but Canada’s largest carriers seem to be in a pitched battle to prove which is the nicest. Last Christmas, WestJetthrew down the good cheer gauntlet by treating two loads of passengers to their Christmas wishes, which were delivered on the baggage carousel. The resulting video got nearly 37 million views and earned the airline marketing awards. It followed up last year’s coup by providing gifts for needy people in a Dominican Republic village. Not to be outdone by its archrival, Air Canada raised the stakes with a video that begins with two pilots walking into a bar.

The Maple Leaf is a haven for ex-pat Canadians in downtown London. It offers Canadian beer, wine and liquor and runs hockey games on the televisions. The pilots (or actors dressed as them) circulate among the friendly patrons on a Saturday night, most of them lamenting their inability to travel home to the snow and cold of Canada for the holidays. The video ends heartwarmingly, if predictably. So who’s winning this civility sweepstakes? WestJet’s video came out three days before Air Canada’s and has 2.5 million views but Air Canada’s has picked up hundreds of thousands of views over the weekend and was at 1.2 million views on Saturday.

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