ICANN Ombudsman upset about service from “the little guy” at Air Canada.
ICANN Ombudsman Frank Fowlie is giving a whole new meaning to “sticking it to the man”. The “little man”, that is. At the same time, he has learned what it’s like to be on the losing end of a complaint.
Here’s the story.
Fowlie was frustrated with the service he received from Air Canada after he did not get his meal choice in Executive Class last year on a flight from Paris to Montreal. He said he complained to the flight attendant and was then ignored for 35-45 minutes with no snacks until the correct meal was served. The flight attendant says that he informed Fowlie it would take thirty minutes to cook the meal and that he provided wine and bread to Fowlie during the wait. But apparently Fowlie became agitated and started ringing his call button.
What happened next is in to dispute, because Fowlie’s version of events differ from the entire flight crew of Air Canada.
The flight attendant claims that Fowlie cursed and shouted at him. The flight attendant informed Fowlie that if he didn’t calm down, he’d have to be moved to a different area of the aircraft. Fowlie took this to mean he’d be downgraded to coach.
After the flight attendant told his supervisor about the incident, the supervisor asked Fowlie to step into the galley to talk about it. The supervisor claims:
Dr. Fowlie was physically imposing through his tone of voice, his body language and the use of his finger in her face. She also states that Dr. Fowlie referred to the flight attendant as “the little man” or “the little nothing”.
Fowlie says his reference to the flight attendant as “the little man” was just a descriptive term of his appearance. Hey, this might be fair. After all, the Ottawa Citizen reports that the attendant is just 160 pounds. As you can tell from Fowlie’s picture, he’s weighs a bit more than the attendant.
The supervisor then reported the incident to the captain, who issued a citation to Fowlie.
Once Fowlie arrived at his layover, he allegedly acted aggressively toward the ground manager. The crew for his next flight was told what happened, and the captain denied Fowlie access to the flight because he was a “risk of further disruption.”
The ground manager was concerned enough that she called airport security. Fowlie had to wait until the next day to be allowed to continue on his trip. That’s quite amazing for someone who has a Doctorate of Conflict Resolution and a Master of Arts in Conflict Analysis and Management. Perhaps a Masters of Anger Management is in order.
Fowlie filed a complaint with Canadian Transportation Agency, which denied his claim. I suppose Fowlie now knows what it’s like to be on the losing side of a complaint. After all, he’s quite skilled at ignoring the key points that are presented in cases filed with his office.
According to the Ottawa Citizen article, Fowlie is a SuperElite member of Air Canada’s frequent-flyer program and regularly logs 240,000 km a year in his work as ombudsman for the ICANN.
Your ICANN fees at work, folks.