Advertising vacation travel packages during a pandemic is wrong

Air Canada’s use of influencers to encourage travel is infuriating and irresponsible

Vacations are a thing that everyone needs from time to time —- a blissful escape to a foreign land from whatever troubling situation you are facing in your homeland. Thanks to the pandemic, vacationing and travel is a thing of the past.

It feels so long since I’ve been on a plane, and I’m far from the only one who feels the same. Despite health officials banning social gatherings and other events involving people getting together, they haven’t banned international travel.

Recently, Air Canada has taken to employing social media influencers to promote air travel, both within Canada and to outside countries, all during a time when non-essential travel is discouraged.

First off, let’s address the elephant in the room: how come I can’t see my friends, but politicians are able to go to entirely different parts of Canada or the world? Why not just ban international travel altogether?

We’ve been told repeatedly to abide by lockdown restrictions and to take this pandemic seriously.

Now airlines are employing dubious methods, like hiring social media influencers, to encourage travelling and vacation packages. The sheer callousness that Air Canada shows towards its own customers’ safety is laid bare here. Instead of following the government’s advice to respect social distancing guidelines, they are enthusiastically encouraging more flight bookings with these influencer endorsements.

This is a confusing time, made all the more so by the Canadian government’s refusal to either close everything or keep everything open. Compared to other countries like the United States, we are handling the pandemic relatively well. That’s not to say that the potential for a catastrophic second wave isn’t low. If we ease up restrictions now, infections can rise, and this whole cycle will begin anew.

Understandably, businesses have to do what they can to maintain some level of income. Restaurants have adapted a take-out style of service that minimizes human contact while still being able to offer food services, and liquor producers have taken to making hand-sanitizers to support the cause. And the advancement of technology has allowed us to adapt to this pandemic swiftly.

On the other hand, travelling shouldn’t be encouraged when the government and health authorities are telling us otherwise. Not only is it hypocritical and immediately contradicts everything we’ve been told, but the sheer audacity that Air Canada has to use influencers for advertising unsafe activity, to engage in a luxury that we can’t afford regarding public health or otherwise, is the epitome of arrogance.

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