Flying Foreign

I go into a tailspin every time I see an airline executive blame the abysmal economy-class service of U.S. airlines on passengers who expect too much but are not willing to pay for it. (“Consumer Satisfaction With Airlines in Free Fall,” Travel Insider, Feb. 7).

I recently had the good fortune to fly from Los Angeles to Vancouver, Canada, on a flight operated by a Canadian carrier through a code-share agreement. Let me assure you that the Canadians offer a top-rate economy-class service unsurpassed in North America: a clean, fresh cabin; a tasty meal; coffee and tea service offered more frequently than in some American carriers’ first-class cabins; and most of all, flight attendants who truly act as if they “know you have a choice of airlines and appreciate your business,” rather than just rattling off this mindless spiel.

I have had similar experiences flying to Asia and within Europe on foreign carriers, and their tickets are no more (and often less) expensive than those booked through American carriers.

I thought that when consumers demanded cheaper air fares, they were giving up their right to a refund on a flexible schedule--not agreeing to travel as cargo.