03.12.2011 08:14 PM

I hate hate hate WestJet (updated)

1. Flight was supposed to leave Fort Myers for Toronto at 8:30.

2. They have moved it back multiple times. IT IS NOW LEAVING AT 11:21.

3. That means I will be arriving with my Mom AND FOUR YOUNG KIDS AT ABOUT 5 A.M.

4. Any explanation from WestJet? Just a shrug and “maintenance.” One word. “Maintenance.”

5. Any apology from WestJet? NO NOT A FRIGGING WORD OF APOLOGY OR REGRET. ZERO, ZIPPO, ZILCH.

I know, I know. You guys always remind me about the last time I flew with these idiots, and how I promised to never ever again fly WestJet. I know.

But they were a full thousand bucks cheaper than the alternatives, including going through Buffalo. They were cheaper.

Guess I know why now, don’t I?

UPDATE: It’s well past the appointed hour. They have said there is yet another delay, and hope to be in the air “soon.” Uh-huh.

29 Comments

  1. Steve T says:

    Sadly, the alternatives aren’t much better. Air Canada and United are usually a gong show, especially if you are unlucky enough to go through Chicago O’Hare. Northwest was pretty good, until it got swallowed by Delta, and now it sucks too.

    Domestically, I’ve actually found WestJet to be pretty good. Never had any international experience with them, but from what it sounds like they need to get their act together.

    • Bill King says:

      I agree alternatives are no better. I experienced the same thing, with two 2-year-olds coming back from Fla on AC in December. The only difference is I paid way more per person on AC than you did on Westjet.

      Cheers,

  2. dave says:

    Main thing now is to make sure the people who do the maintenance also fly with you.
    (It’s pretty good insurance.)

  3. Brammer says:

    Was recently delayed by Air Canada for 5 hours but they were pretty good about it:

    1) explained that there was a faulty switch but no parts on hand
    2) told us when the replacement plane would arrive
    3) brought the snack cart out with snacks and drinks
    4) gave all pax a $10 meal voucher good anywhere in the airport
    5) complimentary booze on the delayed flight.

    Good customer relations all around, I thought. Quite a contrast to your WJ experience…

  4. Wannabeapiper says:

    “Maintenance” is kind a important.
    Been in similar situations, its a drag, but at the end of the day-“maintenance” is kind a important. We assume of course, that it is a greater issue than a malfunctioning soap dispenser.

  5. Dan F says:

    I blame the Reformatories and the NDP for the higher AC prices. They’ve booked 2 planes, taking them out of service

  6. allegra fortissima says:

    If I had wings
    I’d learn to fly,
    I’d learn to fly
    up to the sky,
    I’d pass the stars,
    they’d say goodbye.
    If I had wings
    I’d learn to fly.
    (by Hannah)

    Ne perdez pas votre calme et oui, Bon Voyage!

  7. Rob says:

    Knowing the delay and lack of apology, would you do it again if you could save $1000?

  8. james Smith says:

    Yes they are often cheaper but I will NEVER fly WJ.
    EVER.
    The one & only time I did the flight crew appeared drunk, & acted like a grade 12 drama class. “Hey everybody! How about a hand for the captain for the great landing!” (I never get a round of applause for drawing plans to the Ontario Building Code, I’m just saying.) When I complained about the water dripping on me from the cabin ceiling I was first brushed off with “It’s just condensation, any way the flight is full so I don’t have another seat to move you to”. My further complaints were finally addressed; with a few towels so I could wipe the cabin roof “if it really bothered me.”
    Look USAir & United and the rest are lame but WJ is in a land of their own.
    AC or Buffalo Never WJ again.

    • WesternGrit says:

      Wow! I thought I was the only person that water drippy thing happened to on Westjet.

      I like our national flag carrier. Never had a problem with Air Canada – and found their crews very professional. If I want cheap entertainment I’ll turn on the seat-back TV.

      Westjet is just learning what it takes to “go international”, and the busy, crowded, and “unfriendly” American skies are creating issues. American airports have far more problems simply because of the cut-throat, deregulated market. Too many airlines using too few runways – AND – too little terminal space. That spare part was probably air-couriered in from another airport, since airlines have trouble keeping spares when they cut their costs – including hangar space, mechanics, and technicians. If you couple the $19000/year pilot salaries of US airline pilots with their over-worked state, and airline cost-cutting, I’m surprised they safety records aren’t worse down there…

      They’ll either have to raise fares or cut costs further…

  9. E Ingram says:

    Aren’t WestJet workers small business owners?

    Jest getting along in corporate world as best they can. They need a tax cut!

  10. Wannabeapiper says:

    Went through the same trauma with SkyService. The palne we had, had a wheel issue, they fixed it 13 hours later. We got on the plane and the safety video didn’t work, in fact it was the single monitor that was not working, but we had built in ashtrays for every seat. Skyservice went out of business a week later.

  11. Andrew says:

    I would rather send a few hours in the airport while maintenance is being done than having me and the rest of my family packed into a body bag because something came loose and caused something catastrophic.

    • Derek Pearce says:

      True. But they could make an effort at better customer service in this circumstance, a la Brammer’s experience with AC recounted further up the thread.

  12. AmandaM says:

    Doesn’t Porter go to Fort Myers now?

    I long for the days of WardAir.

  13. We elected to save money and stick close to home this March Break.

    So we’re on a cruise on Lake Erie…

  14. Guido says:

    I suppose it would be better if they just ignored whatever the problem was and left on time. Yeah, that wouldn’t be an issue at all…

  15. Fred says:

    WJ’s fleet is the newest in Canada. If an aircraft goes mechanical, do you think they instantly know what the issue is? Ever taken your car in for service and have them keep it overnight after they thought it’d take a couple of hours to fix?

    Would you rather they not bother fixing it at all, fly illegally, then declare an emergency at 41,000 feet?

    And when were you planning to mention that due to the 3hr delay, you were automatically entitled to a flight credit for precisely what you paid for the delayed flight? What other airline does that in Canada?

    Get a grip.

    • Warren says:

      Hey, piss off, West Jet PR dick. Nobody offered us anything, including an apology. Be polite or I’ll let everyone know who you really are.

      • Westjet Antichrist says:

        Good for you for telling off “Fred”. You know, I work for WestJet as a flight attendant, and you won’t hear any PR from me. I will be the first to say that they have degenerated into a low cost at ANY cost kind of airline. I’ve got a 3-year plan to quit – you think it’s bad as a passenger, you should see the shit they pull on staff (http://www.ratemyemployer.ca/employer/employer.aspx?empID=62&l=en – one of my posts is on there. ;)). We work a lot for free and they cut corners so they don’t have to pay us. They’re absolutely horrible, and whenever I hear someone say how great WestJet is, I am quick to tell them how it really is.

        They used to be a great place to work and a great airline to fly with, but now they’re horrible. Staff working at US airports are even worse off, because they don’t get any of the WestJet flying benefits (they’re contract workers) so they have no incentive to be cheery and nauseatingly “WestJetty.” They pressure everyone working with the public to be super nice, but have increased our work load and decreased our working conditions without giving us anything in return, so staff is bitchy as hell and bitter. You get the odd brainwashed idiots like “Fred” above who think WestJet is Jesus Christ incarnate, but for the most part, the smart employees know it’s gone horribly downhill, and the mistreatment of staff who hate their job is unfortunately passed onto the customer. Back in the early days, they treated people so well that we were overjoyed to go to work, and customers loved the sincerity of our happiness. Now the only reason you get the hyperactive cheerfulness is because we’re pressured to do it (because we’re working with someone high up who’s auditing us or watching us), or people are brainwashed into believing it’s just like the good ole’ days when it’s not. Management is unethical and idiotic, and customers are starting to see past the marketing bullshit and see WestJet for what it is – a shadow of its former self and it has degenerated into one of the worst companies I’ve ever worked for.

        Seriously, I’d fly with Air Canada, drive or take the train before I fly with WestJet. I can fly for almost nothing and I choose to drive rather than fly with them. Every time I get on one of their planes I feel angry and resentful, and there’s always some kind of crap that causes a delay. I worked 3 shifts in a row where the flight was delayed over an hour – so I’m stuck in an airport being glared at by passengers (who have a right to be mad) and not getting paid. I could be delayed for 6 hours and wouldn’t get paid any more than if the flight was on time. It’s horrible, and on behalf of me (not WestJet, because they DON’T care) I’m sorry you had that experience. WestJet makes me sick, it’s become too big too fast and both passengers and customers suffer as a result. They treat everyone like crap, and their poor “customer service” is a direct result of their mistreatment of staff. I can’t wait to quit, and I don’t think I will last 3 years. 😉

        If you say ANYTHING against WestJet you’ll get idiots like “Fred” come on and either trash you and try to invalidate your complaint or they’ll act all concerned (because they’re brainwashed).

  16. bc says:

    DO.
    NOT.
    FLY.
    SUNWING.

    Lost my luggage (on a direct flight). How is that even possible?

    If it wasn’t for some nice stranger at US Airways doing a good deed I would have been on a one week cruise with a pair of jeans and a white t-shirt.

  17. John says:

    I’ve only flown WestJet a couple times (once domestic and once to the USofA) and both flights were A-1 in my book.

  18. Jeremy says:

    I’ve had good and bad days on them all. Actually, if anyone here travels in the North, they know that the best and friendliest service of any airlines in the country are probably First Air and Canadian North. We’ve never had a problem with them and they serve a FREE hot meal, not a stale sandwich for 10 bucks.

  19. Yumna Tashi says:

    Excited about West Jet, until I found my seat was in between two people in a very cramped plan. I was flying from Toronto to Vancouver and could not fathom being suffocated by these two people for 4 hrs. I had to leave the plane and never traveling West Jet again. Could not believe the seats were set up in threes with no leg room, arm room or head room.

    Simply horrible felt like I was in Air India and you know how bad Air India is.

  20. Chris says:

    I just did a Google search for “westjet hate”. This is one of four pages that came up that actually relating to hating WestJet. Try a search for “air canada hate”. There are too many hate links to count.

    Nobody’s perfect, especially not in the airline business. But I’ve had so many bad experiences with Air Canada that I’d rather fly just about any other airline in the developed world than Air Canada. (Here, “developed world” is code for “they have a good safety record”.)

    I’d hope that WestJet treats their staff better than is related above. But even if they don’t, I know I’ve travelled WestJet many times in the past few years and never had a bad experience. It’s hard to say that about any company. They must be doing something right.

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