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Old Oct 23, 11, 12:19 am   #1
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
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4 hour delay

Our family flew WestJet for the first time this week, from YVR to Maui return, on a WJ vacation package. Our return flight from Maui was due to depart at 10:45 p.m., but we had a mechanical delay for a broken air conditioning unit. We waited 4 hours in the cold and sometimes dark departure lounge (as in, the lights actually went off for a short time in the wee hours) until we finally departed at 3 a.m. We received no status updates for the last two hours of the delay, and WJ was poorly supplied and prepared. It was a long, lousy night; the rest of the airport was completely locked up. We eventually had an uneventful return flight, but there was very limited food/drink availability - no wine, only snacks, and no blankets or pillows (even for purchase) - topped off by an hour-long baggage delay on arrival at YVR.

As first time WJ flyers, we're wondering - was this just bad luck or are delays like this not unusual for WJ? We were given a coupon code for 10% off our next flight, but Christmas holidays are blacked out and travel must be completed by June 2012, so it can't be used for summer 2012 travel. Does this seem reasonable, or should we pursue further?
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Old Oct 23, 11, 8:34 am   #2
 
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WS used to give full refunds on delays over two hours that were the airlines fault.
I don't know what current policy is.
Lengthy delays on WS are rare.
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Old Oct 23, 11, 7:29 pm   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tracon View Post
WS used to give full refunds on delays over two hours that were the airlines fault.
I don't know what current policy is.
Lengthy delays on WS are rare.
Especially since they would be more motivated to make sure guests come first with a careantee. Within Canada, it's much better than AA, even with UDUs....
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Old Oct 23, 11, 8:04 pm   #4
 
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Originally Posted by AA_EXP09 View Post
Especially since they would be more motivated to make sure guests come first with a careantee. Within Canada, it's much better than AA, even with UDUs....
"Care-antees" which are still subject to change without notice. I would agree that they're better than AA though except for the CX miles I'd be missing.
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Old Oct 24, 11, 4:00 pm   #5
 
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Thanks, everyone. Being a first-time westjet customer (and new to FT), westjet's careantee is news to me, and I can't find any reference to it on their website; a search just redirects me to the home page. Perhaps it is a thing of the past? There is an "on-time promise", but it applies only to flights from Toronto to either Montreal or Ottawa. No mention of refunds on delays over 2 hours that I can see. I did call to inquire and was told they would get back to me, so we'll see what (if anything) that brings. Any other advice is most welcome.
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Old Oct 24, 11, 8:42 pm   #6
 
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Not sure if they still abide by it, several items I know have changed:

http://www.newswire.ca/en/story/5279...jet-care-antee

- We will not charge you to change or cancel your flight for 24 hours
after you book
- We will not charge you for call centre bookings
- We will not overbook your flight
- We will not charge you for two checked bags (Not anymore)
- We will have the lowest, change, cancel and pre-reserved seating fees
in Canada
- We will accommodate you if your flight is delayed. Even if it's
Mother Nature's fault (Questionable)
- We will fly you in the youngest all-jet fleet in North America (may no longer be true)
- We will provide live seatback TV on our flights (Not on the 757's going to Hawaii)
- We will give you ample legroom and overhead bin space
- We will publish our on-time, lost baggage and cancellation rates
- We will always let you know how we're doing as a company
- We will offer free online check-in and seat selection 24 hours before
departure
- We will allow you to transfer your credit files to friends or family
for free
- We will give you free snacks and refreshments on your flight
- We will always include smiles and thank yous.
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Old Oct 25, 11, 8:55 am   #7
 
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[quote=mango222;17320384]
Quote:
We waited 4 hours in the cold and sometimes dark departure lounge (as in, the lights actually went off for a short time in the wee hours) until we finally departed at 3 a.m....It was a long, lousy night; the rest of the airport was completely locked up.
Cold in Maui? Wow! I'm surprised! However, I think the airline cannot be blamed for this as they would have no control over the airport facilities.

Quote:
We received no status updates for the last two hours of the delay, and WJ was poorly supplied and prepared. We eventually had an uneventful return flight, but there was very limited food/drink availability
The broken aircraft was probably replaced by a quickly provisioned aircraft to race out as soon as possible to Hawaii. The fresh items such as sandwiches, etc that would have been originally prepared for the original flight in YVR would probably have spoiled by the time the plane would have arrived in Hawaii at 3 am, and I'm not sure if the caterer would have had enough notice to prepare a fresh batch.

Quote:
- no wine
As per Transport Canada regulations, alcohol can only be served between 10 am and 2 am from the point of departure time, so your 3 am departure would have been outside of those hours.

Quote:
As first time WJ flyers, we're wondering - was this just bad luck or are delays like this not unusual for WJ?
Just bad luck. WS doesn't have a base with planes and crews in Hawaii, so the lengthy delay was due to having to get a fresh crew and different aircraft together in Vancouver and getting it out to you as quickly as operationally possible..

Quote:
We were given a coupon code for 10% off our next flight, but Christmas holidays are blacked out and travel must be completed by June 2012, so it can't be used for summer 2012 travel. Does this seem reasonable, or should we pursue further?
I would pursue it further! Keep calling. Hope something can be done for you!
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Old Oct 25, 11, 11:00 am   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mango222 View Post
Our family flew WestJet for the first time this week, from YVR to Maui return, on a WJ vacation package. Our return flight from Maui was due to depart at 10:45 p.m., but we had a mechanical delay for a broken air conditioning unit. We waited 4 hours in the cold and sometimes dark departure lounge (as in, the lights actually went off for a short time in the wee hours) until we finally departed at 3 a.m. We received no status updates for the last two hours of the delay, and WJ was poorly supplied and prepared. It was a long, lousy night; the rest of the airport was completely locked up. We eventually had an uneventful return flight, but there was very limited food/drink availability - no wine, only snacks, and no blankets or pillows (even for purchase) - topped off by an hour-long baggage delay on arrival at YVR.

As first time WJ flyers, we're wondering - was this just bad luck or are delays like this not unusual for WJ? We were given a coupon code for 10% off our next flight, but Christmas holidays are blacked out and travel must be completed by June 2012, so it can't be used for summer 2012 travel. Does this seem reasonable, or should we pursue further?
I would watch your mailbox / email for a nice present from WestJet! Let us know when you get it!

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Old Oct 27, 11, 6:12 pm   #9
 
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[quote=YYCguy;17332351]
Quote:
Originally Posted by mango222 View Post

Cold in Maui? Wow! I'm surprised! However, I think the airline cannot be blamed for this as they would have no control over the airport facilities.

The broken aircraft was probably replaced by a quickly provisioned aircraft to race out as soon as possible to Hawaii. The fresh items such as sandwiches, etc that would have been originally prepared for the original flight in YVR would probably have spoiled by the time the plane would have arrived in Hawaii at 3 am, and I'm not sure if the caterer would have had enough notice to prepare a fresh batch.

As per Transport Canada regulations, alcohol can only be served between 10 am and 2 am from the point of departure time, so your 3 am departure would have been outside of those hours.

Just bad luck. WS doesn't have a base with planes and crews in Hawaii, so the lengthy delay was due to having to get a fresh crew and different aircraft together in Vancouver and getting it out to you as quickly as operationally possible..

I would pursue it further! Keep calling. Hope something can be done for you!
Thanks YYCguy - I agree that air conditioning in the terminal would be the airport's issue, not westjet's, but the flight delay that left us there is in the cold certainly was westjet's issue, as was the lack of blankets. I thought they would have had blankets on board for passengers for the flight, but apparently not - and I would have bought several if they had offered them for sale. The hallway outside the departure lounge was open air and so was warm, but it was a concrete hallway with very limited seats, so the vast majority of passengers were left in the closed-in, air-conditioned departure lounge, which was freezing - although many, including me, did get up occasionally to warm up by walking the dark (but warm) outer hallway.

They didn't fly a new plane out to us; we sat and watched our plane from the departure lounge for more than 4 hours while they worked on it. We were told they were getting instructions by phone from Calgary to fix it. I don't know how the food provisioning works, but I would assume that since this flight arrives from YVR, loads up and returns back to YVR almost immediately, there should have been some provisions on the plane for us, beyond snacks.

Bummer about the alcohol restriction. I didn't know about that The crew just said they didn't have any.

You are right about there being no other WestJet planes or crew in Hawaii, but they didn't fly new ones out to us - the same crew that flew out from YVR flew back with us. Same with the plane. We all just hung out together waiting....

Thanks - I hope so too!
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Old Oct 27, 11, 6:15 pm   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HangTen View Post
I would watch your mailbox / email for a nice present from WestJet! Let us know when you get it!

Nothing yet.....will definitely let you know, though!
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Old Oct 28, 11, 8:50 pm   #11
 
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offer has arrived...

Quote:
Originally Posted by HangTen View Post
I would watch your mailbox / email for a nice present from WestJet! Let us know when you get it!

Well, we got our email from WestJet today. Along with an apology for our experience and an acknowledgement of the delay, it offers us 20% (or up to 20%, depending on which paragraph you read) off our next WestJet flight. There are quite a few restrictions: it can't be combined with other promotions, promo codes or coupon codes; cannot be used for WestJet vacations (which is what we were travelling on), partner or group bookings. Valid only on new bookings made through westjet.com at time of booking, and it expires in 11 months. A bit underwhelming - any suggestions for a follow up strategy?
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Old Oct 29, 11, 10:41 am   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mango222 View Post
Well, we got our email from WestJet today. Along with an apology for our experience and an acknowledgement of the delay, it offers us 20% (or up to 20%, depending on which paragraph you read) off our next WestJet flight. There are quite a few restrictions: it can't be combined with other promotions, promo codes or coupon codes; cannot be used for WestJet vacations (which is what we were travelling on), partner or group bookings. Valid only on new bookings made through westjet.com at time of booking, and it expires in 11 months. A bit underwhelming - any suggestions for a follow up strategy?
WS is, IMHO at least, a more human company and so getting through to someone who can accept and address your request for greater compensation should you wish to make one is going to be easier than with other airlines. Nothing wrong in asking for what you feel is fair and I would expect WS will listen though how much they might sweeten the offer who knows. I would say these kinds of delays are rare as WS IME is very good for on-time performace.

Interesting to see WS has gone to a flat discount instead of fully refunding the cost of that segment as it used to and other have already mentioned but maybe it was easier to account for when they jumped to the reltively new Sabre res. system.
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Old Oct 29, 11, 2:23 pm   #13
 
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I complained about lineups soon after the Sabre cutover (2 hours in line, nearly missed flight, no time for dinner with family at the airport) with no desire to get compensation - only to suggest solutions and to thank the employees who dealt with us -- and we got north of $300 in my travel bank. Fantastic customer service, but not what I wrote for.

To the OP - perhaps instead of sending it back saying "I want more, whaddya got?" you can try saying "I'm not happy, I feel $X (or Y%) is fair." -- then if they won't meet what you feel is fair, you can let them know your disappointment.
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Old Oct 29, 11, 5:17 pm   #14
 
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Westjet

Send your comments on how the situation was not handled to your satisfaction and suggest what you think would be a fair reimbursement for the inconvenience directly to Gregg -- gsaretsky@westjet.com
He has always been receptive to pax and offered up mutually satisfactory solutions over the years at CP and AS, so have no doubt that he will assist you as well.
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Old Nov 4, 11, 12:00 pm   #15
 
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Originally Posted by dunderhead View Post
Send your comments on how the situation was not handled to your satisfaction and suggest what you think would be a fair reimbursement for the inconvenience directly to Gregg -- gsaretsky@westjet.com
He has always been receptive to pax and offered up mutually satisfactory solutions over the years at CP and AS, so have no doubt that he will assist you as well.
Thanks very much for this and all the other replies. We'll go forward with something that we think is fair in the circumstances, and see what happens. Much appreciate your collective input.
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