Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > WestJet | WestJet Rewards
Reload this Page >

Missed your flight? Denied boarding? Be prepared to pay (CBC)

Missed your flight? Denied boarding? Be prepared to pay (CBC)

Old Sep 17, 19, 6:19 am
  #1  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Programs: AC SE100K-1MM, NH, DL, AA, Global Entry/Nexus, APEC..
Posts: 16,159
Missed your flight? Denied boarding? Be prepared to pay (CBC)

Messy - WS cancels a connecting flight, reinstates it, changes gate, pax missed flight, WS cancels rest of booking, and Basic Economy tickets


QUOTE:

"WestJet satisfied most travellers know about restrictions"


CBC News · Posted: Sep 17, 2019 6:00 AM AT | Last Updated: 3 hours ago

Missed your flight? Denied boarding? Be prepared to pay

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-...ghts-1.5281080
24left is offline  
Old Sep 17, 19, 8:58 am
  #2  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend and Moderator: Air Canada Aeroplan & Manufactured Spending
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: YEG
Posts: 48,739
I wonder if this couple still thinks Basic fares are worth the savings?
tcook052 is offline  
Old Sep 17, 19, 10:43 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: YOW
Programs: AC E75
Posts: 730
When I saw this on the news I thought something was fishy. If WS canceled the flight and then rebooked them, even if they missed the flight I'm surprised they weren't taken care of by way of goodwill than the tariff. The canceled returns have always been a mystery to me when you could book two one ways and not have this happen - why go for the bad PR for the sake of a few hundred bucks here or there as I'm sure this doesn't happen that often that they don't end up giving in anyways.
YZF_Elite is offline  
Old Sep 17, 19, 10:52 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: YVR
Programs: WS Plat., AS Gold, Winner "Misanthropes to Watch" (1984)
Posts: 678
Originally Posted by YZF_Elite View Post
.............. I'm surprised they weren't taken care of by way of goodwill than the tariff.
That actually made me audibly laugh.
Frequentlander is offline  
Old Sep 17, 19, 11:19 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Colorado Springs
Programs: No single airline or hotel chain is of much use to me anymore.
Posts: 2,111
This happened after several rapid-fire flight and gate changes? There are mobility issues involved?

That isn't just vindictive, that is the corporate manifestation of a personality disorder. I can just picture the customer facing staff sitting in their cars at the end of their shifts traumatized.
Error 601 is offline  
Old Sep 17, 19, 11:21 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: YOW
Programs: AC E75
Posts: 730
Originally Posted by Frequentlander View Post
That actually made me audibly laugh.
In fairness I'm not as familiar with WS, but in my frequent AC interactions, usually at the airport after any kind of cancellation/IROPS situation, they will pretty much fix up anything for me. If I legitimately (and I suspect this case is debatable knowing only one side) missed a connection because a flight was canceled, then re-added and a communications breakdown caused me to miss it, I have no doubt that I would be taken care of. Perhaps WS are tighter, but even with their recent clampdowns, anecdotally they're still supposedly better on the customer service front.
YZF_Elite is offline  
Old Sep 18, 19, 10:55 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 206
Any way to tell if the flight was actually cancelled and reinstated? Can we learn the timing of the gate change?

Were they waiting around at gate A18 for a flight they thought was cancelled?

Last edited by ride red; Sep 18, 19 at 11:04 am
ride red is offline  
Old Sep 18, 19, 11:37 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Canada
Programs: Marriott Plat; Air Canada E75K; Westjet Platinum
Posts: 1,127
Seems like WJ really are looking to shoot themselves in the foot these days. Is the Basic fare so restrictive where they won't accommodate you if your inbound flight is late causing you to miss the onward connection? They will then cancel the rest of your trip? These folks were waiting for their connection for crying out loud. I was in Kelowna airport, YLW is small if you have ever been there. My flight was delayed for hours and departure time kept changing. Passengers were milling around with no where to sit. I took up a seat about 100 feet away and I missed the boarding announcement and missed the flight. I walked up to the gate to ask about the new departure time. GA said the flight left already !!! We called you 3X where were you? I was right over there literally pointing to the seat by the bathroom and didn't hear a thing. Air Canada rebooked me and way we go. Recently at YYZ I was late getting to my gate and heard my name being called. It was my fault that I missed the flight. I walked up to another gate and Air Canada agent put me on standby on the next flight and I got on. If you are mid trip, Basic fare or not, you have to help your passengers. Is this worth your brand being trashed? The front line employees need to think it through when they are doing their job.
Fiordland and Mike902 like this.
Sunny Day is offline  
Old Sep 18, 19, 1:18 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: YYC
Programs: AC Basic, UA MP Gold, Marriott Gold Elite, SPG Gold, Amex Platinum
Posts: 2,991
Originally Posted by ride red View Post
Any way to tell if the flight was actually cancelled and reinstated? Can we learn the timing of the gate change?

Were they waiting around at gate A18 for a flight they thought was cancelled?

In the CBC story the pax were under the impression the flight was cancelled when they were at gate 18. Not stated in the CBC and my assumption, lack of aircraft and/or other passengers probably lead to the pax initially assuming their flight was cancelled. Something caused the pax to revisit their cancelled flight assumption and they discovered the new gate information for gate 40. Pax also realize where the new gate is located and attempt to flag down the golf cart. Pax get a golf cart and then rush to gate only to find out the door is closed and they have forfeited their future flights.

The 2 hour connection timing is interesting. Did the pax stay at the gate area throughout? What did the pax notice a gate change on the information screens at the gate? Was their an aircraft at gate 18?
WR Cage is offline  
Old Sep 18, 19, 3:46 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Colorado Springs
Programs: No single airline or hotel chain is of much use to me anymore.
Posts: 2,111
Originally Posted by Sunny Day View Post
The front line employees need to think it through when they are doing their job.
No front line employee who doesn't have a personality disorder is going to plant their feet on this at their own volition, this is a corporate directive.

Somebody has decided they need to offer basic fares to be competitive with Flair but that it is also imperative that they make travelling on a basic fare such a potential ordeal and source of anxiety that the traveller will never wish to buy such a fare again on any airline. They have also decided that earning WestJet the reputation of US Airways circa 2005 to accomplish this is completely worthwhile.
rickg523 likes this.
Error 601 is offline  
Old Sep 18, 19, 9:26 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Canada
Programs: Marriott Plat; Air Canada E75K; Westjet Platinum
Posts: 1,127
If they think they are teaching these folks a lesson about buying Basic fare, they are mistaken. I don't think dealing with people this way mid trip and outright cancelling the rest of their trip will make them think twice about buying Basic fare. Instead this will make them think twice about choosing WJ. Period. I have heard directly from long time WJetters that HO has been ruthless about enforcing rules. I agree generally it is a lot easier to do your job just enforcing rules and say no than to have to assess the situation, find solutions and may be call in others to help you.

I really would like to know if I am on a Basic fare and my flight is delayed and caused me to miss my onward connection, are they saying they don't have to rebook me on the next flight, strand me mid trip, and will also cancel the rest of my trip?

Last edited by Sunny Day; Sep 18, 19 at 9:35 pm
Sunny Day is offline  
Old Sep 18, 19, 10:29 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Colorado Springs
Programs: No single airline or hotel chain is of much use to me anymore.
Posts: 2,111
Originally Posted by Sunny Day View Post
I agree generally it is a lot easier to do your job just enforcing rules and say no than to have to assess the situation, find solutions and may be call in others to help you.
I don't think continuously finding oneself in adversarial situations with customers qualifies as "easier" for most people and especially not when you're holding the line on policies that are inherently counter-intuitive and unfair. Nobody finds it easy to make somebody who might now be stranded and unable to afford to get home cry.

That your airline will offer a bare minimum of assistance in getting you to your destination if you miss a connection is something just about any traveller of any level of experience would expect globally.
Error 601 is offline  
Old Sep 19, 19, 8:06 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Vancouver
Programs: Aeroplan, Mileage Plus, SPG Gold, AMEX Plat
Posts: 1,391
Originally Posted by Error 601 View Post
I don't think continuously finding oneself in adversarial situations with customers qualifies as "easier" for most people and especially not when you're holding the line on policies that are inherently counter-intuitive and unfair. Nobody finds it easy to make somebody who might now be stranded and unable to afford to get home cry.

That your airline will offer a bare minimum of assistance in getting you to your destination if you miss a connection is something just about any traveller of any level of experience would expect globally.
As a frequent flyer I have to say I am disappointing with WS attitude. I had been shifting more and more of my flying from Air Canada to WS. I am now thinking that is a mistake. The old WS with Delta would have been a fantastic option. This new "WS" is clearly losing its way.
FlyerJ likes this.
Fiordland is offline  
Old Sep 19, 19, 10:22 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Calgary
Posts: 866
Originally Posted by Fiordland View Post
As a frequent flyer I have to say I am disappointing with WS attitude. I had been shifting more and more of my flying from Air Canada to WS. I am now thinking that is a mistake. The old WS with Delta would have been a fantastic option. This new "WS" is clearly losing its way.
The old WS was financially in decline, they now have to be much more process driven like other larger airlines to trim out the inefficiencies, which leads to less flexibility. It is a commodity industry, so delivering the same commodity as the other guys will make them look like them from a customer experience perspective. The new WS has a much better chance of survival than the old WS, their financial metrics are stabilizing and operational metrics are looking decent. Obviously for every passenger who leaves they are gaining more in replacement, as numbers continue to grow.

Across the whole industry, customer service is a consequence of operations as opposed to a driver, no matter what each company tries to project. Returning to the old WS means just operating point-to-point 737s in a less process driven way with no Business class or other complexities, think Southwest at 1/10 of the size (about 75 737s) to match to the market capacity.
aerobod is offline  
Old Sep 19, 19, 12:22 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: The World
Posts: 909
Originally Posted by aerobod View Post
... they now have to be much more process driven like other larger airlines to trim out the inefficiencies, which leads to less flexibility.
I agree — to a point. I really think WS has overcorrected when it comes to rules and process — to the point where they’re starting to forget that customer preference matters, and that customers have a choice, and that they need to win more customers in order to grow.

They’re transforming themselves from an airline and a customer service ... into a big, giant rule book with customer service staff being first-and-foremost rule enforcers.

Do they, as an airline, need rules and process (that customers need to follow)? Sure. Absolutely. And they were so loosely-goosey before that I’m sure it cost them profitability.

Do they need need to treat customers with compassion and empathy? Yes. But I think head office has forgotten about that. Do they need to impress and “wow” and build loyalty with their customers in order to keep them and win them? Yes. Big time. But today, they’re not.

I’d argue that they’ve stopped doing that — with the one exception being the Dreamliner product. The rest of the hard product has largely stayed the same, and service has changed to, well, rule enforcement.

I recall that AC went through this a number of years ago. As a high cost legacy carrier, they realized that they had to become a bit more ruthless with their customers. They too became all about rules and regulations and being the Department of No. FAs were coached to say “We’re mainly here for your safety” to excuse the degradation of on board service. But — that’s in the past. In my tiny handful of AC flights recently (former SuperElite, but now a nobody) I’ve been impressed.

Ditto with United and Delta. I’m genuinely impressed with both. And Delta in particular — they’ve developed a great product. And my service interactions with both airlines when I’ve needed help have truly been good “service interactions” — not lectures on rules. (For reference, I have zero status on Delta when I use my SkyMiles membership, I have zero status on Delta when I book WS codeshares, and I only have Silver on United.).

All of those other airlines may have gone through their rules phase ... their “customers are nothing but a PITA and a cost” phase. But they’ve all bounced back.

Did WS need more discipline, and need to be better at generating revenue, and need to be profitable?

Yes.

But when they’re at the point that it’s turning me (a WestJet fan and WestJet apologist and a Platinum customer) into a cynic who’s contemplating a wholesale switch to UA or DL (or, god, even back to AC) it’s gone too far.
smallmj likes this.

Last edited by FlyerJ; Sep 19, 19 at 12:27 pm
FlyerJ is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread