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

Westjet to cancel dozens of flights over covid-related staff shortages

Westjet to cancel dozens of flights over covid-related staff shortages

Old Dec 30, 21, 11:30 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 328
Westjet to cancel dozens of flights over covid-related staff shortages

Not sure if this is the right place for this or not, but WS is consolidating 15% of its network in January due to issues related to omicron. Article mentions staff shortage, and the nasty cold weather engulfing all of Western Canada. Given the high volume of cancellations and delays this really doesn't come as a surprise.

https://www.westjet.com/en-ca/news/2...variant-impact

Will probably be reflected in this week's schedule update.
hollywoodcory17 is offline  
Old Dec 30, 21, 11:45 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Copenhagen
Programs: skyteam
Posts: 407
Originally Posted by hollywoodcory17 View Post
Not sure if this is the right place for this or not, but WS is consolidating 15% of its network in January due to issues related to omicron. Article mentions staff shortage, and the nasty cold weather engulfing all of Western Canada. Given the high volume of cancellations and delays this really doesn't come as a surprise.

https://www.westjet.com/en-ca/news/2...variant-impact

Will probably be reflected in this week's schedule update.
As predicted.
cirrusdragoon is offline  
Old Dec 30, 21, 12:13 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 1,027
Originally Posted by hollywoodcory17 View Post
Not sure if this is the right place for this or not, but WS is consolidating 15% of its network in January due to issues related to omicron. Article mentions staff shortage, and the nasty cold weather engulfing all of Western Canada. Given the high volume of cancellations and delays this really doesn't come as a surprise.

https://www.westjet.com/en-ca/news/2...variant-impact

Will probably be reflected in this week's schedule update.
They don't say how they commit to providing hotel rooms, food and assistance to affected customers
hoipolloi is offline  
Old Dec 30, 21, 12:32 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: YYZ ✈ YYG
Programs: airlines and hotels and rental cars - oh my!
Posts: 2,654
Westjet to cancel dozens of flights over covid-related staff shortages

Interesting story in today's Globe and Mail.

WestJet cancels dozens of flights as COVID-19 outbreak hits staff

WestJet Airlines is cancelling about 68 flights a day as it struggles to find crews amid the outbreak of the omicron variant of COVID-19.

Calgary-based WestJet will reduce its 450-flight daily schedule by 15 per cent until the end of January. The majority of the cuts are on U.S. and international routes, said Morgan Bell, a WestJet spokeswoman.

“We are struggling to find the staffing,” Ms. Bell said by phone.


Out of respect for copyright, full story here: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/busi...ak-hits-staff/
Symmetre is offline  
Old Dec 30, 21, 2:05 pm
  #5  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend and Moderator: Manufactured Spending
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: YEG
Posts: 54,759
tcook052 is offline  
Old Dec 31, 21, 11:31 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: YBZ
Programs: Gold [A|Club], PrivilŤge [VIA], Basic [AP, AS, SPG]
Posts: 286
We have flights booked YYC-LGW and back in January. Would be curious to hear reports of what flights are actually being consolidated as they are announced.

I see that YYZ-LGW is down to about one flight per week in January, while YYC-LGW is still at 3/week. Is the low YYZ frequency normal scheduling or the result of consolidation?
The Ivory Actuary is offline  
Old Jan 1, 22, 12:48 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Posts: 20
On Dec 23rd Westjet cancelled all flights out of YHZ until the afternoon since the contract staff didn't show. One of the agents working a few days before tested positive so the rest of the few agents scheduled just said they weren't going to work. Just a sign calling the 1-800 #, a huge line and the police being called. So not only the Westjet employees but others handling are taking a beating which unfortunately doesn't help.
hoipolloi likes this.
djoseph is offline  
Old Jan 1, 22, 7:52 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 811
Originally Posted by djoseph View Post
On Dec 23rd Westjet cancelled all flights out of YHZ until the afternoon since the contract staff didn't show. One of the agents working a few days before tested positive so the rest of the few agents scheduled just said they weren't going to work. Just a sign calling the 1-800 #, a huge line and the police being called. So not only the Westjet employees but others handling are taking a beating which unfortunately doesn't help.
The contract staff didnít show because many of them actually contracted the virus themselves or were in close contact with those that contracted the virus! Going to work sick or potentially sick is a bad bad idea!
aerobod and cirrusdragoon like this.
YYCguy is offline  
Old Jan 1, 22, 8:09 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Posts: 20
Originally Posted by YYCguy View Post
The contract staff didn’t show because many of them actually contracted the virus themselves or were in close contact with those that contracted the virus! Going to work sick or potentially sick is a bad bad idea!
Still friends with a few people that stayed and I can tell you it was the two out of three people in the entire base that know what they are doing who contracted the virus. Guess you could add in the station manager from YQY who was there to provide training but she was tested a few days before and didn't end up having close contact with anyone else. Can count on a finger the rest that were close contact isolations. When you pay so low an hour and have no leadership on what to do I'd agree showing up isn't worth it. Unfortunately contractors won't make this any easier for Westjet.

But I will agree, if you're showing some symptoms regardless it's best not to go in.
YYCguy likes this.

Last edited by djoseph; Jan 1, 22 at 8:49 pm
djoseph is offline  
Old Jan 2, 22, 8:13 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: YYZ ✈ YYG
Programs: airlines and hotels and rental cars - oh my!
Posts: 2,654
I can only assume the entire call centre must be sick then. I could fly to the US in less time than it takes them to answer the phone.
hoipolloi and gcashin like this.
Symmetre is offline  
Old Jan 2, 22, 9:44 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Vancouver
Programs: Aeroplan, Mileage Plus, WestJet Gold, AMEX Plat
Posts: 2,026
Originally Posted by YYCguy View Post
The contract staff didnít show because many of them actually contracted the virus themselves or were in close contact with those that contracted the virus! Going to work sick or potentially sick is a bad bad idea!
But the advantage of have a contractor is they have a larger local pool of people that they can move around between different duties to meet demand and adjust for things like vacation and sickness.

If they can't staff all the positions to run a flight, all they need to do is a get one or two people in at check in to handle rebooking passengers onto Air Canada, Porter or PAL. That at least lets them meet their commitment to their customer to get them to their destination.
hoipolloi likes this.
Fiordland is offline  
Old Jan 2, 22, 12:33 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Sep 2021
Posts: 20
Originally Posted by Fiordland View Post
But the advantage of have a contractor is they have a larger local pool of people that they can move around between different duties to meet demand and adjust for things like vacation and sickness.

If they can't staff all the positions to run a flight, all they need to do is a get one or two people in at check in to handle rebooking passengers onto Air Canada, Porter or PAL. That at least lets them meet their commitment to their customer to get them to their destination.
SA is short staffed in about every base and especially in the larger bases it's the revolving door issue. Don't pay enough or have any benefits so people leave after a month once they see the abuse isn't worth it. Majority don't even have RAIC's.

Contract agents and most regular WestJet CSA's aren't JFS trained so rebooking onto other carriers isn't an option. Usually only WestJet leads or computer strong agents were trained because of a few booking mishaps. I remember one being someone rebooking a Y passenger into a J seat on Air Canada somewhere in YVR to Japan. Air Canada sent the bill which tighten who gets access and who doesn't. Rebooking itself onto WestJet flights isn't even in the training program laid out to the contractors. This is supposed to be handled by WestJet Reservations Support Desk but a few of them have picked up on it thankfully.

It's a shame because in this instance, WestJet employees could've been flown in and covered or helped out. Done it before when a coworker death happened or some other major event.

Personally having worked as front line for WestJet I don't believe the whole "staff shortage" is caused by Omicron. Also as far as inflight, they still have nearly 400 flight attendants in YYZ and and 300 flight attendants in YYC that aren't recalled. The issue isn't demand, the issue is the training department is bare bones and can't retrain them fast enough.
djoseph is offline  
Old Jan 2, 22, 12:52 pm
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 328
Did they actually adjust the schedule? Doesn't look like anything got filed in the OAG, and from what I can see in booking system its mostly the same? (Although I only took a quick glance).
hollywoodcory17 is offline  
Old Jan 2, 22, 4:13 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posts: 5,058
Originally Posted by hollywoodcory17 View Post
Did they actually adjust the schedule? Doesn't look like anything got filed in the OAG, and from what I can see in booking system its mostly the same? (Although I only took a quick glance).
Just looking at what's no longer for sale, most of the 15% cut is transborder.

YVR-LAX/LAS/KOA/LIH down to 4x weekly
YVR-PHX/SNA down to 2x weekly
YVR-OGG down to 5x weekly
YVR-PSP down to 6x weekly
YEG-OGG down to 1x weekly
YEG-HNL cancelled for next 4 weeks
V1213 and The Ivory Actuary like this.
keithguy is offline  
Old Jan 2, 22, 5:43 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: YVR
Programs: AC 50k, HH Gold, Marriott Titanium, National EE, Sixt Platinum, Hertz PC
Posts: 1,634
Interesting read...

https://airpassengerrights.ca/en/cov...gs-hollowWhile

WestJet’s explanation might appear plausible at first sight, there are good reasons to doubt its veracity:
  • WestJet’s struggle with staff shortage predates the Omicron variant.
  • The Omicron variant’s extreme transmissibility has been known for more than a month.
  • WestJet’s narrative is inconsistent with the airline’s recent statements.
  • Air Canada does not appear to be affected by Omicron to the same extent.
  • Portraying these cancellations as being outside of WestJet’s control could save the airline tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation owed to passengers.


Ron.
newfbc is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread