In the past I have had great service from Westjet, but in the past few years it has been going downhill, and worse in the last 5 months.
Everytime I flew for business or flew with my family, we always tried to book Westjet as it was when Air Canada was going through their financial and union issues and the Westjet employees just seemed to care more.
I was rarely delayed, and only due to weather, and if there was a problem, they would give a free drink. One time I ordered a beer and they didn't charge me cause it was a little warm.
But that happiness obviously can only last so long. At my peak I was booking 3-4 flights a month and to add insult to injury, a few years back my mother-in-law who only flew a handful of times received a free flight coupon to use towards her next flight. For me, nothing. I even paid for some of her flights she had taken. This began the bouncing ball for me.
Since they opened up their new website, they have been inundated with customer complaints and the phone lines have been tied up. The old website was nice and easy to book with, but the new one required me to set up a new user profile, even though I used the same email and old user profile ID. Then they changed it so that you cant use your user ID but a 9 digit ID that they generate for you. Good luck to all the old folks remembering that. And try to file a complaint with Westjet. They make it very fun. You cant call, you have to go to the website and "tell them our your experience". I did this and after I fill in all the fields, and click send, it pops up telling me my cookie settings are not correct and I have to change them. Which means I have to retype everything. How about giving me that cookie warning at the start.
Even a trip I booked in November on the new system and took in January didnt show up in my earned Westjet Dollars so the girl explained I must have done something wrong. I signed up for an account, booked the flight on the account, took the flight. I dont see what else I could have done right.
During the last flight though took the prize. My family and I were waiting in Orlando in February 14th 2010 for a return flight to Winnipeg that was supposed to leave at 7:40pm and arrive at 11:40pm WPG time. The plane was 35 minutes late to the gate which was no biggie, but they got us on the plane as fast as we could. At this time we figured why they were late. The Air Conditioning was broken and the plane was a hot box. After sitting everyone we started to have to undo some buttons, get comfortable in the leather seats and hope to leave right away.
But no, they inform us they are waiting to a technician to come and fix the A/C. Why in the world would they cram us in there in the first place in that heat? We then asked if we could step off the plane into the jet way, as my 7 year old now had his shirt off and was very uncomfortable. The flight attendant said no. Everyone needs to stay on board. 45 minutes later the technician arrives, and does his thing for another 30 minutes. Problem fixed? Nope. The pilot says we are still leaving with the broken A/C but to keep things comfortable he has to flyer lower and therefore slower.
So that means we are leaving now right? No. We need more fuel for the change in plans so we have to wait another 15 minutes in that heat.
Finally we get in the air, and on our way. It did become more comfortable but not to the end we are normally used to. When the drink cart came around, I needed a nice stiff one so I asked for a whiskey, to which she replied $6. I said in the past flights, when there was a delay or problem they had given me a free drink. She replied "only when its our fault, this wasn't our fault". Who's fault was it? Mine? It is your plane, your pilots, your mechanics, therefore your fault.
After everyone was served and in there seats, we tried to get some rest. This is when the same flight attendant started talking to her counterpart at the start of the plane. She was super loud and 4 rows back we could understand what she was talking about. Even her counterpart tried to get her to be quiet which lasted about 30 seconds.
We finally arrived at 2:30am, almost 3 hours late and a lot lighter thanks to the sweatbox.
Therewas no friendly Westjetter to greet us as they were probably sleeping soundly at home where I should have been.
So me being the nice calm Canadian I am, I wait some time to call with my grievance so as to calm down and put things in perspective. It turns out I cant call to complain, I have to use the new crappy website. So I proceed to fill out all the necessary fields telling them all of my issues with all facets of Westjet (more than what I have listed here) and "shared my experience". So I thought with someone who has flown with them as much as I have would get a quick response, but no. A week has gone by and nothing. I call in to their call centre and she informs me since the new website has been launched, guest services is very busy. Really, you dont say? She said to be patient and someone should get back to me within 6 weeks. 6 weeks I exclaimed!!! Yes. I told her I have upcoming flights to book and I am going to start taking my business elsewhere if I cant get justification or reasoning for supporting Westjet further and she simply replied "do what you have to do".
Well I am. Thank you for that advice.