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Do not travel with WestJet.. It's the worst airline.

Sydney, Australia
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Do not travel with WestJet.. It's the worst airline.

We have recently traveled with WestJet and found this airline was the worst airline ever. My luggage had delayed 70 hours with bad damage and I found this is very common for this airline.

This company has changed words for reimbursement many times. There were big communication problems.. Even though I claimed minimum amount and tried my best to solve out this case in peace, it was not successful. I have reported my case to the minister of Transport, Alberta for his action. I am posting this for other travelers to avoid this kind of nightmare by choosing right airline.

Please read whole story through and share as many as people.

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<Media Release>

Nightmare with WestJet Airline

This is a true story of my experiences and I would like to share it with as many people as possible so that they are able to avoid this type of nightmare.

My wife and I traveled from Chicago to Calgary with WestJet airline on Sunday, 10th of May, this year. After finishing up the business part of our trip, we planned to travel to the Rocky mountains as it had been a dream of ours. The only reason I decided to travel with WestJet was that I thought it was part of the Delta airlines and since I am a member of the sky priority team this would be of benefit to me. I actually purchased our tickets through the Delta airline web page and only realized I would be travelling with WestJet when I printed out my tickets. It was my first time to travelling with WestJet and I have found it to be the worst airline I have ever had the misfortune of experiencing especially in the following 5 areas;

1. Check in process

• When we arrived at the O’Hare airport terminal 5 we couldn’t find

WestJet. There were names of all the airline companies displayed above each of the counters expect for WestJet. We walked through the terminal twice but still weren’t able to find where we were to check in.

• There were not many WestJet passengers waiting and only two lanes with two ladies serving us for checking-in. We lined up in the check-in baggage lane however the lady from our lane continue to call “next” and serve the passengers waiting in the other lane, even though she saw us more than twice. After a few times, not only us, but the other passengers behind us began to complain as we all realized there was a problem. It took us 40 minutes to finally be served.

• However, they weren’t able to print out our boarding pass. The lady had to ask her supervisor to do it after trying many times. It took another 20 minutes.

• When we reached the security check point, the lady who had continually refused to serve us pushed other WestJet passengers in front of us. This gave me the opportunity to complain to her about how she had previously ignored us but she made little comment and continued on her way.

2. Handling of complaint

• I approached the supervisor and made a complaint as it had taken

over one hour to check-in and due to not being served in order at the counter. A young gentleman (His name starting with D) would not apologise but told me it was my problem for not walking up to the counter to be served. There were many witnesses to these events including another gentleman who works for WestJet and he apologized to us on behalf of WestJet.

• Lastly, because of all the time wasted I wasn’t able to make use of the lounge even though I could access it with my priority pass card.

3. Luggage delay

• When we arrived at Calgary airport we found out that our checked-in

luggage had not arrived and was lost. We were not the only ones but no announcements were made. There was mass confusion which was especially distressing to us in a place we were visiting for the first time.

• The attendant (Her name starting with K) explained to me that WestJet would pay $100 for the first 24 hours and another $250 for next 48 hours that our luggage was lost.

• She didn’t mention that there were conditions to this. She asked me to provide them a local phone number and address, so I gave her my Australian mobile phone number and promised to provide local number next day. I also provided them details of the hotels in Banff, Lake Louise with the dates we would be staying there. She also informed me that our luggage would be delivered to the Hotel in Banff around midnight the next day, the 11th.

• The next morning, the first thing I did was buy a pre-paid sim card as she had informed me that it was crucial I provide them with a local number. I had originally had no plans on doing this as I have worldwide roaming but I was eager to have our luggage returned as soon as possible.

• When we arrived at the Hotel, Banff, I informed the concierge service of our situation with and they told me that this was very common with WestJet and said that they expected our luggage to arrive around midnight as this was normally the case.

• I stayed up ti l1am waiting but our luggage did not arrive. I called WestJet and giving them my local phone number and also corrected my email address as I found that the one on their site was incorrect. The attendant that I spoke to told me that compensation was not $350 for exceeding 24 hours as I had been told at the airport but $250 plus any extra expenses but they required receipts. She also confirmed that my luggage would arrive in Calgary on the night of Tuesday 12th May and delivered to my Hotel in Lake Louise.

• Following this phone call, we decided to survive on our carry-on luggage instead of wasting time and money to replace our lost items for the time being.

• I explained again to the concierge service at Lake Louise our situation and waited. By 1am it was still undelivered. I made a strong complaint to WestJet pointing out that they had failed each time to contact me to update me on what was happening with my luggage although their policy promised to do so daily. I also provided them with my Hotel details in Jasper the next day.

• The first and only message was left to my Canadian cell phone on Wednesday and I received an email from them saying that my luggage was sent to Edmonton to be delivered to Hotel in Jasper. I rang the Hotel around 4:45 pm but my luggage had still not arrived.

• When we checked-in Hotel in Jasper around 8:30pm on Wednesday, we were told that my luggage had arrived in our room. We had FINALLY got it.

• However, my luggage was badly damaged.

4. Reimbursement

• I asked WestJet for compensation in regards to the whole experience

as well as the damaged luggage. I explained the extreme difficulty we had been put through due to the long delay and our trip to the Rocky mountains had just become a bad dream.

• I also reported with photos for proof that our suitcase and my shoes had been badly damaged. I was looking for reimbursement of $250 plus luggage and shoes although I believe that this was nothing compared to the inconvenience and stress we had been put through.

• They told me that without receipts on purchases that we had made to replace our lost luggage they were unable to provide compensation.

• I explained to them we had been unaware of the need to keep our receipts at the beginning and also relayed to them our reasoning for not purchasing many items in order to not waste valuable vacation time and energy.

• I also asked them for a letter of our case and a property irregularity report as my insurance company had requested.

• I provided them with receipts of $208.84 for the pre-paid sim card and 4 meals as we had planned to have our own meal, which was in our luggage. All these were unplanned expenses as if our luggage had not been lost we would not have had to spend this money. We did not seek any other compensation although possible.

• Many emails have been exchanged between WestJet and I but so far, they have informed me that they are only willing to pay $250CAD for replacing the damaged suitcase and $250CAD for shoes only if I provide receipts for new purchases. They refuse to compensate me for my previous claims.

• They also refuse to provide me with any documentation of my case until an agreement is made, although insurance company keeps requesting this.

• I refuse to settle as I believe it is up to me whether I choose to replace to damaged items or not. I cannot buy a similar size suitcase from the same brand Samsonite for $250CAD. The cheapest ones I have found are $350CAD so it is a waste of my money to buy a new one for $350 when I will only be reimbursed $250.

• Also I find it unreasonable they are not compensating me for my claims with the receipts I have provided for my sim-card and meals as these represent the minimum unnecessary expenses we incurred due to our lost luggage.

• I have asked WestJet to compensate me for the total amount of $788.84CAD which should be sent to my bank or credit card account in Australia together with the documentation I have previously requested by 29th of May, otherwise I will be forced to take legal action and release my story to Media, Internet and SNS because I believe I had done my best to sort out this case but have failed to reach an agreement.

5. Communication

• Communication with WestJet has been a nightmare. I have been

contacted by different representatives and different times who say

different things.

• First I was told I would be compensated $350 then $250 without

receipts and not they are saying without receipts there will be no

compensation.

• My luggage was delayed 70hrs.

• I was never contacted first on what was happening, each time our

luggage failed to arrive I had to chase up on my local phone purchased

solely for this reason which they are refusing to compensate me for.

• They have suggested numerous times that they may reimburse me

with WestJet credit points, However this is meaningless to us as we are from Australia, without any current plans on travelling in North America and also plan on never flying with WestJet again. I have strongly said no to this.

I’m not doing this looking for money or large compensation. This whole experience has had a detrimental effect on our holiday which we had been looking forward to a long time. Not only were we stressed and without luggage during the first few days, a lot of my time and energy has been wasted following our holiday. We’re not only upset that our luggage was delayed for 70hrs but mainly due to how WestJet have responded to this situation. We met many Australians travelling to the Rocky mountains and I think it’s important that I share my story with as many people as possible to prevent them from going through the same horrible experience when they travel to Canada. Choose the right airline company and do not choose WestJet if you wish to holiday in peace.

105 replies to this topic
Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
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1. Re: Do not travel with WestJet.. It's the worst airline.

B J R, I am genuinely interested. If you had had a great and excellent experience with this airline, would you have signed up to make your very first post about that?

Edmonton, Canada
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2. Re: Do not travel with WestJet.. It's the worst airline.

sorry you had a bad experience. i love westjet. have had to have assistance with traveling with elderly parents and they have been fabulous with helping us with their mobility issues. i also worked for a visually impaired person and he had great cooperation in assisting him and his guide dog. i have no complaints.

Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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3. Re: Do not travel with WestJet.. It's the worst airline.

I'm sorry, I didn't read your entire post so can't comment on it. I'm sorry you had a bad experience. What I did want to mention is that unfortunately, there are only two domestic airlines in Canada (that cover the entire country) and so it is impossible to boycott one without hampering one's ability to travel, or at least, one's budget.

I had a not-so-great experience with WestJet as well, a bit over a month ago, and the surprising thing - given their reputation for incredible and responsive customer service - is that although we contacted them twice in regards to our experience (once via their website, and then via a survey they sent to us), both times checking off the place to indicate that we wished to be contacted about the problem, we have yet to hear from them.

However, right after my return from that trip, I booked airfare for an upcoming visit to family in eastern Canada - and really had no choice to book WestJet, since they had the best prices for the flights we needed. For the two of us, our flights were $1220 (seat sale pricing), compared to over $1700 with Air Canada.

Calgary, Canada
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19,698 posts
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4. Re: Do not travel with WestJet.. It's the worst airline.

Sorry you had such a horrible experience.

As krp329 mentioned there are basically only two domestic airlines in Canada (Air Canada being the other) and in my experience West Jet has by far better customer service - but by most measures airlines almost always suck in this regard, it's the nature of the business. In any case the point is that for many travellers it's not possible to travel lots in Canada and boycott one airline, you need to keep your options open.

I trust your time in the Rockies was fabulous even with this huge hassle.

Cheers,

Terry

Old Montreal
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5. Re: Do not travel with WestJet.. It's the worst airline.

The Worst Airline was TWA. It no longer exists.

Newmarket, Canada
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6. Re: Do not travel with WestJet.. It's the worst airline.

Wow. With a letter that long, I wouldn't expect anyone to read it all or take it very seriously. When making complaints to large corporations, being brief and reasonable and sticking to the important facts is the key. A long winded narrative like that is likely to go nowhere other than to be passed around the office for laughs by their staff.

I rarely travel with WestJet, but damaged baggage can happen with any airline. It's unreasonable to expect compensation for everything you lost no matter what it cost you to purchase or replace it. All liability is limited by legislation or the contract you sign, whether you're talking about checked baggage or shipments through a courier or common carrier. If you are transporting things that are beyond the limits in a contract, then that's what additional insurance is for. Make a claim through your travel insurance and move on. I've had damaged and delayed baggage on airlines before, and had great success just using travel insurance.

Don't let this ruin your holiday.

Calgary
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7. Re: Do not travel with WestJet.. It's the worst airline.

Always frequently overlooked is that this is a discussion forum. REVIEWS should go in Tripadvisor reviews, however first-posters who preface their comments with phrase 'media release' shouldn't be surprised when their feedback is discounted.

Hope your next trip goes better.

8. Re: Do not travel with WestJet.. It's the worst airline.

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Sydney
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for Croatia
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9. Re: Do not travel with WestJet.. It's the worst airline.

I flew with WJ last year. It was no better or worse than any other airline.

The problem IMO is that the airline industry is extremely competitive and prices have come down significantly over the years. We all happily take advantage of cheaper airfares, but expect the same service we used to receive when flying.

Calgary, Canada
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10. Re: Do not travel with WestJet.. It's the worst airline.

This opinion is moot. As mentioned above, just because a passenger has a bad experience, does not make it the worst. I personally prefer other airlines myself, but I did not waste my time to read this posters very first post based on an experience. EVERY single airline has millions of these extreme reviews, yet few posters don't bother writing in when they have an amazing experience.

Take it with a grain of salt and move on. I'm sure we all have had a bad experience at some point...bound to happen if you fly regularly.

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