Westjet. I think I’m in Love.

Westjet. I think I’m in Love.

IMG_6171I fly a lot. Maybe not as much as the road warriors that travel for business, but by leisure traveler standards, I guess I am a frequent flyer. Travelling in economy class seems to be my price point so how do I determine if the airline is any good? I feel there are two stages of airline experience:

1) The customer service agents at the airport.

2)  The people on the aircraft.

Travel makes people CRANKY. Any airline that does not recognize this with “anti cranky” measures will face all sorts of Customer Relations issues.

The gang at Westjet realize that fun feels good, that joy begets joy, and that when you feel good about the company you work for, you pass that goodwill on to your passengers. They see the value in happy. When you board a Westjet flight and look around, you typically see happy staff and happy guests. You feel like you are on board for an experience, rather than just transportation. You feel good. IMG_5841

Recently on a flight YYC-YYZ, there was a delay, 45 mins or so due to technical issues. Westjet, rather than strand us at the airport any longer, brought a brand new 737-800 out of the hangar.  It did not have seat back monitors but they did offer tablets. When the flight attendant explained there would be no in flight entertainment, he did so in a really nice lighthearted way and promised the passengers some “other” in flight distractions. People were not angry, they did not complain, they felt good.  Westjet had acknowledged that some people had been inconvenienced by the delay and now had no entertainment for the flight home.

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About a half an hour into the flight, the pilot made a few announcements and then acknowledged the lack of in flight entertainment. It was mid August, the super moon was in full phase so he announced he was going to “Show us the Moon” He turned the plane to the right so that all sitting on my side of the aircraft could catch a glimpse of the moon. Then he turned the plane to the left for the other side. This simple act, probably burned a bit of fuel but was goodwill gold. It made each and every guest feel like the were special, important and worthy of the airlines time. Cool move guys, really cool.

I tweeted the picture of the moon (above)  and had a reach of over 15 000 people, through retweets ever since. That means at least 15 000 people are saying they like Westjet too. The marketing implications of acts like this are huge and Westjet knows it. That is why they empower their staff to make decisions that ultimately lead to wins.

Westjet, with your great customer service, passionate employees who care about their Guests, and happy feelings all around, I think it must be true, I am in love! Keep up the great work.

Up next: Hotel Review of The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise..I Promise!

Hiking in Banff. AKA how many times can I say… “Wow! This is beautiful!”

Hiking in Banff. AKA how many times can I say… “Wow! This is beautiful!”

Blog LL 2Lucky me! I was able to visit Alberta and even more lucky I got to visit the incredible Banff National Park.

I have travelled to Calgary, YYC, on business many times but this was the first time I was able to visit the Mountains and WOW, was I ever blown away.

Here are a few pictures and tips of my two days of Hiking in Lake Louise. We stayed at the gorgeous Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, so after our first climb I was able to retreat to sheer luxury and sip champagne. (Click here for Blog Posting with Hotel review http://wp.me/p3e36V-8J )  If you are in Banff or staying in the town of Banff you should absolutely make the trip to visit Lake Louise. Even if you have just one day to visit, you have time to see the lake and climb a mountain, trust me, its worth the sweat to get to the top.

Please note! I was there in the middle of summer, temps dipped to zero at night time so if you are travelling in winter you will likely have a totally different experience. These suggestions are based on my time in August.
Lake Agnes Climb. (Time needed 4 hours)

Blog hikeBlog hike 2The Lake Agnes hike leaves from the base of Lake Louise and takes about 4 hours in total. We were told it is an easy hike, ya, easy for an Olympic hiker maybe. For us 40 year olds, lets just say it took some cardio. The hike itself is about 7 km’s and you gain 385m/1260f in elevation. On you way up you pass a waterfall, another lake called Mirror Lake and simply stunning scenery of Lake Louise. There were a few people that started the hike and then turned back because it was pretty challenging so be sure to take water with you and wear proper footwear. I wore running shoes and wished that I had hiking boots.

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At the top of the Trail is the Lake Agnes Tea house. This is a family run tea house that serves much need refreshments to weary hikers. No pop or junk food here, just water, tea and baked goods. We had a pot of tea and enjoyed the fabulous scenery. Here is a picture of us, to the right of the picture is the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. The tea house was pretty empty when we went, but we were told it can get crazy busy. make sure you bring cash, its a little pricey but what do you expect, they have to carry all the supplies up the mountain that you just climbed. I thought it was a bargain! To some people the Tea House is just a stop and then they continue to hike but for us it was time to return home.

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Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

I have always loved this park. I have heard people say, ” It is a half day park” Not true! We spent a full day there on July 11th and still only scratched the surface. Here is a quick run down of my thoughts of a great day at Hollywood Studios.

Fast Passes. (For more info on how fast passes work visit my previous blog on the Magic Kingdom)

Tower of Terror, Star Tours and Rock ‘n Roller Coaster are easily the best choices for fast passes! I can not stress enough that getting fast passes for the shows is a total waste of fast passes. Don’t do it.

IMG_5428The Tower of Terror (left)

This is the best ride at the park,  if you want to be terrified. I first took my son on this ride when he was five and I do think I gave him a lifelong fear of elevators so maybe don’t do it  if you have a five year old,  but if you are ten or higher….go for it! My suggestion is to  get to the park as it opens and head straight to this ride. That way you can get a ride in before the lines get bad and you will still have a fast pass for it later, believe me, you will want to do it twice.

The Rock n’ Roller Coaster.

This is also an all time favorite roller coaster, its fast, smooth and fun! Highly suggested.

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Star Tours –  The Adventure Continues (left)

This is a “Star Wars”,  simulation ride. You travel through the galaxy with motion simulation. If you are at all a Star Wars fan, it is a must do.

I would say that after you have done these three rides you can pretty much wander about the park and take in the great shows that run at set times all day. The only ride that is probably not worth the wait is  Toy Story Midway Mania. It was a huge line and a bit of a let down after waiting so long. If you have a big Toy Story Fan in the house, you may want to fast pass this ride to avoid the long wait. I think the Buzz Light year ride at Magic Kingdom is better and will give you the same experience.

At the end of the day be sure to catch the musical light show “Fantasmic” and then the incredible, and I mean incredible fireworks. The Fireworks are to the “Frozen” theme and really are breathtaking.

I am just home from an amazing trip to the beautiful Province of Alberta, Canada.  Coming up next, review of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.