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!

Flights to Cayo Santa Maria Cuba YYZ WG SNU

Hi Everyone!

I recently returned from seven days in Cayo Santa Maria Cuba and have been asked for my opinion on the flights (Sunwing) and hotel (Melia Las Dunas) so here it is.

The flights with Sunwing Airlines. YYZ WG SNU

Sunwing

Our flight departed at 6:00AM therefore you could check in online at 2:00AM.  I know it is always best to check in online before going to the airport so I got up at 2:00AM to check in online.

The online check in process for Sunwing is awful. It was slow, and not easy to navigate, it also has major glitches that kept “kicking me out of the system” Since there were five of us traveling, I had to make two separate reservations with Sunwing Vacations so our flight reservations were also separate. I was able to successfully seat three of us together but when I got to the second reservation it kept kicking me out of the system. After three attempts to seat the second reservation together I gave up and left for the airport.

The check in counters were a mob show. There were line ups unlike anything I have seen in years. Because we had already checked in, we went to the “Bag Drop” line. After waiting 45 minutes, the supervisor pulled about 15 people out of the line and walked us around the counters to another Customer service agent. Unfortunately the agent we were taken to was quite possibly the most incompetent airline employee I have ever met.

I have to say, I have been training students to work for Airlines for many years, so I am patient and understanding that the job is not always an easy one but this Sunwing CSA was BRUTAL. He spent almost 30 Minutes processing us.  Sunwing, what are you doing? You need to spend some time on employee training, more stringent hiring practices and better management at the airport. At one point I asked to speak with the supervisor but no one ever came.  I know many qualified Sheridan Grads that would be far better Customer Service Agents.

By the time we boarded the aircraft I was seriously worried about our choice to fly Sunwing.  I was not able to get the second reservations seats together so I had hoped to switch on board, no luck there. Three of us were together but two of us were split up rows away.

The Flight itself was excellent. I can honestly say that the Flight Attendants and crew were amazing. The in flight experience was very good, with a glass of sparkling wine at takeoff (who cares if it is 6:00AM) and excellent inflight service.  The only negative comment I have to make about the amenities was there was no communication about the Men’s Gold Medal Olympic Hockey game that started at 7:00AM, now I know if we had been flying Westjet, we would have had a live stream. That is why I love Westjet!

Overall,  the grueling check in process and terrible staff at the YYZ airport made for a miserable start.  The only reason to make Sunwing your first choice is price, plain and simple.  Sunwing needs help, they have the inflight experience right, it is now time to focus on the Airport.

Coming soon….Next post….. Cayo Santa Maria, Melia Las Dunas