I 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.
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.
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!