“We know that any type of interruption to your schedule is inconvenient. We strive to keep you informed, provide you with information and minimize the inconvenience.” – WestJet Guest Travel Rights
With time to spare on Christmas morning we arrived at our gate for boarding only to find out they cancelled our flight to LA due to crew shortage. They immediately handed out food vouchers and told us they will let us know a plan within the hour.
An agent announced that we all had to leave the gate area and escorted us to another room where they will speak to each family about re-routing. By now, there were 3 flights cancelled. Like sheep we follow only to end up at the check-in counter where we started 4 hours ago. There was no room and there was no agent speaking to each family. Impatience settled in, frustration and even some anger. Some experienced these emotions at a heightened state where security and police had to get involved. Different agents approached people in line suggesting if you live in the GTA area, go home and call WestJet. Knowing this Paul suggested we leave and make arrangements on our own.
Mama bear will protect her family
Once Paul and Atticus were settled in a much calmer and comfortable space, I went back to line up. They told us they would speak to each family and I was not letting that go.
Those who were connecting from Toronto were a priority because they had no home to go to. I watched families distraught and feeling hopeless as they left on Christmas day. By noon, I was at the front of the line and an agent with a blue Santa hat told me that they are rebooking for the 29th, and that he sees everything on his computer and there is no other option. I tried my hardest to not take it out on this guy who is working on Christmas day and who didn’t cancel my flight. He told me either I rebook for the 29th now or leave. With as much patience I can muster up I calmly stated that I needed to consider his option and I was not leaving my place in line.
A Christmas miracle?
Finally one of the counters opened up, and WestJet agent Mr. Salman Balooch asked if we needed help. I explained our situation. I said we can’t leave the 29th because we are on a flight plan to Australia. We have vacations booked in LA and in Fiji before arriving in Australia. Leaving on the 29th will mess all of this up. Mr. Salman Balooch understood and made a phone call. In about 20 minutes we were re-booked to fly to Boston in the afternoon and connect to LA with American Airlines the next morning. Tears came with joy and relief. I was grateful for Mr. Salman Balooch who listened to our story and gave us another option. He stood by the original story.
Our flight to Boston was on time. We landed and went to claim our baggage but there was no baggage. A WestJet agent working on Christmas night immediately tried to help us. He even offered us food vouchers again. But instead of food vouchers he came back with a guy wearing a bright yellow vest. This guy handled the baggage off the aircraft, and he told us our bags were at American Airlines. Knowing this guy doesn’t usually deal with guests face to face, I still told him an earful about our experience with WestJet
We left WestJet and headed to American Airlines. I hope to never have to deal with WestJet again.
WestJet’s communication policy to guests during an delay or cancellation needs to be reviewed. Thanks but no thanks for the WestJet Christmas!