WestJet’s Friendly Yet Incompetent Service

In an attempt to save $100/pp on a return airfare and after swearing never again to travel WestJet, I recently booked a return flight on WestJet.  I have always been a loyal Air Canada traveler and as a frequent flyer on this airline, I have only ever experienced one major travel issue out of hundreds of bookings.  Previously, I had only ever flown WestJet once and only because an employer booked the itinerary. I was annoyed with the over-the-top fake friendliness of the flight attendants.  When I am travelling for business or for pleasure, I simply want to get from point A to B in the most efficient and comfortable way possible.  I don’t need entertainment from flight attendants.

OK all that aside, let’s get to my current booking. I had initially booked a direct flight to my destination via WestJet.  I was informed a few weeks later that it had been cancelled and I had to rebook my flight. Understandably due to the issues with the Boeing MAX 8 aircrafts there have been many cancellations and therefore rescheduling of flights. When I contacted WestJet and inquired about the reason for the change they refused to comment.  Unfortunately, having selected the base fare, I had no choice but to select an alternate itinerary, the shortest of which added a few hours to the itinerary and cost me a day in my destination.  I understand safety is paramount so without issue I contacted WestJet to select this alternate itinerary. This is when the nightmare saga began.

Call #1 to WestJet: Switched my flight to a now Delta operated flight. Instead of a direct flight which I had booked and is no longer available, the  closest comparable flight departs 2 hours later, has only a 47 min stopover time and arrives 4.5h after our original arrival time. Concerned about the lack of time between arrival and departure between connecting flights, the WestJet agent assures me that is sufficient time although in the same breath she stated that “she is unfamiliar with XXX airport and their transfer times” . After reviewing flights with the agent online and checking the flight time arrival status statistics on filghtaware (alternatives were a 10-24h travel day vs. the original 4.5h travel time), I agreed to chance the flight with the short layover.  She issued me new tickets.

Call #2 to Delta: Because of the short connection time, I called Delta to pre-book seats at the front of the aircraft to ensure we can deboard earlier than other passengers so we have sufficient time to catch our connecting flight. Delta emails me tickets with seat numbers.

FUCK UP #1: Upon review of the tickets, I noticed my name was listed as JACLYNCMS GOLDMAN when it should have been MS JACLYN C GOLDMAN (or another acceptable configuration of my prefix, name, middle initial and surname).  When travelling internationally, if the name displayed on your ticket does not match your government issued-ID, you may not be allowed to fly OR you may need to spend hours in line waiting for an agent to make the correction. Since we only had 47 minutes scheduled to connect and surely wouldn’t have time to make this correction at the gate at our transferring location, I knew I had to contact Delta.

Call #3 to Delta: Called Delta to explain that our names were not being displayed correctly on the Delta App or online and I wanted to confirm our names were correct in their system so that we would have no issue at check-in.  Delta agent explained that the names on the tickets do not match our names and we would not be permitted to board and that I must contact WestJet to correct the ticket.

Call #4 to WestJet:  Spoke to another “friendly” agent. She assured that she corrected our names and asked me to verify our birthdates. I asked her for an ID number or name and she declined. She said that she would email me a new ticket but never did.

FUCKUP #2:  When confirming the passenger names on the tickets, the WestJet agent indicated that SOMEHOW, WestJet mixed up my birthdate with my accompanying passenger’s birthdate! The agent informed me that she fixed this but could not confirm and informed me that I had to call Delta to confirm that all the details were correct in their system.

Call #5 to Delta: Spoke to an agent. The first name and last names were corrected. Birthdates were corrected.  However our middle names were deleted. Also, even though my passenger’s ticket was fine (Open), mine apparently was not.

FUCKUP #3: WestJet listed my ticket as “exchanged” and not updated in the system.  This means that my ticket was invalid. So, I had to call them back.

Call #6 to WestJet: I explained to yet another ‘friendly’ agent what happened. She informed me that she would get on a line with WestJet-Delta so that I would not have to call back and forth again.  She returned on the call and emailed me a new ticket to inform me that all was resolved.

FUCKUP #4: I received the new WestJet ticket but the e-ticket number is not updated in Delta’s system.

Call #7 to Delta: I explain that WestJet apparently made the correction but I cannot see it in Delta’s app or online. Delta informs me that they never received the updated ticket from Westjet. Delta calls WestJet and obtains the correct e-ticket number and resolves the problem.

END OF STORY: This entire endeavor cost me 3 billable hours which was far beyond the cost savings I originally intended on keeping and which I could have spent elsewhere.  Yes, all of the WestJet agents are very friendly but ALL of the agents I have dealt with are COMPLETELY INCOMPETENT. Being a loyal Air Canada flyer taking a chance on a cheaper flight, I’ve learned that you get what you pay for. Even if Air Canada’s service may not be the friendliest, it is by far the most efficient.  I won’t chance a risk at saving a few bucks to take WestJet ever again. Sure, they’re friendly, but they’re also seriously incompetent. Delta on the other hand, even though they code-share with WestJet, their service has always been amazing.  If I couldn’t get a similar flight with Air Canada, I would book with Delta directly in lieu of dealing with WestJet.

Hopefully our flights pan out.  Will post an update.
Travel safe my friends.
TSW

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