I’ll start off by saying that I have been a huge fan of WestJet. I believe in their customer care and service above all else and have always thought they put that first.. up until now.
I will continue to fly WestJet in the future as I believe they are still better than Air Canada.
My husband and I saved and planned for a year and a half for the trip of a lifetime to the UK. We worked hard to make this happen and planned it very carefully. We always do everything we can to fly WestJet and even though our friends that were joining us booked with Air Canada, we chose WestJet. We chose them because we knew that it was the very best choice for a great flight.
I booked our flights to London for May 28, arriving on the 29.
At the time I booked our flights, I didn’t know it but we had friends that would be in Amsterdam in May and coming home on May 29. I checked into it and learned that Amsterdam was only a one hour flight from London and flights were quite reasonable! I told my friends we would join them!!
I contacted WestJet to change our flights to leave Canada May 25, arriving in London May 26. This change would cost me over $250 a person.. that’s what it costs to change flights to Europe. I had already committed to our friends so I bit the bullet and booked the flight, after all, this was a once in a lifetime trip! I also booked our flight through EasyJet out of London to Amsterdam for after we were due to land in London.
We booked an Airbnb in the city Center of Amsterdam for our three night stay on a canal boat! A bucket list splurge but one we decided we could afford.
On May 25 we arrived at our local airport and checked in. The flight from Calgary arrived and it was the one that would take us to Calgary where we would get our connection to London. Before the plane was even at the gate, people were talking about how hard it had landed. One lady said it landed so hard that it bounced right back up and looked like it was taking off again.
Needless to say, for our safety, WestJet grounded this flight because of this hard landing and decided to title the reason “mechanical issue “.
This is where the nightmare starts. I immediately get an email from WestJet. They are flying us to Edmonton on the next flight. We will overnight in Edmonton, fly out at 8 am and stay in Calgary all day, to fly out at 7:30pm. I quickly went to the desk and discussed our options, and I insisted on the next flight to Calgary so we could at least try to get our connection. Inside I am panicking, sick to my stomach, fighting tears... but let’s just get to Calgary and figure it out there.
We landed in Calgary at 7:20, as our London flight was taking off.
My husband and I raced to the guest services desk to try and figure a flight out. The lady was very nice and tried to help. There was a British Airways flight leaving shortly that she tried to get us on but they couldn’t allow it as they were already boarded. She searched and searched and so did I from my phone.
Air Canada has a flight! And you won’t believe what she told me.. I could fly on any airline EXCEPT Air Canada because WestJet and Air Canada don’t work together!!! How is this my problem???
By this time I’m in tears and desperate. We only have 3 nights in Amsterdam. We have friends there waiting for us. It cost us a lot of money to go! I was in a daze as my husband and I made our way to the hotel that WestJet put us in, later acting like this was a favour!
I had to stay up until 2 am, due to the time difference, to call EasyJet. I tried to book us on the same flight but 24 hours later. I would just have to pay the change fee.. so I thought. Every single EasyJet flight was booked solid that day!
It gets worse... I had to completely cancel the tickets. No refund. (I have insurance, I’ll explain that later). I searched and searched and found a flight through British Airways but it was leaving London 4 hours later than the other flight but I had no choice. I booked the last two seats on that plane at a higher cost of course than my EasyJet tickets.
I called WestJet first thing in the morning and spoke with guest services. I was crying and so upset. The lady was very nice. I asked if they would at least upgrade us for our flight. She advised me to ask at guest services desk before my flight.
We paid for a late check out from our hotel room as we were to fly out at 7:30 pm and had nothing to do all day. When we arrived at our gate I went to the desk. There was a man there and I explained to him what happened to us. I asked if they could possibly upgrade us for the flight. He gave me a flat unsympathetic no. We don’t do that. The way he spoke to me made me feel completely stupid and a fool to even think to ask. He practically scoffed at me. He told me that since I booked with my WestJet Mastercard, I would have insurance and advised me to contact them. I sat down and fought back tears.
We arrived in Amsterdam, no less than 28 hours later than we were supposed to. We arrived after 8 pm local time at our boat. We settled in quickly and went for a little walk and then to bed. We spent the entire next day trying to see everything but couldn’t get in nearly what we had planned. The next morning we were up at 5 am and headed to the airport to fly to England.
WestJet sent me an email with $100 WestJet dollars for me and $100 for my husband as an apology for not getting us to London on time.
While in the UK I called WestJet Mastercard and explained to them what happened. They advised me that what happened was WestJets responsibility, not theirs. Basically, it’s like if I got into an accident and then said I had mechanical issues.. well no kidding. But who’s fault was the accident?
So.. I got home and contacted WestJet. They asked me to email them. I did and I waited. Nothing. I called after a week and they told me to send my receipts. I did that.. and waited. And called again..
WestJet offered me $300 on a pre paid credit card.
I went back to them explaining again the situation and they decided to give me my $535 back in WestJet dollars that I paid to change our flights to three days earlier.
I went back to them again and requested they cover the flight I missed and they are now refusing.
Because of their pilot error (sorry.. mechanical issue) I am still out well over $1000 dollars.
I asked WestJet about the new law coming in that requires them to compensate travels for delays, as Europe does. For a delay of 6 hours to Europe, travellers will be entitled to $1000 per person. WestJet doesn’t want to pay me that and it doesn’t come into affect until mid July. Lucky for them I guess.
This is about the money and it’s about the once in a lifetime lost experience.
WestJet claims they are not responsible for my missed connection in London. I say they are. All flights ran on time with no issue except the first WestJet flight.
I waited to write this post hoping they would square up with me to my satisfaction but they decided they will not, so i want to share my experience with everyone.
It’s pretty sad and unfair that a multi million dollar airline can’t afford to give a hard working average couple the out of pocket money we lost, due to their issue. If travellers need to have insurance for these issues, why don’t airlines? Who’s fault is it that this happened? WestJet’s.
I understand that accidents and delays happen. I understand that these things are out of their control. I do not understand how something that is clearly their fault has become something that I have to pay for. When you book flights, you also book hotels and things to do at your destination, in good faith that you will be there. WestJet clearly did not hold up their end or even attempt to make it better for us at the time. An airline that I thought had the best customer treatment out there, really let us down. Now I am fighting with them for my $520.88 that I am still out for the second Amsterdam flight as well as $380.65 for the remaining expense for my Amsterdam accommodation that I missed the first night in. It’s an extra expense I would not have if WestJet had delivered.