Sunday, October 01, 2006

Dear Erin

We are very appreciative that you have taken the time to contact us regarding your recent flight. WestJet strives at providing the best traveling experience for our guests and takes their concerns very seriously.

First of all let me assure you that you were in no danger during your flight. Although uncomfortable the turbulence was well within the capabilities of the aircraft. I did speak to your Captain who indicated that the descent into the airport was very rough due to a fast moving weather system that had affected the weather in Saskatoon.

The decision to divert to Regina was well founded and was made after much discussion with WestJet Flight Operations in Calgary. Even though your flight had enough fuel to wait around Saskatoon for approximately 20 minutes, the Captain and dispatcher decided that holding for that period of time would not guarantee that conditions would allow safe landing. As a result the flight proceeded to Regina to refuel and wait for the weather to improve.

As per regulation the alternate airport weather always has to be better that the destination thus leaving an out should the flight not be able to land at destination. Your flight back to Saskatoon was dispatched with Calgary as the alternate airport and carried extra fuel to allow for the poor weather. Should the flight not be able to land, continuing on to Calgary would have provided the best options for the guests to get back to Saskatoon.

I did however discuss your comments with the Captain over the lack of information provided to our guests. It is our policy to make frequent announcements to reassure guests whenever abnormal conditions are encountered.

From what you have shared, I also understand you were disappointed with the Captains conduct when you and other guests had decided to deplane in Regina. I can respect your decision to do so especially since you had a wedding to attend in Saskatoon the following day and you did not want to take the chance of being stuck in Calgary. At WestJet, we are known for our friendly and approachable attitude and I am disappointed to hear this was not demonstrated to you. We appreciate this feedback as it allows us to see where we can improve to better serve our guests.

I hope I have addressed your concerns and do apologize for the lack of information provided. Let me assure you however that none of our pilots would ever risk exposing our guests or themselves to an unsafe condition.

If I can be of any further assistance, please don't hesitate to call or write.

Sincerely, Kevin Hollands
Director Operations


robyn. said...

did you edit out the paragraph where westjet gave you free stuff? where's your free flight coupon or vouchers for your trouble and anguish?

Anonymous said...

A very diplomatic response filled with lots of information about weather systems, blah, blah, that you already knew. I agree with Robyn-Where's the free stuff? A bag of nuts at least! Dad

Erin Riley said...

No free stuff for me. I think WestJet and Air Canada are trying their best to get me to buy a car.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm.... Not quite what I hoped for, but at least a well-thought out and somewhat lengthy response?

Maybe you can write a letter for me to Singapore Airlines and see if we have better luck. I just got off an 8-hour flight from Sydney. They fed me 2 "Indian" vegetarian meals when I had asked for vegetarian. I was told to get a vegetarian meal because I can't eat dairy. Instead of getting the promised "Asian" stir-fry, I got curry, cheese, yoghurt, and ice cream. Now I'm waiting at the airport in Singapore and not looking forward to the Indian breakfast I'll be getting in a few short hours.

I know it isn't the horror that you experienced, but I should get something for free, no? And not a bag of nuts either. They've already given me one and I'm allergic.

Anonymous said...

when you fly from iqaluit to ottawa, or anywhere really, they give you a "special coffee." that's right -- baileys and coffee topped with a dollop of whipped cream. doesn't matter what time of the day it is either. they also provide a warmed-up soft chocolate chip coookie. and the normal meals are actually good. the rest of canada you don't even get food. but don't think it comes without a price. iqaluit/ottawa round trip goes for a hefty $1500. one way is three hours. you could fly to england and back three times for that price. but you would have to pack your own baileys. but of course, with the wild killers lurking around every corner of the airways, you can't bring liquid on an airplane any more. the solution is simply to move up north. bye.

Anonymous said...

That's actually a fairly empathetic response, though I too wondered where the consolation prize was. In your next complaint letter say you think you should be rewarded with a $500 flight voucher, but would settle for 500 airmiles. Seriously. I'm irked when people address correspondence to me by my first name. When did we get all friendly first name basis? I am your customer, you may call me "Ms. Coulter"!