On January *st, **** I was informed that my Mom had suffered a massive stroke. I booke...
GetHuman1926302's customer service issue with WestJet from January 2019
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The issue in GetHuman1926302's own words
On January *st, **** I was informed that my Mom had suffered a massive stroke. I booked a flight on WestJet from Toronto to Calgary and left *:** PM. The flight was number ***. When I went to the counter for my boarding pass I asked for a window or aisle seat and explained what was happening. She spoke with another agent and replied bring this stub to the boarding counter and we will do better. She gave me a physical hug and said how sorry she was* unfortunately, I do not have her name. When I got to the counter there was a boarding pass marked seat *F… I did not know until I boarded where it was located as I was too overwhelmed with other thoughts. When I got on board, I actually asked the Flight Attendant and she said, absolutely, yes. I do not remember her name either but she was so incredibly lovely and funny! She had what I thought was a beautiful “posh” English accent and I complimented her on it and she replied “Oh, I don’t think it’s posh” and we chuckled. The crew were absolutely fabulous. So fabulous I told my husband I would write a letter to Westjet to compliment their choices of staff.**On January *th my dear Mom died. I was with her at that time. Although this may seem irrelevant to Westjet I am including this because I think you will see towards the end its relevance. I stayed and washed her face, arms and legs and feet and we dressed her (with the help of her staff at her home) in her favourite outfit. We waited for the funeral home to pick her up for her final earthly journey and watched while they wrapped her in a clean white sheet and transferred her from her bed to a board. She was “locked” in place and then put in a green body bag. My sister and I put one of her comforters over her and she left. I phoned my husband in Toronto and asked him to please look for a return ticket for me sometime that evening. He booked me on the Flight leaving Calgary at **:** on the sixth of January. I had absolutely no idea what the cost of the ticket was… it did not matter… I was anxious to get home to my family. My sister and I stayed in my Mom’s room and than we decided to go for a glass of wine and a bite to eat. My Mom and sister both live(d) in Okotoks so we had a couple of hours to spare. My sister phoned a taxi service who was to pick me up from the restaurant at *:** to take me to Calgary International. My sister and I shared one half litre of wine to toast my Mom’s safe journey. The taxi picked me up at exactly *:**. He asked me if I had been in Okotoks on vacation and I told him of my mom’s death. He gave me his sincerest condolences and we chatted all the way to the airport. He is ** years old and exceeded his kindness to me. He was having trouble with the transmission and kept apologizing to me… I said no need to apologize just get me to the airport on time* which he did… we had wee chuckle over it. I entered the airport and went to the Westjet counter for my boarding pass. I asked the counter clerk for a window or aisle seat and when he said they did not have any available I proceeded to tell him why… that because I was feeling grief I would so much like a seat where I could curl up in a ball and feel some personal space. So, he suggested that I take my boarding pass and as soon as the counter there opened to take it to them and explain my circumstances and to see if they could assist* which I did. She said leave your boarding pass with me and I will see what I can do. I did and she called me up about ** minutes later and said nothing was available but sometimes people don’t make it in time and she would still see if something became available. She told me she could not randomly change seats for me and I said “of course not, I wouldn’t expect you to”. I was placed in the middle seat in row ** which was the emergency exit row so boarded at the very beginning. When I got in, I placed my coat and bag (purse) on the middle seat and proceeded to put my carry on in the above bin. I placed it in and put it in horizontally. Dana, the Flight Attendant was beside me and shouted to me “put it in the other way” first words, first meeting. She was rude and brisk and I noticed afterward that she was going around rearranging other top bins, however, she looked nary too pleased with having to do this. I seated myself in my assigned middle seat. About * minutes later (approximately) the gentleman in from of me in aisle ** middle seat was exchanging his seat for a window seat with another passenger and I heard her say, I don’t mind sitting in the middle. So… yes, I thought how strange. Dana walked by and I asked her how that happened when I know I was the first one at the boarding gate asking for a change and she raised her voice at me and said “I AM JUST A FLIGHT ATTENDANT AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOUR CONVERSATION WAS WITH THE AGENT”. She was loud and obnoxious and if looks could have killed I too would have been dead like my Mom. So, was I getting defensive* yes, I was. I had been treated with compassion, dignity and respect on my trip on Flight *** so, I guess, in retrospect, I had some expectation that I would be treated with dignity on this flight home. So, I explained, quickly, how I was feeling and she said “well, if you want to go around asking other passengers’ to exchange seats, go for it.” I would have thought that your customer motto would suggest that this is no way to speak with a passenger, none! Customer service and sales (which I can only assume Westjet would like you to continue using their airline) is paramount and instead of trying to deescalate the discussion she was totally and absolutely, in my opinion purposefully trying to escalate it. She said well at least you have more leg room and I said but that’s not what I hoped for. In retrospect, I am certain that there would have been at least ** people on board who would have traded their window*aisle seat for extended leg room. Previous to this she shouted at me to either put my coat on or put in under the seat. I have flown hundreds of times and used a jacket over me for a chilly plane and never once have I been told or spoken to in that manner. On my flight home on the *th I saw many, many passengers with their jackets over them… the plane may be new but it was freezing and not one FA said a word. I diverted slightly. At some point Dana with another FA tagging along came over and said and I quote… “I don’t like your ATTITUDE AND I WANT YOU OFF THIS PLANE”. Honestly, I was SHOCKED and I replied something to the effect of “are you kidding, I’m not getting off, I am quite certain my husband paid good money for this ticket and she replied, “I will bet you are on bereavement fare” … I didn’t even answer that. In any event I said “no, I need to get home to my family, my dear Mom died today and no, I’m not leaving.” The passenger sitting beside me on the aisle said to me “my condolences” and “this is just beyond extreme”. Dana (who did not like being called by her name for some reason said “WHEN YOU ARE ON “MY” PLANE I AM THE BOSS” and I replied I would have thought it was the pilot? And she replied “HE WILL DO WHATEVER I SAY’, and she literally STORMED OFF … sort of like a soldier. I was truly shell-shocked by now, her superior (I think) came and said GET OFF THE PLANE OR WE WILL CALL THE POLICE” at which point I replied please call the police and than within * seconds I thought and said, “I am not keeping all these passengers seating her waiting to fly on the ground for something like this. I will leave for them”. This may be “too much information” but when I got up to leave, I defecated* I was beyond humiliation with such rudeness and just outright bullying. I was afraid. I retrieved my carry-on… no assistance… and left. The superior at the front was stranding there. I don’t believe anything was said between us. As I made my way out the airplane a man (Jean-Claude *****) aggressively approached me and walked with me back to the boarding counter. I than said, now what…. Can I get on the next flight because I was told on my “non-flight” that were two seats left? He said they’re sold… that was within two minutes of, I believe Dana, telling me two seats were available on the next flight at *PM. It may not have been Dana it may have been another FA. So, I asked what was available and he said *:** tomorrow p.m. and I was, you’re kidding me. I asked if Westjet would compensate me with hotel money and he replied, “we don’t do that”. He did not suggest a nearby hotel and offered zero assistance. He looked at me at this point, or it could have been earlier when he first escorted me out the “tunnel” “HAVE YOU BEEN DRINKING?” Once again, I was shocked…. Therefore, all of the previous information re my actual day. I was so stunned I answered yes, I’ve had one glass of wine…. In retrospect totally, none of his business. I assume now this was going to be their “story” as to why I was told to leave plane. No sorry, I was a mess grieving the loss of my Mom, not a drunk. Without prejudice, I know your staff will collude as that is human nature. I was really afraid at this point and I said “I’m going to call the police ***” and ***** said I will call them. No thanks, I didn’t say this to him, however, I am the one feeling in danger, I don’t think you are. I phoned *** and explained to the operator what was happening and she said are you in imminent physical danger and I replied no, and she said she would dispatch the officers to the counter number I gave her along with my description which I gave her. I believe they arrived within approximately * – * minutes. Within that time, I phoned my husband, in Guelph, Ontario to try to explain what was happening (he was in shock) and asked him to rebook me on another flight, preferably Air Canada. He called back and said he did not want to have to repay and he had checked Westjet schedule and said just rebook it through jean Claude ***** so no extra monies would be involved. Sadly, I felt this was the best choice to expedite my trip home and so that is what I asked for. Oh, and by the way, before the police arrived, I went to the ladies’ room to change my clothing because, in fear and degradation, I had soiled them. When the police officers arrived, they spoke with me and were truly apologetic that this had transpired especially after such an incredibly difficult day. They did also explain that there was nothing legally they could do it was now a civil situation between myself and Westjet. He spoke softly to me and just said “I will take you to where there is a close, close hotel next door and get you out of the boarding area.” He twice extended his sympathy to me… when we first met and when we departed. He walked along side of me with his bike and brought me the exit where the hotel is. I asked him if was an OK place and not yucky and he said “I have personally stayed in this hotel and it is very nice” He went above and beyond and was so kind… his name is Sean. I crossed the street and was checked into the Delta by a lovely gentleman who showed me the way to the elevator in person. I had asked him for an early check out call and than when I got to the room (which was indeed as Sean had said quite nice) I decided I needed an hour’s extra sleep so I called him back… lovely gentleman. When I was in my room, I called my husband and spoke with him for a short time. I had asked Jean Claude to give me the telephone number for customer service. The police officer also asked him for his number and last name. He declined to give his last name. I asked my husband if he agreed that I should call that number now and he said yes, I know it is such a difficult time but call now while the memories are there and fresh. So, I did. Both on the hotel land line and on my cell phone. No one replied and there was no Westjet message* Jean Claude gave the police officer the wrong number. I have retained the number the police wrote and if you would like this see it I have in on file. So, spoke with my husband again he said just call reservations which is what I did. I spoke on the phone to a lady by the name of Michelle, you could not ask for a customer service agent more suited to her position… she really should be in a more senior position. I asked her if she could assist with my complaint (she had now idea what it was about) assured me she could* and she went on to listen, very graciously, to my experience and extended her sincerest sympathy to me and apologized on behalf of Westjet for an experience that she said should have never happened. She was incredibly sincere and said she would send her notes to the Guest Support Team and would I prefer to hear from them by email or phone. I suggested by phone for the first discussion. She asked me how she wanted this bad experience to be resolved and I just said I haven’t given it one thought at this juncture. I asked her to not have them call be tomorrow as I would be flying and she said she would note that. After that, I went to bed. The next day, January *th I arrived at the check-in desk… I couldn’t even be bothered at this point with my seat request…. I knew at this point it was a total and absolute waste of my time and patience. I did, however, say to him that I expected there would be a note on my file. I still kind of expected that after all I had experienced with WESTJET that a preferable seat just might, maybe be given to me. He read, which I know now was the “story” from the “non-flight” crew with their (without prejudice) colluded version and he gave me seat E row ** very back of the bus. If I was in the mood I could have then, and still now, laughed out loud. Not only was he reading personal and confidential information about me which is clearly illegal and none of his business, I believe, he acted on it. As I write this, I am thinking how you have such class A staff and such class FAIL staff. This must be difficult as a totally customer service and safety related airline organization. In my very humble and personal opinion you will never be number one. I froze the entire way home and asked if they could up the heat… the FA said she has asked several times…. I just wore my winter coat the whole way instead. The service was fine. The flight was delayed though on departure. My husband picked me up at the airport and when we arrived home, he told me he had already spoken with a lady regarding accessing WESTJET’s legal team and how to go about that. Her name is Lisa from the Guest Support Team* I did not speak with her personally my husband did. So, wondering if this was the last, I would hear from GST I decided to phone reservations again. Once again, last evening I spoke with a CSR by the name of Amanda who once again exemplified the role of customer service for your company and listened to me with open ears and the greatest of sympathy, compassion and gentleness. She, too, should be in a more senior position. I am still not sure if the phone conversation my husband had with Lisa was meant to be your last personal conversation all I can say is that Amanda noted she would ask for someone to call me within the next ** hours and in the afternoon. Truly exemplary staff member.*As I close this document my question is, of course, how do you plan to compensate me for the incredibly horrible, terrible, degrading position that you put me in? Your lack of compassion and empathy as a company goes beyond that of anyone I have dealt with in the last week or ever. It saddens me to think that your motto is one of total customer satisfaction both in safety and crew. Clearly your crew on “non-flight” have no idea of their obligation to their paying and loyal customers. Clearly, they do not deserve their positions of providing this type of service. All of this could have easily been resolved by a FA, not Dana, who would have treated me with dignity, respect and kindness which most people try to do on a regular basis with anyone they meet. She is clearly not suited to her position as FA. ***Respectfully, ***Deborah Jones-Fabbri**ADDENDUM: On January *th, Alias, Senior Specialist, Guest Services called me at approximately *PM. He extended his sincerest apologies and listened, without interruption to my statement. He again apologized after I had finished reading my statement. I thought he said he would compensate me with the monies paid on Visa for my return flight and also give me *** Westjet points. I told him Westjet points were unacceptable as I will never fly Westjet again. He asked me what I wanted and I told him I wanted $*,***.** in compensation and he said he could not do that. I asked if I “wanted” to proceed with legal action how would I do that? At this point, he said he would not discuss compensation further as I had said “absolutely” I would be taking legal action against Westjet. I said if I could not get some better compensation than points I “may” not I “would” seek legal action. I gave him my permission at this point to speak with my husband and now he was including compensation for my taxi fare from Okotoks (if I had known I would be leaving the next day my sister would have driven me… at the time I left Okotoks at *:**PM on the *th the weather and visibility was poor and I did not want my sister making the return trip alone.) He also told my husband Westjet would reimburse me for my hotel room at the Delta but they would NOT reimburse the monies for the return flight and would give me the *** Westjet points that I had already said I did not want. As we are now uncertain as to the resolution of this conversation, I called him back to confirm what the compensation*resolution extended today would include as we are now uncertain. I left him my phone number again and graciously asked him to return my call for full confirmation. It is currently *PM and I am waiting for his reply. **Again, respectfully, Deborah Jones-Fabbri
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