Here I sit in the Vancouver Airport – happy to have missed any traffice jams, and arrived before the 6:15pm flight to Calgary.  Now I have not traveled that much recently, but awhile back I was in and out of airports nearly every week.  I happily few WestJet, and enjoyed their friendly and accomodating service.  It use to be that if you arrived early, had no checked luggage, and you were waiting by the gate, you could easily jump on an earlier WestJet flight.

This just made sense – airline seats are fly away inventory.  If you don’t fill the seat, the seat flys away and it’s wasted revenue for the airline.  If you fill a seat on a plane that is about to leave, the seat you have just vacated just might sell – allowing for revenue from two seats instead of just one. 

So I happily identified myself, told them that I qualified, and they anxiously looked at their computers in anticipation that they just may fill another seat on the plane.

So after confirming they have room – want did they ask me  – $50.00 charge – credit card only…$%^&* WTF?????  How does this make sense?  Is it more work on their part?  So they have a couple of keystrokes to do on their new fancy flight booking (more on that later), but no physical labour!  Nobody has to chase after bags, or even route them.  I’m just standing there.

I’m wondering though if the $50 charge is worth whatever negative press this little blog post is going to generate.  I’m wondering if my loyalty as a customer is worth the $50 bucks to them?

You see – customers are finding their voice, and better yet, they are finding a way to have their voice heard – directly after an incident occurs.  The 6:15 pm flight on May 6 has not even left yet – and I’m already to post this message to the wonderful world of the internet.

It may not seem much now, I’m only one voice. I wonder though how can WestJet REASONABLY justify this charge under these conditions?  How many people who read this post, would just agree with me.  How much is that worth to WestJet?  How much can AirCanada use this – and smile to their benefit?

If this is the best WestJet’s care-antee is going to do – I’m going to start shopping around – and maybe, just maybe, next time my flight will be booked with Air Canada.  Afterwall, WestJet use to think of their customers – not their profit margin on administration costs.

STILL looking for a company that honours their customers…

Richard Reukema

p.s. My next post is how WestJet has created a loyalty program – that ties loyalty to money, and a credit card?  They call this marketing….