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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A love letter to WestJet Airlines

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I recently spent some time in Vancouver, Canada with the simplehoney team.  We had a lovely time, and ate lots of delish food.  (Japadog anyone?)  The weather was great while I was there, and I was able to wander about and enjoy the city.  But what I really enjoyed was my experience flying to and from Canada on WestJet.

Now, I'm not talking about security - for some reason every time I fly I discover yet another item of clothing or small inconsequential thing in my bag that results in my being pulled aside and scanned.  I'm ready for the day where I can just sign up for a program where they send me a fleece skin tight onesy that I wear through security and on the plane.  Enough of the craziness of security, let's talk about my actual flying experience….

I've flown quite a bit so far this year, and have enjoyed quite a few different airlines: Virgin America, SouthWest, Delta, and United, just to name a few. I flew WestJet for the first time on my way to Vancouver, and it was a fine experience.  The flight departed on time and the crew was friendly, but I was very impressed with my return flight.

I was scheduled to depart Vancouver on the WS 1776 flight at 9:35am this past Monday and arrived at the airport nice and early just in case security was crazy.  Thank goodness it was not, other than my new found power to pack regular items that look suspicious on the x-ray machine.  Anyway, at 9am everyone waiting to board the plane was informed that we were going to be delayed due to the fog in San Francisco.  (This is not unusual.)  What was unusual was that the actual Captain took the time to explain why the fog prevented us from departing on time and how sorry he was that we were going to be delayed.  They also continued to update everyone and stay positive about the situation letting us know how quickly the weather in San Francisco can change - which is completely true.

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To pass the time WestJet encouraged the passengers to participate in a paper airplane competition.  First one of the crew members made a paper airplane, and threw it from a designated spot.  If you (the passenger) could fly your plane past the crew member's plane you received $50 in dining credit.  (I'm unsure how the dining credit was provided, was it just on WestJet flights, or some other kind of gift card?  As I said, I'm unsure.)  

At first I didn't really care about the paper plane competition because I was grumpy and irritable as I had gotten up earlier than I would normally.  But then, as I saw all these people around me working on their planes, folding them and then refolding them I started to pay attention.  There were a lot of people putting some serious thought and detail into their planes and how they would fly.  I did not participate but I did enjoy the show, which lifted my mood quite a bit.  

The winner, Dave, won the $50 dining credit and got to board the plane first as a nice little bonus.  He told me he had watched the crew member craft their plane and then modeled his after it.  Smart cookie that Dave.  

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After the plane had been boarded and we were waiting in line to approach the run way, I looked out my window and saw a gentleman, standing out in the pouring rain on the runway holding a sign that said, "Have Fun In the Sun."  And he was waving at the plane!  I of course waved back.  I feel sorry that he had to stand out in the rain, but it brought a smile to my face and I was very happy to be flying home.  The morning delay was all but forgotten.  Captain Russel, and Kirsten the head flight attendant along with the rest of the crew were smiley and friendly during the whole 2 hour flight, and made sure everyone was well taken care of.  

After landing in San Francisco we enjoyed some jokes from one of the flight attendants: "Why did the scarecrow win a medal?" "Because he was outstanding in his field." (Yes, nerdy, silly, but none-the-less entertaining.)  

Overall flying with WestJet was a really great experience and should I be traveling to Canada again I wouldn't hesitate to fly with them again.  

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1 comment:

  1. Hi Margaret,
    Thanks for making us a part of your travel plans to Vancouver! We love reading about the great work our teams do every day, so thank you for including this in your post. I'll be sure to share this with the Vancouver airport team.

    We hope to see you up in Canada again soon!

    WestJet Emerging Media team