Should WestJet have accommodated these people?

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grammafreddy
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Should WestJet have accommodated these people?

Post by grammafreddy »

http://www.chbcnews.ca/pages/story.aspx?id=6442760873
Kelowna family angry flight left without them
Doris Maria Bregolisse, CHBC News : Monday, November 26, 2012 6:37 PM

Image
Photo Credit: Steve Beskidny , CHBC News

A Kelowna man and his daughter are angry after missing a flight that left YLW earlier than scheduled Monday morning, prompting a missed doctor appointment in Vancouver.

While Roy Penrose says he arrived a half hour before the scheduled flight from Kelowna to Vancouver at 7:40 a.m., Kelowna airport staff confirms the two approached the WestJet counter at 7:14 a.m., a four minute discrepancy.

Both had luggage and had not web-checked prior to arriving for the flight. When Penrose attempted to check in, the attendant radioed flight staff who radioed back that the flight was ready to leave and the two would not be allowed to board.

One of the reasons Penrose was told he was not allowed on: he is wheelchair bound and needs extra time to board a flight.

The flight instead left early, arriving at YVR a full 19 minutes ahead of schedule.

Penrose daughter Tricia, who was to fly with him for assistance, believes the transfer could have taken 30 seconds.

She believes WestJet did not show caring to consider her dad’s disability; he can’t walk after being struck by a tree last year. The medical appointment was with a spinal surgeon that Penrose says took months to book.

WestJet says flights often leave early when all travelers are on board. Because the father and daughter had arrived late, they were not considered passengers.

WestJet could not rebook the two because the doctor’s appointment could not be rescheduled Monday. The two have been refunded their flight costs.

WestJet says all passengers are told to arrive at least 45 minutes to an hour before their scheduled domestic flight. The Penrose’s say they couldn’t find this information on the WestJet website, but admit they are experienced flyers.

© Global News. A division of Shaw Media Inc., 2012.

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just popping in
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Re: Should WestJet have accommodated these people?

Post by just popping in »

They were accommodated.... they received a refund. They are "experienced" flyers and should know to arrive early.
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Fancy
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Re: Should WestJet have accommodated these people?

Post by Fancy »

Westjet website is easily navigated and I found the travel info very quickly. They probably knew when they needed to be at the airport and were just plain running late.
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Captain Awesome
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Re: Should WestJet have accommodated these people?

Post by Captain Awesome »

I'm surprised they even got the refund.
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Always Sunny
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Re: Should WestJet have accommodated these people?

Post by Always Sunny »

The real issue here is with passengers who arrived outside of WestJet's policy.

Had this happened to anyone else (family traveling to a wedding in Mexico, a business person headed to an important meeting, etc) they would be SOL and in my experience would not have gotten a refund. Even changing a flight under this specific circumstance would cost you.

26 minutes before your plane leaves...are you kidding me? As a business traveler I know that Monday morning flights are among the busiest. I leave me place (Mission) at least 1.5 hours before the departure time and barring unusually heavy traffic that early in the morning get there with plenty of time.
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Re: Should WestJet have accommodated these people?

Post by crysmom »

I find westjet planes board a good 20 to 30 min before the scheduled departure. My son flies frequently with westjet a recent 625 am departure for calgary had a boarding time on the ticket of 550 Its well known and documented on the west jet site to arrive 90 min before your plane is scheduled to leave. I"m glad they were able to get a refund and its a shame the dr's appointment was missed but to arrive so close to departure seems unreasonable
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Hassel99
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Re: Should WestJet have accommodated these people?

Post by Hassel99 »

Kudos to WJ for giving them a refund.
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Captain Awesome
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Re: Should WestJet have accommodated these people?

Post by Captain Awesome »

...yet they're still unhappy.
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Catri
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Re: Should WestJet have accommodated these people?

Post by Catri »

Everyone talks about how Kelowna is not a small town anymore but you sure wouldn't know it by our local media making news out of someone arriving too late at the airport to board their flight. It's not news...just something that happens to stupid people every day of the year and it sickens me that Westjet gave these idiots their money back.
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Graham Adder
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Re: Should WestJet have accommodated these people?

Post by Graham Adder »

I'll reserve my usual quick draw of judgement on this one, but want to chime in.

I'm relatively confident that these folks were not intentionally late.
It's true that it was unreasonable for them to have high expectations given the circumstances, however:

It would have been a great gesture for WJ to make an exception in this case, as the reality of the situation likely lends itself to 'having the time' to help these folks out.

It may have caused the flight to be on time, rather than early. At worst it may have made it a few minutes late.
At worst for this person, they missed their appointment that took months to wait out. It cost them a lot of grief and anxiety I'm sure. I'm also sure that their tardiness does not warrant such a punishing reality check. They could have been reprimanded in another fashion that did not cause so much drama for the fellow trying to see his specialist...or for the people that had to enforce the orders they were given.

In the end, it was wrong of them...but in my opinion...it was wrong of WJ as well.
Overall however, I'd have to say I've always been a fan of WJ service comparatively speaking.
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Always Sunny
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Re: Should WestJet have accommodated these people?

Post by Always Sunny »

^^^^but where do exceptions stop?

Certainly the compassionate side of me wouldn't have complained if I were a seated passenger on that flight and we ended up making it into Vancouver at our scheduled time, rather than slightly early.

However, a simple gesture may not always go so smoothly. Who's to say that something might not have happened during their check-in that now causes the flight to be delayed into Vancouver? Many connecting flights are time sensitive (I found this out the hard way last month).

Fortunately (and unfortunately) check-in policies are in place for a reason.

"They could have been reprimanded in another fashion that did not cause so much drama for the fellow trying to see his specialist...or for the people that had to enforce the orders they were given."

And these folks could have voiced their issue with WestJet without getting the media involved. They brought the drama on themselves.
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Popeye69
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Re: Should WestJet have accommodated these people?

Post by Popeye69 »

Well they knew he was gonna need help cause hes in a wheel chair. Not just a fold em up chair, a full out motorized one. A chair that was gonna need to be stored properly resulting in extra time for staff to assist him..
We all get it drilled into us to be at the airport at least two hours before your flight to guarantee no hassels, you hear it on the news all the time.
Sorry no sympathy here.
Common sense dictates if you are gonna need assistance...SHOW UP EARLY.
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French Castanut
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Re: Should WestJet have accommodated these people?

Post by French Castanut »

I do believe WestJet should have boarded them.
There's a scheduled "leave" time. Respect it.
The plane was still in the airport when they arrived, and they should have been allowed on board.

As an example, one day long ago I was traveling by bus and had to switch bus in Montreal at 10h15pm. If I had missed that transfer, I would have had to stay overnight in Montreal. It was already an 18h drive that was crazy long (city I didn't know back then.. I thought it was creepy with all kind of bums everywhere. In fact it is.). Because of stupid traffic, my bus arrived late in Montreal, (arrival time was supposed to be like 10pm), but the bus driver called the dispatch so the other bus could wait a couple more minutes before leaving, so I could get in. I arrived 10 minutes late, but the other bus was still there, waiting for my bus to arrive.

That was EXCELLENT customer service. Otherwise I probably would have died somewhere in the Subway system, didn't had money to pay for motel or etc.

This was Orleans Express btw, going to Halifax NS.
Last edited by French Castanut on Nov 29th, 2012, 8:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Captain Awesome
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Re: Should WestJet have accommodated these people?

Post by Captain Awesome »

French Castanut wrote:The plane was still in the airport when they arrived, and they should have been allowed on board.


If I understand correctly, the plane was still there when they arrived, but they wouldn't be able to check-in, clear the security, and load the luggage in time.
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French Castanut
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Re: Should WestJet have accommodated these people?

Post by French Castanut »

Captain Awesome wrote:
If I understand correctly, the plane was still there when they arrived, but they wouldn't be able to check-in, clear the security, and load the luggage in time.


They were trveling to Vancouver, for medical appointement, probably one day return way.

Not much a huge luggage right. No customs to go through right.
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