Should WestJet have accommodated these people?

Triple 6
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Re: Should WestJet have accommodated these people?

Post by Triple 6 »

theyeti wrote:pretty sick guys .. i woulda done what i could to get this guy on the plane and still got there on time . they had 19 minutes or so to do it if they were 19 minutes early to vancouver . does not seem that unrealistic .


Why is it sick? I dropped friends off at the airport Saturday @ 5:15, flight was for 6:25. West Jet emails you the day before to allow you to "check in" but you still need to be there in time to go through security. They followed the rules and guidelines and had no issues. 19 minutes is not enough time to get a handicapped person through security, then load etc.
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Always Sunny
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Re: Should WestJet have accommodated these people?

Post by Always Sunny »

theyeti wrote:pretty sick guys .. i woulda done what i could to get this guy on the plane and still got there on time . they had 19 minutes or so to do it if they were 19 minutes early to vancouver . does not seem that unrealistic .

Obviously you've never missed a connecting flight due to a late arrival.

In theory it's nice to say they should have accommodated these two. But it's pretty obvious that loading a battery operated wheelchair is far less simple than a duffle bag of clothing. Whose fault does it become when something doesn't go flawlessly and the other 100 people arrive late. Most of the passengers managed to comply with West Jets policy. Not their fault that two people didn't offer the same courtesy to their fellow passengers.

I arrived two hours prior to my flight yesterday, drove around long term parking for a few minutes to find a spot, wheeled my luggage in including the extra baggage I prepaid for the night before. Not going to have my poor planning affect others.
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Re: Should WestJet have accommodated these people?

Post by 31416ness »

French Castanut wrote:
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.


Except for a 300lb power wheelchair that needs the batteries to be unplugged and manually pushed into the plane. I'm actually at the airport right now and just getting my boarding passes and going thru security took a good 25 minutes. ( it would have taken a few minutes less if the kid in front had left his videogame in the tray instead of walking it thru the metal detector making him immediately randomly selected for additional security check).
Anyway, my rule of thumb is being at the airport at least 1 hour early, 1.5 hours if I'm not going with just the carry on. I haven't yet lost a flight but I've been close. Just keep in mind that you never know what is going to happen at the airport.
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Re: Should WestJet have accommodated these people?

Post by mexi cali »

Too many posts to read but I have to weigh in.

Anyone who misses s flight pretty much planned it that way. I fly a lot and while I don't adhere to the times requested by the airlines to be at the airport because I think they are skewed, if I missed a flight because I cut it close, that would be my fault.

A half an hour or less before the flight is due to leave is unrealistic and throw in a wheel chair and there you go.

West Jet is a class company and they have rules to follow like when the missing passengers have been called for 3 times (I think) they are no longer passengers and when the door closes, the FAA says it doesn't open again.

Get over it and get there earlier next time. Extra early when you need special care.
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Re: Should WestJet have accommodated these people?

Post by Grandan »

Check your pm please. Trip
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Re: Should WestJet have accommodated these people?

Post by Dizzy1 »

theyeti wrote:pretty sick guys ..

Uh, OK?

theyeti wrote:i woulda done what i could to get this guy on the plane and still got there on time .

And the airline did what they could, they made a decision and it was the right decision. Rules and policies are there for a reason, and when you purchase a ticket, you agree to those, might wanna read the fine print next time you buy a ticket.

theyeti wrote:they had 19 minutes or so to do it if they were 19 minutes early to vancouver.

The flight was boarded, it was dispatched with all those passengers who checked in by the cut-off time they agreed to when they purchased the ticket. Dispatching a flight is not like calling a taxi, once the decision has been made to go, it go's unless there is an emergency, which this most certainly is not. Basically, these folks not only checked in well past the check-in cut off time but also past the boarding time and most likely after the flight was dispatched. Flights don't wait long for no-shows, which is what they were, and in this day in age of being able to check-in 24 hours before your flight via phone or internet, there's really no reason one shouldn't be checked-in before cut-off time. Had they done this, there was a good chance that despite the extra work of the wheelchair, they would have made the flight even though they still arrived at the airport after the boarding time.

theyeti wrote:does not seem that unrealistic .

Clearly you've never worked for an airline or dispatched a flight. Try it one day, then we'll talk ;)
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Re: Should WestJet have accommodated these people?

Post by butcher99 »

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 appointment, probably one day return way.

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


So then someone else arrives 30 seconds after them. Do you accommodate them? Then of course someone comes 30 seconds after them. Westjet did not set the rules and everyone knows them by now. Sorry, being in a wheelchair, having no luggage, getting a flat tire, none of those things matter. They tell you to be there 2 hours early but no less than one hour or you will not be boarded.
The fact that he is in a wheelchair and obviously knew he required more time to board gives them even less of an excuse.

There is no mention in the story about why they were late. However be on time.
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Re: Should WestJet have accommodated these people?

Post by Grandan »

We arrived at 6:15 AM for a 8:00AM flight on Dec 19. We stood in line for two hours before we could get boarding passes and luggage tags.
We logged on at home 24 hours ahead of time and got good seats but were unable to get boarding passes so we had to stand in line. Our flight was delayed until 1:00 pm. We missed our connecting flight. Our luggage was lost on the way and we did not get it back for 18 hours and people think that they can show up 1/2 hour before the flight with a disability and get priority treatment?
I think you need to remember that airport staff put up with this all day long, too many people think they have some kind of priority and the rules should be bent to allow them some grace. My wife has a disability but she sucks it up and braves the adversity along with everyone else and suffers afterwards but does not complain. I cannot imagine why someone with an important appointment to attend to would even consider leaving it to depart the same day as the appointment. It is winter out there folks, busy time of year and delays are inevitable. Flights leaving early are unusual but happen all the time. I am sorry for the guy, really my heart goes out to him and now he has to Wait how long for an appointment? what about the doctor at the other end? Now the doctor has to miss a consult because someone could not get it together to be there on time.
The last time I travelled out of country there was a snow storm we missed our international flight and we had to re-book and take a flight the next day plus the cost of a hotel room in Vancouver etc. whah ,whah, whah. It is just hard to have sympathy for such short sighted planning.
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Re: Should WestJet have accommodated these people?

Post by LoneWolf_53 »

I think some folks just like to complain and think for some reason or other they are special.

I got the same vibe from the person who was griping about the plane that got stuck, in this story http://www.castanet.net/edition/news-st ... .htm#85582

She's all bent out of shape because she was held on the plane for an hour or so, big deal, my flight from Toronto on Saturday was a few hundred feet off the runway when the pilot aborted and went into a steep climb, opting instead for Vancouver due to heavy snowfall. We sat on the tarmac in Vancouver for 4 hours while the plane refueled, new flight crew were assembled, as they were at the end of their shift, and waited for the weather to improve at Kelowna before another attempt to land was made. We survived.
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Re: Should WestJet have accommodated these people?

Post by Grandan »

and in this day in age of being able to check-in 24 hours before your flight via phone or internet, there's really no reason one shouldn't be checked-in before cut-off time.

We attempted to log in from home to get our boarding passes 24 hours, then 8 hours ahead of time on a recent trip but were instead directed to go to the airport where we waited 2 hours in a lineup that was going nowhere.
We arrived well ahead of time but flight was delayed 4 hours( no body could print boarding passes and someone failed to fill out some necessary paperwork for the flight to depart and a backup crew needed to be brought in to replace the crew that had not had enough sleep). Same airline on the return flight we were also not able to print out boarding passes and at the airport a supervisor needed to be called to log us in. That, granted, is the exception but it has happened before.
At some airports it is not possible to get a boarding pass except at the Kiosk and I expect it will go this direction as move forward. Also the baggage tags are printed from the same kiosk. Helpful attendants will help you through the process. The counter staff simply make sure everything is done right including the weight of the bag which incidently is an extra $25 to put on board and $100 if overweight flying from the USA with our recent airline.
BTW the 4 hour delay resulted in a missed connecting flight and lost baggage which we were able to track down and reunite with 18 hours later. Moral of the story, even arriving well ahead of time is no guarantee that your flight will be sucessfull. To flirt with disaster by arriving after the official boading time is exposing yourself to no end of grief. We once missed a flight to New Zealand by 1 minute due to bad weather in Kelowna several years ago (4 hour delay). The clerk was just closing her computer to proceed to the gate when we arrived but she would not budge and we needed to spend the night in Vancouver and were lucky to find a empty seats on a flight the next day. Stressfull.
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Re: Should WestJet have accommodated these people?

Post by rookie314 »

LoneWolf_53 wrote:I think some folks just like to complain and think for some reason or other they are special.

I got the same vibe from the person who was griping about the plane that got stuck, in this story http://www.castanet.net/edition/news-st ... .htm#85582

She's all bent out of shape because she was held on the plane for an hour or so, big deal, my flight from Toronto on Saturday was a few hundred feet off the runway when the pilot aborted and went into a steep climb, opting instead for Vancouver due to heavy snowfall. We sat on the tarmac in Vancouver for 4 hours while the plane refueled, new flight crew were assembled, as they were at the end of their shift, and waited for the weather to improve at Kelowna before another attempt to land was made. We survived.


This is just sensationalism by Castanet. My nephew was on the plane, he slept through the "horrific" accident as they dropped a wheel off the apron. Flight was supposed to leave at 7:00, they were on the plane for an hour for deicing, incident happened they were back at our house by 11:00. They had their cab paid for, offered a hotel room (stayed at our house) and cab fair back to the airport the next day as they left the next morning. As for the women in the article, some people are only happy when they are complaining.
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Re: Should WestJet have accommodated these people?

Post by dreamon »

rookie314 wrote:This is just sensationalism by Castanet. My nephew was on the plane, he slept through the "horrific" accident as they dropped a wheel off the apron. Flight was supposed to leave at 7:00, they were on the plane for an hour for deicing, incident happened they were back at our house by 11:00. They had their cab paid for, offered a hotel room (stayed at our house) and cab fair back to the airport the next day as they left the next morning. As for the women in the article, some people are only happy when they are complaining.


Aww c'mon, the truth and reality are rarely as interesting or newsworthy!!

I pity the PIC. Winter operations are often one delay after another. Mother nature throwing it's best at you. A heavy snowfall would make it harder to plough snow effectively. The markers and concrete/grass edges would have been difficult or impossible to see. Very easy to drop a wheel off the hard surface, then next to impossible to get back.

Sounds as though Westjet as per ususal handled the delay and incident as best they could. Westjet has a reputation for being very prompt and proactive in IROPS and such, and no I do not work for them or fly with them!
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Re: Should WestJet have accommodated these people?

Post by Scadam »

theyeti wrote:pretty sick guys .. i woulda done what i could to get this guy on the plane and still got there on time . they had 19 minutes or so to do it if they were 19 minutes early to vancouver . does not seem that unrealistic .


They did do what they could, which was nothing because there was not sufficient time for anything else. Unless you're suggesting the WestJet staff should have made a heroic rush through the airport with these fine customers hoisted above their heads in triumph? And then still fail to have enough time... I'm pretty sure they have to abide by the airport regulations just like anyone else, so there would be no "fast track" through security or any other place where paying and punctual customers would be pushed aside for these "vip"s who in actual fact were LATE.
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Re: Should WestJet have accommodated these people?

Post by 2bonline »

Westjet's customer service is, in my opinion, second to none.

Dreamon, the key words in your post are PIC; pilot in control.

The full responsibilty rests on his/her shoulders. If conditions were like you described; poorly plowed apron, poor visibility, marker lights not properly visible and mother nature at her worst then the aircraft never should have left the gate. The PIC has full authority to decline the departure and could have done just that. No one could rightfully question that decision. To put that many lives, Westjet's reputation and a 25 million dollar aircraft at unnecessary risk was a decision he/she would surely like to have a second chance at making. Many aircraft have left the gate in weather like you described and the outcome has been disastrous.

All involved in the YLW incident should be thankful they were able to disembark the aircraft safely and return to the terminal no matter how long it took. This whole incident ended exactly as it should have; no injuries.

I would fly Westjet anyday of the week as I know their number one concern is passenger safety.
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Re: Should WestJet have accommodated these people?

Post by dreamon »

2bonline wrote:Westjet's customer service is, in my opinion, second to none.

Dreamon, the key words in your post are PIC; pilot in control.

The full responsibilty rests on his/her shoulders. If conditions were like you described; poorly plowed apron, poor visibility, marker lights not properly visible and mother nature at her worst then the aircraft never should have left the gate. The PIC has full authority to decline the departure and could have done just that. No one could rightfully question that decision. To put that many lives, Westjet's reputation and a 25 million dollar aircraft at unnecessary risk was a decision he/she would surely like to have a second chance at making. Many aircraft have left the gate in weather like you described and the outcome has been disastrous.

All involved in the YLW incident should be thankful they were able to disembark the aircraft safely and return to the terminal no matter how long it took. This whole incident ended exactly as it should have; no injuries.

I would fly Westjet anyday of the week as I know their number one concern is passenger safety.


I agree 110pc with your comments regarding the PIC and the role of PIC, save for lives being at risk when departing the apron or taxi way when taxiing. Yes, the ultimate blame rests with the PIC. Had it happened on takeoff or landing at much higher speeds and thrust settings in the case of take off, then the outcome would have been significantly different.
To try and compare apples to apples, but not very well, what happened in this case is akin to cutting a street corner at an intersection and your back wheel clipping the curb. The difference though is the cost to the company and the inconvenience to the 100+- pax.

The hindsight and self depracation the PIC is going through, will be worse than anything else, hence feeling for him/her.

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