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Bait and Switch Scam
Posted by on
I received an advertising flier from West Jet in my newspaper the Regina Leader Post on Mon Nov 2nd and I noticed a couple of vacations I was interested in. The one that I really wanted was a one week all inclusive vacation from Regina to the Hacienda Hotel in Puerto Vallarta for a cost of $679.00 plus $87.00 tax. It also said that if I booked before Nov 6th I would receive a $400.00 travel voucher for future use with West Jet for each 7 day vacation I booked. I phoned my travel agent Tuesday the 03rd at about 10:00 hrs and asked her to book for myself and my wife and my two friends who wanted to go. She took all our information and told me she would call as soon as she could book it. I did not receive a call until Thursday at that time she told me that she had not been able to connect to the West Jet site for two days and when she finally did the price she was quoted was over twice the advertised price. I thanked her and told her I would try myself. I contacted West jet Vacations on there 1 800 phone number and I talked to a lady named Rita. She asked me what I would like and I told her I wanted the vacation in the advertisement and she looked it up on her computer and told me that there was only 4 more seats on the plane for that date and only two rooms still available. I told her to book them and then she told me the price would be over $2900.00 per couple. I asked how that could be when they were advertised for much less than that. She told me they did not have any of that vacation left at that price. I can understand if they were sold out of the flight and hotel and that would be normal even though I had been trying for the last two days. I asked again if the flight and hotel were sold out. She said no that there were 4 seats left on the flight and two rooms left in the hotel. I again asked for the advertised price. She again quoted a price of over $2900.00 per couple. I again asked her to confirm that flights and rooms were available and she said yes they were. I asked her again to confirm that rooms at the advertised hotel and flights on the dates advertised were available and not sold out and she again said yes but not at the advertised price. I asked her if that sounded fair or right to her and her reply was that that was the price of the holiday if I wanted it. I can understand if they were sold out on the flight and the hotel and if there was no packages left for the date and place advertised that I wanted and would have no complaint even though I had been trying for the last 2 days but this is not the case. They advertised this holiday and still had room on the flight and in the hotel but they would not honor the price advertised. I feel this is a Bait and Switch scam and I feel that this is not right and do not think it is even legal. I want it investigated and I want the holiday at the price that was advertised for my wife and I and my two friends. I also want this company investigated to see if this is something they do regularly and if it is found to be so I would like them charged and some form of fine or license restriction be implemented against them.
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Anonymous on 11/28/2009:
Sale fares are for a limited number of seats and rooms. Just because it's still advertised doesn't mean it is still available. If an airline has only 4 seats left on the flight you can be sure they have the highest fare only which is category Y class. Same with the rooms, only a limited number of them are made available "for a sale price." If you look on their website you most certainly will see a disclaimer that "SEATS ARE LIMITED."
Anonymous on 11/28/2009:
Justthefaxx, seats may be limited, but this still sounds like a scam to me. If they have only 4 seats in the Y class, they shouldn't be still advertising a discount fare. A flyer in a newspaper is an easy advertisement to pull, just one phone call to the newspapaper the night before. To the OP, you have no remedy even if it was a scam, unless you could get the District Attorney to prosecute them for fraud, which would be a difficult case to prove, once they could say all the cheap seats were sold when you phoned. Just let everyone know of the scam.
Ben There on 11/29/2009:
Just because it was not available on the dates the OP wants to travel does not mean that the packages are not available on other travel dates. No scam here or any need to pull any ads... all airlines and hotels price their products this way - it is called supply and demand.
Anonymous on 11/29/2009:
Ben, the OP didn't appear to ask for specific dates. He told the agent he "wanted the vacation in the advertisement". The honest answer would have been, "Sorry it's all sold out". The dishonest answer was to try to sell him a $2,900 vacation. The advertised price didn't appear to have been available at all for any date. Sounds like a scam to me. I don't see any reputable airline or hotel doing this. AA, Continental and Delta all advertise specials, but their special prices are available for some dates even if other dates are more expensive.
Anonymous on 11/29/2009:
If an airline starts a new sale today it doesn't mean that it applies to all flights. Tomorrow's flight might be very full so it will only have the highest fare. This is a typical disclaimer for an airline having a sale.

21 day advance required, for flights on T,W,J (Tues,Wed,Sat), Seats are limited. This last statement meant only if the lowest fare class of (Q) was available.
Anonymous on 11/29/2009:
I am agreeing that a sale won't apply to all flights and that tomorrow's flight might be full with only the highest fare. But in this case, the sale fare didn't seem to apply to any date or flight, the OP only asking for the advertised vacation, and the airline using the advertisement to attract callers who are being offered a $2,900 vacation. That's the bait and switch scam, typically used by sleazy electronics establishments advertising one camera cheaply for $999 and then saying, "We're out of that, but here we have this bargain for $1,999"
PepperElf on 11/29/2009:
That would only be correct if no one was able to get the sale prices

since the OP can only verify that he or she could not get the sale price that doesn't mean "bait and switch"

sold out on sale-seats = sold out on sale-seats.

sounds like the sale seats went like hotcakes
Anonymous on 11/29/2009:
Pepper Elf, that's why I suggested that when the OP asked for the advertised vacation, the honest answer would have been, "We're sold out". Instead, having baited him, they then switched to the package they really wanted to sell.
PepperElf on 11/29/2009:
of course there's also the possibility that it was said
but not heard ;)

and if you hang out here long enough you'll see 99% of people claiming "bait and switch" are using the phrase incorrectly.

most often it's used for "omg this sale item is out of stock! bait and switch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11!!!!!!!!"
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Baggage Handling
Posted by on
I was very disappointed with the way Westjet handled my baggage on a recent trip. They completely destroyed the roll-on mechanism of the suitcase rendering my new suitcase useless. It would have required a lot of force to cause that much damage.

It is almost impossible to make a claim for the damage because they put so many bumps along the way. It's a very arduous process. No wonder very few register a claim.

I would not recommend flying with them.
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Bad landing
Posted by on
I tried every site that WestJet has for consumer coomplaint and found none .
My complaint to them is if I could find them the way the pilot landed flight #699 in Totonto at 10:31 AM Friday the 13th of Aug 2010.
I have been flying with airlines since 1959 and this was thw worst landing I every experinced.
The plane was moving around a bit like the pilot was having control problems then all of s suddenit landed with such a bang I thought the wheels were going to break off or at least maybe a tire might blow. The tires styed on and so did the wheels. Then the pilot put the reverse thrusters or breaks on with such forse it took all my strength with my arms out holding the seat in front of me so as not to smash my head on that seat.
I want to tell you I was scared to death. I thought my time and my wife's time who was sitting next to me was up.
Well we landed safely. The Captain or co pilot was at the exit and as we got of just smiled.
someone on that flight needs to learn how to fly or at least warn the passengers to hold on for a rough landing.
I always said Westjet was the best but not now.
Thanks WestJet as I aged 20 years after that flight.

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rockfishing on 08/18/2010:
Any landing you can walk away from is a good one. There are risk to any type of travel, even walking. Since passengers are not allowed in the cockpit, they have no idea what was going on during the landing. I'm sure if you asked the pilot what happened he could have given an explanation. Complaining on MTC does nothing.
goduke on 08/18/2010:
Sounds like there might have been crosswinds. Still, it's nice when they tell you "hang on, this one's going to be a little bumpy."
MDSasquatch on 08/18/2010:
I have heard landings described as "Controlled Crashes" a time or two. Some are better than others, glad you are OK and your time was not up.
fast327 on 08/18/2010:
Not every landing can be perfect, in life and in flight.
Skye on 08/18/2010:
Great comments everyone! What always has amazed me, is how the entire plane always starts clapping after we land. I understand of course why everyone is clapping, but it's just one of those things that make ya go ummmm.....
Starlord on 08/18/2010:
It sounds to me like the pilot ran into some wind shear, which can happen to the very best pilot. I have serious doubts about your claim as to the reverse thrusters and brakes. Are you sure you have flown before? I see nothing in your post that warrants any kind of complaint. It appears to me the pilot did a good job of handling turbulance upon approach.
Anonymous on 08/18/2010:
Skye, the first time I flew out of Denver, the same thing happened as we were lifting off and hit some wind coming off the Rockies...once we made it over, everyone started clapping and I was sitting there thinking, "Do we usually NOT make it??!"
punxnotdead80 on 08/20/2010:
Maybe I'm just weird, but to me the only bad plane landing is a crash.
andersonwalker729 on 03/17/2014:
Air travel to and from Cancun, no TV's there or back. Flight took 7 hours 45 minutes return, with no explanation Really unlikable trip, will mull over other carriers next vacation. I found better but cheaper flights on theholidayhotels.com
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Best in Canada
Posted by on
I noticed that WestJet gets many compliments on this site but they are usually referenced in complaints about Air Canada so thought West Jet deserved its own review.

For my friends south of the American border of you should ever find yourself travelling to the great white north visit west-jet.com before making your reservation to see if they have a flight departing from near you.

West-Jet has several advantages:

(1) By policy they NEVER overbook flights
(2) Have the best on-time record of any airline operating in Canada
(3) They have given all their staff stock options and travelling them you can tell the employees are vested in the companys success. They are very helpful and courteous
(4) 80% of their flights have individual entertainment for passengers in the form of seatback LCD TVs, even for short haul flights.

With all this they are reported to be one of the most profitable airlines per passenger in North America despite operating with a business model that seems more expensive (ie no overbooking, stock for everybody).

Slight drawbacks for me as a business traveller is the lack of business class seating and not having a frequent flier program. But for peace of mind flying they are are without peer in my experience.
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bigboxworker on 06/11/2007:
Yes, I agree. WestJet Staff has excellent customer service skill, and my flights with WestJet have never been delayed for reasons other than bad weather. And their on board entertainment makes the time past by much faster.
ejack053824 on 06/11/2007:
But their pilots suck!! I have flown in the vicinity of these guys and ATC is constantly screaming at them to get back on their altitude assignment. Kudos to the customer service though.
jpbeddow on 12/01/2009:
I agree as well. Having flown in many places and with many airlines all over the world, Westjet really does go the extra mile in customer service. My wife was stuck in Victoria last Christmas when the airport was shut in by a freak snow storm. She was stuck for 3 days and Westjet issued taxi vouchers, hotel room vouchers, told her to submit reciepts for meals and in the end, when the weather cleared, booked a charter airline to make sure everyone got home for Christmas. During this same time, Air Canada did none of that. If we have a choice, we always choose Westjet, even if they are a little more expensive at times.
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