I received an advertising flier from WestJet 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 WestJet for each 7 day vacation I booked.
I phoned my travel agent Tuesday, the 3rd 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 WestJet 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 WestJet Vacations on there 1-800 phone number and I talked to a lady named **. 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.
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, if you should ever find yourself travelling to the Great White North, visit westjet.com before making your reservation to see if they have a flight departing from near you.
WestJet 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 company's success - they are very helpful and courteous; (4) 80% of their flights have individual entertainment for passengers in the form of seat-back 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 (i.e: no overbooking, stock for everybody). Slight drawbacks for me as a business traveler 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.
I tried every site that WestJet has for consumer complaint and found none. My complaint to them is if I could find them the way the pilot landed flight #699 in Toronto 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 experienced.
The plane was moving around a bit like the pilot was having control problems then all of a sudden, it landed with such a bang, I thought the wheels were going to break off or at least maybe a tire might blow. The tires stayed on and so did the wheels. Then the pilot put the reverse thrusters or breaks on with such force, 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 out, 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.
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.