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A WestJet Response

A WestJet Response to my Rant

I was surprised and gratified that a confirmed West Jetter took the time to respond and I thought I should share it.

Hi Doug,

The below note from your blog post made it’s way to my inbox. As a proud WestJetter, I felt compelled to comment on your experience with our Contact Centre (which is one of the areas my team supports in recruiting). I am relatively new to airlines, I spent a chunk of my career recruiting in oil and gas, the most fascinating thing about airlines is their profit margins. You could equate it to the Tim Horton’s of the sky, on some of our flights we make only a few dollars (literally the cost of a double double) and it’s all about volume and efficiency. So yes, a loss after 15 years does hit a company hard, such as WestJet.

Without getting into too much of the economics of airlines, what most important to WestJet is our customer service, which is the heart & soul of WestJet where we strive to create a remarkable experience for our guests and distinguish ourselves from our competitors. When a company is going through a turnaround, like WestJet, you can anticipate growing pains and that is exactly where we are at. The WestJet that grew from a start-up to now is not the same company, and the WestJet for the next 20 years will continue to evolve. We have had challenges with our guest satisfaction, that is no secret and I’m not ashamed to share that because I know we are working hard too overcome this. The airline industry is competitive and I don’t know about you, but having only one major Canadian carrier doesn’t seem like a step forward for Canada where we struggle to maintain a competitive presence globally.

I’m sorry you had a negative experience with your travel booking. I do believe there needs to be accountability to how organizations make money and treat people. However, I can assure you that there is no evil people at WestJet out to make our guests unhappy, quite the opposite. I have flagged your experience with our Director of the Contact Centre, because we take all feedback seriously.

An avid traveler, I truly believe that WestJet is an exceptional airline, one that Canada should be proud to have. I know I’m biased, but one of our values is to care from the heart and I couldn’t not say anything, similar to yourself:)

If you have any questions/comments or I can do anything for you please let me know.

Thank you,


Carla Arthur
Manager, Frontline Talent Acquisition, People & Culture

And my reply:
Carla, what a heartfelt and thoughtful answer. To the extent I “dissed” the hardworking folk of WJ, I regret that, as I have rarely experience anything other than cheer and consideration from the people who make travel possible.

Certainly I want WJ to remain prosperous and am very glad such a vital line is western centred and reflective of the attitudes that have characterized Calgary and the west.
Knocking big players is a pastime and I was not wanting to indulge in that. I did feel that such a significant shift was something that people who read my material would want to be alerted to. And I think it is significant. When most people buy tickets, they reflexively jump to the lower cost alternative. I wanted people to know that, unless they are absolutely certain of their travel plans, they’d better not.
So that is the spirit of the communication. I don’t know that the customer service was rude. My wife was on the line when the news was delivered. And of course, that sort of message – a straight up No, you didn’t read the fine print and you lost it all – is never well received. In fact, we were so astounded, we troubled a family friend who works for the airline to see if this was for real. She regretfully confirmed.
I sympathize with the economics you have referred to.
I doubt our preferential embrace of WJ has been compromised. Part of the reason for that is the concern and of people like our friend and yourself.
Thanks for taking the time to write. Would you be OK with me sharing your reply with my readers?


Doug Bouey
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

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Doug Bouey, President
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

Calgary, AB // Phone: 403.777.1144


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