Do you remember your first journey by plane, and the joy of travel? Air travel can be a mixed bag and, having travelled on eight airlines this year, I’ve written a bit about 2014’s experiences. While we all hope to reach our destinations in a relatively timely manner, ideally with our luggage, it’s the human touch that people remember – particularly when something goes wrong.
Alaska Airlines came out shining for the way its reps treated this customer when they misplaced my luggage in the Spring. Air Canada has some lovely people on the ground in Vancouver and Paris, and on its Paris-Vancouver route, but attempts to communicate with the corporate customer service people left me cold.
TAP Portugal’s attendants from Heathrow to Lisbon were stellar, but it took months for the airline to issue reimbursement for expenses associated with luggage that went AWOL until we reached Barcelona. Ironically, the airline refused to reimburse some expenses on the grounds that I failed to follow up quickly enough on verbal communications I made pursuant to several written submissions – all of which had gone unanswered by the airline and its Groundforce affiliate. Once reunited with my luggage, I called the airline while still in Europe to advise of damaged and missing goods, but failed to follow up with yet another written report in a timely manner; the deadline elapsed while we were still travelling.
United Airlines, despite a rude and aggressive attendant on one flight (topped off by luggage arriving in Vancouver a day after me), has great staff on the ground, and corporate reps responded promptly and reasonably to my expression of concern about the attendant’s behaviour.
WestJet has a well deserved reputation for efficient, friendly service. Better yet, they’ve not once yet misplaced my luggage or dropped it from on high.
WestJet also has a growing reputation for its December undertakings. Last year, the airline surprised some Canadian travellers with Christmas treats and the YouTube video was viewed more than 36 million times. This year, the airline took Santa south, to Nuevo Renacer in the Dominican Republic. Here’s a look.