Air Canada vs WestJet (Air Canada Sucks)


Hank C
#1
Which do you prefer, the Calgary based WestJet, or the Montreal based AirCanada?
 
I think not
#2
WestJet, they stopped flying in and out of New York recently . Too bad, their prices were great, the staff friendly and had spanking new aircraft. Air Canada sucks and is expensive.
 
#juan
#3
Air Canada has been a "national airline", and as such, was forced to provide service to places that were not profitable in order to provide service to all. In these changing times, with deregulation and all, Air Canada has had to shed most of these non-profitable routes, and get rid of excess staff to get themselves out of the red. They are not there yet and still have trouble competing with bargain basement operations like Westjet. Air Canada has probably the best safety, and service record in the world over the last fifty years. To say, "Air Canada sucks", just shows ignorance and lack of knowledge. I will be the first to admit that Westjet seems to be a well run organization but but we are comparing apples and oranges.
 
Andem
#4
Definately Air Canada. Great service, comfortable jets, excellent safety record and pretty friendly staff. Westjet are just too budget for me, and if they ever flew a flight for more than 3 hours, I wouldn't fly that route. You get what you pay for, and Air Canada has been rated the best overall airline in the world in the past, and it still meets very high standards.

I agree with #juan, saying otherwise is pure ignorance.
 
Andem
#5
Moderator note: Moved from Off-topic to Consumer Awareness (discussing a product or service).
 
I think not
#6
Airlines are rated based on personal experience, what was a good experience for one flyer was a bad for another. I have flown Air Canada in the past mulitple times and haven't had very good experiences with them. It's not ignorance, it's an opinion.
 
nitzomoe
#7
Air Canada prices arent too bad service has gotten a lot better since coming out of bankruptcy protection and I typically dont fly too much to smaller cities just the major ones and asia which Westjet doesnt offer much service to.
 
the caracal kid
#8
Juan, you have a point about comparing the company structures and history, but when it comes down to the "user experience" it is comparing essentially the same things.

International flights with AC have been good in the past from my experience, but overall I have found their customer service to be "snarky" and after a couple bad experiences with them I simply do not fly with them at all anymore. Westjet for the most part has friendly staff and I will use them if need be, but I actually find that people that claim any canadain airline to have wonderful service are speaking out of not travelling on non-canadian airlines (yes there are worse than canadian standards as well).
 
Andem
#9
I've flown Air Canada around the world and I gotta say that the service level has always been an A+. Budget airlines like WestJet and *gasp* JetsGo have always made me nervous. I've never found WestJet prices to be reasonable for the level of service the provide. Just my 0,02€
 
the caracal kid
#10
.... jetsgo is gone.... which is one risk taken booking well in advance with airlines that are being run without sound planning.

our inside name for westjet is "worstjet" or "the worsties", Andem. I only use them if necessary at the last minute.

You have been fortunate with AC. They can be very nice, or at least pretend to be, so long as nothing actually makes them get out of routine. (from experience)
 
sanch
#11
My experience with Air Canada has always been very good. Once over some very slight inconvenience they upgraded my wife and I to first class from Boston to Toronto. I haven’t flown Westjet but family and friends have and I have never heard any complaints.

ITN as we are now in the consumer corner what are some of bad experiences? Might help us to make an intelligent decision next time we travel.
 
#juan
#12
I'm retired now,

But during my working life I flew on enough different airlines to appreciate the good ones. My two favourites in Canada, were Air Canada, and Canada 3000(now defunct, too bad). CPair(also defunct) probably had the best meals of any airline. Outside Canada, I liked Lufthanza, and BOAC (now British Airways).
 
Andem
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by #juan

I'm retired now,

But during my working life I flew on enough different airlines to appreciate the good ones. My two favourites in Canada, were Air Canada, and Canada 3000(now defunct, too bad). CPair(also defunct) probably had the best meals of any airline. Outside Canada, I liked Lufthanza, and BOAC (now British Airways).

I can appreciate all of those choices. Overall I would rate my favourites as:

1. Swiss (tied)
1. British Airways (tied)
2. Lufthansa
3. Air Canada

I gotta admit that the reason why Swiss is so high up might be because of the yummy chocolate they serve (with Mövenpick icecream).
 
bevvyd
#14
I understand the level of quality service and meals on international flights fars out compares what one gets, or got, on a domestic flight.

The last time I flew Air Canada I was served a cold dinner which consisted of undercooked chicken, it was still pink and bleeding in some areas, and fries and gravy, with the gravy already on the fries. Again this was a "Cold Meal".

Two weeks later hubby took an Air Canada flight, ate the chicken and was sick for 2 days because of it.

I haven't had the opportunity to fly WestJet yet but they are not too far from me so no driving all the way into Vancouver to catch a flight. I can hardly wait to not have to drive. lol
 
the caracal kid
#15
strangely enough, on of the favours the no-frills are doing you is NOT serving you a meal. The stress on the body caused by flight makes the added stress of digesting food a poor choice. One should fly on an empty stomach and consume plenty of water in-flight as well as remember to move those limbs.
 
nitzomoe
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by #juan

I'm retired now,

But during my working life I flew on enough different airlines to appreciate the good ones. My two favourites in Canada, were Air Canada, and Canada 3000(now defunct, too bad). CPair(also defunct) probably had the best meals of any airline. Outside Canada, I liked Lufthanza, and BOAC (now British Airways).

I found the top airlines for myself currently are a tad bit different:

1. British Airways
2. Emirates
3. Cathay Pacific

nowadays the Air Canada flights are really old planes without the personal televisions, comfy chairs and better inflight entertainment then the newer guys like Emirates which is really amazing.
 
I think not
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by sanch

My experience with Air Canada has always been very good. Once over some very slight inconvenience they upgraded my wife and I to first class from Boston to Toronto. I haven’t flown Westjet but family and friends have and I have never heard any complaints.

ITN as we are now in the consumer corner what are some of bad experiences? Might help us to make an intelligent decision next time we travel.

I haven't flown with them to Canada in over two years, so I couldn't say what their story is. I have had lost luggage, delayed flights and bad manners. I have found WestJet to be more customer service oriented that AIr Canada.

Again, personal experiences form someones opinion of an airline, it has nothing to do with who was voted "best airline" of the year, who the hell pays attention to any of this?

I want customer service when I fly, because I do it often enough, and customer service shows when you have a problem, not when everything is fine and dandy.
 
tracy
#18
I've always had good experiences with Air Canada, even when flying with my dog. Westjet lost my grandma once, so they aren't my favorite airline.
 
Sassylassie
#19
I have never had a pleasant experience flying with Air Canada. It has always been a nightmare, they have more excuses for incompetance than our Governments. Food what food, you now have to pay for the privlage of being poisoned. I use to love flying with Canadian or Air Transat, great service and I was never once bumped off a flight.
 
sanch
#20
Well unless I drive to Montreal I have to either fly Air Canada or take a US carrier to a Canadian city which is very inconvenient. So convenience is an important consideration.
I usually work off of averages and don’t let one or two bad experiences impact on my view of something especially if this negative opinion is going to make future travel inconvenient.

There are ways to improve your experience. If your luggage is repeatedly getting lost--and not just being put on a later flight but really lost—then I would try and isolate the cause. I would suspect that it is intentional. Getting angry with a ticket clerk for example is a bad idea as the clerk has the ability to send your bags to Hong Kong. As stupid as they may appear to you they nevertheless have the power to make your life miserable. Be nice, smile and say thank you and then smile again.
 
Hank C
#21
I prefer westjet if I am flying around Canada. If im flying to the US its usually Southwest Airlines.
 
rjmccall
#22
I have to agree with the "Air Canada Sucks" comment. I fly several times a week. Few carriers can claim good service these days, but the attitude at Air Canada is consistently "you can't do that and here's our rule that says why" At WestJet, the attitude is "let's see if there's a good way to do that.." Recent example - Air Canada - at check-in - "sure, you can stand by for the earlier flight if you can get to the gate in time" - Air Canada at the gate " they shouldn't have told you that at check-in - If you want to stand by you have to go back to check in (outside security and US Immigration) and pay an extra $25." "Can I pay it here?" "no" Can I get your name? "no" Would you please call a supervisor? "no" - I walked over to Westjet and asked - Can I buy a ticket on this flight that's leaving in 20 minutes? - "Sure - let me figure this out and we'll get you on"
 
Haggis McBagpipe
#23
Hi rjmccall, welcome to the forum!
 
Toro
#24
WestJet.

Cultures are very, very hard to change in corporations and organizations. For decades, AC was run like the government monopoly it was. That culture of entitlement ran deep in the airline. Its certainly better than it once was, but WestJet still beats them hands down on service.
 
Haggis McBagpipe
#25
It really does, I've heard very little bad about West Jet and a whole whack of bad about Air Canada. Mind you, I'd rather not fly either of them. If you're going to fly, flying it yourself is the only way (I don't have my license, but it sure seems the safest way of being in the sky).
 
cdn_bc_ca
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by rjmccall

I have to agree with the "Air Canada Sucks" comment. I fly several times a week. Few carriers can claim good service these days, but the attitude at Air Canada is consistently "you can't do that and here's our rule that says why" At WestJet, the attitude is "let's see if there's a good way to do that.." Recent example - Air Canada - at check-in - "sure, you can stand by for the earlier flight if you can get to the gate in time" - Air Canada at the gate " they shouldn't have told you that at check-in - If you want to stand by you have to go back to check in (outside security and US Immigration) and pay an extra $25." "Can I pay it here?" "no" Can I get your name? "no" Would you please call a supervisor? "no" - I walked over to Westjet and asked - Can I buy a ticket on this flight that's leaving in 20 minutes? - "Sure - let me figure this out and we'll get you on"

I understand your frustration. However, the rules are there for a reason. Any carrier will have it's share of problems regarding rules or lack of. The fact that AC is unionized further complicates matters as it is far more difficult to discipline (read: fire) employees because of complicated processes established betwen the union and the company... and the employees know that. Which is why you are getting attitude when dealing with these people.

Here is another example of the rules at work. Next time you get on an AC flight, have a flight attendant help you put your carry-on into the overhead bin (make sure it looks heavy!). Chances are, they will decline. Why? Because the company forbids this due to the risk of back injury from overweight luggage. Same with baggage handlers... your suitcase needs to be under a certain weight limit because the baggage handlers can only lift so much. Don't laugh, it is real and happens more often than you think. The customers (esp. on international flights) load up on the crap that they want to bring home to the point where they cannot even lift the luggage into the overhead bins themselves.. let alone a flight attendant doing it. Also, just imagine for a minute that you bring a priceless object in your carry on. A flight attendant, being so nice and all, offers to put it in the overhead bin for you. You don't object and they end up dropping it and smashing your priceless object. What are you going to do?

This reminds me of that hockey commercial where the guy is carrying some kind of trophy and stuffs it into the overhead bin and it ends up falling on his head... LMAO. But, seriously, stuff like that costs the airline money.

As for Westjet, their flight attendants may help your with your carry-on, but I suspect as more and more injuries occur, a similar rule to AC will come into effect... not because the company wants it, but probably because WCB wants it. It's only a matter of time.

Air Canada sucks because its' been around for a long time and has built rules for almost everything. WestJet, on the other hand, has only been around for 10 years...

I'm not defending Air Canada. I'm just looking at it from their point of view.
 
rjmccall
#27
I agree completely with you - However, the fact that they have these rules doesn't excuse incompetence. If they all know the rules and followed them, I wouldn't have been given different information by different agents. And, if they were interested at all in their customers (an attitude that is independant of the rules situation) they would have looked for resolution rather than an excuse to avoid doing work.

Eventually, when keeping employees happy becomes more important than keeping customers happy, Air Canada will end up like United, Delta and USAirways - losing major market share to the likes of Southwest, Airtran and JetBlue. They all seem to have happy employees and happy customers, along with plenty of rules that don't keep their employees from helping customers.
 
cdn_bc_ca
#28
Yeah, I can understand that Westjet employees are generally happier because they don't have to put up with the issues between union and company. For some reason, out of all the people I've known that worked at companies with unions (including myself), the general propoganda that the employees are exposed to relate to union vs. company and that the company is evil and that the union is fighting for your rights. While this may be true, it fosters a negative attitude towards the company... which, of course, also affects employee attitude.

For example, a friend of mine showed me a union newsletter at a time when AC was going through bankrupcy protection. One of the top headlines was that good ol' Milton (the CEO of AC) gave himself a fat bonus while the employees were forced to give concessions varying from reduced wages to reduced vacation time. How true this is I have no idea. But read here:
http://www.caw.ca/news/videonews/archives/ac_ripoff.asp
In any event, news like this only widens the divide between company and employee. Hence your negative attitude.. employees don't give a damn anymore.

Also remember that AC acquired Canadian Airlines some time back. Both airlines have unions for pilots, flight attendants, baggage handlers, etc. How does one go about joining these unions when seniority plays such a big role in a union? Who gets seniority over the other? Issues like these also create negative attitude because more likely than not, some employees will get the short end of the stick.

I'm not trying to justify the poor attitude from AC employees, it's just that from their perspective, things are pretty crappy... Everything revolves around the greed for money.
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
#29
I have family who work in the Airline Industry and most regard Air Canada as a bit of a corporate Welfare abuser. They have been baled out on numerous occasions while working overtime to destroy their competitors on our dime.
M
 

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