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  #1  
Old 10 December 2013, 08:42 PM
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Avril Avril is offline
 
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Default Best Flight Ever: Canadian Airliner Made Passengers' Christmas Wishes Come True

The Canadian airliner WestJet made some Christmas wishes come true with this one.

They asked passengers on a flight what they wanted for Christmas and then went out and got the gifts.

When the flight landed, the surprised passengers were greeted with the wrapped presents.

http://kfor.com/2013/12/10/best-flig...hes-come-true/
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  #2  
Old 10 December 2013, 08:52 PM
overyonder overyonder is offline
 
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Quote:
Takeaway lesson? When Santa asks what you want, do not say socks and underwear.
Well, if you're a pretty content person in life, you may just need socks & underwear right at that moment.

OY
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  #3  
Old 10 December 2013, 09:19 PM
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I wonder what they would have done had someone asked for a pony or something.
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  #4  
Old 10 December 2013, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post
I wonder what they would have done had someone asked for a pony or something.
Pony farm gift certificate.
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  #5  
Old 10 December 2013, 10:19 PM
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That was so cool. Why was Santa wearing blue? It sort of distracted me at first.
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  #6  
Old 10 December 2013, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylvanz View Post
That was so cool. Why was Santa wearing blue? It sort of distracted me at first.
It looks like their company colors are shades of blue.
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  #7  
Old 10 December 2013, 11:33 PM
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That's my airport! And I just flew back from Toronto a couple weeks ago on the wrong airline (instead of a new TV, or even underwear, I almost got stranded in the bad end of the airport for an extra five hours )

This is WestJet's second Christmas surprise - last year they did a flash mob in the airport for people waiting for the Calgary - Toronto red eye:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9EJaDneTkQ

I was just out with a friend whose husband works for WestJet, and apparently this really does reflect their corporate culture, even behind the scenes. It's marketing, but it's not a company that makes me feel sleezy for enjoying it.

Last edited by quink; 10 December 2013 at 11:41 PM.
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  #8  
Old 11 December 2013, 12:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post
I wonder what they would have done had someone asked for a pony or something.
Toy version?
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  #9  
Old 11 December 2013, 01:29 AM
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on the bloopers reel, a woman asks for warm socks, and santa says 'you're going to really wish you'd asked for a big screen tv'
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  #10  
Old 11 December 2013, 01:41 AM
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John C. Munro is one of the small airports out here - it's sort of in Hamilton. It calls itself Hamilton Airport so we'll go with that.
WestJet seems to be pretty good. My dad was upset when they stopped the flight from Hamilton to Ottawa and Canjet took over (he prefers it to Toronto to Ottawa because it's much less crowded). He said it wasn't the same after.
He actually complained to WestJet and they called up his flight records and were, "Oh look there's another page! And another page...and another page....and another one.....and another.....and another....and another....we'll have someone call you and get back to you about this."

Someone did call and thank him for his extensive patronage and explained the reason they made the decision. He still wasn't happy but at least he wasn't brushed off.
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  #11  
Old 11 December 2013, 12:14 PM
zerocool zerocool is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overyonder View Post
Well, if you're a pretty content person in life, you may just need socks & underwear right at that moment.

OY
At first I read 'content' as 'incontinent' and it made sense.
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  #12  
Old 12 December 2013, 03:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quink View Post
It's marketing, but it's not a company that makes me feel sleezy for enjoying it.
If it were Air Canada, this would get my cynical hackles up and I would roll my eyes at what gimmicky scumbags they are. I've been burned by them more than once. If they were going to do something Christmas themed within their corporate values it would probably be stealing presents from orphans. (Clearly, I've not forgiven their last transgressions when I was booking for clients at work...)

WestJet, though? Yes, of course it's a publicity stunt, but it's one that seems to reflect their values and how they treat customers. Long before grand events like this, I flew with WestJet many times on holidays. Early morning on Christmas Day, late night on New Years Eve, Halloween, Valentine's Day. These are not the most fun days to travel on. They would always have small kindnesses for their guests, such as early boarding for guests wearing red on Valentine's Day, candy canes reindeer on Christmas, Hershey's Kisses on New Year's, mini chocolate bars on Halloween. I think there was one flight with small beanbag toys being given to children on the flight. This Christmas Wish event is entirely within their character.
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  #13  
Old 12 December 2013, 03:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overyonder View Post
Well, if you're a pretty content person in life, you may just need socks & underwear right at that moment.
I had a moment of thinking that guy must be wishing he'd asked for a new tablet. But then I thought about it...I'm pretty well stocked for gadgets. Someone was going to get my a tablet for Christmas and I insisted that they shouldn't, because I don't really want one and I don't think I'd use it much.

I absolutely would have asked Santa for some new pajamas and warm winter socks and been thrilled to get them.
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  #14  
Old 12 December 2013, 04:44 AM
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WestJet used to be fun and hip - their flight attendants would tell jokes at the end of flights, ad-libbed the "safety-dance" speech, and even had a good laugh about how they were mostly female, mostly single, and if you married one of them, you could fly for free. They played trivia games and had other contests during flights - like racing to move a roll of toilet paper from the front of the plane to the back, in each "column" of seats.

But that was over 10 years ago. Something happened after that. Something inevitable, perhaps.

WestJet grew up and got big. They stopped flying to some of their original out-of-the-way destinations and focused on the major airports. A lot of their original customers - the ones who got them started - felt slighted by this. They stopped ad-libbing the "safety dance", probably because they were tacitly thumbing their nose at government regulations. (I personally have been on WestJet flights where those "safety dance" routines were only done in english, and I am pretty sure that Transport Canada regulations require them to be in both English and French, for flights anywhere in Canada.) They put in televisions at every seat because, well, a lot of people want to sleep, work, or be left alone (possibly because they are nervous flyers) during flights, and don't want to participate in those games. It was "fun and hip" to have all that technology too - on-demand video on a plane - nobody had that. (Even ten years later, some US airlines are lucky to even have an CRT television in some of their older planes.) Other airlines followed suit and copied their pricing structure - all fares are "per segment" and are mostly non-refundable. More people started choosing WestJet for business travel, the flights filled up, and it started to have the look and feel of most other airlines, most of the time. I don't doubt that what Jenn says is true - about them doing something different or special on holidays - but those are still rare.

It's hard to be everything for everyone - for all the people on a plane, you'll have very few whose priorities and desires all overlap. For ill or good, I think that the character changed when they put in those in-seat televisions. It made all the flights very quiet and, for the most part, dull. Afternoon flights usually had people eager to participate in those games or contests, but red-eye flights would be quiet, as expected. The competition was really good for consumers and really did improve service overall, especially with Canada's "other" airline, but the changes were probably inevitable.

Why am I saying this? Because it's good to see that they still try to be different, fun, hip, and for the most part, kind to their passengers.
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Old 12 December 2013, 01:40 PM
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I think that the main thrust of the OP article, and west jet, specifically, is that they really are more customer focused than other airlines. They may not be able to be everything to everyone, but they at least care.

When I flew Westjet, that screen in the seat in front of me was what I enjoyed the most. My niece got a nice kid flyer gift, everyone in my party enjoyed their flight.

People in our group who flew Air Canada to get to the same location, didn't have the same experience.
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  #16  
Old 12 December 2013, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hero_Mike View Post
(I personally have been on WestJet flights where those "safety dance" routines were only done in english, and I am pretty sure that Transport Canada regulations require them to be in both English and French, for flights anywhere in Canada.)
I fly WestJet mostly in Western Canada (Calgary to Vancouver/Victoria), and I think I've only had the safety presentation done live in French once (Usually, the FA will do it in English, followed by a French recording that everyone ignores). They still tend to get the odd joke in here and there and make it a little lighter than most safety presentations - and I had a full on Dr. Seuss presentation a few years ago, so it does occasionally still happen.

I think the subtle change happened when they changed crew uniforms. In the beginning, the flight attendants were very casual (If I remember right, they started out with fleece vests and jeans), but as they expanded out of being a Western Canada regional airline, they went to a more formal uniform and started to look and feel more like other airlines. I also appreciated the TVs when they showed up. The flight from Calgary to Victoria was just enough time to watch a single show, and it wasn't something the competition was offering at the time. The fact that the 'discount' (WJ is usually cheaper than AC, but when it started it was more on the actual discount side of things) airline was offering some little luxuries was a bonus.

I used WJ fairly early in - it's a Calgary company, and my dad actually worked for one of the founders as a teenager, so he had a lot of respect even before WJ really took off. Even though it doesn't have the same feel as the early days, I still prefer it to any other airline I've used and they still manage to get some of the additional touches in that make flying a little more pleasant. I think I've had maybe one slightly grumpy west jet employee in all the times I've used the airline, and that was on a red eye. Air Canada's running about 40% for me (although, I did get an almost WJ-like flight attendant on my last Air Canada flight. He was a very cute french guy who was cracking jokes the entire flight. Since my TV was broken, it made the flight much more enjoyable).
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  #17  
Old 12 December 2013, 02:41 PM
Bobcat Warrior Bobcat Warrior is offline
 
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Slight hijack:

The best flight I ever flew was back in the mid 1970s. It was an 8-hour flight on a 747 from Honolulu to Chicago, leaving in the evening. There were only about 2 dozen passengers and the flight attendants suggested we each pick any center row for ourselves, so that after the plane took off we could flip the armrests up and sleep across the seats. Service was spectacular, and drinks were free.

BW
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  #18  
Old 12 December 2013, 03:26 PM
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Adam Hills, the Aussie comedian, tells a good story about air travel, well several good stories. Once he was flying on Christmas Eve and around midnight the captain asked for teh children to be woken up. He then faked a bit of turbulence and announced they had a visitor. Father Christmas then came out of teh cockpit and walked the plane, giving gifts to the children. He then went back into teh cockpit and "took off" again. Very sweet.
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  #19  
Old 12 December 2013, 04:27 PM
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Maybe this is a minor thing, but GenYette and I took a trip to the UK a few years back. Because it was much cheaper, we ended up heading out there on a British Air flight on Thanksgiving Day. But British Air made sure to provide us all with a proper US Thanksgiving meal with turkey, mashed potatoes, bread stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, and even (IMS) pumpkin pie for our pudding.
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  #20  
Old 12 December 2013, 06:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quink View Post
I fly WestJet mostly in Western Canada (Calgary to Vancouver/Victoria), and I think I've only had the safety presentation done live in French once (Usually, the FA will do it in English, followed by a French recording that everyone ignores). They still tend to get the odd joke in here and there and make it a little lighter than most safety presentations - and I had a full on Dr. Seuss presentation a few years ago, so it does occasionally still happen.
Small regional airlines - including those with planes so small that they have no flight attendants - use the recorded safety presentation (in both languages), so that's nothing new. WestJet often skipped the recording of the French version, and like I said before, thumbing there nose at government regulations, even if it pleases their passengers, is not a good idea. WestJet may have felt that their decidedly "western canada" brand includes anti-francophone passengers, so it wasn't necessary to do the presentation in French. I don't doubt that most people ignore it - I know I ignore the presentations completely because, well, I've heard them before and they just don't change. But following the rules is good for business.
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