Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I Fly Calgary to Victoria: Clive Beddoe, Broken Luggage, Power Outage

This past weekend, my wife, kids and I were off to Victoria for a quick weekend getaway and as a surprise to the kids, one of the main reasons to go was for them to see the "Walking With Dinosaurs" show and I highly recommend it now that I have seen it. They were so excited when we pulled into Park N Jet and realized we were flying somewhere. The shuttle ride over to the terminal was painless as was check in with WestJet for dropping our bags off (we had checked in online the previous day)

Our flight, on a Boeing 737-700 Registration C-GVWJ (that's as detailed as I get in my trip reports, no timing of the take off run, how many seats were left empty etc. like some trip reports have), left from gate D40 on time at 8am and the flight was smooth and carefree until arrival. About three quarters of the way into the flight, a man that was not cabin crew grabbed the intercom and starting speaking to everyone on the flight, it was Clive Beddoe, one of the founding members of WestJet. He thanked everyone for supporting WestJet and helping them grow from 3 planes to over 70 and asked for continued support so they could pay for more of the $40 million dollar 737-700's that we were flying on today. A we were disembarking from the airplane, a quick handshake, introduction and handing over my business card to Clive was all that time could afford (Who said networking had to be graceful?)

Once off the plane, it did not take long for our luggage to arrive and I guess you can call me lucky, that in all my years of travelling I have never had my luggage damaged in anyway, delayed yes, damaged no. Low and behold, the car seats come out with no issues, then our first suitcase, what's this? A wheel is broken off? Then the next piece comes out, a zipper pull broken? As I said before this has never happened to me or my family, so I go up to the WestJet rep and mention this (I have never gone through the procedure before) but she advised us that wheels and zippers are not covered. Fair enough, but what were the WestJet baggage handlers doing that two pieces of our luggage came out damaged? I could see one, but both of them? Obviously someone was being rough with the luggage. It took a little getting used to but by twisting on the handle of the luggage with the broken wheel I could get the luggage to run on the one remaining wheel without the other corner dragging on the floor.

After a great weekend in Victoria where the weather cooperated, some fun sightseeing, eating way too much and relaxing on our hotel balcony looking over the harbour it was time to head home.

The flight back was once again on a WestJet 737-700, regsitered C-GQWJ. It pretty much left on time at 5:45pm and encountered a little turbulence for the first 5 minutes or so but once we were above the clouds the flight was smooth. Coming into Calgary, the first officer flew the plane around some small thunderstorms and landed on runway 10. As we approached the terminal one of the cabin crew came on the intercom announcing we would have a bit of a wait as the main terminal had no power due to it being knocked out by a thunderstorm that had passed through prior to our arrival. It did not take too long however before some airstairs were brought to the plane and we got to go down those onto the tarmac and back up the side stairs to the jetbridge to get into the terminal. The terminal was darker then usual with only essential lighting running off of YYC's back up power. The baggage carousels were running off that back up power as well and it took a short while longer then normal for the luggage to arrive. Considering the circumstances with the power and that I have had to wait longer for luggage when no problems exist, there were no complaints here for the slight delay. Oh and the luggage came out with no more damage then what they went in with in Victoria.

All in all we had decent flights with WestJet, we have flown them in past and will fly them again in the future and of course we enjoyed flying in and out of our hometown airport again.

1 comment:

  1. I too flew WestJet down to Mexico and back. Upon return to Regina, I took my suitcase off the carousel and one wheel was completely missing. Needless to say, I now own a three legged suitcase which is only two years old and it will not sit upright. Another fellow who travelled with us, his suitcase zippers were completely missing on arriving in Mexico, so the teeth of the zippers were the only things holding it closed. Of course, he had to purchase another piece of luggage in Mexico, as he was continuing his trip to Green Bay to watch the football game, and there was no way his suitcase would have stayed closed. It is very annoying that the baggage handlers disrespect the public`s luggage as badly as they do, because I personally think they don`t care.