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better4me last won the day on July 29 2016

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  1. BA to launch LGW-YYZ

    Thanks for the ride report. WestJet's doing much better in their sophomore year on the LGW run. The 763 scheduled flying reduction coupled with enhanced maintenance in the shoulder season has paid dividends. But the unsung turnaround has been in how the FA's are operating on the flight. Last year I was hearing lots of stories about the FA's being unable to adjust the service style to 7-10 hour flights, and the FA's were just as shocked about the difference in passenger expectations for service. WestJet's next major challenge will be to figure out the true frequent flyer persona. Yeah I'm talking about the DYKWIA types that frequent Flyertalk, lounges, and have an Amex Platinum and Priority Pass cards in their wallet instead of a Capital One Visa. The tremendous increase in corporate/business flying will bring about a new type of customer that WS front line staff will have to adjust their soft skills. Case in point, last year's family trip to San Diego. I'm watching the gate agents do numerous last minute seat swaps. The airplane on gate was a 73G as advertised. Now 4-6 people I could see displaced if the aircraft had a slightly newer slim line seat, bit not enough of a change to account for 10-15 pax. I got my answer once onboard, the seat swaps were to accommodate lap infants to allow the family to have an empty middle seat. There were a few other seat changes to re-unite adult families into the same row. As I said above, the gate agents response to pax queries was " last minute aircraft change". Onboard the FAs response was "this is a short 2 hour flight to San Diego". Both responses are minor issues for the once per year flyer. But the once per week flyer will be severely impacted if the same thing happens over and over. The DYKWIA flyer is also an expert at your airline's schedule, aircraft, customer service standards, etc. Overall WS is adjusting to the new traveler mix, there will be more turbulence ahead, but hopefully only minor chop or a quick altitude change will solve the problem.
  2. BA to launch LGW-YYZ

    The rouge 763s have 4-5 rows of rouge plus. Regular economy seat with extra legroom. Wh are these seats not good enough for a 6'4" person?
  3. Frontier Coming to YYC

    The Fares on YYC-DEN are high because there is a lot of business traffic booking either last minute high value nonrefundable fares or high value refundable fares 21-28 days before departure. There is a good reason for avoiding the lowest possible nonrefundable fare. Way back in 2012-2014 time frame I worked for a large global Oilfield Services firm that was YYC based with operations in both DEN and IAH. At the beginning of 2014 we all saw the oil glut and predicted the drop in Oil price. The belt tightening followed in March. New marching orders were to book all air travel 21 days in advance and book cheapest ticket. The company was willing underwrite the risk that the business meeting could change and this would cost increased change fee. First class travel was banned. This was even true for Y-up or discounted fares with instant upgradeablity to First Class. I made a request to travel discounted business P fare that was cheaper than economy fare, no go. All of us towed the company line and booked out 1-2 months worth of travel. Then one day in late August the axe fell on 20 of us frequent travelers. I got out with a $1,600 USD travel credit with UA. The business development and senior code developers got out with a lot more, 3-5k in travel credits that could not be returned onto the company credit card or transferred to another employee. Two weeks after being let go I had coffee with the VP Finance. He let me know of the travel credit situation. I reminded him about the meeting back in March when I proposed buying cheap refundable instant upgrade tickets when it made financial sense. We discussed that there was no option but to have travel booked really close in, like within 3-12 days before departure, otherwise employees who know they could be cut will use the marching orders from HR to book out all their budgeted travel as much as possible. From the YYC end, the major head office players that have operations in DEN are Suncor (huge gas plant west of the airport), Encana (multi-billion purchase of Tom Brown Inc. gave them a big presence in downtown DEN where Encana consolidated their US office), and TransCanada Pipelines. Plus there is a large number of mid size oilfield services firms with an office in Denver. I believe its Suncor that is pushing for WS to enter YYC-DEN. WS all ready has all the FBO charter flying for Suncor and WS is primary air travel vendor for all other trips. YYC-IAH was started at WS when 3 major players went to WS and agreed to support the route. I suspect the same is true for YYC-DEN.
  4. Frontier Coming to YYC

    Considering the flight leaves Calgary at 10:10, near the start of their major transborder operations, I gather that WS is hoping for connecting traffic from YLW, YKA, YEG, YQU, YMM, YXE, YQR, YWG. The YEGgers who have lost ORD, SFO, and seen downguages on DEN and IAH will be thrilled to learn that WS has joined the legacy airlines in pushing traffic through YYC. One thing is for certain, this flight does not help to YYC based flyers, a good 8am departure is perfect for getting atleast a 1/2 days work done in DEN. but the 10am departure is too late most of the productive day is gone by the time one reaches the worksite. The return s even worse. A mid afternoon departure from DEN means the YCC based business traveler will have to overnight on at least the return end of the journey. For two companies I have done weekly trips YYC-DEN early Monday morning and DEN-YYC late Friday evening. I would lose a 1/2 day to travel on the Monday and be on the 6:30am or 8am departure, but could gain a full day on Friday with leaving the office at 4pm to catch the 7pm departure. This WS schedule ruins the trip on both ends.
  5. Thinking specifically about YYZ T3, will TS transitioning to the 321neoLR allow for WS to move onto more wide-body gates for their new Dreamliners?
  6. New Air Canada Route

    If I read the schedule correctly, this 4x per week service is a 2 airplane commitment. The Monday departure does not return to YYZ until Wednesday morning. The YYZ Tuesday departure appears to be the only 1 airplane commitment.
  7. The biggest CTA decision on disabilities and accommodation for the semi-ambulatory has been "One Person, One Fare" ("OPOF"). In making its decision, the CTA weighed the opportunity costs of requiring airlines provide a seat for the travelers attendant. It was estimated that OPOF would require 80,000 free seats out of 10,000,000 pax. Note this includes OPOF instances where the person's disability is extreme obesity. The cost to the airline is not considered to be significant. The big obstacles preventing widespread miss-use of OPOF and similar programs are: (1) pax must be under physician care for the underlying problem, (2) doctor must sign off regarding the severity of the disability, (3) pax condition is reviewed by the medical desk, (4) Pax is still extremely uncomfortable and cumbersome to get the semi-ambulatory into, move around, and out of the aircraft (5) other travel obstacles make frequent travel by the semi ambulatory near impossible. One area that all airlines could improve on is communication, especially communicating the qualifications that entitle pax to utilize the accommodation. The present website resources would suggest that far more people could use accommodation than what the law actually requires. Plain language should give way to medical terminology. The passenger that qualifies for accommodation will know their condition inside and out, so a decent method to weed out the pretenders and layman is through using the proper terminology.
  8. Westjet bumps cycling team..

    To be clear, if the good Dr Lukacs only advises the complainants to file in Small Claims Court and only appears as a witness (provided the appropriate fees are paid and forms filed), then he is not practicing law. However, if he writes numerous Statements of Claim and gets intervenor status on too many lawsuits, then a claim of practicing law without a license can be made by the relevant Law Society. traditionally law societies only restrict the ability of an out of province lawyer from practicing in the subject province. That is why some lawyers are members of multiple provincial law societies. Again, out of court advise is okay. It is what happens inside court and on official documents that can get the good Dr in trouble. The intervenor status is what got Dr Lukacs in trouble with the CTA. The ruling was that Dr Lukacs could not make a complaint on behalf of another person. Nor could Dr Lukacs present written materials on behalf of another person (CTA hearings are all conducted through written submissions, there are no oral hearings at present).
  9. Westjet bumps cycling team..

    Check the third last paragraph from the bottom. Gabor Lukacs is helping out the home town cyclists. Lukacs is no longer telling people to complain to the CTA because the CTA has said Lukacs cannot be an intervenor or help the complainants in any official fashion. Also several recent CTA ruling have not gone his way. The new modis operandi is for Lukacs to encourage people to file in small claims court. I have been told by a few lawyers there will be a time very soon where Lukacs could be considered practicing law without an appropriate licence.
  10. If you buy the Ryanair plus product you get free checkin, bag drop, and BP. Check the type of fare you bought for its "benefits". On reviewing the other descriptions of the youtube, it was confirmed the pax did not board the BRU-SXF flight. It was not known whether the pax was flying Ryanair on the first leg of his self made connection, but it doubt it. The reason for my doubt is centered on how else would have the pax gotten to the gate and onto the first flight. It is reasonable to assume that he was connecting off another flight arriving from a schengen country.
  11. The Finance RP got a gig as CFO of Northview Apartment REIT. This was a normal job change as a result of deciding that the incubent CFO was not going to vacate the chair anytime soon. In the Finance/Accounting world, if you want to move from the right seat to the left; you switch employers.
  12. Westjet F/A in the news...

    The altercation was not in the overly litigious Excited States of America, the FA will be okay and his actions were reasonable considering the pax shoved the cell phone in his face.
  13. The CBC article seems to suggest that WS LGW ops have been further cut back to improve ontime performance. If so, where are the dropped frequencies? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
  14. New passenger bill of rights

    Check the attached image of Min Garneau's speaking notes. My understanding is that passengers will not be forced off an airplane so that another pax can be accommodated. In my mind this means that pax can arrive at the airport and be redirected to another flight if they lose musical chairs tail swap game (aircraft downguage). For me, this means that I will have to be super quick doing a transborder to domestic connection at YYZ T1. Under the old process it took me 30-35 minutes with Nexus card, no checked bag, and minimal line at Nexus pre-board security. So if my 1.5 hour connection was dealyed arrival by 30 minutes i could still make the connection. Now I will have to be at the gate prior to the start of Zone 1 boarding. Once boarding starts, there will be no more seat reassignments. There is not much different for AC, current process is to resolve over booking problems prior to commencement of boarding. In contrast there have been several instances on UA where boarding starts and the gate agents are still requesting volunteer(s). Further, I too have witnessed instance where a UAX crew has displaced pax all ready onboard. My understanding is that UAX carriers can have crew walk up to any airplane and immediately get seating privileges. This was the root cause of the Dr Dao UA3411 incident. The Minister also said that there will be a minimum amount of compensation for IDB. Current rules have a maximum amount. However, it appears from looking at the draft legislation that there will still be a maximum amount of compensation for cancelled flights. This forms the relevant range for IDB Compensation. At the minimum stated in the new Pax bill of rights and the maximum being the cancelled flight compensation. For clarity lets say IDB minimum is $800 and cancelled flight is $1400. If a pax on AC154, refused the $1400 amount, then cancel the flight and issue a new flight AC2154, hand the pax their $1400 cancelled flight compensation.
  15. Regarding the issue of who gets bumped, the last person to purchase a ticket or the passenger who paid the least. Here is my story. Late September 2015 and I was working as the CFO of a medical software company. I was selling a division that made 250k revenue per year for 750k profit. We hit a snag in closing the deal. To resolve I had to go to NYC during the United Nations General Assembly for a 2 hour meeting and to negotiate an escrow agreement. I had four days to get to NYC. Flights were booked and hotels were impossible to find. For this trip the airfare was $2,500 (paid J) and the hotel was over $700. Instead I worked out a deal to go YYC-IAH-RSW-EWR for $1,300 paid J. Overnight at the EWR Marriott for $300. The payback was I got to return EWR-IAH-DEN stop DEN-PDX-YYC and the President was okay with having his CFO on email (WIFI) for the three days. Truth is my budget was unlimited. My point, the selection of airline was not based on price but based on the airline that could get me to NYC guaranteed. I didn't fly the local YYC airline because there was chance that a cancelled nonstop would kill the whole corporate negotiations. So I fly the local ORD airline on a route that offered numerous (there are about 500 daily flights to EWR) reaccomodation options. I don't know if another person got IDB because of my last seat. Another point, the traveler who purchases the last seat might be worth more to society (in terms of economic output) than the person who is currently getting IDB.