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'White knight' delivers ID to Corner Brook woman after WestJet mix-up

Airport in Deer Lake accepted Lisa Myles's ID, but employees in Toronto did not

By Ariana Kelland, CBC News  Posted: Mar 16, 2016 12:20 PM NT| Last Updated: Mar 16, 2016 1:37 PM NT  

Lisa Myles was stuck at an airport in Toronto this week, after WestJet refused to take her MCP card as ID.

Lisa Myles was stuck at an airport in Toronto this week, after WestJet refused to take her MCP card as ID. (Submitted by Lisa Myles)

A Corner Brook woman was barred from boarding her flight this week because she didn't have the right ID, but thanks to a last ditch idea and faith in a complete stranger, she made her way home.

Lisa Myles accidentally left her driver's licence at home when she boarded a WestJet flight from Deer Lake to Toronto, but was able to use her MCP card — which allows her to obtain health services — as ID.

"Are the rules different [at] every airport? Because why was it acceptable at one and not acceptable at the other?

But the return trip proved to be much more difficult, after WestJet staff in Toronto wouldn't let her board the plane there.

"I just flashed my ID, expecting to go on with my son and my husband, and the girl that looked at it said, 'Hmm, is this a government-issued card?'" Myles said.

A WestJet employee determined Myles's ID was not acceptable, and she was left in the airport on her own.

"First thing that went through my mind was, 'oh my God. Are the rules different [at] every airport?' Because why was it acceptable at one and not acceptable at the other?"

Had she known she needed a photo ID, Myles said she would have gotten her driver's licence sent to her hotel in Toronto.

Lisa Myles says Andrew Billard, a complete stranger, came to her rescue in Toronto this week.

With no where else left to turn, Myles posted on Corner Brook Classifieds Facebook page, asking for help.

"All I said was, 'I'm stuck in Toronto, I need my ID, is there anyone travelling from Deer Lake to Toronto who can help me?' And this Andrew guy popped on and said, 'I can.'"

Meanwhile, in Deer Lake, Andrew Billard was waiting in security, with about 15 minutes to go before he was set to board his flight.

 

Myles sent her step-daughters to the airport to give Billard her driver's licence.

"They ran through the airport, they just made it. They were running through security and they were stopping them at security and they were singing out, 'Andrew, Andrew!' And then Andrew turned around .. he was about to board the plane and he came back, took it from them, got back on the plane and ran," Myles told the Corner Brook Morning Show.

Billard met Myles as soon as he stepped off the plane in Toronto, she said, carrying with him, her ID.

"I thought it was wonderful. My knight in shining armour. My white knight!"

CBC News has reached out to WestJet for comment.

The airline's policy says an adult with two pieces of valid, non-photo government-issued ID is OK, as long as it includes the traveller's name, date of birth and gender.

Myles said WestJet did pay for her ticket back home as well as her meals.

With files from the Corner Brook Morning Showhttp://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/westjet-passenger-bumped-no-photo-id-stranger-white-knight-1.3493504?cmp=rss

 

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2 minutes ago, mo32a said:

What is a MCP card and why is the woman so stupid to travel without proper ID?

 

Medical Care Plan Card. Yes I had to google it as well. 

1 minute ago, ng78 said:

Why is this a news story?

It is a news story in Rural Newfoundland. News in NL is a different beast altogether, often the lead story is a local event that would not be considered news worthy in any other location. 

I sometimes watch NTV late night news from the comfort of my YYC home just to get a break from the average news stories. 

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10 minutes ago, mo32a said:

What is a MCP card and why is the woman so stupid to travel without proper ID?

 

Rather than ask why she was so stupid, I would be asking why the WestJet staff were stupid enough to accept it as valid ID in the first place. It clearly does not comply mcp_card.jpg

The Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Care Plan (MCP) is a comprehensive plan of medical care insurance designed to cover the cost of ...

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43 minutes ago, Malcolm said:

Rather than ask why she was so stupid, I would be asking why the WestJet staff were stupid enough to accept it as valid ID in the first place. It clearly does not comply mcp_card.jpg

The Newfoundland and Labrador Medical Care Plan (MCP) is a comprehensive plan of medical care insurance designed to cover the cost of ...

It does comply as one of two pieces of non photo id  she would also need another piece to have two non photo id pieces.  One of the two non photo id require name gender and date of birth

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For travel within Canada:

 

Identification required*
*must be presented during boarding at the gate and the name on the ID must match the name on the boarding pass
Adults 18 years of age or older One piece of valid (not expired) government-issued photo ID that includes name, date of birth and gender.

OR

Two pieces of valid (not expired) government-issued non-photo ID (one of which must show name, date of birth and gender). The names on the two pieces of ID must match. If the last names do not match due to a name change, the guest must present a marriage certificate or legal change of name certificate to verify the change.

Expired, accreditation documents e.g. "tradesman certificate", or any document that indicates "not to be used as identification" will not be accepted for travel.
Infants (under two years of age) Proof of age required* (a photocopy is acceptable)
*If you do not have proof of age, you will be required to purchase a seat for your child. The purchase price for the seat will be fully refunded if proof of age is provided to WestJet within 7 days of the flight having been completed.
Children All children must be accompanied by an adult on WestJet operated flights until they reach their twelfth birthday unless they travel as an unaccompanied minor. We strongly recommend that all children travel with one piece of government-issued identification.
The age to travel alone may differ if your child is travelling on a code-share flight. Please review the other airline's guidelines for restrictions.
Children travelling with one parent  Consult Travel.gc.ca for information on child custody, consent letters and other documentation as additional information may be required if you are planning onward travel to the U.S. or another country.
Children travelling alone (12 to 17 years of age)  Your child may be denied boarding if they appear to be less than 12 years of age and are not able to present proof of age.
Children travelling as an unaccompanied minor 
(see age restrictions
A photocopy (not the original) of your child's government-issued identification showing their name, gender and date of birth must be presented and sent with your child.

Each parent/guardian that is picking up or dropping off a child must also have government-issued identification.
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Manwest beat me to the post. 

2 forms of nonphoto ID will suffice if one form of photo ID is not available. 

The unexplained issue is why WS YYZ did not accept the non-photo ID and would only accept photo ID. Further did the WS YYZ gate agent confirm the required ID requirements or were they just following into SOP. FInally, did WS check with their Corporate Security department to see if an acceptable compromise can be reached? 

As a frequent traveler, I sometimes run into situations where the customer service provider before me does not follow the rules or seek clarification when there is a dispute, rather the customer service provider goes on the basis of "normal" or narrow expectations of what is required. When I say customer service provider, I mean AC, WS, UA, CATSA, etc. However this list excludes CBSA USCBP who always seek clarification as to the written letter of the law. 

Recent example from last week, Family and I were connecting in ORD on UA and the gate agent for the ORD-YYC flight would only accept Passports and refused to review their Aero EDS Shares page for TIMATIC. The GA refused to accept the Nexus Cards although UA TIMATIC allows for Nexus as an exception. Before anyone attempts to correct regarding Passport requirement, the last adjustment to Beyond the Border initiiative allowed for Nexus cards to replace Passports for all forms of travel (air, land, marine) when travelling to/from Canada and USA. I had a similar issue occur last year at WS LAS gate, agent refused to accept Nexus and demanded Passport. Overall I find AC always accepts Nexus, UA has 75% acceptance rate (this includes instances where the GA seeks clarification and then apologizes for the confusion when corrected by their computer system). 

I recognize we all make mistakes, especially when complex rules are involved. That is why seeking confirmation is so important whenever there is an unusual or uncommon situation or when challenged by a customer. 

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"For Travel within Canada

Identification required"

Aren't demands like this starting to sound a little gestapo like? We are being tracked in so many ways anymore it's only a matter of time before the leaders will demand we're all 'chipped' ... for our safety and convenience of course. 

 

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Manwest:

I don't see anywhere, and I could have missed it, that she offered 2 forms of ID. Rather it reads as though she used only the one ID when leaving home and offered only one for her return home.

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1 hour ago, Malcolm said:

Manwest:

I don't see anywhere, and I could have missed it, that she offered 2 forms of ID. Rather it reads as though she used only the one ID when leaving home and offered only one for her return home.

On Facebook mobile I was able to find a CBC radio interview with the pax/guest. The guest had all other forms of ID: credit card, birth certificate, credit card (not that credit cards are accepted), and two other forms of NL government issued ID. 

Further the radio interview mentioned that at YYZ the initial GA passed the MCP ID over to a Coordinator/Supervisor and it was the Coordinator that rejected all forms of nonphoto ID. Additionally at YYZ the guest had a picture of her drivers licence on her phone and also offered to have a Westjet employee inspect the DL in Cornerbrook (the guests daughter was at YDF with the DL), but the YYZ Coordinator refused to look at any other solutions. 

On the outbound flight, the YDF GA cleared the guest based upon the full contents of her purse (all forms of ID). 

Edit to add: It is also apparent from the radio interview the guest is a government employee and has NL issued employee ID card. The government issued employee ID is also acceptable as the second piece of nonphoto ID provided the first piece includes name, gender, birth date. 

Edited by better4me
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1 hour ago, better4me said:

On Facebook mobile I was able to find a CBC radio interview with the pax/guest. The guest had all other forms of ID: credit card, birth certificate, credit card (not that credit cards are accepted), and two other forms of NL government issued ID. 

Further the radio interview mentioned that at YYZ the initial GA passed the MCP ID over to a Coordinator/Supervisor and it was the Coordinator that rejected all forms of nonphoto ID. Additionally at YYZ the guest had a picture of her drivers licence on her phone and also offered to have a Westjet employee inspect the DL in Cornerbrook (the guests daughter was at YDF with the DL), but the YYZ Coordinator refused to look at any other solutions. 

On the outbound flight, the YDF GA cleared the guest based upon the full contents of her purse (all forms of ID). 

Edit to add: It is also apparent from the radio interview the guest is a government employee and has NL issued employee ID card. The government issued employee ID is also acceptable as the second piece of nonphoto ID provided the first piece includes name, gender, birth date. 

thanks for the update, then I guess it maybe fair to say neither the agent at origin nor the passenger deserve to be called "Stupid" but that leaves the staff in YYZ un-branded and perhaps for good reason. As provided by manwest, the non picture id must be

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Two pieces of valid (not expired) government-issued non-photo ID (one of which must show name, date of birth and gender). The names on the two pieces of ID must match. If the last names do not match due to a name change, the guest must present a marriage certificate or legal change of name certificate to verify the change.

Her birth certificate would only be valid if it bore the name she was travelling under, the Health Card does show gender and birthdate, but until we know what the other 2 other NL government issued ID were or contained (those shown online bear the owners picture), we can not know if the YYZ decision was wrong.  There must be some valid reason if it wasn't (and they paid for her meals etc.) in that she was not allowed to leave until her driver's licence arrived.  So maybe, just maybe the origin station was a fault afterall.  Oh well just another day in the life of Canada's 2nd largest but most loved airline. :D

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5 hours ago, Malcolm said:

Manwest:

I don't see anywhere, and I could have missed it, that she offered 2 forms of ID. Rather it reads as though she used only the one ID when leaving home and offered only one for her return home.

You're right it doesn't say she had or showed two no photo IDs, I was pointing out she had one piece acceptable and I would think most guests have two pieces of gov is I.d. 

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J.O. the vetting of names works but what can not be automated is matching the physical bodies to the names. Mind you a "RFID" chip like our dogs have would solve the problem as the gate agent would only have to scan the boarding pass and then the passenger. :biggrin2:

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