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Size of company: Large (More than 500 employees)

Industry: Tourism, Travel, Passenger transportation

  • The best thing about WestJet is the people. If you ask anyone who calls themselves a “WestJetter” what they most love about their job and their company, they will probably say it’s the people.

    I’m sure it can be said of any company that what the public sees and what actually goes on behind closed doors, are two very different scenarios. I personally, do not believe that there is any company that is outwardly portraying a greater fairytale to the general public than WestJet.

    On the outside it’s all about a superior corporate culture, providing exceptional guest service, and taking care of people. WestJet is incredibly fortunate to have outstanding and loyal people who still hold to the original core values. People who still believe in the founding philosophies of “the-little-airline-that-could.” People who still take their jobs seriously, but not themselves and people who take care of each other, so they can take care of the guests, who will take care of the business. Unfortunately, WestJet has been taking advantage of these same people for several years now. WestJet, this new WestJet, has been coasting on the brand created and nurtured by these wonderful people. WestJet has relied on the good nature and the “can-do” attitude of the frontline employees to continue to sell the culture, and to sell WestJet, even though the brand and the culture that is being portrayed doesn’t exist anymore.

    A decade ago, when for the very first time, WestJet recorded an loss instead of a profit, the CEO at the time chose to take a pay cut. His salary for the year was to be $1.00. Naysayers will scoff and say things like, “well he had stock options so it’s not like he needed a salary,” or “he already had millions in the bank, so what did he really sacrifice?” etc. etc., but that gesture did more for the morale of WestJetters than any other made by any CEO at the company before or since. These days, when the company decides to “cost-cut,” it’s from the bottom up, never the top down. It’s the frontline employees and the guests that will be asked to sacrifice, never the managers or executives.

    My reasons for leaving WestJet had nothing to do with a dislike of my job. I loved being a flight attendant. In particular, I loved the people I worked with, and the guests. For that reason, I could no longer watch as work conditions and guest service continued to falter and deteriorate. I could no longer apologize to the guests for failing to deliver the service that they had paid for, because I wasn’t being given the tools to do my job effectively. I could no longer listen to the lies being told to the employees by management to cover up for the lack of legitimate work rules and legal representation. I had to leave, because I was no longer working at the company I was hired at. I could no longer pretend that the WestJet that the public sees on the outside is the same as what I was experiencing on the inside. Night and day. Disneyland and North Korea.

    If you decide that you want to work at WestJet, despite all the reviews that you have read, including this one, my advice to you is this: don’t drink the kool-aid. Keep your head about you and always ask questions. One day, you’ll finally realize that instead of staying in a dead-end job at a company that considers you disposable and uses fear as their “motivator”, just so you can have standby flight benefits and a profit share cheque twice a year (which, by the way, will never compensate for the amount of time that you spend working for free), that it will be better to get a real job with real benefits and a real salary, so that you can afford to fly confirmed on a better airline than WestJet.

    Posted on 24 February 2016 by Rater #138 | Flag as inappropriate

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