WestJet Apologizes For Asking Passengers to Film Its Cabin Crew

May 10, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

WestJet is apologizing for asking passengers to record its own flight attendants and other in-flight operations.

According to the Canadian Union of Public Employees, WestJet allegedly asked customers to secretly record its flight attendants. CUPE represents Air Canada’s flight attendants and is also lobbying to represent WestJet’s.

CUPE said this would be a violation of the flight attendants’ right to privacy, as well as WestJet’s privacy policy.

The Canadian airline asked several of its regular passengers — who also fly frequently with the competition — to make videos about their experiences on board their WestJet flights, CBC News reports.

WestJet, however, says the request was never to record cabin crew or any of the airline’s employees.

“The ask was aimed at understanding the elements of their journey that stood out and/or impressed them, as well as understanding where we can do better,” a member of WestJet’s research and insights team wrote to CBC. “This type of feedback is very valuable when it comes to product development and informing future decisions.”

TPG reached out to WestJet for more information but did not hear back by time of publication.

WestJet’s CEO Ed Sims said Tuesday that there was “absolutely no intention to upset flight attendants as a consequence of that action.”

“I apologize to any flight attendants, unreservedly, for those who were upset or offended by that action,” he said.

The matter came to light when one flight attendant wrote on an internal WestJet employee forum that a passenger was made “uncomfortable” by the request. The passenger said a WestJet survey asked him to record any positive experience in business class on another airline, while recording any negative experience while flying WestJet.

A member of the airline’s research team responded to the post, saying “at no point were the participating guests directed to record video,” but he did admit the instructions to customers were probably too vague.

According to Sims, the CEO, the project aimed to amass a collection of WestJet’s “service moments.”

“We asked our guests to capture what is the most important — whether it’s interaction with our outstanding flight attendants, whether it’s their meal service — whatever those moments are that they value most, either in our service or in our competitors’ services,” Sims said.

CBC reports that members of the airline’s research team said this type of “in-moment capture” is popular in the research world. But, Sims says the WestJet won’t make another foray into this type of survey again.

“We aren’t looking to repeat the request to film onboard our aircraft in the future,” he said.

Featured image by Tony Bock/Toronto Star via Getty Images.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.