My Disappointing 45th Birthday Getaway in Vegas (because of WestJet)
It was my 45th birthday getaway last weekend that I had been planning to Las Vegas for a long time. Ken and I woke up at 6 AM in the morning to get ready for our 10 AM flight out of Saskatoon YXE. Everything was exciting! I had been anxiously waiting to get away for my birthday and relax by the pool. I was nervous leading up to it the last few weeks because many people around us have gotten COVID-19 and I was worried that we would miss our vacation due to this sickness but luckily we were healthy on Friday morning so we could leave.
It has been a long couple of months moving and settling in to our new place and the thought of having a relaxed weekend with some amazing dinners and quality time with my husband was just what the doctor ordered.
The first delay came around 7:30 AM that it was delayed 110 minutes! So we started getting nervous but our connection we had in Calgary. It was just over three hours, so we thought we’d still be OK.
Then at 8:12 AM another delay came for another 40 minute delay making it 150 minute additional delay. OK, that’s not what we want but what can we do. Ken got on the phone and called WestJet to find out our options because at this point we weren't sure if we would have enough time to run to our gate for our connection. Bad news. There were no options for us to leave and get into Las Vegas on September 30 on any Canadian or partner flights. We even checked Air Canada out of desperation lol! We had already pre-paid a good sum of money for our room at the Paris hotel which was non-refundable and had reservations at a restaurant, The Vanderpump au Paris, that you have a really hard time getting into and probably could t rebook. Not to mention that Saturday morning we had pool bed reserved, non refundable too.
Bottom line, every option was only to get us in the following day. The WestJet agent did mention to us that if a lot of people were going to be missing a connecting flight they would create an additional flight to get people on to get them to their destinations. So that was our only hope at that point.
Oh I forgot to mention, most of the flight options would forfeit our premium seats and put us in economy. As you know I have a myriad of health issues and have to fly premium because of rheumatoid arthritis, a labral tear in my hip from a tumor I had removed with bursitis in that area, anxiety and flying claustrophobia. I have to have a comfortable seat as well as room to get up and move around, move around in my seat to shift my weight from different hips etc. I don't have to go into it all but that is my choice and I pay a freaking high premium to get into those seats. None of the options that WestJet gave us kept us in premium and got us there the same day. Great. :/ I guess we will pray that when we land the flight will wait for us as we run to it. That'll be really fun when I can barely walk with my hip and knee issues.
Then the final delay came at 8:30 AM for an additional 20 minute delay for a total of 170 minute delay. Well that did it. Now we know we definitely aren't getting onto the second flight. We headed to the Saskatoon airport hoping that some miracle would happen by the time we got to Calgary.
WestJet put us on a flight that was next day at 5:45 PM, we were bumped to economy and only were able to get in to Las Vegas at 7:30 PM Saturday. And here's the kicker, they were not going to cover any of our expenses that night while we were stuck for over 24 hours in Calgary. We landed at 2:30 PM and we're stuck in Calgary until the flight left the next day at 5:45 PM. Not covering our hotel any of our food expenses. We went to the West Jack counter at the Calgary airport and they were adamant that because there was fog in Grand Prairie and all of these delays were due to that that they were not gonna cover anything for us even though we spent hours trying to figure all of this out.
Now we also realize that we would have to rush to our hotel immediately getting off of the plane because we had a comedy show to go to that night which were nonrefundable tickets. It's a comedy show with David Spade and Ray Romano and I've been looking forward to it for a long time. We had a really good third row seats from the front. Not to mention that we had sat in a hotel for over 24 hours worrying that they were going to delay the second set of flights out of Calgary and that we would actually missed that show in the end.
We had a prepaid extra special birthday dinner on Saturday at 7 PM that we paid $100 for a table in the Eiffel Tower facing the Bellagio fountains. So dreamy right!? The plane would only get us in at 7:30 PM so we had to get on the phone and try and get a refund for that table. I tried to reschedule it for the Sunday night but they were booked. It was starting to set in for us that we would be there Saturday evening all day Sunday and then our flight home is scheduled on Monday morning, my actual birthday, October 3. We couldn't extend our vacation because of our schedule coming up the following week for work .
Ken spent hours on the phone trying to reverse charges from the hotel Friday night. They were not cooperating with us at all because we booked through a third-party. The third-party kept telling Ken to call the hotel directly and the hotel kept telling Ken to call the third-party booking.com directly. By the way I would never recommend that third booking site. They did nothing to help us and did not give a care about what happened to us. In the end the Paris hotel after speaking to different managers and calling I think three different times had some mercy on us and decided that they wouldn't charge us for the Friday night. There was some sort of football game happening in Las Vegas that I was unaware of that weekend and the prices for hotel rooms were tripled so you can imagine what we paid just for one night going there. It wasn't an amount that I was comfortable losing let's just say that. We also spent time on the phone that night canceling our car rental. Why would we pay all that money to rent a car just for basically one day when we would be spending most of our time at the pool.
We were on the phone trying to explain why we wouldn't be showing up for our pool bed on Saturday morning but the hotel kept saying that the pool is managed by a separate company and that they're only open 11 AM-5 PM every day. That issue never got resolved until we actually showed up at the pool on the Sunday morning. But poor Ken spent an hour and a half in line waiting before the doors opened to explain what happened.
So I was there at the Calgary Marriott terminal hotel crying my eyes out feeling so stressed. I'm calling it #TravelTrauma . I kept telling myself , "just get through this weekend and you never have to travel again." That's how bad it was. I went to bed super upset and woke up in the morning knowing that I'd still have a whole day to wait to get on the flight hoping that there wouldn't be any delays. It later dawned on us that we probably could have chosen to leave the airport and go to a nice downtown Calgary hotel and made a little bit more of our time in Calgary. But in the end we would've sat in that nice hotel spending hours on the phone trying to reverse all of these charges and been so stressed out anyways.
The next morning at the hotel Ken brought me a nice breakfast and my coffee. We rented a car and went into Calgary, had lunch and did some shopping and came back to the hotel to get on our flight at 5:45 PM .
The flight was only two hours and 30 minutes but my leg felt like there was tingling and numbness-it went completely swollen because I couldn't even move around in my seat. Ken kept trying to get the blood flow into my legs by helping me massage them but the pain was real.
Plane landed in Vegas and we ran to our Uber. Got to the hotel, ordered Uber eats, (because we couldn't get a meal because we were bumped out of premium).
I ordered a bottle of Prosecco to the hotel room, we got changed. I managed to get a screenshot of my Instagram story for you lol!!!! ;)
We jumped into another Uber to go to the Mirage and we rolled in 10 minutes before the comedy show started. This comedy show was much needed. It was absolutely amazing! Ray Romano and David Spade are so funny! Even their opener guy who I can't remember what his name is was amazing as well. We definitely needed the laughs after the crazy time we had had so far. We got back to our hotel room at 1 AM which was 2 AM our time and fell fast asleep. I actually slept eight hours straight!
I was able to book us into a cute little café restaurant for breakfast called Mon Ami Gabi. I had some yummy gluten-free eggs Benny with date encrusted bacon and a gorgeous fruit salad. Ken had some banana foster crapes with café au lait and a cappuccino too.
We got the pool bed and ended up hanging out there for a few hours in the afternoon.
Why do I buy a pool bed, you ask? For my health! I need to have some thing a little bit more cushioned rather than the hard regular beds that they have. And for some reason at this hotel the pool didn't have any umbrellas to put over the regular beds whereas the ones that you rented had an awning on the top and around the whole sides to shelter you from the sun. I'm actually on two different medication's that make me sensitive to the sun, so I needed to have that shade protection.
Oh I forgot to tell you! While I was fooling around on OpenTable just checking one more time to see if there is any spot available at the Eiffel tower restaurant by chance that Sunday night, there was actually one spot that came up at 6:45 PM! So I grabbed it once again so that I could have my birthday dinner in front of the Bellagio fountains in the Eiffel tower. We had an amazing steak dinner with French onion soup and a couple of glasses of the best wine you've ever had. For dessert I had a gluten-free chocolate mousse cake. Divine! Afterwords we proceeded to go up to the top of the Eiffel tower to get a Birdseye view of Las Vegas at night.
In the end we had one full day in Vegas before having to fly back on October 3 on my actual birthday. But I'd say that it ended up being a great day after all.
My body was physically exhausted from all stress. We were so tired and just wanted to go home on Monday. we arrived at the airport at 11:30 AM . The first flight was delayed 30 minutes and our connection in Calgary was under an hour. So we started getting nervous and stressed again. But the plane ended up leaving after 30 minutes and we were sure that we would be able to run to our connection even though it would be really tight.
We finally landed and wanted to hurry to the next flight but we get a notification that our flight to Saskatoon has been delayed 5 hours!!!!!!!! There was no way in hell that I was going to wait around at the airport. I needed to get home at our allotted time at 8 PM and now we were told that we wouldn’t get home till after midnight possibly at one in the morning. I literally started crying in my seat in premium first row right in front of all the passengers and the flight attendants. I could no longer take all of these delays and the stress it was putting on my body. This was so unacceptable that we just walked out of the airport, literally crying in pain and rented a car and drove home because we were just so fed up of sitting in airport seating. When I tell you that I rolled the passenger window down, stared at the setting sun and the rolling harvest fields while singing Adele songs at the top of my lungs to get my stress out I wouldn't be lying. "Hello from the other side, at least I can say that I tried, to tell you I'm sorry for breaking your heart"....you get it ;)... I wish that WestJet was telling me that at that point. But who knows if I'll ever get an apology.
This has been the worst travel experience that we’ve ever had with WestJet and we have been going through all the avenues to try and make claims. I would just like WestJet and all my HOMIES to know about the mental and emotional stress that we went through that weekend trying to argue and fight to get money back from hotels and having to use our OWN MONEY on the Friday night layover to stay at the Marriott airport hotel and missing out on all the fun that we had planned for the full weekend in Vegas. Going through all that travel stress and only having one day on your vacation is unacceptable. As you can see I tried to make the best of it in that short time I was there but I'm honestly traumatized and have PTSD from this. Do I ever want to go on vacation ever again? Ken is a gold member, and we have been loyal WestJet customers for 20 years. We both have WestJet MasterCards and use them regularly to collect WJ dollars, all of our flights for vacations are booked through WestJet and we are so disappointed that this is how we were treated. We were treated like stray dogs by the WJ counter agents in Calgary. They would not even offer a hotel for an almost 48 hours being in the airport.
Canada has two airlines. Bottom line you can only choose WestJet or Air Canada. I literally don't care if WestJet is "one" of the top airlines with blah blah blah blah reliable stats with and the top whatever. There's literally only one other airline to compete with lol. This is OUR story and need a little compassion. And I'm tired of having so many bad experiences and not having a venue to be able to speak out and express the injustices that go on in these industries. I know they can't control the weather but they can control how they treat their customers.
This was how I had compassion on myself at the duty-free Shop. Happy 45th birthday, Jenn. This birthday only comes once in your life. You deserve it. -Me
Thanks for listening everyone! And to my friends who gave me support during this time over the weekend through texts and messages Love you!!!