WestJet decided to rub salt into my wounds today. I had moved my departure to allow another half day in Halifax to make up for missing two days thanks to their incompetence. OK it meant I ended up arriving in Minneapolis around midnight but it was the least I could do. So I did a morning session, accepted a lift to the airport from Ray and arrived with plenty of time. The queue to checkin was long so I used twitter and WestJet responded. I suspect the first was automatic, the second involved a human of some type. Here is the sequence, bold for me, italics for the incompetents.
I did not reply, although I was tempted. One limiting factor is a lack of knowledge of Canadian law on defamation of character. Not that second reply is crass. Not even an apology, just a trite we really couldn't care less statement.
One wonders why they did not have this level of response available when I was tweeting a much darker story. Then they might have been able to use social media to help out, but they didn't. Now the problem is over they feel able to communicate again. This was one of the big problems last week. The only communication was from harassed staff after a three hour plus queue, oh and the odd announcement if you were prepared to wait hours by the customer service desk where there were no chairs available. It would have been easy to use twitter, or even the web site to keep people up-to-date and possibly answer the odd question. They could have done oh so much more. Here are some ideas I jotted down on the information disaster (more on process issues in a future post):
Now all of those use complexity principles, so I am going to write up the principles and methods to instantiate similar initiatives in the future. One key aspect is doing things in parallel not in linear mindlessness. Processes designed for ordinary times are not resilient in a crisis and need to be changed, WestJet simply failed to make the switch. More on that in a future post and I haven't finished with the information problems yet but that is enough for now.
Last of three daily posts on the whole disaster here
The title of this post is deliberately ironic.