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The Lasso Blog

It sure was last week on my flight scheduled to the International Business Show (IBS) in Las Vegas. The story:

  • Arrive 8am at Vancouver International for a scheduled 10:05am flight to Vegas.
  • While checking in the ticket agent advises of a mechanical issue and departure is delayed to 11:45am. Not a big deal; I have a couple of meetings scheduled upon arrival that I can change and there are always emails and calls to complete anyway.
  • Socialize briefly with a couple of executives from leading new home builders that are also travelling to IBS. Always insightful to get market updates from insiders from the industry.
  • Arrive at gate 11am. Oh, Oh! Flight's further delayed until 3:45pm due to the mechanical problem taking longer to fix; now a replacement craft has been requested.
  • Many would-be passengers are upset and expressing their frustration at the gate — loudly. I am trying to go with the flow (the crisis in Haiti helps me appreciate all the good we have).
  • Fill up next 4 hours with emails, calls, checking out the 2010 Olympic store and even a 15 minute shoulder massage at Absolute Spa (first time I ever tried this service at YVR; not bad at all).
  • Arrive back to gate at 3pm and looks like we are good to go at about 4pm. You can feel the anxiousness in the waiting area.
  • 4pm, we are on board; I am in my seat and departure instructions just completed.
  • The Westjet Airlines captain now takes the microphone and with just the right amount of self deprecating humor about the airline and the day in general he shows genuine empathy.
  • Then he says that every passenger will get a full credit in the mail in about 3 weeks and explains Westjet's practice about delays beyond 2 hours that are within their control. WOW! Almost a standing ovation and the mood in the passenger cabin changes instantly! He went on to mention that Westjet's on-time results are 99% (which they publish on their website).
  • Great Marketing. You bet! Great customer service (and how we respond to problems) is still the best form of marketing.
  • Kudos to Westjet! I would fly with them again anytime.
  • And the experience reinforced my relentless commitment to customer service at Lasso. Funny how we learn from difficult events. From my week at IBS, I think the new homebuilding industry has learned much from the difficulties of the past couple of years, too. But that is for another post.

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