Erin's Journals

Monday, April 1, 2024

Just a thought… When you lose, don’t lose the lesson. [Dalai Lama]

Well hello, gentle reader – I hope it’s been a refreshing long Easter weekend for you and that you’ve caught your breath, getting ready for this new month of April with all of its ups and downs, including switching from heat to A/C and back to heat in the course of one drive.

This week Rob and I will be taking off on a birthday adventure for my boy, who’s turning an impossible-to-believe 70 years old this Thursday the 4th.

Here he is after winning the “coveted” Golden Sieve Award at a hockey tournament a few weeks back. While he was humble in accepting it, I was just so proud of Robbie. Best goalie; forever keeper of my heart.

I had hoped to whisk him away for a romantic couple of days in Banff or something equally magical, but then I stopped and actually listened to what he wanted for this milestone: to return to Henderson, Nevada, and stay for ten days of mindless fun.

I’ve told you here before that we prefer Vegas-adjacent Henderson to the excitement of the strip and now we have even more reasons: hotels are actually charging for parking there, plus there are fewer of the nickel machines on which we like to play our video poker. Perhaps best of all, our dear friend (and my former radio partner) Mike Cooper is flying in for a few days to laugh with us, cry with us (not over losing) and just enjoy each other’s company. Rob is over the moon with excitement. And of course, so am I.

What I am decidedly not excited about is once again giving WestJet our travel money: in January we were waylaid for eight hours and our itinerary altered to include a few hours’ sleep in Edmonton before six of us, including two children, flew on to our family vacation in California. We appealed to WestJet to reimburse us the money we lost, even if only on the accommodations and wasted day of car rental and they have not only declined our request (twice), but have closed the file, telling us to take it to the snail-paced government body that handles these things.

I posted about my disappointment with our former favourite carrier last week on social media, having exhausted all otherwise civilized means of seeking compensation. People in general were helpful with their suggestions (one said that he moved up about four spots in the government appeal line-up over the span of months, so really, why bother?) and someone else brought up small claims court. (If we were at all litigious, we’d have sued ourselves into financial oblivion over Domperidone being prescribed off-label for nursing mothers, a practice which we believe may have killed our daughter.)

Honestly, though, I was more disappointed than anything: we really thought WestJet would come through and do the right thing. But as much as passengers’ rights are being touted these days, it seems we’re seeing less and less proof of them. Like so many other carriers, WestJet simply doesn’t care. That’s not including so many of their kind employees; we’ve all had a lot of really positive experiences with them. But once again, as in the case of so many corporations who have lost their perspective on the importance of customer service, WestJet has just given us the equivalent of the middle finger. Twice.

So this Thursday we’re hoping that the airline treats us decently in our direct flight to Harry Reid International. We just want to get there with our one suitcase apiece (no carry-on for 10 days, thanks) and arrive the same day we’re picking up Cooper at the airport. Why give WestJet yet another chance to foul up our plans? We live on Vancouver Island, and it’s the only airline that offers a direct flight to LAS. You grab those when you can.

One other note: many who responded, some more kindly than others, reminded us of the importance of travel insurance. During Covid, and at times when we were worried about having to cut short trips due to family matters, we would buy it; now, being healthy and unconcerned with external worries, we don’t pay the extra money because we figure WE will be fine. But a plane losing engine functionality when it taxis out to the runway and has to turn back, leaving us to wait eight hours for another flight? That wasn’t on our Bingo card in January.

Turns out it should have been. No more booking travel without insurance, ever. Lesson learned.

For a happy ending, please enjoy a brand new Drift tomorrow night as I introduce you to a story from L. Frank Baum (of Wizard of Oz fame) called The Sea Fairies. And on Thursday, Lisa Brandt and I promise you a brand new Episode 67 of Gracefully and Frankly. Do give them a listen if you have time; I promise they’re worth the 30 minutes (each) and can almost guarantee satisfaction – no insurance needed.

New journal (with Cooper pics, I promise) next Monday!

Rob WhiteheadMonday, April 1, 2024