Just a thought… Who stays vigilant will win. [Sicilian Proverb]
Before we get going today, a picture of Rob and me, with Colin (as as Constable Colin) and Jane (as Emma from The Wiggles, back when she was obsessed) from this night in 2021.
Tonight promises to be chilly fun under a bright waning moon as we criss-cross Brooke and Phil’s populous neighbourhood with our dogs, their sweet Sammy and our Dottie, along for the push in our bike trailer. I promise to post pics on FB (www.facebook.com/erindavispage), Instagram and Threads (@erindawndavis) and on X (@erindavis) tomorrow morning, if you’re interested.
Sharing holidays like Halloween with family is the absolute best and more than we could have dreamed of even four years ago. But next year we’re taking it to a new level: renting a place in California with our kids-in-law and grandkids for just over a week. Today, I want to share with you a story attached to those plans that I hope is a cautionary tale, because I was sucked in, and hard.
When we heard the trip was a go and we’d secured our rental, we jumped online to get airline tickets. WestJet has the best options for us in this case – although a stopover in Calgary in January is a bit worrisome – so I booked six economy tickets down and five tickets back (I’m staying a few extra weeks). That was Monday night.
Then Tuesday, Rob jolts me harder than my half-caf with the news that the airline is having a sale to the Golden State. Uh-oh.
I was really angry. Our truly helpful agent, who changed Brooke’s last name when I inadvertently gave her Phil’s (yes, they’re wed but, like me, she hasn’t changed her surname) Monday night, obviously didn’t know about the seat sale or I’m sure she would have given us a hint; she was that wonderful! (Thanks, Angela).
Anyway, once I’d fully awakened, I went on X/Twitter and posted this:
I wasn’t whining just to whine. I hoped to get help and I did: people wrote, cut and pasted, and showed me that, according to the airline’s website, you have 24 hours in which to cancel a booking with impunity.
As our day would have it, when I read these posts, we were out at doctor’s check-ups and I couldn’t really tie myself up on the phone with WestJet whilst awaiting my routine chat with a guy who’s harder to get time with than the real Santa.
But as I scrolled, I spotted other posts from WestJet (or so I thought) offering to help: they told me to follow and DM them so I could get my situation fixed. I did just that, despite seeing that the X address was @westjet_7 or something like that (I got three separate messages, all with the same suggestion, all with different X handles). That should have been a big red flag.
I saw the messages and exclaimed to Rob, “Oh look! WestJet is going to make it right!” I did respond to one of them, following them and giving my reservation code. Thankfully that’s ALL I did. Because the next time I checked my X messages, I saw that plenty of helpful followers were alerting me that this was a scam. Even @WestJet itself posted “watch out for scams” and that was the most aid I got from them. Once again, I, the kid looking for a pony in a pile of manure, thought she spotted a unicorn.
Long story short(ish), we tore home and, with two hours to spare, managed with the help of Natalie in snowy Calgary (yes, I chat with everyone) to cancel our reservations and then rebook the same seats, saving $200 in the process. Not the whole 20% off that was promoted by any means, but anything helps, right?
The lesson I learned is this: check and then re-check before you respond to anything. I mean, I preach this all the time, but in my panic over the changed prices, my elevated blood pressure (thankfully not reflected in the doctor’s cuff) and desire to save money on a trip, I leapt before I looked.
Same thing happened to a local on-air personality who was asking on X about her strange (also WestJet) refund refusal. On piled the fake WestJet X accounts offering to help. So, yes, it’s a thing. The scambots are on alert looking for an airline name, and jump in to offer their “assistance.”
I’m sharing this to remind you that it can happen to anyone, anywhere. And I’m just fortunate that I was able to escape without any consequences. I would NOT have given our VISA numbers or anything, at least, I don’t think so, but I know better than to have been caught as I was last week; I’m guessing you do, too. Life should be more treats and fewer tricks, yes?
It put a good scare into me, and I’m lucky. Have a Happy Halloween and when I post on the socials tomorrow, please feel free to add your own.
And do enjoy a quiet night in bed and tonight I bring you a brand new version of Aladdin on Drift with Erin Davis sleep stories. Find the podcast at Goodpods or wherever you download your favourite episodes or click here and join our growing sleep community, won’t you? Talk to you Thursday with Lisa Brandt for Episode 45 of Gracefully & Frankly, where we rank #1 in Retirement podcasts. Little do they know how busy we both are! And I hope you listened to our special Matthew Perry Episode. It came straight from the heart.