YYZRTW
Topic Author
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Joined: Mon May 07, 2007 11:54 am

Westjet $US/$CAN Fare Abuse

Mon Sep 03, 2007 4:35 am

I was looking to book a one way flight from FLL to YYZ in November. Going to the Westjet site, I found a flight on Wed. November 21st. listed at US$133.00. (seat sale). With taxes and surcharges, the price was listed as US$155.00. When I proceeded to do the final form for booking, the price was now shown as CAN$193.88. There was no option to pay in US$ even though the flight was originating in FLL. Westjet is using a conversion rate of CAN$1.25 for US$1.00 while the current rate of exchange is CAN$1.06 for US$1.00. I phoned a customer service rep to clarify and was told that Westjet uses the $1.25 exchange rate " to make things simple and avoid fluctuating ticket prices".

It is my opinion that this is false advertising as there is no way to get the ticket for the listed price of US$155.00 (tax and surcharges included). I know businesses uses a spread other than the official bank rate for exchanges but the difference between CAN$1.25 to the US$1.00 is way out of line when the official rate is CAN$1.06 to the US$1.00

A bit of a rant for my second post but I would be interested to hear others opinions, especially when Westjet is looking to expand in the US, Mexico and the Carribean.  Confused  Sad
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RP TPA
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RE: Westjet $US/$CAN Fare Abuse

Mon Sep 03, 2007 5:01 am

I just checked the Air Canada website. They use a conversion rate of 1.05. The AC rate on the non-stop is a bit higher (225CAD including taxes) but if you don't mind a connection thru Montreal the fare is as low as 156CAD including taxes. Keep in mind that this is without the online options that can decrease the fare (no checked bags, no aeroplan points, etc) so the final fare could possibly be even lower than that.
 
YYZRTW
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RE: Westjet $US/$CAN Fare Abuse

Mon Sep 03, 2007 5:48 am

Thanks RP TPA. I fly YYZ/TPA/YYZ once a month and am always comparing Westjet/AirCanada prices (during the fall,winter and spring timetable when Westjet flys to Tampa more than just Saturday). I have booked Westjet on this route but always as a round trip so I never saw the exchange problem. As to your suggestion of FLL/YUL/YYZ, not very appealing having to get off in Montreal for customs and immigration and then still make the connection to YYZ. The non stop flights are a great attraction so I don't go so far as to take cost to the point of giving up that plus.
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LH423
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RE: Westjet $US/$CAN Fare Abuse

Mon Sep 03, 2007 5:51 am

According to the Bank Of Canada, using the 4% cash rate (which is what most people get after their bank takes a commission), the last time the Canadian dollar was $1.25 to the US dollar was on 17 September 2004, almost 3 years ago to the day. If WS thinks their kidding anyone with that baloney about it making things simpler, they're kidding themselves.

Fact is, a lot of companies are taking advantage of Canadians in regards to exchange rates with the USD. This is largely due to the fact that the USD fell so much so fast (consider that the USD has lost about 60% of it's value compared to 2002, only 5 years ago) and prices have been suspiciously slow to follow suit.

Gas prices are a chief example of that as well. Barrels of oil are priced in USD so one would expect that prices in Canada would not be rising as fast due to the fact that the CAD is rising in value to the USD, however last week I paid almost US$ 3.75 a US gallon (CA$ 99.9/L) in Ottawa only to drive to Boston and find that it was only US$ 2.69/US gallon (CA$ 71.8/L). Of course there are more taxes and other local market effects that can affect prices, but I can remember times less than two years ago where the price in Ottawa was at or, for short periods of time, lower than the price in Boston.

Anyway, now that I've gone completely off topic, I think WS needs to wake up and realize that most Canadians know that the exchange rate with the US dollar is almost (and in the case of a few days this past July was) equal and any business practice to keep the rate that artificially high should be considered criminal.

Sorry to go off on a tangent but I'm so sick of companies thinking they can screw Canadians when it comes to conversion rates vis-à-vis the US dollar.

Quoting YYZRTW (Thread starter):
When I proceeded to do the final form for booking, the price was now shown as CAN$193.88. There was no option to pay in US$ even though the flight was originating in FLL

That's due to the fact that most airlines will do the final price on the ticket based on the country of residence of the credit card holder, not the origin or destination of the ticket.

LH423
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
 
YYZRTW
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RE: Westjet $US/$CAN Fare Abuse

Mon Sep 03, 2007 5:59 am

Thanks LH423. I agree with you on all points.

As to the payment, I have a Florida address and I have a US bank credit card. I wanted to pay for the ticket using the US card and filled all of the information in using my US address and credit card. The system still wanted to charge Canadian Dollars and then convert back to US but not at the $1.25 rate to my advantage!.
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Boeingluvr
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RE: Westjet $US/$CAN Fare Abuse

Mon Sep 03, 2007 6:03 am

Just a tip. If you go to the airport and purchase the ticket then WS will let you pay in American funds with cash... If that matters to you. Possible witha credit card as well. Or perhaps calling the call centre and ask for the US funds to be charged as well. I know you can pay us cash a the airports. Perhaps that'll help with the exchange...
 
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SLCUT2777
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RE: Westjet $US/$CAN Fare Abuse

Mon Sep 03, 2007 6:08 am

Quoting LH423 (Reply 3):
Fact is, a lot of companies are taking advantage of Canadians in regards to exchange rates with the USD. This is largely due to the fact that the USD fell so much so fast (consider that the USD has lost about 60% of it's value compared to 2002, only 5 years ago) and prices have been suspiciously slow to follow suit.

This has become a problem with several trans-border retailers. It seams as though Wal-Mart and Costco are the only ones being halfway honest when it comes to the USD $$$ vs. the CAN $$$. Personally I think the U.S. Federal Reserve and the bank of Canada should be moved by both Congress and Parliament to be the same valuation and perhaps disallow currency exchange fees. If there is truly free trade between the U.S. and Canada, then Zion's Bank in SLC shouldn't be allowed to hit me with a 4% surcharge to pay off the loan on my wife's car!!  irked  I for one would like to see the loonie and greenback combined into one currency.
DELTA Air Lines; The Only Way To Fly from Salt Lake City; Let the Western Heritage always be with Delta!
 
sunrisevalley
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RE: Westjet $US/$CAN Fare Abuse

Mon Sep 03, 2007 6:43 am

Quoting LH423 (Reply 3):
Gas prices are a chief example of that as well. Barrels of oil are priced in USD so one would expect that prices in Canada would not be rising as fast due to the fact that the CAD is rising in value to the USD,

way off topic but gasoline prices in the U.S. and Canada are set by the New York spot market and are more influenced by the margins of the refiners than the price per barrel on a particular day. High demand, higher margins, lower demand lower margins, for the refiners. Refining capacity in North America is about the same as 15-years ago; no increases largely because of the NIMBY effect.
 
LH423
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RE: Westjet $US/$CAN Fare Abuse

Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:23 am

Quoting YYZRTW (Reply 4):
The system still wanted to charge Canadian Dollars and then convert back to US but not at the $1.25 rate to my advantage!

Those crafty Calgarians!  Smile

LH423
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
 
yfbflyer
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RE: Westjet $US/$CAN Fare Abuse

Mon Sep 03, 2007 8:01 am

1.25 is pretty steep but just look at JFK-YVR business on CX
in USD it's 2468.37
In CAD it's 3548.88

Fortunately I can book the fare in USD and let my credit card handle the exchange rate which isn't quite as lecherous.
 
LH423
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RE: Westjet $US/$CAN Fare Abuse

Mon Sep 03, 2007 2:19 pm

Quoting Yfbflyer (Reply 9):
1.25 is pretty steep but just look at JFK-YVR business on CX
in USD it's 2468.37
In CAD it's 3548.88

That's terrible! That's, according to my calculations, a 1.45 exchange rate, or roughly 45% over the exchange rate that most banks will give you.

LH423
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
 
Chinook747
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RE: Westjet $US/$CAN Fare Abuse

Mon Sep 03, 2007 3:49 pm

Quoting SunriseValley (Reply 7):
This has become a problem with several trans-border retailers. It seams as though Wal-Mart and Costco are the only ones being halfway honest when it comes to the USD $$$ vs. the CAN $$$. Personally I think the U.S. Federal Reserve and the bank of Canada should be moved by both Congress and Parliament to be the same valuation and perhaps disallow currency exchange fees. If there is truly free trade between the U.S. and Canada, then Zion's Bank in SLC shouldn't be allowed to hit me with a 4% surcharge to pay off the loan on my wife's car!!    I for one would like to see the loonie and greenback combined into one currency.

...please tell me how this relates to the original thread...I understand the thread starter's issue about the high variance in WS exchange rate and he has a valid point...but...GOD FORBID that my country and the United States will EVER have the same currency. As much as some Americans think that they are the only ones that make up North America..I believe that Canadians will never allow for a single currency to exist between Canada and the United States!!
 
LH423
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RE: Westjet $US/$CAN Fare Abuse

Mon Sep 03, 2007 4:02 pm

Quoting Chinook747 (Reply 11):
GOD FORBID that my country and the United States will EVER have the same currency. As much as some Americans think that they are the only ones that make up North America..I believe that Canadians will never allow for a single currency to exist between Canada and the United States!!

Woah...easy there! I've yet to see any American chest beating on this thread. But the fact is, Canadians routinely get screwed on exchange rates, especially in the past couple of years where the exchange rate has come down to next to nothing yet we still pay more for identical items once currency exchange has been factored in.

LH423
« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
 
MAH4546
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RE: Westjet $US/$CAN Fare Abuse

Mon Sep 03, 2007 4:17 pm

Quoting Chinook747 (Reply 11):
As much as some Americans think that they are the only ones that make up North America..I believe that Canadians will never allow for a single currency to exist between Canada and the United States!!

No one said to allow a single currency, but to allow the US and Canadian dollars to be pegged to one another, so there are no currency fluctuations, could prove to be very effective. It could greatly benefit Canadians by making things cheaper there. Many countries peg their currency to the US dollar, or other countries' currencies. It has it's advantages and disadvantages, but for the US and Canada, countries so close, using a single currency (but with the US and Canada each having their own bills), could potentially be a good thing. Canadians pay 30-40% more than Americans for the same exact thing, and it isn't because your taxes are higher. It is because companies are taking advantage of the strong Canadian dollar.
a.
 
sunrisevalley
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RE: Westjet $US/$CAN Fare Abuse

Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:25 pm

Quoting Chinook747 (Reply 11):
Quoting SunriseValley (Reply 7):
This has become a problem with several trans-border retailers

Chinook, be more careful when you are doing quotes....I did not say this.
 
MAH4546
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RE: Westjet $US/$CAN Fare Abuse

Mon Sep 03, 2007 7:41 pm

Quoting SunriseValley (Reply 14):
Quoting Chinook747 (Reply 11):
Quoting SunriseValley (Reply 7):
This has become a problem with several trans-border retailers

Chinook, be more careful when you are doing quotes....I did not say this.

He didn't quote you. It's done by the computer, and the computer often messes up the quotes on this website. It's been a problem ever since the quote feature was launched.
a.
 
pacifica
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RE: Westjet $US/$CAN Fare Abuse

Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:21 pm

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 13):
No one said to allow a single currency, but to allow the US and Canadian dollars to be pegged to one another, so there are no currency fluctuations, could prove to be very effective.

But why would we want to peg ourselves to the US Dollar, only to be held back?  duck 
 
sflaflight
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RE: Westjet $US/$CAN Fare Abuse

Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:14 am

Quoting Pacifica (Reply 16):
oting MAH4546 (Reply 13):
No one said to allow a single currency, but to allow the US and Canadian dollars to be pegged to one another, so there are no currency fluctuations, could prove to be very effective.

But why would we want to peg ourselves to the US Dollar, only to be held back?

Because it would make much more sense. There is so much commerce/trade/movement between the two countries that being pegged would make the most sense. It is done between the Bahamas and the US and betwwen many more countries. The big difference between the US/Canada than between US/other pegged currency is that both economies are VERY strong.

Remember exchange rates are very cyclical. I remember in the 80s when the Canadian dollar was so strong that Plattsburgh built up malls and Canadians were flocking to NY and VT to buy very cheap goods. Then, in the 90s the party was over. Look at those malls 5 years ago. Deadsville. No canadian could afford it at almost 70% exchange. Now, looks like border town might seem like a good buy again, but for how long?

To me, pegging the currencies would just make it easy once and for all.
 
sflaflight
Posts: 494
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RE: Westjet $US/$CAN Fare Abuse

Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:15 am

Quoting Pacifica (Reply 16):
oting MAH4546 (Reply 13):
No one said to allow a single currency, but to allow the US and Canadian dollars to be pegged to one another, so there are no currency fluctuations, could prove to be very effective.

But why would we want to peg ourselves to the US Dollar, only to be held back?

Because it would make much more sense. There is so much commerce/trade/movement between the two countries that being pegged would make the most sense. It is done between the Bahamas and the US and betwwen many more countries. The big difference between the US/Canada than between US/other pegged currency is that both economies are VERY strong.

Remember exchange rates are very cyclical. I remember in the 80s when the Canadian dollar was so strong that Plattsburgh built up malls and Canadians were flocking to NY and VT to buy very cheap goods. Then, in the 90s the party was over. Look at those malls 5 years ago. Deadsville. No canadian could afford it at almost 70% exchange. Now, looks like border town might seem like a good buy again, but for how long?

To me, pegging the currencies would just make it easy once and for all.
 
sflaflight
Posts: 494
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2005 12:33 pm

RE: Westjet $US/$CAN Fare Abuse

Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:16 am

Quoting Pacifica (Reply 16):
oting MAH4546 (Reply 13):
No one said to allow a single currency, but to allow the US and Canadian dollars to be pegged to one another, so there are no currency fluctuations, could prove to be very effective.

But why would we want to peg ourselves to the US Dollar, only to be held back?

Because it would make much more sense. There is so much commerce/trade/movement between the two countries that being pegged would make the most sense. It is done between the Bahamas and the US and betwwen many more countries. The big difference between the US/Canada than between US/other pegged currency is that both economies are VERY strong.

Remember exchange rates are very cyclical. I remember in the 80s when the Canadian dollar was so strong that Plattsburgh built up malls and Canadians were flocking to NY and VT to buy very cheap goods. Then, in the 90s the party was over. Look at those malls 5 years ago. Deadsville. No canadian could afford it at almost 70% exchange. Now, looks like border town might seem like a good buy again.

To me, pegging the currencies would just make it easy once and for all.
 
Simps747
Posts: 31
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RE: Westjet $US/$CAN Fare Abuse

Tue Sep 11, 2007 12:58 pm

WHY THREE TIMES???? TRYING TO PROVE A POINT?

Quoting Sflaflight (Reply 19):
Quoting Pacifica (Reply 16):oting MAH4546 (Reply 13):
No one said to allow a single currency, but to allow the US and Canadian dollars to be pegged to one another, so there are no currency fluctuations, could prove to be very effective.

But why would we want to peg ourselves to the US Dollar, only to be held back?
Because it would make much more sense. There is so much commerce/trade/movement between the two countries that being pegged would make the most sense. It is done between the Bahamas and the US and betwwen many more countries. The big difference between the US/Canada than between US/other pegged currency is that both economies are VERY strong.

Remember exchange rates are very cyclical. I remember in the 80s when the Canadian dollar was so strong that Plattsburgh built up malls and Canadians were flocking to NY and VT to buy very cheap goods. Then, in the 90s the party was over. Look at those malls 5 years ago. Deadsville. No canadian could afford it at almost 70% exchange. Now, looks like border town might seem like a good buy again.

To me, pegging the currencies would just make it easy once and for all.
 
CitrusCritter
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RE: Westjet $US/$CAN Fare Abuse

Tue Sep 11, 2007 4:42 pm

Quoting Simps747 (Reply 20):
WHY THREE TIMES???? TRYING TO PROVE A POINT?

Undoubtedly he was having a slow connection problem (whether on his end or the board's end). Why did you feel a need to quote it a fourth time or make a big deal about it?
 
ANother
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RE: Westjet $US/$CAN Fare Abuse

Tue Sep 11, 2007 6:06 pm

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 15):
Quoting SunriseValley (Reply 14):
Quoting Chinook747 (Reply 11):
Quoting SunriseValley (Reply 7):
This has become a problem with several trans-border retailers

Chinook, be more careful when you are doing quotes....I did not say this.

He didn't quote you. It's done by the computer, and the computer often messes up the quotes on this website. It's been a problem ever since the quote feature was launched.

It's not really a problem - you just have to make sure you click on the 'Quote Selected Text' box in the same post, not the box in the post below. It's not the computer its the poster.
 
BHXFAOTIPYYC
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RE: Westjet $US/$CAN Fare Abuse

Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:58 pm

Well not Westjet, but I just lost a client to Expedia.com because the client was able to buy FAO LIS EWR FLL on TP/CO on the US version of Expedia and have his card charged in USD. He saved about 10% on the C class fare. I can only charge in EUR, and I thought that you couldn't use a foreign credit card or address on Expedia.com. Guess I was wrong. He has a UK credit card, but Expedia.co.uk was the same fare as mine.
Breakfast in BHX, lunch in FAO, dinner in TIP, baggage in YYC.
 
connies4ever
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RE: Westjet $US/$CAN Fare Abuse

Wed Sep 12, 2007 7:11 am

I'd like to know why this isn't splashed over the pages of our sainted national newspaper or on Mother CBC. Oh, I forgot, bashing AC is the national sport. When AC does the right thing, it usually gets ignored, when it screws up, front page news. Not so for WS, who have been treated (mostly) with kid gloves by the media.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
sflaflight
Posts: 494
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RE: Westjet $US/$CAN Fare Abuse

Fri Sep 14, 2007 7:31 am

Quoting CitrusCritter (Reply 21):
Undoubtedly he was having a slow connection problem (whether on his end or the board's end). Why did you feel a need to quote it a fourth time or make a big deal about it?

Thank you CC. Someone can see past the sometimes troubling days of DSL!!!!

This system is filled with glitches. From incorrect roll overs to quote problems to repeated posting. But it's what makes this site so much fun.

Or maybe my tourettes is acting up again: send....send....send....send....

Tourrette syndrome: an inherited neurological disorder with onset in childhood, characterized by the presence of multiple physical (motor) tics and at least one vocal (phonic) tic; these tics characteristically wax and wane. Tourette's is defined as part of a spectrum of tic disorders, which includes transient and chronic tics.

Tourette's was once considered a rare and bizarre syndrome, most often associated with the exclamation of obscene words or socially inappropriate and derogatory remarks (coprolalia).