Familiar faces on the path to being together again

By WestJet | | 2 min read

Surrey residents arriving at Fraser Health vaccination clinic were surprised to be greeted by smiling WestJetters in teal, usually a more common sight at Vancouver International Airport. Instead of tagging bags and printing boarding passes, the WestJetters forming part of WestJet’s Care Team are on site assisting nearly 200,000 B.C. residents who are expected to pass through the clinic doors between now and October.

WestJet Cabin Crew member, Mike, is one of almost 200 WestJetters recalled from furlough to provide guest care in two Vancouver-area vaccination clinics. He has been a familiar face to frequent Vancouver flyers, including one of the first people to arrive at the WestJet-supported vaccination clinic. “He mentioned he flew to Palm Springs a lot and it clicked immediately. His name popped into my head and I said, “It’s Bob, isn’t it!’ I was kind of blown away that I remembered. It was maybe a year and a half since I’d seen him.”

WestJetter Volunteer Mike WestJetter Volunteer Mike working at the Fraser Health vaccination clinic

Mike says the team gelled quickly and they are all proving to be a natural fit for the health environment. “We’re running like clockwork. We’re used to working with people, funneling them safely through the airports and ensuring they are comfortable in that journey.”

While the WestJet team is not involved in the medical side of clinic operation, they are handling greeting, check-in, data entry and patient observation after receiving the vaccine.

WestJet partnered with the Government of British Columbia to assist in the organization of vaccinations clinics in the Greater Vancouver Area.  The clinics will run approximately 12-hours per day through the fall and will employ approximately 200 WestJetters in the Vancouver area.

“Public-private partnerships like this are critical to allow for clinical staff to remain focused on providing the best care and delivering vaccination to prevent further spread of the virus, ” said Billy Nolen, Vice-President Safety, Security and Quality for the WestJet Group of Companies. “WestJet has kept the safety of our people and our guests at the forefront throughout one of the most challenging periods in our history. It is our responsibility and our pleasure to support efforts like this one through our partnership with the Government of British Columbia to curb this pandemic.”

After a difficult year, Mike said it feels good to be helping get things back to normal. Judging by the expressions on their faces, B.C. residents coming in to be vaccinated feel the same way.

“It’s good to see people with hope,” continued Mike. “They’re hopeful this is the thing that will change it all and bring us back to something better.”

Details on vaccine eligibility and location can be found at Gov.bc.ca/COVID.