WestJet nabs world records for giant stunt in Utah desert

Edmonton Journal - - CITY - GOR­DON KENT gkent@post­media.com twit­ter.com/GKen­tYEG

WestJet claimed two world records Wed­nes­day for build­ing and il­lu­mi­nat­ing a kilo­me­trewide wheel in the Utah desert that showed a prize-win­ning seat num­ber on its flight to Las Ve­gas from Toronto.

The com­pany, known for un­usual mar­ket­ing events, cre­ated what it de­scribed as its big­gest stunt to cel­e­brate its 21st an­niver­sary, ac­cord­ing to a com­pany news re­lease.

The project, which re­quired six months of plan­ning and took six days to build, broke Guin­ness World Records for great­est light out­put in a pro­jected image and for largest cir­cu­lar pro­jec­tion.

The wheel was 785,398 square me­tres in di­am­e­ter and reached 4,666,000 lu­mens — break­ing the pre­vi­ous record of 4,264,346 lu­mens.

The win­ner re­ceived a pack­age in­clud­ing a US$2,500 shop­ping spree at the Fo­rum Shops at Cae­sars, a two-night stay at the Vene­tian Las Ve­gas and two tick­ets to Cirque du Soleil.

How­ever, a new sur­vey re­leased by con­sumer re­search com­pany J.D. Power ranks WestJet third in cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion out of four low-cost North Amer­i­can car­ri­ers.

The air­line re­ceived 723 points on a 1,000-point scale, less than the 740 av­er­age. It was be­hind South­west Air­lines and JetBlue Air­ways, but ahead of Fron­tier Air­lines.

Air Canada, with 709 points com­pared to an av­er­age 784, was last among five tra­di­tional car­ri­ers, beaten by Alaska Air­lines, Delta, Amer­i­can and United.

The sur­vey in­volved 11,015 pas­sen­gers who flew be­tween March 2016 and March 2017.

De­spite the bad pub­lic­ity re­cently re­ceived by United af­ter vi­o­lently re­mov­ing a pas­sen­ger who had been bumped from his flight, J.D. Power said air­line sat­is­fac­tion is at an all-time high, mainly be­cause of lower fares, bet­ter on-time per­for­mance and fewer lost bags.

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