A Kelowna, B.C., couple and air passenger rights activists are targeting WestJet for a canceled flight from Hawaii on Sunday, but the major Canadian airline offers no rebooking or refund options. limited.
Robert McDonald told Global News that his and his wife’s return flight was scheduled to leave Maui around 4 p.m. Sunday, but was canceled that afternoon due to “unscheduled maintenance.” Told.
The couple waited for hours at the airport for an email to change their reservation, but it never arrived on time. After waiting for hours and being on the phone with a WestJet representative, I was offered another flight via email, but it wasn’t that day.
“It was very frustrating and upsetting,” McDonald said Monday. “I don’t know where I’m going to stay tonight, what I’m going to eat, or when I’m going to get on the plane.
“Imagine finding a room at the last minute on Maui in February is not easy.”
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McDonald said he and his wife ended up staying at a Days Inn for $495 a night. He added that while at the airport, he was provided with a $15 meal voucher, but not a hotel stay voucher.
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Global News requested an interview with WestJet, but instead received an emailed statement.
WestJet confirmed the flight cancellation via email. The newspaper said McDonald’s had been rebooked on the “first available flight option” departing Tuesday and that its guest support team would check to see if additional assistance was needed.
“We apologize for the inconvenience, but we understand how frustrating it can be when your trip doesn’t go as planned,” wrote Julia Brunette from WestJet’s media relations team. There is.
“In lieu of a voucher, we encourage Mr. MacDonald to submit a request for reimbursement of hotel accommodation costs of up to CAD 200 per night or reservation, as described on our website. Additionally, we recommend that you submit a request for reimbursement of hotel accommodation costs of up to CAD 200 per night or reservation. We recommend that Mr. McDonald review his travel insurance policy as additional support and coverage may be available through third parties or credit cards.
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According to Canada’s Air Passenger Protection Regulations, in such situations, the airline must reschedule the passenger on an available flight within its own network or within nine hours of the departure time stated on the original ticket. Reservations are required. If this is not possible, the passenger must purchase a ticket on an airline departing within 48 hours.
McDonald’s said those options are not offered.
Gabor Lukacs, founder of Air Passenger Rights, said WestJet was “breaking the law” by not rebooking passengers on the earliest available flight, even on a competitor’s flight. “There is,” he claimed.
“There was an Air Canada flight a few hours after the WestJet canceled flight. So, from my perspective, the first question is why didn’t the passenger rebook on that Air Canada flight? ” Lucas asked. “Where is the enforcement agency?”
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Meanwhile, McDonald said, “It’s kind of sad that we have to go to major domestic media outlets to get a reaction from the airlines.” He estimates he has a loss of $2,000 so far.
While he acknowledged there are “worse places” to be stranded than Maui, he said, “I hope WestJet looks at this and says, ‘We have to do better.’ I just hope.”
Lukacs said the incident was not an isolated incident and “reveals a systemic problem.”
— With files from Elizabeth McSheffrey
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