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WestJet, Air Canada passengers baffled after journey companions compensated $1,000, however they received zilch

Frederik van der Veen was assured he’d be compensated for his canceled WestJet flight, which brought about a 12-hour delay when flying residence to Montreal from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in July.

In any case, his spouse and journey accomplice, Irma De La Luz Perez, had already utilized for and acquired $1,000 compensation for a similar flight. However, a lot to his shock from him, WestJet rejected van der Veen’s declare, stating the flight disruption was “resulting from an operational concern” exterior the airline’s management.

“[I’m] disillusioned and type of bewildered,” he stated. “Why would they pay one and never the opposite if we’re on the identical flight?”

CBC Information interviewed three WestJet and two Air Canada passengers who, once they utilized for compensation, had been flatly denied — though their journey accomplice acquired $1,000 for a similar flight disruption.

“The foundations aren’t working,” stated Air Canada passenger Dave Marrone.

Following a flight cancellation in August, Marrone’s spouse and journey accomplice, Kielyn, received $1,000 compensation for what resulted in a 19-hour delay of their return journey from London to Sudbury, Ont.

However Air Canada rejected Marrone’s declare for a similar flight, telling him the cancellation was both exterior the airline’s management or safety-related.

“It does look like it is an actual seize bag of form of the way it’s utilized, the way it works and who will get compensated,” stated Marrone, who lives simply exterior Espanola, Ont.

Kielyn and Dave Marrone had been delayed by 19 hours when flying residence from a visit to the UK in August. Once they utilized to Air Canada for compensation, solely Kielyn acquired $1,000. (Dave Browne)

Below federal guidelines, airways solely should pay compensation — as much as $1,000 — if a flight delay or cancellation is inside an airline’s management and never required for security causes.

Following this spring and summer season’s journey chaos which sparked quite a few flight delays and cancellations, many passengers complained to CBC Information that they had been unjustly denied compensation. Since April, greater than 19,000 air passengers have filed complaints with the Canadian Transportation Company (CTA) associated to flight disruptions, in response to the company.

The flood of complaints prompted Transport Minister Omar Alghabra to repeatedly warn carriers to play by the principles.

“Airways should respect travellers’ rights and compensate vacationers who’re eligible,” he stated throughout a transport committee listening to in August.

Airways reply

Each Air Canada and WestJet have repeatedly informed CBC Information they do abide by the air passenger rules.

About two hours after CBC Information inquired about Marrone’s case, Air Canada knowledgeable him it had re-evaluated his declare and that he would obtain $1,000 compensation.

In one other case, Air Canada compensated passenger Bob Hays final week—4 months after he complained about being denied compensation though his fiance received $1,000 for a similar 24-hour flight delay in June.

“It was irritating,” stated Hays, who lives in Prince Rupert, BC. “It is nearly comical, however it’s not comical that two folks might be on the identical flight and get totally different selections.”

In an e mail, Air Canada spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick blamed each mismatches on “a processing error.”

WATCH | Airways launch authorized battle over buyer compensation selections:

Air Canada, WestJet preventing buyer compensation selections

Each WestJet and Air Canada launch authorized battles to enchantment current selections ordering them to compensate passengers. Specialists say if the airways are profitable, it might affect different claims.

WestJet stated it had erred within the circumstances of all three passengers CBC Information interviewed, however that in two circumstances, together with van der Veen’s, the airline had paid out $1,000 to the passengers’ journey companions by mistake.

“We apologize for the confusion and perceive the frustration any discrepancies might have brought about,” spokesperson Madison Kruger stated in an e mail.

Meaning van der Veen will not be getting any money. Nonetheless, he nonetheless believes he is owed compensation, as a result of WestJet by no means offered particulars in regards to the “operational concern” past its management that brought about his flight cancellation.

“What are they speaking about?” stated van der Veen. “It is a bit of a gong present.”

Paul Stephenson and Lisa head had been each delayed 18 hours when flying residence from London. Once they utilized to Air Canada for compensation, solely Head acquired $1,000. (Paul Stephenson)

Following CBC Information’ inquiry this week, one WestJet passenger did get $1,000 compensation: Paul Stephenson of Salt Spring Island, BC Beforehand, solely his journey accomplice, Lisa Head, was compensated for the 19-hour delay they endured when flying from London to Victoria in January.

In March, WestJet informed Stephenson he did not qualify for compensation as a result of his flight disruption had been impacted by climate. Then in April, after he identified that his accomplice received compensation for a similar flight, WestJet rejected Stephenson’s declare once more and stated the case was closed.

“It is fairly poor customer support,” he stated. “The Canadian Transportation Company wants to come back down lots more durable on airways and implement the rules concerning compensation.”

WestJet hit with ends

In September, the CTA—Canada’s transport regulator—doled out its first ends to an airline for violating the compensation rules. The recipient, WestJet, was discovered for 55 violations in January for failing to supply compensation or an reason why compensation was denied inside 30 days of a passengers’ declare.

The 55 ends ($200 every) totaled $11,000. Former Air Canada government John Gradek argues that is not sufficient of a deterrent for a serious airline.

“It is actually only a token slap on the wrist to principally say, ‘You naughty boys — or women,'” stated Gradek, a lecturer and program co-ordinator for the aviation administration program at McGill College.

He stated the CTA ought to look to the US Division of Transportation, which this week introduced it’s assessing greater than $7.25 million US in penalties in opposition to six airways for “excessive delays” in offering flight refunds.

“You have to get the airways’ consideration,” stated Gradek. “The US Division of Transportation now could be saying, ‘OK, we’re enjoying hardball.'”

WestJet didn’t touch upon the ends.

The CTA stated that if the airline commits the identical violation once more throughout the subsequent 4 years, it can face steeper penalties. The company added that, on the subject of client safety, its major focus is resolving passenger complaints to assist them get what they’re entitled to.

Van der Veen has filed a criticism with the CTA and is hoping he’ll lastly get the compensation he feels he is owed.

In accordance with the brand new air passenger rules, the quantity of compensation for a flight disruption might be primarily based on the period of time {that a} traveler is delayed earlier than reaching their last vacation spot. (CBC)

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