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

Frederik van der Veen was assured he’d be compensated for his cancelled WestJet flight, which brought…

WestJet, Air Canada passengers baffled after journey companions compensated ,000, however they obtained zilch

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

In spite of everything, his spouse and journey companion, Irma De La Luz Perez, had already utilized for and acquired $1,000 compensation for a similar flight. However, a lot to his shock, WestJet rejected van der Veen’s declare, stating the flight disruption was “as a consequence of an operational challenge” outdoors the airline’s management.

“[I’m] disillusioned and form 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, after they utilized for compensation, had been flatly denied — although their journey companion 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 companion, Kielyn, obtained $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 outdoors the airline’s management or safety-related. 

“It does seem to be it is an actual seize bag of type of the way it’s utilized, the way it works and who will get compensated,” stated Marrone, who lives simply outdoors Espanola, Ont. 

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

Underneath federal guidelines, airways solely need to 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 travellers who’re eligible,” he stated throughout a transport committee listening to in August. 

Airways reply

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

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 although his fiance obtained $1,000 for a similar 24-hour flight delay in June. 

“It was irritating,” stated Hays, who lives in Prince Rupert, B.C. “It is nearly comical, nevertheless it’s not comical that two folks could be on the identical flight and get completely different choices.” 

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

WATCH | Airways launch authorized battle over buyer compensation choices: 

Air Canada, WestJet preventing buyer compensation choices

Each WestJet and Air Canada launch authorized battles to attraction latest choices ordering them to compensate passengers. Consultants 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 on,” stated spokesperson Madison Kruger in an e mail. 

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

“What are they speaking about?” stated van der Veen. “It’s kind of of a gong present.”

Paul Stephenson and Lisa Head had been each delayed 19 hours when flying house from London. After 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, B.C. Beforehand, solely his journey companion, Lisa Head, was compensated for the 19-hour delay they endured when flying from London to Victoria in January.

In March, WestJet advised 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 companion obtained 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 return down so much tougher on airways and implement the laws relating to compensation.”

WestJet hit with fines

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

The 55 fines ($200 every) totalled $11,000. Former Air Canada govt 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 mainly say, ‘You naughty boys — or ladies,'” 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 U.S. Division of Transportation, which this week introduced it’s assessing greater than $7.25 million US in penalties towards six airways for “excessive delays” in offering flight refunds.

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

WestJet didn’t touch upon the fines.

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

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

Compensation quantities for flight delays throughout the airline’s management and never safety-related. The quantity will depend on the delay in arrival on the closing vacation spot. (cbc)