WestJet leaves couple with no baggage, no resort, no flights in Vancouver

WestJet leaves couple with no baggage, no resort, no flights in Vancouver

For Sharon and her husband, travelling from Seattle to Saskatoon through Vancouver to be together with her dad and mom over the vacations, the entire journey has been a “nightmare earlier than Christmas.”

WestJet leaves couple with no baggage, no resort, no flights in Vancouver

Sharon and her husband have been stranded at YVR for days – at instances with out baggage, a resort room and any hope for a flight. The couple was travelling from Seattle through Vancouver to Saskatoon to see their household.

The couple, who reside within the Seattle space, arrived at Vancouver Worldwide Airport on Monday round 6:40 p.m. PT. As they approached the gate for his or her subsequent journey to Saskatoon, their WestJet flight was delayed a number of instances and finally cancelled round midnight. Travellers on that flight have been informed to go to baggage declare to gather their baggage.

“They informed us the airport is shut down, it isn’t simply your flight [that is] cancelled, the whole lot is shut down,” she informed Yahoo Canada on Thursday afternoon.

Sharon and her husband have been lastly capable of acquire their baggage round 2:00 a.m. on Tuesday, describing the method of doing so “chaos.”

“We have been informed that they’d not be capable of cowl resort bills, no vouchers as a result of this was weather-related and that we have been on our personal,” Sharon mentioned.

After being informed to attend in a line on the airport WestJet counter to rebook a flight, Sharon and her husband have been greeted to a line “a few quarter of a mile lengthy” and there was no workers to course of re-bookings.

They actually left, so there was no one. To me, that was probably the most probably the most devastating as a result of none of us knew what to do and there was no one to speak to.Sharon, stranded traveller at YVR airport

After spending the night time, awake, on the airport, the WestJet check-in counter reopened at round 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday. About two hours later, Sharon remembers {that a} WestJet workers member got here right down to the road to say “sorry, we aren’t doing re-bookings on the check-in counter,” indicating that they didn’t have the workers to take action.

Sharon and her husband then went on-line to attempt to discover a resort for the night time, however nothing within the space was accessible and the climate situations have been too unhealthy to make their means downtown. The couple heard that Uber wasn’t operating and reserving a room additional away would danger lacking a possible flight.

The couple ended up reserving one other flight with Air Canada, via Travelocity, the location they used to e-book their authentic WestJet flight. The airplane was scheduled to depart at Tuesday at 2:15 p.m. The tickets have been about $900 per individual, a method from Vancouver to Saskatoon.

That flight was cancelled late morning they usually obtained an automated rebooking for a flight on Thursday at 8:30 p.m.

After spending a second night time on the airport, this time making an attempt to get some sleep, the couple received a resort room close to the airport on Wednesday. They waited collectively for 3 hours for his or her baggage, earlier than Sharon left to search out the shuttle to the resort, leaving her husband to attend even longer.

“He was informed at baggage they thought the luggage had been despatched to the gate for our new flight with Air Canada however that they had no file, no scanning,” Sharon defined. “He went personally to the check-in counter to verify, as they advised.”

Sharon’s husband was informed the luggage have been “in all probability” within the queue for the brand new flight, however as of Thursday afternoon they did not have any certainty.

As a precaution, additionally they “begged” the resort to permit them to e-book a further night time, in case they want it, and have been informed they needed to e-book a further two nights, at least.

On Thursday night, Air Canada cancelled the couple’s flight to Saskatoon and have been informed that there are not any flights till Dec. 26. The rationale for the flight cancellation was as a result of “crew constraints.”

“We will likely be among the many numerous others who won’t be with our households for Christmas,” Sharon wrote in an electronic mail to Yahoo Canada on Thursday night time. “It seems that there are not any rental vehicles even accessible proper now so we’re going to see if some colleagues of ours can drive us again to Seattle after this subsequent storm clears.”

“We can not even get our baggage again proper now—whereas I used to be in line to see what Air Canada may do for us, my husband was within the line at baggage declare. He mentioned he was informed that there was nobody that would get our baggage which have been within the holding space as a result of understaffing… I requested the Air Canada rebooking agent for reimbursement for flight and resort and he gave me a card with the Air Canada claims cellphone quantity. One thing for one more day.”

‘It simply felt like such large abandonment’

General, Sharon described this complete expertise, for herself and different travellers, as utterly “devastating.”

“I do not think about myself an extrovert, by any means, however I used to be simply so drawn to folks and what they’re struggling, and their tales, and it is actually heartbreaking,” she mentioned. “I’ve talked to airline pilots, they’re simply shaking their heads.”

“It appears there are a number of points which are making a domino impact. The travellers I’ve spoken to have been saying, palms down, communication from the airways has been abysmal they usually have been feeling misled.”

Sharon additionally acknowledges that de-icing procedures have been a “bottleneck difficulty” and that staffing amid the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a problem, however she careworn that elevated journey in the course of the holidays is a predictable sample and climate specialists had additionally predicted this storm coming via.

“Lots of, hundreds of individuals are not with their family members,” Sharon mentioned. “Folks [were] informed they’re not flying out till Dec. 26,…a number of of them mentioned they will be [spending Christmas at the airport.]”

Whereas it has been an extremely lengthy, emotional and gruelling week for the couple, travellers have additionally actually come collectively to help one another via this tough time.

“I’ve seen superb issues, I’ve heard superb issues,” Sharon mentioned. “There was a gentleman who was in excessive again ache, standing there leaning on his baggage cart as a result of there was nowhere to go, and I went over to speak to him, simply to assist him really feel higher.”

“A pair that arrived from Mexico, hoping to fly via right here,…hadn’t eaten since they left Mexico. I gave them a few breakfast bars. We’re all making an attempt to assist one another. Nevertheless it’s due to this vacuum of no assist. Tales of individuals making an attempt to name the airways or making an attempt to get via to somebody, and nothing.”

For the couple, and different travellers they’ve spoken to, the shortage of communication from the airways has left them feeling deserted.

It is] devastating as a result of it is one factor to be stranded, however it’s an entire different degree to not have anyone for recourse, or something to search out out what might be carried out, what’s attainable. I perceive they have been overwhelmed, however to have left us there, it simply felt like such large abandonment.Sharon, traveller stranded at YVR for days

“I am listening to this again and again, I see it in folks’s faces, I hear it of their voices.”

In an replace on Thursday, WestJet warned travellers that “there may be very restricted re-accommodation availability as a result of excessive demand for journey this time of yr and the numerous impression throughout the business.”

Air Canada is urging travellers verify the day by day journey outlook for extra details about delays and cancellation of their vacation spot. The airline is providing a flight change, freed from cost, for impacted flights.

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