No compensation provided to Regina family that drove home from Toronto after missed flights
It was a bumpy highway again home for one Regina family after they loved a soothing tropical trip.
Steve Torgerson didn’t anticipate his family’s latest getaway to Costa Rica would finish with them driving throughout two and a half provinces to return to their home in Regina.
Nonetheless, that’s how their newest journey concluded after the group confronted numerous obstacles alongside the best way.
Torgerson, alongside together with his spouse, three youngsters and mother-in-law, took a family trip through the April break to Liberia, Costa Rica.
Their route again home was from Costa Rica to Toronto’s Pearson Worldwide Airport, adopted by a connecting flight to Calgary after which Regina.
Their return flight home on April 23 was delayed due to a damaged air conditioner on the aircraft, however Torgerson mentioned the delay lasted about 20 to 25 minutes earlier than flight and airport crews have been in a position to resume takeoff preparations for the aircraft.
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Due to the delay in Costa Rica, the family came upon they’d missed their connecting flight to Calgary, which means they’d miss their closing voyage home to Regina because it was deliberate.
It was when the family arrived in Toronto that they realized there have been greater issues forward.
“After we cleared customs and grabbed our luggage, we went up to the entrance desk and located there was no brokers on the WestJet kiosks,” mentioned Torgerson.
“We have been instructed somebody would come assist us however nobody got here. About an hour later, that’s when issues didn’t appear proper, so we then referred to as their 1-800 quantity.”
Torgerson continued by saying he spoke to three WestJet representatives over a pair hours, however the dialog didn’t go the best way he had hoped.
“We talked to some nice individuals, however they mentioned there was nothing they might do and that the difficulty was not WestJet’s downside, so that they wouldn’t give us any vouchers for meals or motels,” added Torgerson.
WestJet instructed them they’d a pair totally different flight choices. They might reschedule two individuals of their occasion of six to fly home a pair days later or they might doubtlessly have the entire group fly home three days later.
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However the airline mentioned it couldn’t get all six home since each flight, together with WestJet and different carriers, was absolutely booked for a number of days.
“It was at this level that we have been lastly speaking to individuals and realizing that this wasn’t working,” Torgerson recalled.
“There was no indication that they’d get us home any time quickly, and with highschool college students and (my spouse and I) needing to make work, it was beginning to get worrisome.”
Stranded at an airport a pair provinces away from home and operating out of time, the family determined it will be quicker to hire a car and drive from Toronto to Regina.
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“There was a interval of frustration, however then it actually was type of a shock. I felt shocked and a little bit surprised that there was nothing,” he talked about.
“There was no indication they’d get us home on time and there was nothing they’d do. They wouldn’t assist us hire a car. They principally mentioned, ‘You’re by yourself.’”
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So, Torgerson and the remainder of the family hopped in a rental car and drove 38 hours again home to Regina — or simply over 2,600 kilometres.
They took turns driving and sleeping. At one level, they even approached the scene of a head-on car collision between a truck and a semi-truck, additional delaying their drive by a pair hours for the reason that highway had to be briefly closed.
Since they have been one of many first motorists who got here up to the collision, each he and his spouse determined to get out of the car and provided first-aid till first responders and police arrived.
“There have been accidents, however happily, we realized there have been no fatalities.”
Finally they missed a day of labor and their children missed a day of faculty due to the delays.
Exhausted after two days of travelling on the highway, they determined to submit an Air Passenger Safety Rules (APPR) declare so as to strive to obtain some compensation from the airline.
WestJet did present them with a credit score of their WestJet account after they didn’t undergo with flights again home, however the family hoped for extra.
“What I used to be in search of was one thing like, ‘Hey, we all know you missed your flight. It might not be our fault, it is likely to be. We’ll see what we are able to do proper now because you’re within the airport,’” talked about Torgerson.
“As a substitute, we acquired, ‘It’s not our fault, good luck.’ It was a little bit of a disappointment to get that from the corporate.”
Torgerson mentioned their APPR declare was denied by WestJet and that the airline instructed them any additional discussions on the matter would have to be by means of the Canadian Transportation Company (CTA).
He and his spouse are actually going by means of the CTA to get solutions as to why their submission was rejected.
Response from WestJet
In a press release from WestJet on Friday, the corporate says it tried to rebook the family on a subsequent out there flight, which sadly was three days later and with a special provider.
“We apologize for the inconvenience these friends confronted and perceive three days is a big time period to wait, nonetheless sadly, each flight together with WestJet and different carriers was absolutely booked till then,” the assertion reads.
WestJet added that for the reason that friends opted to drive the period of their journey, the airline provided all six friends with a credit score to refund the segments of their journey they weren’t in a position to fly “as a gesture of goodwill.”
“As these visitor’s journeys have been impacted by occasions exterior of WestJet’s management, they sadly don’t qualify for compensation beneath APPR,” WestJet’s assertion continued.
“It’s essential to perceive that our flight schedules and availability have modified. At our lowest level within the pandemic, WestJet operated solely 40 flights, whereas right this moment we’re working roughly 450 to 500 which remains to be properly under pre-pandemic ranges that noticed us function greater than 700-plus flights day by day.”
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