A Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 turboprop operated by WestJet preparing to land at Vancouver International Airport. The airline has announced increased daily service on their Nanaimo-Calgary and Nanaimo-Vancouver routes beginning Aug. 14 and Oct. 28. The additional routes are seasonal and will end in late April. (Nicholas Pescod/NEWS BULLETIN)

Transportation watchdog launches inquiry after WestJet bumps passengers

Airlines have no obligation to pay customers for delays or cancellations considered out of its control

Canada’s transportation watchdog is launching an inquiry into how WestJet Airlines Ltd. handles its passengers during schedule changes after an incident last month saw travellers bumped without compensation.

The Canadian Transportation Agency says the probe into WestJet’s tariff — its contract with customers — follows a complaint after a Canadian couple en route to Italy were bumped from their flight out of Edmonton.

According to media reports, WestJet told the pair they were not entitled to compensation because the incident amounted to a “flight delay” rather than a “denial of boarding.”

ALSO READ: New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Under Canada’s passenger bill of rights — partially implemented on July 15, a week before the flight — airlines have no obligation to pay customers for delays or cancellations considered out of its control. Delays within its control many not require compensation until Dec. 15, when the second phase of regulations comes into force.

Passenger rights advocate Gabor Lukacs says the incident underscores loopholes in the new rights regime — maybe more so than WestJet’s tariff — adding that it is unfortunate it took a media report to prompt the inquiry.

The agency says it has directed WestJet to provide information and will decide on next steps after it is received.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Local First Nations pro-active in dealing with COVID-19

“We are in it for the long haul.”

COLUMN: Gardening is balm for your soul

Some expert tips to help build your green-thumb this year

COVID-19: Stepping away from the ordinary

Freelance writer Marcie Callewaert talks about her self-isolation in Ahousaht

Tofino-Ucluelet choir conductor launches singing contest

“What motivates me is making my community happy.”

Vancouver Island farmers demand on-site slaughter

COVID-19 pandemic puts supply chains at risk, says group

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

‘We will get through this’: B.C. sees new COVID-19 death, but 57% have recovered

A total of 1,066 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

World COVID-19 update: Six million U.S. jobless claims; Russia sends medical aid to U.S.

Comprehensive update with COVID-19 news from around the world

Couple celebrates 61st anniversary through Vancouver Island seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

Belle from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ entertains home-bound kids in Cowichan Bay

Alora Killam, 16, played the part in musical two years ago

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

Most Read