WestJet clients had been rebooked on a seven-and-a-half-hour bus journey from Calgary to Regina after their afternoon flight was cancelled Sunday.
Passengers stated they had been knowledgeable lower than three hours earlier than boarding that the one-hour flight between the 2 cities had been cancelled and that they might attain their vacation spot by way of “floor transportation” that will have them arrive in Regina after midnight.
Jeff Mathieson, a farmer who was getting back from a trip in Mexico together with his spouse and two younger kids, tried unsuccessfully to lease a automotive earlier than accepting the 750-kilometre bus journey.
“We had been fairly shocked to listen to that we had been going to be returning to Regina on a bus and never a aircraft,” he stated in a social media message, including that the subsequent accessible flight was late Wednesday evening.
Instructed to collect close to the WestJet check-in counter at 4 p.m., the household didn’t board the bus till an hour later and wound up arriving residence in Saskatchewan after 2 a.m.
“I do perceive that we made it to our vacation spot, however with the costs we’re having to pay for journey nowadays we should always have the ability to count on a sure degree of service.”
WestJet stated in an e-mail it sincerely apologizes to visitors affected by the cancellation, which it attributed to “unscheduled plane upkeep.”
“Sadly, reaccommodation choices had been restricted as a result of excessive demand for journey over the weekend and vital climate occasions throughout Vancouver and Vancouver Island which induced compounding operational impacts and restricted plane availability,” Denise Kenny, a spokeswoman for the airline, stated in an e-mail.
“With the intention to greatest assist impacted visitors in reaching their vacation spot as shortly as potential, floor transportation was organized to supply a right away journey choice for many who had been unable to attend for another flight choice.”
WestJet noticed eight per cent of its Sunday flights cancelled and practically half delayed, in accordance with monitoring service FlightAware.
Chris Henderson, a musician getting back from a gig, wound up paying for a Calgary lodge after managing to rebook on a next-day flight.
“The final 4 instances in a row that I needed to join in Calgary I’ve missed my connection and needed to keep in a single day. However they’ve by no means provided me a bus experience earlier than,” he stated, qualifying that some cancellations had been with different airways.
“If I pay for a steak, do not give me a sizzling canine.”
After all of the journey chaos this previous summer time and winter holidays, Henderson stated he now at all times travels the day earlier than a present for concern of delays or cancellations. He additionally missed a substitute instructing alternative in Regina on Monday as a result of rebooking, he stated.
As for the lodge, he stated a visitor companies agent informed him to submit the receipt somewhat than wait in line to request a hospitality voucher “’as a result of it is such a gong present proper now.”’
The dearth of accessible seats comes after Air Canada lower service between Calgary and Regina and Calgary and Saskatoon, leaving Prairie travellers reliant on WestJet.
Nonetheless, WestJet stated final month it could ramp up service between Alberta’s largest metropolis and Saskatchewan beginning Feb. 16, with another day by day flight between Calgary and Regina, amounting to as many as seven flights every day.
It additionally stated it could tack on three extra day by day flights between Calgary and Saskatoon, totalling as much as 9 direct flights a day.
This report by The Canadian Press was first printed on Feb. 27, 2023.