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

Fraser Valley couple wins $500K after finding scratch-and-win while moving

  • Robert Walters and Lois Gueret of Agassiz win half a million from Scratch & Win ticket

High-risk sex offender living in Chilliwack back in court

Former mayor and residents wanted James Conway gone from residential neighbourhood two years ago

Court orders Hope-area First Nation council to accept long-contested memberships

Federal judge rules Peters Band Council acted “irrationally, unreasonably” in rejecting applications

KAAC won’t back Kent’s Teacup properties plans

Public consultation meeting is on March 10 at District Hall

Students in the Fraser East work hard, need more mental health support

McCreary Centre releases stats from 2018 that show trends among students

VIDEO: Feds warned agricultural sector near ‘tipping point’ due to blockades

Canadian Federation of Agriculture points to lack of propane and feed due to Coastal GasLink dispute

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Child in hospital following fatal crash that killed father, sibling on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

Three months later, city official Coun. Dalvir Nahal said she’s more angry than anything

B.C. landlord can’t serve eviction notice because tenant is in jail

Homeowner baffled at arbitrator decision based on notice of hearing not being served properly

Hidden message connects Castlegar homeowners decades apart

The Rodgers family was surprised when a message fell out of the walls as they were renovating

Two B.C. men plead guilty to bus-terminal assault of man with autism in Ontario

Parmvir Chahil and Jaspaul Uppal due to be sentenced in June for aggravated assault

B.C. Liberals call for assistance on soaring strata insurance rates

NDP’s Carole James says problem is across the country

Most Read