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‘Nightmare earlier than Christmas’: WestJet leaves couple with no luggage, no resort, no flights in Vancouver – Yahoo Life


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

The couple, who reside within the Seattle space, arrived at Vancouver International 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 luggage.

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

Sharon and her husband have been lastly in a position to accumulate their luggage round 2:00 a.m. on Tuesday, describing the method of doing so “chaos.”

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

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

“They actually left, so there was no person,” Sharon stated. “To me, that was essentially the most essentially the most devastating as a result of none of us knew what to do and there was no person to speak to.”

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 recollects {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 obtainable and the climate situations have been too unhealthy to make their approach downtown. The couple heard that Uber wasn’t even coming to the airport, however in addition they did not wish to threat lacking their flight.

The couple ended up reserving one other flight with Air Canada, by means of Travelocity, the positioning they used to ebook their unique WestJet flight. The airplane was scheduled to depart at Tuesday at 2:15 p.m. The tickets have been about $900 per particular person, a method from Vancouver to Saskatoon.

That flight was cancelled late morning they usually acquired an computerized 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, on Wednesday the couple bought a resort room close to the airport for the night time. They waited collectively for 3 hours for his or her luggage, earlier than Sharon left to seek 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 report, no scanning,” Sharon defined. “He went personally to the check-in counter to verify, as they prompt.”

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

As a precaution, in addition they “begged” the resort to permit them to ebook an extra night time, in case they want it, and have been informed they needed to ebook an extra two nights, at least.

On Thursday night, Air Canada cancelled the couple’s flight to Saskatoon.

‘It simply felt like such large abandonment’

Total, Sharon described this entire 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 individuals and what they’re struggling, and their tales, and it is actually heartbreaking,” she stated. “I’ve talked to airline pilots, they’re simply shaking their heads.”

“It appears there are a number of points which can be 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 problem” and that staffing amid the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a problem, however she confused that elevated journey in the course of the holidays is a predictable sample and climate consultants had additionally predicted this storm coming by means of.

“Lots of, hundreds of persons are not with their family members,” Sharon stated. “Individuals [were] informed they’re no longer flying out till Dec. 26,…a number of of them stated 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 by means of this tough time.

“I’ve seen wonderful issues, I’ve heard wonderful issues,” Sharon stated. “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 by means of 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. However 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 by means of 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, but it surely’s an entire different stage to not have anyone for recourse, or something to seek out out what might be finished, what’s doable. 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 time and again, I see it in individuals’s faces, I hear it in his voices.”

In an replace on Thursday, WestJet warned travellers that “there is very limited re-accommodation availability due to the high demand for travel this time of year and the significant impact across the industry.”

Air Canada is urging travellers verify the daily travel 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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