An Alberta mother is raising concerns about how WestJet handled a collision at the Comox airport Wednesday.
She and her family were on a WestJet plane, heading home, when it hit a military aircraft on the taxiway of the Comox Valley Airport.
The mother, who now has a sore back, says WestJet showed little empathy to passengers.
Brandie-Lee Hiltz and her family had said goodbye to her mother at the Comox airport and had boarded the WestJet plane that was moving along the taxiway towards the runway.
“Right before we hit, something had gone on with [my daughter] and stuff so I had my neck down and turned to look at her and as it hit,” said Hiltz. “The whole plane jolted, like almost threw me into the seat in front of me, and slammed back cause it came to an abrupt stop.”
Her husband took some footage while heading back to the airport terminal on a bus that shows the tip of the WestJet wing on the ground.
It turns out the WestJet plane hit a CC-130H Hercules search and rescue aircraft stationed at CFB Comox.
After the incident, Lee-Hiltz says there was a lack of care.
“And me… travelling with two children, you kind of thought you’d get a, ‘Hey, are you good?'” she said. “Not a single person asked, ‘Are you OK? There’s an ambulance over here if you want to get checked out,’ or anything. Nothing. Not a single thing, so I’m disappointed entirely with WestJet.”
In a statement, WestJet called it “a minor incident” and said “all guests and crew were safely offloaded from the aircraft and there have been no reported injuries as a result of this incident…”
“My neck is very sore this morning and so is my husband,” said Hiltz. “He was almost asleep when the plane actually hit, so a big jolt out of nowhere, yeah, that’s not fun on your neck. So both of us feel it’s tight all the way down my neck. I had a headache that felt like if you wear backwards glasses on your head. A headache around the front, all down my neck and across my shoulders.”
Hiltz suspects other passengers may have similar impacts and wonders, if this is how WestJet responds to a ‘minor incident,’ what would happen during something major?
The military says it’s also investigating the incident and is still assessing the damage to their aircraft.