WestJet travel nightmare for a Victoria family trying to get home

WestJet travel nightmare for a Victoria family trying to get home
Stephanie Sherlock/submitted
When Stephanie Sherlock, her mom and ex-husband landed in Calgary, they were not offered a hotel room despite the long delay.

What should have been a simple six-hour flight from Thunder Bay back to the Island has turned into a travel nightmare for a Victoria woman and her family.

Stephanie Sherlock arrived at the Calgary airport with her mother and ex-husband at midnight.

“It is one o’clock, I think, now. It’s been already 12 hours. We’re going to be here for another seven,” Sherlock said during a Zoom interview. “We spent another 42 hours in Winnipeg. So altogether, we’re coming up on basically three days of travel on what should have been six hours.”

The three left Thunder Bay Saturday morning for their 5:45 a.m. WestJet flight back to Victoria via Winnipeg.

On the plane, things started to go sideways.

Watch the full report below:

“The minute we got on the plane, I got an alert from WestJet saying that our flight from Winnipeg to Victoria was cancelled,” Sherlock said.

They spent 42 hours in Winnipeg before getting a flight to Calgary. WestJet provided them with vouchers for a hotel, and meals, but when they arrived in Calgary, nothing was offered.

“We were told there were no hotels anywhere. You are not getting vouchers, but it doesn’t matter because it’s Stampede. I mean, couldn’t be any less helpful,” Sherlock said.

Making matters worse, Sherlock says her companions both have disabilities.

She took photos of her mother and ex-husband sleeping on the couches at WestJet’s Special Assistance counter.

“I specifically said to the woman last night, my mother is 77 years old. She has a brain tumor and a pacemaker. My ex-husband has a brain injury and a physical disability from a massive stroke. What am I supposed to do? She said, I don’t know,” Sherlock said.

Air Passenger Rights advocate Gábor Lukács says it appears as though WestJet violated the air passenger protection regulations.

“The passengers should have been getting hotels, and because they didn’t I would say that’s a serious violation of their air passenger protection regulations,” Lukács said. “Especially when we are talking about persons with disabilities that provide additional protection and assistance. So it’s really baffling that WestJet would treat passengers this way. I’m shocked, and disappointed.”

Sherlock and her ex-husband are now scheduled to leave Calgary Monday evening on a WestJet flight, the last she vows on this airline.

WestJet did not respond to CHEK’s inquires by deadline.

READ MORE: ‘Full resumption of operations will take time’: after reaching tentative deal: WestJet

Mary GriffinMary Griffin

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