Delayed flight compensation will be due on many flight delay cases including a recent one from Seattle to London.
Kellie Power was flying to Gatwick airport with Westjet to get married. She booked a flight with WestJet; first leg from Seattle to Calgary, the next leg onto London’s Gatwick airport – it did not go well.
The first leg of the flight from Seattle to Calgary had its departure time changed to an earlier time. Calgary-based airline WestJet called to notify her, but she didn’t answer. When she arrived at the airport, the flight had already taken off and she had to spend the night at a hotel in Seattle and arrive in London a day later than planned.
On the return flight from Gatwick to Seattle, the flight was delayed by more than four hours, which caused her to miss the connection flight.
“We got to the airport and waited six hours for our flight,” said Power. “They scheduled us for a new connection, but the already delayed flight was delayed further. We sat on the tarmac for an hour, so missed our new connection as well. We ended up getting into Seattle 18 hours later than we initially planned.”
To sum up, a day-long flight delay claim going out and nearly a day-long flight delay coming home, however this story is a typical problem with WestJet’s London route. Airline forums are heavy on complaints. One forum, has a thread dedicated to WestJet’s Gatwick route and many angry passengers have taken to Twitter, with one theme: delays, schedule changes, and cancellations.
WestJet announced its service to London a little more than a year ago, its first overseas destination for the four wide-bodied Boeing 767 jets that it bought from Qantas. Those jets have an average age of 24 years, which is the core of the problem. They began to have mechanical problems. “The 767s have been giving us lots of grief, lots of mechanical problems,” said Westjet’s chief executive officer Gregg Saretsky. “We’re finding that when things break, because some of the parts are so old, we don’t have them in store. And then we’re doing a global search through the AOG desk to find them and then it’s taking two or three days to get these things. We don’t want to keep them in stock because they break once every 20 years.”
Ian Procter was one of the passengers to suffer an uncomfortable flight, an experience that he describes as a bait-and-switch. He had made plans to use WestJet’s in-flight entertainment system for the nine-hour flight from Calgary to London. Instead he was put on an Omni Jet flight which had no personal entertainment system, the screens were in the middle aisle, there were no power outlets and less leg room than expected, “they are allowed to unilaterally change the conditions of the flight we purchased, departure and arrival times, with no notice or compensation?”
WestJet’s social media team has been active on Twitter responding to complaints. The company said that it’s responding to each customer who makes contact.
Under the European Denied Boarding and Delayed Flight legislation anyone with a delayed flight of more than three hours out of Europe — is entitled to compensation, if your flight is cancelled you are entitled to a full refund on if the plane is full of passengers, that’s approximately £225,000 in compensation for one flight delay. If they’re compensating people at the rate, basically, they’re flying people across the Atlantic for free.
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