WestJet passengers describe 'nightmare' after flight from Mexico delayed
CTVNews.ca Staff with a report from CTV Ottawa's Michael O'Byrne
Published Tuesday, January 8, 2019 9:10AM EST
A WestJet flight from Mexico to Ottawa turned into a 33-hour ordeal of delays and confusion, passengers say.
“Basically I would call it a nightmare,” Betty Clarke told CTV Ottawa.
The flight was scheduled to take off Saturday morning from Cancun, Mexico.
Clarke says the approximately 150 passengers on the flight spent 4.5 hours sitting in the plane, being offered only one glass of water and one bag of pretzels, before they were told their flight had been cancelled due to a mechanical issue.
Everyone left the plane and remained in the airport for another three hours, at which point they were told they would be bused to a Marriott hotel and fly out Sunday morning.
Instead, they were taken to a hostel – one Clarke describes as “absolutely horrendous.”
“They didn’t even know we were coming,” another passenger, Chris Spiteri, said.
One passenger was able to reach WestJet’s Calgary office, which said a mistake had been made and more buses would be sent. Those buses never showed up, and the Calgary office later told the passengers they were on their own for the night.
“WestJet seemed to abandon us,” Spiteri said.
WestJet issued a statement Monday blaming “an error by our booking partner” for hotel rooms not being available and saying it would reimburse the passengers “for their time and frustration” as well as accommodation expenses.
“We understand that the delay and subsequent cancellation was both tedious and long and that the service our guests were provided was clearly not up to the WestJet standards that we aspire to deliver,” the statement reads.
All passengers left Cancun on Sunday, WestJet said.
Spiteri, a lawyer, is considering launching a class-action lawsuit on behalf of the passengers.