No refund if passenger dies

A Delta couple is taking issue with ticket policies at WestJet following the death of a family member and their inability to get a refund or credit from the airline.

Nicki Adamson and her husband Trevor Drummond say Drummond’s 77-year-old mother Angel died after she purchased a ticket through a travel agent in February to attend a family wedding in early July.

“She became ill and ended up in hospital. I first contacted WestJet on June 12 to see if we could do anything, as we knew by that point she would not be able to travel to the wedding, so I wanted to see what were my options,” said Adamson.

“We first asked if we could change the ticket, so another family member could attend and use the ticket. We went right to the airport because we weren’t getting anywhere over the phone. We spoke with a supervisor and the only thing they did was give us a bereavement number. My husband called them, and WestJet said it was policy and they would make no exceptions.”

WestJet spokesperson Lauren Stewart expressed sympathies for the family, but said the airline’s policies around base fare tickets are clear.

“WestJet receives many inquiries from guests asking for exceptions to basic fare rules for extenuating circumstances, however, unfortunately it is not possible,” Stewart said. “Understandably, if WestJet was to make an exception for one situation it would only be reasonable to make it for all, thus making the purpose of basic fares obsolete.”

“Basic fare bookings are not eligible for refund, exchange or name changes should travel plans require cancellation or changes,” added Stewart. “At the time of booking, guests always have the option to purchase other fares we offer (econo, premium, etc.) if they are looking for options such as flexibility, date changes, advanced seat selection and WestJet rewards.”

“The travel agent should have asked her about insurance, and we had no idea either, but when someone dies you never plan that,” added Adamson.

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