WestJet ordered to pay YLW traveller $700 for temporarily lost luggage

$700 for delayed luggage

WestJet was recently ordered to pay a Kelowna traveller more than $700 after the airline temporarily lost his luggage during a January 2023 trip to Hawaii.

Kelly Quist flew from Kelowna to Kahului, Hawaii on the afternoon of Jan. 21, 2023 for a golf trip, but when he arrived, he found that his one bag with his golfing equipment hadn't made the trip.

WestJet had a courier deliver the bag to Quist on Jan. 23, and he flew home the following day.

In a recent Civil Resolution claim, Quist said WestJet told him to “buy whatever you need” and “it will all be reimbursed." As a result, Quist claimed roughly $3,000 in compensation, which included a variety of golf-related expenses and clothing.

But Tribunal member David Jiang said the law allows for reimbursement of “reasonably necessary expenses.”

As as result, Jiang ruled the purchase of golf shoes and gloves, along with golf club rentals, should be reimbursed, as “it is undisputed his bag included such items, and he was on a golf trip.”

By the morning of Jan. 23, WestJet had emailed Quist and told him he would receive his bag that day. But Quist claimed reimbursement for the purchase of 13 shirts, six pairs of shorts, eight pairs of socks, nine pairs of underwear, and a towel that were purchased on Jan. 23 and 24.

“I find this exceeds what is reasonably necessary,” Jiang said. “By this time, his trip was nearing its end. Mr. Quist knew his baggage was on the way or had already received it in the case of the January 24, 2023 receipts.”

But WestJet conceded that it was still reasonably necessary for Quist to purchase an outfit, so Jiang ordered the reimbursement of one shirt, one pair of shorts, two pairs of socks and three pairs of underwear.

Jiang also refused to compensate Quist for his green fees at the Wailea Golf Club and the Kapalua Golf Plantation Course, as “Mr. Quist would have incurred this fee in any event.”

In total, the Tribunal ordered WestJet pay Quist $609 to reimburse his purchases, along with $32 in interest and $62 in CRT fees.

Quist had argued that WestJet had spoiled his vacation by losing his baggage for the couple days. But in his decision, Jiang noted Quist's flight to Hawaii cost $440, and said that Quist should not be awarded a “windfall” for the baggage issue.

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