Penticton residents suing WestJet after flight cancellation, heading to courts

Locals versus WestJet

Two Penticton residents and WestJet Airlines will be headed to court in June to decide whether a civil lawsuit filed against the airline for cancelled flights stands up to their over $30K claim.

Richard and Susan Thompson originally filed the suit in Penticton courts, naming WestJet Airlines as the defendant at the end of February. The Thompsons claimed there was a 'callous disregard for wellbeing' after their return flights were cancelled from San Jose del Cabo in 2022.

The Thompsons' suit alleged that they purchased two airline tickets from WestJet with the premium economy cabin designation to travel to San Jose del Cabo in Mexico from Victoria, B.C. The flight left from Victoria on April 9, 2022, and was booked to return to Victoria on April 23, 2022.

They allege that WestJet cancelled the return portion of their airline ticket following a delay due to an ill crew member. As a result, the Thompsons incurred expenses to stay longer in the area, including an overnight stay and additional meals and transportation.

After being booked onto a new premium economy flight for April 24, 2022, they claim they were not provided with the premium amenities, such as priority boarding, meals or beverages.

"As a result of [WestJet's] callous disregard for the wellbeing of its passenger and failure to communicate, the [Thompsons] suffered significant mental/emotional distress," the civil suit reads.

"In addition, the delay tactics of [WestJet] in addressing the refund/compensation claim of the [Thompsons] amounted to bad faith and added to the [Thompson's] mental/emotional distress."

On March 17, 2023, WestJet fired back with a reply, denying that they owed anything to the couple or that the Thompsons had suffered any loss or damages.

They claimed that any such loss, damage or expense caused by the situation was outside of the control of WestJet, or the situation within their control were required for safety purposes.

“WestJet submits that the [Thompson's] claim be dismissed with costs payable to WestJet,” their reply reads.

The Thompsons originally were seeking $10,617.92, with $7,500 of the claim coming from mental distress, however when they amended their claim and submitted the civil suit on March 29, 2023, they upped it to over $30,000.

The Thompsons claim that there are further damages owed due to Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act, adding an additional $20,000 to total the claim out at $30,617.92.

“[WestJet] knowingly mislead, deceived and misrepresented to the [Thompsons] having sufficient crew, sufficient rebooking staff and a fair and reasonable compensation claim process contrary to the provisions of the British Columbia Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act,” the civil suit reads.

WestJet amended their reply on May 5, 2023.

‘WestJet denies that it engaged in deceptive or unconscionable acts of practices, and puts the [Thompsons] to strict proof thereof,” their reply reads.

No allegations from either party have yet been proven in court.

A settlement conference has been scheduled for June.

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