Kelowna couple taking airline to court over holiday fiasco

WestJet sued for $5k

A Kelowna couple have filed a notice of claim in small claims court seeking $5,000 in damages after they say WestJet left them stranded in Hawaii.

The suit filed last week in Provincial Court in Kelowna accused the airline of not performing their duty to try and help them return home after their original flight was cancelled.

Chelsey and Tyler Bednar say they were scheduled to fly from Honolulu to Kelowna via Calgary with their three children on the evening of Friday, Jan. 12 . The notice of claim said they received a text from the airline that morning.

"WestJet update: Flight WS1867 to Calgary has changed, updated flight details will be emailed and messaged to you within one hour," they wrote.

They say WestJet informed them the change was due to a "delay with scheduled aircraft maintenance," and may change as new information is received.

An hour later they say they received by text a voucher for a hotel for one night and food vouchers which did not work at the airport.

No further contact

The claim states they received no further word from the airline and eventually reached a service agent who said there were no flights available until the following Thursday although they may be able to get to Vancouver on the Tuesday.

"I told her there were other flights going out on the other airlines and now learning under the Airlines Act they are supposed to book you on another airline if they don't have any available on their own airline," the notice states.

"The agent said all she could do for us is reimburse us what we paid originally for the returning flights into our WestJet dollar account which helped us in no way.

"She told me I should book with another airline and then try and get compensation from WestJet through the website."

The claim says they were able to book a flight out with Air Canada the following day.

"I applied for compensation on the WestJet website and received an email back on Jan. 23 declining my request for compensation of the five new flights and baggage that had to be booked for the amount of $5,038.50."

The Bednars say they still don't know why their original flight was cancelled.

They are suing WestJet for the amount of the tickets as well as filing costs.

The claims made in the suit have not been tested in court.

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