(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)

‘It’s incredibly upsetting’: Kelowna health care worker demands WestJet ticket refund

Kelowna woman has been waiting almost a year for a refund on her Kelowna to Edmonton flight

Frustrations are mounting as travellers across B.C. continue to wait for plane ticket refunds, for some almost a year after flights were cancelled by the airline due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Kelowna frontline health care worker is one of many battling an airline to request a refund and after months without answers is speaking out. The health care worker, who asked to remain anonymous due to fear of compromising her job, has been trying to get a refund on her WestJet plane ticket since March 2020.

READ MORE: Federal Court says class action on COVID-19 airfare refunds a matter for other courts

In early 2020, she bought a ticket from Kelowna to Edmonton, to see her children. In March, a month and a half before she was scheduled to depart, WestJet informed her that her flight was cancelled due to the spread of a deadly virus taking the world by storm. While she asked for a refund, she was instead offered a two-year credit on her $300 ticket.

“All these people are keeping these airlines open, with people’s hard-earned money. They’re still able to keep their airlines open when all these other businesses are going under because they don’t have the proper money. Well, I think that’s incredibly unfair,” she said on Jan. 14.

She recently reached out again to the flight company, to request a refund on her ticket. Amid the pandemic, she has no use for the credit and has no plans to fly anywhere.

If she did fly, the woman explained she would be faced with a mandatory two-week quarantine, without pay, upon her return. The woman has plans to retire later this year and is saving all the money she can.

Had she cancelled the flight on her own accord, she says she would have accepted her losses. However, since this was out of her control, she believes she is owed her money in full.

In response to a request for comment, WestJet did not address the specific incident and instead pointed to its policies surrounding refunds.

READ MORE :WestJet to offer full refunds for flights cancelled due to COVID-19

The company explained it has, “consistently provided guests with options when their travel has been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis,” and that “eligible” guests have been receiving refunds.

WestJet confirmed guests are offered two-year credits when their flight is cancelled. In October, the company announced it would begin providing refunds to “eligible” guests if WestJet cancelled the flight.

But, according to WestJet, these refunds can take up to nine months to process.

“We remain focused on expediting refunds as promptly as possible,” stated the company in an email.

When asked what defines someone as being ‘eligible’ for a refund and further clarification on this specific incident, the company did not respond.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: phil.mclachlan@kelownacapnews.com


 

@newspaperphil
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

SASCU is looking to celebrate its 75th anniversary with a legacy project, in the same way the Shuswap credit union marked its 60th by commissioning the apple sculpture at its downtown location. That artwork includes 14 apples honouring SASCU’s founding families. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Shuswap credit union to mark 75th anniversary with legacy project

SASCU will be looking for input from arts community, city

Interior Health reported 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5. (Black Press Files)
Interior Health reports 33 new COVID-19 cases on March 5

Over 300,000 vaccine doses have been administered provincewide.

Dave Wallace and David Askew with Askew’s Foods present a $500 cheque on March 2 to Chrissy Deye and Monica Kriese with the volunteer-run Food With Friends free lunch program. (Contributed)
Salmon Arm Food with Friends free lunch program receives support

Funds from Askew’s to help volunteers keep meals coming four days per week

Okanagan College, Vernon campus. (Brendan Shykora - Vernon Morning Star)
Student housing coming to Vernon, Salmon Arm

Province announces $66M for new student beds for Okanagan College campuses

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

C.E. “Ned” Bentley owned a garage on Shaughnessy Avenue, now Lakeshore Drive in Summerland. Bentley later went on to serve on Summerland’s council and was recognized with the Good Citizen Award in 1939. (Summerland Museum photo)
Former Summerland reeve once ran garage

C.E. “Ned” Bentley was a prominent figure in Summerland’s past.

Kevin Haughton is the founder/technologist of Courtenay-based Clearflo Solutions. Scott Stanfield photo
Islander aims Clearflo clean drinking water system at Canada’s remote communities

Entrepreneur $300,000 mobile system can produce 50,000 litres of water in a day, via solar energy

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

Two shepherds on Queest Mountain pose for a photo in front of the A-Frame tent they camp out in while tending their flock in the year 1930. 
(Sicamous and District Historical Society photo)
Shuswap History in photos: Shepherds’ Camp

A pair of 1930s shepherds pose for a photo in the camp they called home while tending a flock.

Paramjit Bogarh, connected to the murder of his wife in Vernon 35 years ago, has been relerased on full parole, one year after he was sentenced to five years in prison for accessory after the fact. (Contributed)
Full parole for ex-Okanagan man who helped wife’s alleged killer escape

Paramjit Bogarh pleaded guilty to accessory to murder after helping brother flee Canada

Most Read