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WestJet Caught Lying to Flyers Again

Airline claims destination closed after hurricane, but later called the information a “business decision.”

Canadian carrier WestJet is once again apologizing to passengers after getting caught in another lie about why service was canceled. A CBC News investigation discovered the airline said flights to Santa Clara, Cuba were canceled due to Hurricane Irma when in reality, the decision was apparently made for business purposes.

On or around September 26, 2017, the airline told ticket-holding flyers the scheduled services were cancelled because the airport would not reopen until January 6, 2018. As a result, some decided to change their tickets at their own expense, adding additional fees to their tickets.

In reality, the airport was only temporarily closed. It reopened on September 26, around the same time flyers were notified about the cancellations. After CBC News looked into the situation, WestJet issued a public apology, calling the situation a “communication error.”

“We took a conservative approach to the timing as without solid information on how long recovery would take, we wanted to avoid a situation where we were moving guests’ holiday plans at the last minute,” the full statement reads. “We again apologize for the erroneous information.”

As a result, WestJet offered those affected a refund on their tickets. However, flyers say the apology and offer don’t go far enough, with some claiming the refunds did not cover change fees on those tickets until they confronted the airline.

“I said, ‘Do you think this is appropriate, you’re misleading people? You’re telling people, it’s an act of God?’” flyer Joe Lawson told CBC News about his confrontation with the airline. He was able to get the full cost of his ticket refunded. “‘Communication error’ is garbage […] They should be penalized.”

The situation marks the second time WestJet has been caught in a lie by flyers. In November 2017, the Canadian carrier apologized for cancellations to the Caribbean, once again telling flyers the airports were closed after hurricanes when they were open to service from other carriers.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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weero December 20, 2017

That's some Euro-carrier grade stuff!