Bumped from Flight

Old Mar 21, 19, 7:22 pm
  #1  
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Bumped from Flight

Hi,
Received a call on Wednesday this week from WestJet that I got bumped off a flight on Saturday. The flight was booked about 4 months ago using non westjet points. The airplane on the Saturday route was not one that was recently grounded. The flight status did not change. We have friends on the same plane & flight that did not get bumped. The same plane was being used for the same route. They just arbitrarily kicked me off my direct flight.

After about 3 hours of multiple calls I was able to rebook routing with a major painful difference. 2 Kids and wife go one direction, me and my other kid go in another direction hubbing through different cities. We have to start 11 hours earlier.

I go from direct flight of about 6 hours to a non direct itinerary of 17 hours. Funny thing is we land at a similar time as the original flight. Just the hardship of being apart for the start of our family vacation, starting much earlier, sleeping in the airport, being ready earlier, missing our free ride to airport etc. Will be so tired on my first day of vacation will be a waste of vacation time for that day.

Is this grounds for compensation. If anyone has advice, understanding of amount of compensation etc this would be helpful to consider when I lodge a complaint.
Thanks
Jay
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Old Mar 21, 19, 9:59 pm
  #2  
 
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The grounding of the existing Max fleet, as well future Max deliveries in the next 60+ days, will inevitably result in all kinds of sched changes.

The company will be moving around the 737NG fleet to deal with this, which ranges from 113 to 140 to 166 seats. Some flights will be upguaged, some downgauged, it would appear your flight was downgauged.

There are 2 787’s operating YYC - YYZ connecting hubs. At one point there was also a 767 on the run as well.

It is likely a force majeure issue. The Govt approved these aircraft for operation in Canada and subsequently revoked the approval. I doubt people will see much compensation on this file.



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HangTen is offline  
Old Mar 21, 19, 11:23 pm
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Why would they arbitrarily pick a group of people travelling together and bump them ahead of time?
What if they get no shows/cancellations between now and then?
Why wouldn't they ask for volunteers at the airport if they were still overbooked at that point?
Will be very interesting to see if your friends report any empty seats on the flight. And even then, that's not a great indicator since they could have cleared non-revs/other standbys that OP should have priority over.
Seems like they are trying to get out of IDB/VDB compensation by bumping them off the flight prior to departure date.
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cedric is offline  
Old Mar 21, 19, 11:37 pm
  #4  
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Thanks for the reply...So when the max flights got canceled we were worried. We called WJ last week and they confirmed the plane was the 737-800 no change from original flight. Max 8 never flew the route we take. The agent last week said we were safe from cancelation. The 800 has the largest capacity so there should be no downsizing unless there fleet of 800 has some different seat capacities?

The plane had not changed... As reported by the agent on the phone. So both before and after the plane was the same.
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Old Mar 21, 19, 11:41 pm
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OP, which route is this? I would not accept their proposal and ask them to go back to the drawing board and find you a better solution. Splitting up your family on your vacation? What were they thinking? I would ask for Westjet dollars in compensation and be put in premium seat if available.
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Old Mar 21, 19, 11:52 pm
  #6  
5mm
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Originally Posted by suncarl9999 View Post
Hi,
Received a call on Wednesday this week from WestJet that I got bumped off a flight on Saturday. The flight was booked about 4 months ago using non westjet points. The airplane on the Saturday route was not one that was recently grounded. The flight status did not change. We have friends on the same plane & flight that did not get bumped. The same plane was being used for the same route. They just arbitrarily kicked me off my direct flight.

After about 3 hours of multiple calls I was able to rebook routing with a major painful difference. 2 Kids and wife go one direction, me and my other kid go in another direction hubbing through different cities. We have to start 11 hours earlier.

I go from direct flight of about 6 hours to a non direct itinerary of 17 hours. Funny thing is we land at a similar time as the original flight. Just the hardship of being apart for the start of our family vacation, starting much earlier, sleeping in the airport, being ready earlier, missing our free ride to airport etc. Will be so tired on my first day of vacation will be a waste of vacation time for that day.

Is this grounds for compensation. If anyone has advice, understanding of amount of compensation etc this would be helpful to consider when I lodge a complaint.
Thanks
Jay
What WS did is just wrong. I would demand a day room/hotel/ all extra expensive to be paid for by WS. I would also get them to put your family all on the same flights. You should also ask for compassion on the fact they bumped you from a direct flight. I see a CBC news report soon!
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Old Mar 22, 19, 9:11 am
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I can't explain why you were bumped but I would assume they likely switched from an 800 to 700 and maybe the agent was looking at things wrong.

You probably were picked because you were at the bottom of the list for fare class if you booked with points from a third party. Did you friends book directly with Westjet?
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Old Mar 22, 19, 1:06 pm
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What Westjet did is wrong and Illegal but there is not much you can do now as they will claim you accepted the change. If they were bumping you from a connecting flight in advance and yet putting you, say on a direct flight that got you there sooner but didn't force you to leave 11 hours earlier then you would have no recourse. Regardless of reason, an airline that has an overbooked flight must ask for volunteers and then bump people as per their priorities. Sometimes they don't do it thinking they can just bully passengers and make them think there is no alternative but to accept a booking on one of their flights. If they bump you involuntarily airline are require to protect you on any flight with any airline, something they would rather not do due to the effort involved in doing so. Personally I would have said it' s not acceptable and just show up at the airport with a written confirmation for the flight they bumped me from and demand that they follow proper procedures. If you get bumped after they ask for volunteers that' s fine you get IDB compensation. Those are the choices: you either accept what they offer or stand your ground and escalate to a supervisor reminding them that it is illegal for an airline to pro-actively bump passengers from a flight. If you still don't get anywhere, short a buying a ticket on another airline and suing them at least make a complaint to the CTA. Airlines face a stiff fine for not following IDB rules. Good luck!
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Old Mar 22, 19, 2:19 pm
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If we knew the route then perhaps we'd have a better idea as to what has happened. Perhaps other passengers from cancelled/downgauged MAX flights were rerouted onto the OP's flight causing an overbooking situation?

I'm sure that the MAX mess is causing all sorts of nasty cascading waves through the schedule.
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Old Mar 22, 19, 8:44 pm
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Originally Posted by stevendorechester View Post
What Westjet did is wrong and Illegal ...
What you are describing applied to Involuntary Denied Boarding (IDB). This situation is not IDB but is a rebooking in advance due to an equipment change for ooerational reasons as allowed under Westjet tarrifs. There certainly is room to negotiate a better outcome but IDB isn't in play here.
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Old Mar 23, 19, 3:39 pm
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A bit of an update... The plane confirmed on that flight we were bumped from did not change and was the 737-800- confirmed by folks we know that were on the flight. The other item of interest was that an entire additional flight crew were on the plane as passengers... So I assume they needed room at the last minute for personnel management and screwed us.
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Old Mar 23, 19, 5:30 pm
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Originally Posted by suncarl9999 View Post
A bit of an update... The plane confirmed on that flight we were bumped from did not change and was the 737-800- confirmed by folks we know that were on the flight. The other item of interest was that an entire additional flight crew were on the plane as passengers... So I assume they needed room at the last minute for personnel management and screwed us.
Don't necessarily think that you were bumped to make room for the crew. The crew may have always been booked on that flight. Unfortunately in a situation where passengers need to be bumped there is a hierarchy for doing so and it is based on fare classes. You were likely in one of the lowest fare buckets and so you were bumped to make room.
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Old Mar 25, 19, 11:17 pm
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If the plane was the same then WS did something wrong and you should write in to them and seek a resolution and advise that you will write to the CTA if a suitable resolution is not forthcoming. You had a contract to be on that plane and they broke that contract (if there was a down gauge of aircraft things might be looked at differently).
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Old Mar 25, 19, 11:45 pm
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If the flight was from YVR to CUN this past Saturday (based on a 6 hour direct flight to a vacation destination), the aircraft was a 737-700, before the MAX grounding it was generally a 737-800.
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Old Apr 1, 19, 5:50 pm
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Originally Posted by Altaflyer View Post
If the plane was the same then WS did something wrong and you should write in to them and seek a resolution and advise that you will write to the CTA if a suitable resolution is not forthcoming. You had a contract to be on that plane and they broke that contract (if there was a down gauge of aircraft things might be looked at differently).
There are multiple operational reasons why passengers may need to be re-accomodated besides change of aircraft type - all covered under the applicable tariffs (the "contract"). Yes, a complaint can be filed but the CTA will not do much if you can't point to a specific rule that was violated by Westjet or make a case that the rule that allowed the change is unreasonable or discriminatory (understanding that "discriminatory" has a very narrow definition in the context of the tariffs).

If the exact flight # was mentioned, people could provide more info on what may have taken place.
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