B.C. man seeking $34K in civil claim against WestJet for 29-hour delay

A Kelowna, B.C., man is taking WestJet to court for nearly $34,000 in damages related to a flight to Dublin, Ireland, that he claims was slowed due to the airline’s insufficient staffing levels.

Marc Whittemore filed a notice of claim on Wednesday, stating that the airline owed him $1,000 due to a 29-hour delay in Dublin, relating to air passenger protection regulations, another $184 for expenses incurred, and $33,000 through the business practices and consumer protection act.

After boarding the flight at about 5:30 p.m., and sitting on the tarmac for another 45 minutes, the court document indicates that WestJet cancelled the flight “with the excuse that the crew had duty timed out, all the while knowing it had caused the timing out by virtue of the baggage check-in delays.”

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The next day, he booked another flight with the knowledge there was enough baggage checking staff on hand to facilitate an on-time departure but, again, that didn’t pan out.

Whittemore said he was “misled” that the flight would depart at 3:30 p.m., and make a 7:15 p.m. connection in Calgary to Kelowna.

Whittemore said he “endured intolerable line ups, crowds and delay, in the same hot, poorly ventilated, poorly lit terminal basement, checking in on June 13, for several hours, resulting in a two-hour departure delay, missing the Calgary connection and finally arriving in Kelowna at midnight, June 13, 29 hours late,” he wrote.

Click to play video: 'Passengers offered bus ride after WestJet cancelled flight due to maintenance'

Passengers offered bus ride after WestJet cancelled flight due to maintenance

“The conduct of the (airline) throughout was a deceptive act as set out in the Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act of BC.”

Whittemore said that the airline knew on June 1 that it could not fulfill the return trip as represented in its itinerary and it didn’t have enough baggage.

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WestJet hasn’t filed a response.

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