Travelers who were expecting to fly from Kelowna, B.C., to Winnipeg had an unpleasant surprise when they were told their flight on the Swoop airline was cancelled – and that they wouldn’t be re-booked until, potentially, early September.
Pat Ward and Emily Rae say they were scheduled to come home to Winnipeg Monday but found out their flight had been cancelled due to mechanical issues.
They and nine other friends and family were in Kelowna for a wedding, said Ward, and they said they were promised a charter flight home by the company on Wednesday.
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Monday night, the group started getting texts from Swoop saying their flights had instead been rescheduled – some for Sept. 2, some for Sept. 4, and some for as far away as Sept. 6.
“Ridiculous,” said Ward. “Eleven days that you’re going to stay in Kelowna and not get back to your job?”
After arguing with Swoop for about two hours, they have only received an apology, said Rae.
“Swoop sent us a courtesy apology, ‘oh our sincerest apologies’, that was basically a slap in the face,” she said.
READ MORE: Hundreds of passengers stranded after Swoop cancels or delays nearly 2 dozen flights
Ward said some have paid $750 to catch other flights to leave, and Swoop has told them they will not compensate them. Others have since found out that Swoop would only cover one night of hotel accommodation.
Monica Raabe, who was also on the flight, told Global News she ended up taking a WestJet flight to make it back to Manitoba.
“It’s ridiculous,” she said. “How could people just suddenly extend a vacation, or have money too? It’s absolutely unacceptable.
Raabe said she was given the runaround when trying to contact Swoop, and eventually just decided to take another flight.
“We had to book on WestJet, had to completely use a different carrier – although it’s not a different carrier, because I was told by many people that Swoop is owned by WestJet.”
Calgary-based Swoop was launched in 2017 by WestJet as an ultra low-cost carrier.
The airline confirmed there was unscheduled maintenance to the aircraft, and that Swoop has “all our available resources working to get travellers to their destinations as quickly and safely as possible.”
They did not say if passengers would be compensated for their other flights or hotel accommodations.
Rae said that wasn’t nearly good enough and warned people off the airline.
“I would say: Don’t fly Swoop,” said Rae.
“I hope they’re going to man up and come through for everyone,” Ward added.