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Malcolm

All about Swoop

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1 hour ago, MD2 said:

Unscheduled maintenance is not fun, but it happens at every airline. When Air Canada recently cancelled most of their flights, not even for mechanical reasons but their software issues, and stranded tens of thousands of people languishing at airports, I doubt they bought everyone pizza and put them in 5 star hotels. Mechanical things sometimes break, sometimes a few break at the same time, and then cancellations and delays happen. It's happened before, it will happen again.

When did AC recently cancel most of its flights?  I don’t recall hearing about it as it would have shut the Country down.  There are roughly 1600 per day including affiliates.

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it was just over 1% of their flights over 2 days.  DEFINITELY NOT "MOST"

 

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6 hours ago, blues deville said:

Someone dropped the ball. Or the maintenance schedule. 

How do you not this work planned out in 2019?

Not that I am in the business of defending Swoop but apparently they have one tail down for air con cleaning due to a fume event and then a boarding pax threw coins into one of the engines for good luck. These would definitely class as unplanned in anyone’s book. 

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40 minutes ago, Ex 9A Guy said:

Not that I am in the business of defending Swoop but apparently they have one tail down for air con cleaning due to a fume event and then a boarding pax threw coins into one of the engines for good luck. These would definitely class as unplanned in anyone’s book. 

then I guess they didn't tell their PR department:  Either that or someone is fudging....If it was coins in the engine, they you would bet they would jump on that explination.  In fact their official website says

Quote

Details

Unscheduled maintenance on two of our aircraft has resulted in the cancellation of the following flights:

 https://www.narcity.com/news/ca/swoop-cancellations-issued-in-multiple-cities-days-after-passengers-were-stranded-due-to-delays

https://globalnews.ca/news/5472455/swoop-delayed-cancelled-flights-passengers-stranded/

https://www.flyswoop.com/advisories/

 

A Swoop Airlines representative said in a statement to Narcity, "Unscheduled maintenance was required to replace an engine on the aircraft which had a leaking oil seal. This requires a significant amount of work and disassembly in order to fully repair the issue and has resulted in a number of delayed or cancelled flights across our network."*

 

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3 hours ago, Marshall said:

 

A Swoop Airlines representative said in a statement to Narcity, "Unscheduled maintenance was required to replace an engine on the aircraft which had a leaking oil seal. This requires a significant amount of work and disassembly in order to fully repair the issue and has resulted in a number of delayed or cancelled flights across our network."*

 

That would be the “fumes in the cabin” event.

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https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/swoop-airline-fort-lauderdale-1.5203982

 

Passengers planning to take Swoop flights from airports across Canada and Florida have been left scrambling after the low-cost airline delayed or cancelled nearly two dozen trips because of maintenance issues.

The WestJet Airlines subsidiary said 11 of its flights were cancelled on July 7 and 8, including trips from Hamilton, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Halifax, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale.

The cancellations, which began on July 5, will continue for next two days. July 9 trips from Hamilton, Halifax and London, Ont. and July 10 trips from Hamilton, Winnipeg and Edmonton have also been grounded.

The airline blamed unscheduled maintenance on one of its aircraft.

"Safety is our number one priority and we sincerely apologize to our travellers for the interruption in their plans," said  Swoop spokesperson Karen McIsaac in an email to CBC News.

"We know how disruptive it is when travel doesn't go as planned, and we're sorry for the inconvenience and disappointment this has caused."

 

Travel Advisory — Please visit http://flyswp.com/gsNZF6  for up-to-the-minute flight status updates & complete travel advisory details. We sincerely apologize to our travellers for the interruption in their plans & are working around the clock to rebook impacted travellers.

 
 
 
 

'You can't plan with them'

Hanna Romanowski's husband, Radek, was scheduled to fly from Fort Lauderdale to Hamilton Monday, but an email let him know that trip was cancelled and he'd been given a seat on the next available flight out — July 15 — a full week later.

That's a delay that's simply unacceptable, said Romanowski. Her husband has important meetings arranged for Tuesday, so rather than wait seven days to get home he dug into his air miles and will be hopping on an Air Canada plane Monday evening.

"You can't plan with them," she said of Swoop.

"Taking the risk that you can't get out for a week? I think I'd rather pay extra and make sure I make it."

Alan Lutyk also suffered the delays firsthand.

The Hamilton man was scheduled to fly to Edmonton at 8 p.m. Friday, but repeated delays meant the plane didn't take off until 2 a.m. Saturday.

He was travelling to Alberta to visit the town of Beauvallon, where his parents grew up, and to mark its 100th anniversary.

After hours of delay he arrived in Alberta and managed to make the celebration, but his travel headaches weren't over yet.

 

Travel Advisory — Please visit http://flyswp.com/tuWCcQ  for complete travel advisory details and flight status. We sincerely apologize for the interruption in their plans and are working around the clock to rebook impacted travellers. Thank you for your patience & understanding.

 
 
 
 

The first-time Swoop traveller headed back to the Edmonton airport an hour before his 10:45 a.m. flight home. He ended up "waiting around and waiting around" until an announcement over the loudspeaker saying the plane wouldn't be leaving until 10 p.m.

Lutyk said he was among a group of several disgruntled passengers who asked the staff working at the Swoop desk to speak with their manager. Instead, he says, they "panicked" and fetched an RCMP officer who told the angry travellers to grab their luggage and a $30 meal voucher.

Travellers cite lack of customer support

Had he known there was going to be such a significant delay, Lutyk says, he would have stayed an extra day instead of rushing to the airport just to spend the day sitting around.

Compared to some of his fellow passengers, who missed out on holidays or connecting flights, Lutyk saus he didn't suffer too much. But, he says, his exasperation and that of the other delayed travellers was made worse by a lack of customer support.

It would be great if they were reliable and had some customer support, but no, for anybody who asks I'd say, 'Don't fly with them.'- Hanna Romanowski

Calls to Swoop's headquarters over the weekend were answered by an automated message saying the office was closed until Monday. 

"You can't call in," he explained. "The people at the desk don't know what to tell you so it was quite frustrating for everybody."

He eventually did get back to Hamilton, around 5 a.m. Monday, and has spent much of the morning trying to get through to ask about a refund but the lines are still swamped and he hasn't managed to speak with anyone.

Romanowski said the most recent cancellation isn't the first time the couple has had trouble with the airline. She says a flight she was supposed to take from Fort Lauderdale was also cancelled in May, leaving her scrambling for a way home.

Despite an email to the airline and several hours on the phone, waiting for someone to pick up, she says she never heard back about a refund. She's not optimistic the couple will see any money back from her husband's flight either.

In its statement McIsaac said Swoop travellers affected by the delays and cancellations will be provided with "accommodation, meal and transportation as needed and those that wished to cancel can do so for a full refund."

Swoop policy also requires that the airline reroute passengers on other airlines if it cannot rebook them on its own flights "within a reasonable amount of time."

Still, Romanowski said she and her husband won't risk using the airline again.

"It would be great if they were reliable and had some customer support, but no, for anybody who asks I'd say, 'Don't fly with them.'"

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How the Boeing 737 Max groundings made Swoop's operational problems even worse

Fri July 12, 2019 - Financial Post
by Emily Jackson

WestJet Airlines Ltd.’s ultra-low-cost carrier Swoop only has seven planes in service, so it’s no wonder passenger complaints ensued after unscheduled maintenance forced the budget brand to simultaneously ground two of its jets and cancel 23 flights during the past week.

But Swoop’s operational problems were made even worse because of the prolonged grounding of Boeing 737 Max planes, said aviation industry experts.

Although Swoop doesn’t operate any Max jets, it would typically turn to its parent company WestJet or a short-term charter to replace capacity if it needed to park a plane for longer-than-expected maintenance.

But WestJet does not have any surplus capacity to spare since the Max fleet was grounded globally this spring after two fatal crashes, a move that required the Canadian airline to park 13 planes.

“WestJet is totally ‘maxed’ out, as they have been scrambling to fill the gaps left by the Boeing Max fleet grounding,” Robert Kokonis, president of consultancy AirTrav Inc., said in an email.

Airlines around the world are trying to fill those gaps with their remaining assets in an effort to keep up with demand during the busy summer season. Canada’s largest airlines, WestJet and Air Canada, have both suspended their financial guidance as it is not clear when authorities will approve the Boeing 737 Max fleet’s return to the skies.

In the meantime, WestJet has delayed lease returns of older planes and held off on transferring aircraft to Swoop, Kokonis said. Other carriers with Max planes have taken similar measures, along with entering short-term leases for additional aircraft.

“This has dried up the available pool of really short-term charter aircraft that could be popped into a schedule at short notice,” he said.

Unfortunately, that meant disappointment for wannabe Swoop passengers who had booked tickets to destinations including Las Vegas, Halifax and Edmonton from July 5 to 10. Some were rebooked on flights as long as five days later when Swoop discovered an engine on one plane had a leaking oil seal and needed replacement.

“This requires a significant amount of work and disassembly in order to fully repair the issue,” spokeswoman Karen McIsaac said in an emailed statement. “Swoop looked at leasing other aircraft, but due to the grounding of the MAX there is limited availability.”

Swoop brought in extra staff at its contact centre to respond to customers by email and on social media, where the airline received a flurry of angry posts. It rebooked people on the next available Swoop flight and, if that wasn’t suitable, tried to find alternative arrangements or offered cancellations with full refunds.

Swoop is conducting a full review of the incident so it can make changes to regain customer trust, McIsaac said. It has already determined the need for more support in the call centre, she added.

Unexpected disruptions have an outsized impact on ultra-low-cost airlines such as Swoop, especially ones with such a small fleet, said Michael Taylor, practice lead for travel at research company JD Power.

“It’s all about efficiency of aircraft,” he said. “They rely on keeping their aircraft in the air.”

But it’s not just a budget brand problem. Rebooking passengers on any airline is more challenging than it was five years ago because an improved world economy has resulted in more people purchasing flights, especially in North America, Taylor said.

Most people are flying on their own dime and aren’t particularly brand loyal, he said.

Swoop’s problems over the past week are a “black eye,” Taylor added, but people will keep choosing it as long as its low prices bump it up the list on search engines.

“Their business model is the lowest price,” he said. “That will attract people.”

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I thought Swoop was to be operationally independent from WestJet when it came to issues like IROPS. 

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29 minutes ago, J.O. said:

I thought Swoop was to be operationally independent from WestJet when it came to issues like IROPS. 

I guess WestJet would normally be approached first for a wetlease / charter.  HOWEVER I AM SURPRISED that the did not book some their pax on other carriers. Not exactly a good way to build a customer base but perhaps there were good reasons beside $$$$ for not doing so

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I really don’t think WestJet is concerned about Swoop's (descriptive) performance or customer treatment or even if it doesn’t make a profit. It’s sole purpose is to go against Flair and Canada Jetlines from eroding revenue from the mainline. Spirit wings, bare fare, service has equally a poor rating. Friends of mine fly on swoop to save $10! Vs flying on AC or WS. $1 fares on JetsGo(ne) denied WestJet employees their profit share twice. Both AC and Canadian went bankrupt after WestJet entered the market.

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30 cancelled Swoop flights leave customers bitter. Will passenger rights coming Monday help?

The abrupt cancellation of 30 Swoop flights is the latest incident to spark numerous customer complaints. New regulations rolling out, Monday promise to make life easier for disgruntled travellers — but the new rules also face a court challenge.

New regulations aim to make compensation claims easier — but they're also being challenged in court

sophia-harris.JPG
Sophia Harris · CBC News · Posted: Jul 14, 2019 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: 6 hours ago
swoop-westjet.JPG Swoop, the ultra-low cost carrier launched by WestJet, said it cancelled 30 flights between July 1 and 10 due to unscheduled maintenance. (WestJet)
The abrupt cancellation of 30 Swoop flights over the first 10 days in July sparked anger and confusion, with some customers paying out-of-pocket to salvage travel plans. 

New federal air passenger protection regulations, which roll out Monday, aim to cut down on customer confusion by laying out clear compensation amounts and treatment standards for mishaps involving all airlines. But rules covering cancelled and delayed flights won't take effect until December. The regulations also face a legal battle from some airlines trying to quash them in court. 

In the meantime, upset Swoop passengers haved launched their own battles. So far this month, the Canadian Transportation Agency has received 19 complaints concerning cancelled Swoop flights.

The ultra-low-cost-carrier, which is owned by WestJet, said the cancellations were caused by unscheduled aircraft maintenance. 

"Safety is our number one priority," said Swoop spokesperson Karen McIsaac in an email. "We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience and disappointment we have caused and continue to direct our efforts to assisting those travellers that have been affected."

Radek Romanowski got his cancellation notice the evening before his July 8 return flight from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to Hamilton. A second email that night informed him that he was rebooked to fly on July 15 — one week later. 

That didn't work for the small business owner who needed to return home to Komoka, Ont., for work. But he couldn't call Swoop to complain — because it was Sunday and the call centre was closed. He did send an email, but received no reply. 

"It's very, very bad business practice," said Romanowski. "No communication, no conversation, no answering, nothing."

In desperation, his wife, Hanna, used up more than 22,000 Aeroplan rewards miles to rebook him on an Air Canada flight the next day.

"It should be better back-up or better service to get people back to where they are going," she said. 

When Radek Romanowki's Swoop flight was cancelled, his wife, Hanna, spent more than 22,000 Aeroplan rewards miles to get him back home quickly to Komoka, Ont. (Submitted by Hanna Romanowki)

Kevin Blenkhorn found out his Swoop flight was cancelled when he and his wife showed up at the Hamilton airport on July 7 to take their return flight to Edmonton.

"I was not happy," said Blenkhorn who lives in Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. Swoop had rebooked him on a flight that departed six days later, but Blenkhorn needed to get home immediately to return to his mining job. 

He found a flight leaving the next morning on WestJet  — Swoop's owner — totalling $1,462 for two last-minute tickets. He was surprised that WestJet wouldn't waive the cost. 

"I called WestJet and they said, 'Well, we really don't have anything to do with [Swoop].'"

Kevin and Brenda Blenkhorn of Fort Sasktachewan, Alta., flew on Swoop to attend a golf tournament in Ontario. They found out at the airport that their return flight was cancelled. (Submitted by Kevin Blenkhorn)

Blenkhorn's new booking cost him close to triple the price of his yet-to-be refunded Swoop tickets. Following the advice of a Swoop employee at the airport, he filed a claim with the airline, requesting reimbursement. 

"Til the money's in the bank, I'm not counting on anything," he said. 

What does Swoop owe passengers?

CBC News interviewed a total of four affected Swoop customers who each said they were unhappy with what was offered: a refund or a rebooking on a Swoop flight on a later date. Those are also the only options the airline publicly listed in tweets to complaining passengers.

However, for flight cancellations within its control, the airline's current rule book — or tariffs — also lists another alternative: rebooking passengers on a different airline "in situations where other options have been deemed unacceptable."

CBC asked Swoop why many passengers weren't also offered a rebooking on another airline. 

"We are following what is stated in our tariffs," said spokesperson McIsaac on Tuesday. "After rebooking on the next available Swoop flight, we are working on a case-by-case basis with travellers on alternate arrangements if the new flight time provided is not suitable."

Consumer advocate John Lawford said — based on Swoop's written rules — it could be left open to interpretation when precisely it had to offer affected passengers seats on another airline.

He believes Canada's new air passenger regulations will help cut through the ambiguity. 

"This whole thing is set up to be consumer friendly, easy to understand, consistent, transparent," said Lawford, executive director of the Ottawa-based Public Interest Advocacy Centre. 

However, some critics say the regulations aren't tough enough because, among other complaints, passengers on "small" airlines have fewer rights

For example, the rules allow small carriers — such as Swoop — to pay out lower compensation and offer fewer travel options when flights are cancelled. 

But Lawford said at least passengers will be able to easily access all the rules before they choose an airline, and make their decision accordingly. 

Court battle takes flight

The air passenger protection regulations also face a legal challenge

On June  2, 17 applicants tied to the airline industry — including Air Canada, Porter Airlines and the International Air Transport Association — argued in a Federal Court of Appeal filing that the regulations are "invalid" because they contravene international standards. 

Lawford said the new rules will still roll out Monday. But he fears some airlines may refuse to comply while the case is before the courts. 

"They'll hide behind their lawsuit."

All of Canada's major airlines, including Air Canada and Porter told CBC News they will comply with the current regulations.

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"I called WestJet and they said, 'Well, we really don't have anything to do with [Swoop].'"

No... they only own them.  What an example of customer service, really, their attitude towards the public is just atrocious.  With all these stories coming out, I wonder how the bookings are?

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2 hours ago, conehead said:

"I called WestJet and they said, 'Well, we really don't have anything to do with [Swoop].'"

No... they only own them.  What an example of customer service, really, their attitude towards the public is just atrocious.  With all these stories coming out, I wonder how the bookings are?

Hell of a way to treat "Guests". Image result for irony emoji

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I remember when Air BC started operating on the same routes as Air Canada back in the early 90's and the same disconnect occurred.

Some of the YEG-YVR flights were operated by ZX and the rest by AC.  When ZX had a problem the guys in Montreal did not even want to hear about it.  I had some high up contacts in Montreal and voiced my opinion rather strongly.  Nothing happened right away but eventually the attitude in YUL changed and we ran the route as a combined operation.  I believe that with the arrival of Rouge (after I left AC) the same thing happened but after awhile the word came through that the passengers knew they were all the same company.

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