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Spring ahead and Swoop forward with the BOGO Base Fare sale

Provided by Swoop/CNW

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CALGARY, March 6, 2020 /CNW/ – As clocks spring forward this weekend, Swoop is calling on Canadians to shrug off the winter blues with its BOGO Base Fare sale. Starting today and running until Mon. March 9, all Swoop flights will be eligible for a buy one, get one discount to base fares.

“This is the time of year that Canadians are looking for a break from winter,” says Bert van der Stege, Head of Commercial, Swoop. “With spring just around the corner, we want to make it easy for everyone to get away and take that trip, visit that family and get out and explore.”

All Swoop flights are eligible for the BOGO Base Fare sale with the discount applied to the base fare. Taxes, fees and surcharges are extra but with deals this low there is no excuse on why a vacation can’t be on the horizon. The BOGO Base Fare sale is for travel between March 7, 2020 and May 7, 2020. Utilize the promo code BOGOBASE to unlock the savings.

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Since launching in 2018, Swoop has been a force within the Canadian airline industry, encouraging more Canadians to travel with its ultra-low fares. In early 2020, Swoop welcomed its two millionth traveller and announced new routes to the U.S. and Eastern Canada, continuing to demonstrate how affordable and accessible air travel can be when you unbundle, paying only for what you need and nothing you don’t.

The BOGO sale runs from March 6 – 9, 2020 for travel between March 7, 2020 and May 7, 2020. Bookings must be made in pairs of two for the discount to be applied. For more information and to book flights, visit FlySwoop.com

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I think it was one of several prerequisites, as was a revised Transat deal.  If the government is to support the industry, it must be based on some kind of sustainable basis going forward. Trying

What if Right sizing means getting rid of a large percentage of the fleet? Should a government help pay the rent or loan payments for underutilized/stored aircraft? I don't how many Westjet aircr

Hi Kip, you're entitled to believe what you read and hear.  I believe there's a very different (true) story out there and this guy is playing the victim card based on race and religion. I'm not s

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  • 5 months later...

CANADIAN AVIATION NEWS

CANADIAN AIRLINE AND INDUSTRY NEWS

Swoop takes off with recovery strategy and the start of operations at Toronto Pearson Airport

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CALGARY, AB, Aug. 26, 2020 /CNW/ – As part of its continued recovery plans, Swoop is announcing the start of operations at Toronto Pearson Airport beginning on October 25, 2020. As Canada’s leading ultra low-cost carrier (ULCC), Swoop is well-positioned to serve price-sensitive travellers while stimulating demand in Canada’s largest market.

“Travel is beginning to rebound, and we want to help encourage Canadians to reconnect with family and friends or plan that long-awaited vacation,” says Charles Duncan, President, Swoop. “With the robust health and safety measures we have put in place on each of our flights, travellers in Toronto will now have more affordable air travel options than ever before.”

Swoop’s service at Toronto Pearson Airport will include a mix of domestic and international routes. The winter schedule outlining the destinations and routes will be released in September.

“We welcome Swoop’s decision to begin operations at Toronto Pearson,” says Deborah Flint, President and CEO of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority. “The industry has changed significantly, and we are focused on world-class health and safety measures that will ultimately reinvigorate travel at Pearson and throughout the region.”

Since the start of the pandemic, Swoop continues to deliver on its mission of providing accessible and affordable air travel. The airline helped to connect Canadians from coast to coast with essential travel at affordable airfares. Today’s announcement builds off those early recovery plans to remain Canada’s ultra-low cost carrier of choice. Swoop will continue to serve Hamilton as part of its network.

As part of the WestJet Group, Swoop has proven the ULCC model to be successful. The airline has welcomed 2.5 million travellers in its two years of operations, who have saved $159 million in direct fare savings in 2019, according to a recent economic impact study. These investments by Swoop have lowered fares and increased choice and competition within the marketplace.*

For more information, visit www.flyswoop.com.

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WestJet to remove unmasked passengers from flights and ban them for a year

 

Measures take effect Sept. 1, 2020, airline's CEO, Ed Sims, says in interview with CBC News

Carolyn Dunn · CBC News · Posted: Aug 27, 2020 9:00 PM ET | Last Updated: 10 minutes ago

WestJet is taking tough new measures beginning next week against passengers who refuse to comply with federal masking rules on flights.

The airline says it will go as far booting passengers off flights who consistently refuse to wear a mask or face covering while on board. 

 

"If the plane has not left the gate and somebody refused to wear a mask, we will return to the gate," WestJet president and CEO Ed Sims said in an exclusive interview with CBC News.

Sims said in "extreme circumstances" — if passengers continue to ignore masking rules — they will turn the plane around to its point of origin. 

Transport Canada requires everyone over the age of two wear a mask on board all flights. A recent order added that only those with an official doctor's note are exempt from mandatory masking.

WestJet says it hopes to avoid the extreme measures of ejecting non-compliant passengers seen with increasingly regularity on U.S. carriers. "I have an obligation and a duty of care to our staff. I also have an obligation to every other guest. So my focus is on the 99 per cent of guests who continue to wear masks," Sims said.

WestJet passengers in masks queue to check-in at Calgary International Airport. (Colin Hall/CBC News)

So, on Friday morning, the airline will announce that effective Sept. 1, 2020 it will implement an escalating response to those resisting mask use: 

  • Guests will first be asked to put the mask on by cabin crew.
  • An official warning will be issued that mask compliance is necessary.

If those two measures don't get passengers to don a mask, there will be long-term sanctions. Sims said those guests will be put on a year long no-fly list. "We will let those guests who are in wilful non-compliance know that they will be suspended from flying.

Air Canada says, as a rule, it doesn't publicly discuss safety and enforcement measures, but it did confirm it has "a graded approach, up to and including travel bans, to promote compliance with facial covering requirements."

Air Canada will only say it has had a small number of incidents with passengers refusing to wear masks.

 

'This is not just a one and done'

WestJet says it has had 30 issues with passengers refusing to wear a face covering. CEO Ed Sims says that number may increase, "We are taking this opportunity to say this is not just a one and done. If you decide to be in non-compliance, you're going to be paying that price for at least the next 12 months."  

University of Calgary infectious disease specialist Craig Jenne says tough mask rules on planes are needed because physical distancing isn't possible, "We need to bring in those other layers of protection, such as wearing a mask to avoid droplets spreading to the people not only near you, but perhaps circulating the air and even getting to distal rows on the plane."

 

Also beginning Sept. 1, WestJet will require all passengers to provide contact information at check-in, regardless of whether that happens online or in the airport. Passengers will no longer be able to by-pass that step. 

The goal is to be able to provide health authorities with the information for rapid contact tracing should a passenger on a flight test positive for the coronavirus. 

WestJet says it is working with the Vancouver airport and researchers to develop a pilot program where passengers on certain flights will be tested for the coronavirus to determine if pre-flight testing can help reduce the spread.

 
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The company sitting on hundred of dollars of money it refuses to refund is doing a bang up job being irrational - threatening customers with bans - over a policy requiring masks that I don’t have to wear if I am drinking or eating.

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10 minutes ago, internet said:

The company sitting on hundred of dollars of money it refuses to refund is doing a bang up job being irrational - threatening customers with bans - over a policy requiring masks that I don’t have to wear if I am drinking or eating.

TORONTO -- Passengers travelling through Canadian airports are required by law to wear facial coverings, including in-flight. Despite this measure airlines are still coming up with their own approach to handle policy violators.

WestJest announced multiple new health and safety updates on Friday, including a “zero tolerance mask policy” that will take effect on Sept. 1. Passengers who violate the rules could be denied travel and face a one-year ban from the airline and its affiliates.

The company also announced in a statement that they will now require the “mandatory input of all guests’ contact information at online and kiosk check-in,” to help with contact tracing in case someone on board the plane is travelling with COVID-19.

But WestJet is not the only airline to take a stronger stance on face mask compliance, Air Canada also announced that they too will consider banning travellers who do not comply with the facial covering requirements.

“Customers travelling on Canadian aircraft are required by law to wear facial coverings for health and safety reasons,” the company said in a statement to CTV News. “Safeguarding our customers' well-being is always our top priority. For this reason, we have a graded approach, up to and including travel bans, to promote compliance with facial covering requirements, just as we do with all safety requirements on board our aircraft.”

The changes come as members of the anti-mask movement become more vocal. In a statement to CTV News, Air Canada confirmed that “there have been a small number of incidents where customers have been sanctioned for non-compliance. Overall, however, our customers are generally respectful of each other and understand the importance of wearing facial coverings for their own protection.”

According to data provided by the federal government, WestJet has reported having 10 cases of coronavirus on domestic flights and two on international flights in the last 14 days. Air Canada reported 19 cases on domestic flights and 12 on international flights in the last 14 days.

A federal travel order has been in place since April mandating anyone travelling through an airport or on an airplane to wear a mask. Passengers with medical issues that prevent them from wearing a face covering are asked to provide a medical certificate as proof.

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CANADIAN AVIATION NEWS

CANADIAN AIRLINE AND INDUSTRY NEWS

WestJet, Vancouver airport launch pilot project to test passengers for COVID-19

From YVR Blog

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A New Pilot Taking Flight

WestJet and Vancouver International Airport (YVR) are embarking on a new pilot project that will incorporate COVID-19 testing for WestJet guests on select departing flights out of YVR. The pilot, which we aim to launch this fall, will incorporate current best practices on testing, pulling together industry players and experts to lead in the research and development of solutions that support aviation safety and slow the spread of COVID-19.

Why are we doing this? Our industry has always been heavily focused on safety and for us this pilot is a natural evolution of our historical commitment. It supports our efforts to uphold top safety standards, while instilling confidence for those who need to travel. It’s also about building collective knowledge and literacy, which will help inform longer-term solutions around communicable diseases.

We are working with government and health authorities to ensure the data we collect is useful for their purposes and we will be partnering with academia to marry our expertise in passenger movements to science. Our team will closely scrutinize the trial results to learn how we can further improve travel processes and evolve our safety measures as required.

We understand that COVID-19 testing is a rapidly evolving field with many unknowns. But we also know that we must continue to search for solutions—and that means being proactive, trialing processes, seeing what works and what needs improvement—all in an effort to help restart the global aviation industry in a safe manner and do our part to support economic recovery.

We know air travel will take considerable time to recover to pre-pandemic levels and that COVID-19 will likely have a long-lasting impact on health screening in the travel journey. And this is why we have a valuable role to play: because airlines and airports are about much more than just travel—we are major economic drivers, creating jobs, connecting markets, economies and ensuring that essential goods and services can be where they need to be.

We will make sure to update you in the days and weeks ahead as we further develop this pilot and plan for its launch. In the meantime, we will continue to do our best to serve you and support our many partners and our employees in the global fight against COVID-19.

Thank you, on behalf of WestJet and YVR, for your continued patience and support during this unprecedented time. Be safe.

Tamara Vrooman
President & CEO
Vancouver Airport Authority

Ed Sims
President and CEO
WestJet

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On 8/27/2020 at 7:19 PM, Marshall said:

WestJet to remove unmasked passengers from flights and ban them for a year

 

Measures take effect Sept. 1, 2020, airline's CEO, Ed Sims, says in interview with CBC News

Carolyn Dunn · CBC News · Posted: Aug 27, 2020 9:00 PM ET | Last Updated: 10 minutes ago

WestJet is taking tough new measures beginning next week against passengers who refuse to comply with federal masking rules on flights.

The airline says it will go as far booting passengers off flights who consistently refuse to wear a mask or face covering while on board. 

 

"If the plane has not left the gate and somebody refused to wear a mask, we will return to the gate," WestJet president and CEO Ed Sims said in an exclusive interview with CBC News.

Sims said in "extreme circumstances" — if passengers continue to ignore masking rules — they will turn the plane around to its point of origin. 

Transport Canada requires everyone over the age of two wear a mask on board all flights. A recent order added that only those with an official doctor's note are exempt from mandatory masking.

WestJet says it hopes to avoid the extreme measures of ejecting non-compliant passengers seen with increasingly regularity on U.S. carriers. "I have an obligation and a duty of care to our staff. I also have an obligation to every other guest. So my focus is on the 99 per cent of guests who continue to wear masks," Sims said.

WestJet passengers in masks queue to check-in at Calgary International Airport. (Colin Hall/CBC News)

So, on Friday morning, the airline will announce that effective Sept. 1, 2020 it will implement an escalating response to those resisting mask use: 

  • Guests will first be asked to put the mask on by cabin crew.
  • An official warning will be issued that mask compliance is necessary.

If those two measures don't get passengers to don a mask, there will be long-term sanctions. Sims said those guests will be put on a year long no-fly list. "We will let those guests who are in wilful non-compliance know that they will be suspended from flying.

Air Canada says, as a rule, it doesn't publicly discuss safety and enforcement measures, but it did confirm it has "a graded approach, up to and including travel bans, to promote compliance with facial covering requirements."

Air Canada will only say it has had a small number of incidents with passengers refusing to wear masks.

 

'This is not just a one and done'

WestJet says it has had 30 issues with passengers refusing to wear a face covering. CEO Ed Sims says that number may increase, "We are taking this opportunity to say this is not just a one and done. If you decide to be in non-compliance, you're going to be paying that price for at least the next 12 months."  

University of Calgary infectious disease specialist Craig Jenne says tough mask rules on planes are needed because physical distancing isn't possible, "We need to bring in those other layers of protection, such as wearing a mask to avoid droplets spreading to the people not only near you, but perhaps circulating the air and even getting to distal rows on the plane."

 

Also beginning Sept. 1, WestJet will require all passengers to provide contact information at check-in, regardless of whether that happens online or in the airport. Passengers will no longer be able to by-pass that step. 

The goal is to be able to provide health authorities with the information for rapid contact tracing should a passenger on a flight test positive for the coronavirus. 

WestJet says it is working with the Vancouver airport and researchers to develop a pilot program where passengers on certain flights will be tested for the coronavirus to determine if pre-flight testing can help reduce the spread.

 

On the radio a few mins. ago, a WestJet spokesman stated that if you are removed from a flight for not wearing a mask, the ban on travel is immediate and that could mean if you were next connecting to another WestJet flight, you would not be allowed to travel on that flight.  So you would / could be stranded at the connection airport.

 

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Swoop schedule includes destinations outside Canada despite pandemic

BY MIKEHALL

Posted Sep 2, 2020 9:35 am MDT

 
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FILE - WestJet's low-cost subsidiary Swoop announced Wednesday it's restarting operations Oct. 25 at Toronto Pearson and Kelowna international airports.
 
SUMMARY
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Another airline is inviting Canadians to fly to sunny destinations this winter despite a federal government advisory

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WestJet's low-cost subsidiary Swoop announced Wednesday it's restarting operations Oct. 25 in Toronto and Kelowna

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Swoop's winter destinations include Cancun, Montego Bay, Orlando, Tampa Bay and Las Vegas

 

CALGARY (NEWS 1130) — Another airline is inviting Canadians to fly to sunny destinations this winter despite the federal government’s advisory to avoid all non-essential travel outside of the country because of COVID-19.

WestJet’s low-cost subsidiary Swoop announced Wednesday it’s restarting operations Oct. 25 at Toronto Pearson and Kelowna international airports and is advertising non-stop service to places such as Cancun, Montego Bay, Orlando, Tampa Bay and Las Vegas.

“Our winter schedule is in response to a growing rebound in travel, as we know travellers are eager to plan their next getaway,” says Charles Duncan, president of Swoop.

“We remain committed as ever to making affordable air travel accessible for Canadians who are looking to reconnect with family and friends over the holidays or are looking for a change in scenery this winter.”

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An advisory from the federal government has been in place since March, urging Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel outside of the country because of the pandemic.

Last month, Air Canada was criticized for promoting “leisure” travel to the U.S., which has seen explosive growth of new cases of COVID-19, with more than six million cases overall and close to 185,000 deaths.

Swoop says it has implemented health and safety measures to ensure safe travel and work environments, including shorter queue wait times and making wearing face masks mandatory for the duration of flights.

“It is time to travel again, and that can be done responsibly and safely,” Duncan adds.

The BC Centre for Disease Control issued COVID-19 exposure warnings for nine flights connected to Metro Vancouver on Saturday, including three involving Swoop.

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Swoop Releases Winter Flying, Invites Canadians to Explore New Destinations From Toronto Pearson Airport

The ultra-low fare airline expands domestic service to include Kelowna and Toronto and adds service to popular sun destinations

CALGARY, AB, Sept. 2, 2020 /CNW/ – Today, Swoop released its winter schedule, unveiling the new markets the ultra-low fare airline will serve as it begins operations from Toronto Pearson International Airport on Oct. 25, 2020.

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Swoop’s winter schedule includes the restart of operations at Kelowna International Airport and the addition of non-stop service to popular sun destinations. These consist of flights from Toronto to Montego Bay, Cancun, Las Vegas, Orlando and Tampa Bay.  

“Our winter schedule is in response to a growing rebound in travel, as we know travellers are eager to plan their next getaway,” says Charles Duncan, President, Swoop. “We remain committed as ever to making affordable air travel accessible for Canadians who are looking to reconnect with family and friends over the holidays or are looking for a change in scenery this winter.”

With safety as its number one priority, Swoop has implemented a robust set of measures to safeguard a safe and healthy travel and work environment for its travellers and crew. This includes stricter boarding processes allowing for shorter queue wait times, traveller screening measures, increased sanitization, and enforcing face masks to be worn for the duration of the flight.

“It is time to travel again, and that can be done responsibly and safely,” states Duncan. “We are focusing our efforts on encouraging travel with our ability to provide ultra-low fares to price-sensitive travellers.”

“These new destinations from Swoop provide passengers with more choice,” says Craig Bradbrook, Chief Operating Officer, Greater Toronto Airports Authority.  “Together with our airline and agency partners, we remain committed to providing a safe, hygienic and efficient travel experience, so passengers can travel with confidence through Toronto Pearson.”  

“We are very pleased to see Swoop return to YLW for the winter travel season,” says Sam Samaddar, Director, Kelowna International Airport. “This ultra-low fare airline has great opportunities for Kelowna residents to visit family and friends or enjoy a winter getaway with four weekly flights to Toronto served by good arrival and departure times.”

Today’s announcement reflects the next step in Swoop’s recovery plans. The airline has remained operational throughout the pandemic, adjusting its network to reflect fluctuating demand. Since July, Swoop has successfully ramped up its flyingengaged airport partners across North and Central America and announced the start of new operations at Toronto Pearson Airport. 

Highlights of Swoop’s winter schedule operating between Oct. 25, 2020 – Apr. 24, 2021, can be found below. Winter flying from Edmonton, with service to six destinations, was previously announced. Traveller demand, travel advisories, and health and safety conditions will be monitored over the coming weeks and months, which may cause adjustments to this schedule. For added flexibility, Swoop travellers have the option to purchase ModiFly, which grants them a one-time date and time change to their booking.

  • Toronto and Abbotsford will operate up to 6x weekly, with service every day except Saturday
  • Toronto and Edmonton will operate 6x weekly with service every day except Saturday
  • Toronto and Kelowna will operate up to 4x weekly with service on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday
  • Toronto and Halifax will operate daily 
  • Toronto and Las Vegas will operate up to 4x weekly on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday 
  • Toronto and Orlando will operate up to 5x weekly on Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
  • Toronto and Tampa Bay will operate up to 4x weekly on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday
  • Toronto and Cancun will operate up to 5x weekly, with service on Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
  • Toronto and Montego Bay will operate up to 5x weekly, with service on Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday
  • Edmonton and Hamilton will operate up to 4x weekly with service on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday 
  • Edmonton and Abbotsford will operate up to 14x weekly with double daily service. 
  • Edmonton and Mesa will operate up to 4x weekly with service on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday
  • Edmonton and Las Vegas will operate up to 4x weekly with service on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday 
  • Edmonton and Puerto Vallarta will operate 2x weekly, with service on Tuesday and Saturday 
  • Edmonton and Mazatlán will operate 2x weekly with service on Wednesday and Saturday

For more information visit www.flyswoop.com

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Swoop airline ends some flights from Hamilton airport

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By Don Mitchell Global News
Posted September 4, 2020 12:09 pm
Low-cost carrier Swoop airlines will soon have only a single destination to and from Hamilton International Airport as the airline cancelled routes due to struggles with the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an e-mail to Global News, the carrier revealed that its eight flights weekly to and from Abbotsford, B.C., and six to and from Halifax will be no longer as of Oct. 23.

The carrier’s only remaining destination from John C. Munro will be service to Edmonton, which will operate up to four times weekly with service on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.

The news comes a day after the carrier revealed its new operations out of Pearson International Airport in Toronto, which go into effect on Oct. 25, two days after the Hamilton flights discontinue.

A number of the airline’s flights to sun destinations, like Cancun, Las Vegas and Orlando, will also now operate out of Toronto.

“Our winter schedule is in response to a growing rebound in travel, as we know travellers are eager to plan their next getaway,” president Charles Duncan said in a release on Wednesday.

Spokesperson Larissa Mark told Global News the changes were based on the airline’s pandemic recovery plan and are indicative of current demand from the airline.

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“We will continue to serve the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport as we feel this is a market that has served Swoop well and still holds opportunities for us,” Mark said.

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Never thought I would see a story like this one, ......

CALGARY -- Officials with WestJet confirm a red-eye flight from Calgary to Toronto was cancelled early Tuesday morning after guests flying on employee travel passes refused to comply with the airline's mask rules.

But the father of the child who was not wearing a mask says he was unjustly targeted as his daughter is only 19 months old, and falls below the age requirement for mandatory mask use.

WestJet spokesperson Lauren Stewart confirmed the nature of the cancellation in a statement to CTV News.
"Flight 652 from Calgary to Toronto was cancelled last night after guests travelling on employee travel passes chose not to comply with the Transport Canada order related to the wearing of masks on-board the aircraft for all guests 2 years and older."  

In order to protect the privacy of the airline's guests, Stewart would not provide specific details regarding the matter but did cement WestJet's stance on mask use.

"WestJet recently launched a zero-tolerance mask adherence policy. Those guests travelling on employee travel privileges, including buddy passes, are held to a higher standard of behaviour on WestJet aircraft and we are disappointed that this issue ended ultimately in a flight cancellation for all guests on board. We apologize to our affected guests for this inconvenience and we have re-accommodated the majority of them on flights departing today."

A passenger who was seated a few rows ahead of the group that refused to comply with mask rules, tells CTV News says it was a family travelling with a child. The child was said to be crying and in distress over the fact they would have to wear a mask.

The passenger says the family refused to make the child wear a mask and the flight crew requested that the family step off the plane that had yet to leave the gate. Police and Calgary Airport officials entered the aircraft and spoke with the group. After approximately 45 minutes, the captain announced the flight had been cancelled.

"WestJet handled the situation with class, as did the police," said the passenger after arriving at Toronto Pearson International Airport Tuesday afternoon. "If this had been in the (United) States, YouTube would have been littered with videos of these people being dragged out of an airplane." 

Safwan Choudhry tells CTV News that it was his family that was targeted over the airline's and Transport Canada's mask policy and he says the flight crew was wrong to mandate that his daughter wear a mask as she has not had her second birthday

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41 minutes ago, internet said:

He said, she said etc. I guess pass travel expectations / behaviour has changed since I retired.  According to the following article, the Father contacted Global News to give his side of the story. https://globalnews.ca/news/7323022/westjet-flight-grounded-mask-dispute/

WestJet flight from Calgary to Toronto grounded over mandatory mask dispute involving children

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By Tomasia DaSilva Global News
Posted September 8, 2020 7:33 pm
WESTJET_CANCELLATION_TOMASIA_.jpg?w=1040&quality=70&strip=all
 

WATCH: A dispute over masks lead to a WestJet flight from Calgary to Toronto being cancelled. Tomasia DaSilva reports.

A red-eye flight from Calgary to Toronto was cancelled early Tuesday morning after a dispute over mandatory masks.

Safwan Choudhry contacted Global News after he said his family was unfairly targeted by Calgary-based airline WestJet.

“We were just looking to go back home like most people after the long weekend,” Choudry said.

Choudhry said his family boarded with no problem, but once they were seated, a flight crew member approached his wife and said: “Your child needs to wear a mask.”

The family said they put a mask on their three-year-old daughter, who was not wearing one, but struggled to put one on their screaming 19-month-old.

“This crew member is just watching over her shoulder as it’s being done,” he said. “My wife said, ‘Give me a few moments,’ as she’d never put a mask on a child so little before and then my daughter naturally starts to panic.”

Choudhry said that’s when everything escalated.

“She said, ‘I’m asking you for the last time because the next time it will be police that will come here and they will arrest you and you will leave with your child,'” he said.

Calgary police officers did arrive but told Global News they were only there as backup and no charges were laid.

The family questioned why police were called in the first place since their 19-month-old is exempt from the COVID-19 mask rules and they said their three-year-old eventually put on a mask.

WestJet wouldn’t confirm to Global News which one of the children did not have a mask on, citing privacy reasons. But officials did confirm Flight 652 from Calgary to Toronto was cancelled after guests “chose not to comply with the Transport Canada order related to the wearing of masks on-board the aircraft for all guests two and older.”

Spokesperson Lauren Stewart added in a statement: “Our flight attendants have access to the guest manifest, which specifically states which guests are under two (booked as infants) and are enforcing the policy as per the Transport Canada regulation for guests two and older.

“Overwhelmingly, our guests have been doing an excellent job adhering to the directive and we thank them for their co-operation and dedication to the safety of all.”

WestJet said it understands it can be difficult for young children to keep their masks on, and staff are trained to deal with it. However, it also said if parents or guardians are non-compliant or unwilling comply with their requirements, then the policy will be enforced.
Father is livid over mask dispute that forced the cancellation of a WestJet flight.
Father is livid over mask dispute that forced the cancellation of a WestJet flight. Courtesy: Safwan Choudhry

The family is angry it came to this and upset the entire flight was cancelled, leaving them and other passengers stranded.

“The entire flight has a mixed reaction,” Choudhry said.

“Obviously, there [are] people upset with us that we caused this to happen, and there are people who are standing up for us and saying, ‘I’d rather have this flight cancelled and to put up with this.'”

As of Tuesday night, the family was still in Calgary looking for another flight home.

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Nur said she felt the family was potentially being mistreated because of their race, so she started recording the incident on her phone. She said a flight attendant first asked her to stop recording, then asked police to make Nur stop recording when she refused — police told the flight attendant it was not their responsibility to stop Nur from filming.

"This was about a toddler not wearing a mask, and you felt the need to deboard the entire plane? There was a woman on the plane trying to get home to her mother on her deathbed. It was just frustrating, very, very upsetting," Nur said. 

"that the behaviour of the rest of the passengers left the crew feeling unsafe to fly."

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Congrats WJ. Hard to begin to describe how badly that was handled by all of your staff.

Lots of layers, but the bottom line is the outcome is a PR disaster. Everybody is seeing some issues on flights dealing with customer compliance issues for passengers aged 3-93. But none ended like this and none made the national news.

Good luck moving forward. But “no comment” is not a worthy response.

 

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One of the stories mentions "buddy passes" so tough on whoever provided them depending on how WestJet's policy re "buddy pass" use is worded.  Most carriers who allow such passes (including family discounts) are very specific re what happens if the pass recipient does not follow the rules of conduct.. 

Re the race card being played, I could not help but notice that one of the FAs was not Caucasian so I somehow doubt that the passengers were chosen based on their race as the woman is quoted as saying.  

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