30 cancelled Swoop flights leave customers bitter


Swoop Airlines passengers are facing more flight cancellations this week.

The low-cost airline announced on Sunday evening that it would be cancelling nearly a dozen flights due to unscheduled aircraft maintenance.

The abrupt cancellation of 30 Swoop flights during the first 10 days of July provoked anger and confusion, and some customers paid from their pocket to rescue their travel plans.

The new federal regulations for the protection of air passengers, which they deploy on Monday, aim to reduce the confusion of customers by establishing compensation amounts and clear treatment standards for setbacks.

But the rules that cover canceled and delayed flights will not affect until December.

The regulations also face a legal battle by airlines that try to cancel them in court.

Meanwhile, Swoop’s disgusted passengers launched their own battles. Until the month of this month, the Canadian Transportation Agency received 19 complaints about canceled Swoop flights.

The low cost operator, which is owned by WestJet, said that the cancellations were caused by unplanned maintenance of aircraft.

“Security is our main priority,” Swoop spokesman Karen McIsaac said in an email. “We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience and disappointment that we have caused and continue to direct our efforts to help the affected passengers.”

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 beendeemed unacceptable.”

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
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

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 news they will comply with the current regulations.

Author: Philani Veba

Philani is an immigration and politics journalists with more than 7 years experience. On Alberta 365 News he covers Immigration and Political Stories.

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