UPDATE: WestJet and The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) say they reached an agreement. The airline states “the full resumption of operations will take time.” It recommends checking flights before departure.
Well, it’s official. WestJet is beginning to cancel flights ahead of the WestJet and Swoop pilot strike, which could begin as early as this Friday, May 19th at 3 AM MST.
The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), the union that represents WestJet and Swoop pilots, was not able to reach a deal with WestJet about wage negotiations.
As a result, the airline “has started to take down its network” of aircrafts. WestJet says that the majority of its 737 and 787 fleets will be parked “in a measured, phased and safe approach.”
The strike will impact both WestJet and Swoop flights.
The good news is that WestJet Encore, WestJet Link as well as limited 737 flights will continue to operate.
Other airlines are also adding flights to their schedule to help passengers who have been affected.
If you have an upcoming flight with WestJet or Swoop, here’s what you need to know.
How to find out if your WestJet flight is cancelled
The carrier says that you will receive an email if your flight has been disrupted. If you have not received one, you can continue to check on travel advisories and your flight status.
The airline adds that you will also receive details via email with alternative options or instructions on how to receive a refund.
WestJet says it will try to put passengers on other airlines where available if their flight has been disrupted.
The same will be provided to Swoop passengers. If you have not received an email, you can check the Swoop Traveller Info Hub for updates.
How to get a refund on your cancelled flight
You can cancel your flight or vacation package by visiting Manage Trips or Manage Vacations.
View the booking you wish to cancel, and hit cancel. The airline says you will receive a full refund to your original method of payment within 30 days. That includes WestJet dollars too.
For all flights and vacation packages between the travel dates of May 15th and May 21st, a one-time $0 fee waiver will be given for changes or cancellations.
Other flight options during the strike
If you wish to rebook your travel with a different airline, one Canadian carrier has already announced that it has stepped up its schedule.
Flair Airlines has added extra flights between Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton beginning Victoria Day weekend.
The one-way fares, including taxes and fees, for these special flights begin at $99.
When will the strike end?
According to the airline, “both sides are still actively negotiating” to reach a deal.
“WestJet is unwaveringly committed to achieving an agreement that provides value to our current and future pilots, is sustainable for the company and avoids disruption to our guests,” their response continues.
“We believe with a commitment from both parties, an agreement is achievable.”
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