The first Swoop plane landed at YLW on Friday, May 24, and was greeted with a water cannon salute. (Caitlin Clow - Kelowna Capital News)

Passengers stranded in Kelowna in Swoop airline debacle could sue, expert says

Air Passenger Rights founder said Swoop breached its contract for Kelowna-Winnipeg cancellation

Swoop president Steven Greenway extended his sincerest apologies after an aircraft taking passengers from Kelowna to Winnipeg was grounded due to “unscheduled maintenance” on Monday. But for many passengers, its too little, too late.

The flight has been rescheduled to take off today—four days after the debacle.

Travellers were stranded at the Kelowna International Airport after learning they couldn’t be rebooked on a Swoop flight—some of which were told would be as soon as September 2.

“On behalf of Swoop, I would like to sincerely apologize for any inconvenience our impacted travellers have experienced due to the unscheduled maintenance to one of our aircraft,” Greenway said.

Damage was found on the body of the plane on Aug. 26, and as safety is Swoop’s No. 1 priority according to Greenway, the plane was grounded for repairs. The cause of the damage is still under investigation, he said.

READ MORE: Kelowna man allegedly bear-sprays victim, starts random bar fights

“The grounding of this aircraft caused impacts to our network through Wednesday, Aug. 28.” Greenway said in a statement. “In total, seven flights were cancelled.”

The president said Swoop is working to ensure affected passengers are provided with alternative travel arrangements in accordance with the Tariff and Flight Interruption Policies and all impacted travellers have been rebooked on the next available Swoop flight.

Air Passenger Rights founder Gabor Lukacs said not only was the company in the wrong with its response to the cancellation, but it breached its contract and broke the law.

“Passengers affected by this should sue Swoop for damages including meals, accommodation, lost wages and cost of alternative accommodation,” he said. “In addition, I encourage affected passengers to seek $1,000 in punitive damages, per passenger, due to Swoop’s high-handed behaviour.”

Passengers were told Swoop will reimburse the cost of tickets purchased from other airlines as long as they are in the same class of service—basic economy. Stranded travellers were also provided with vouchers to cover meals, hotels and transportation.

“The aircraft will return to service on Thursday, Aug. 29,” Greenway said, but many passengers turned to social media to say they have already figured out a way home and many said they will not fly Swoop again.

“Safety will always be at the forefront of our decision making and we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience to our impacted travellers.”

READ MORE: Rats rear their pointy heads in Shuswap

READ MORE: Reservist with alleged links to neo-Nazis relieved of duties, reported missing


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ktunaxa, supporters celebrate protection of Qat’muk and the Jumbo valley

Speeches, acknowledgements and ceremonies mark an emotional gathering in Cranbrook

Jumbo Valley to be protected, ending decades-long dispute over proposed ski resort

Development rights permanently retired for site of proposed year-round ski resort west of Invermere

City of Kimberley no longer using electricity to thaw frozen water lines

With temperatures dropping, the potential for frozen water lines increases. The City… Continue reading

McCormick to deliver ‘State of the City’ address February 5

Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick will present his annual address on the state… Continue reading

Kimberley’s Lloyd Steeves and Donna Briggs named Volunteers of the Year with Alpine Canada

The duo are the driving force behind ski racing in Kimberley.

Kimberley Skating Club hosting East Kootenay Invitational this weekend

The competition is underway at the Kimberley Civic Centre until Sunday afternoon.

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in lingerie store

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Hwy 3 to close for avalanche control on Jan. 19

The road is expected to be closed from noon to 3 p.m.

Most Read