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

Trucking company fined $175K for Lemon Creek fuel spill

Decision handed down last Friday in Nelson court

Interior Health leading the way with innovative therapy for stroke patients

Percentage of ischemic stroke patients who received treatment has risen dramatically

Trail open house part of Basin-wide public engagement

Trail event goes Thursday, March 12 from 2-6 p.m., and guided discussion from 6-8 p.m.

Missing Nelson woman found dead

Police say there is no evidence of a crime in the death of Heather Gunderson

Foul play involved in Slocan Valley man’s death, police say

RCMP have identified dead man as 47-year-old Aaron Graham

Clothing, jewelry, purses: RCMP ask court about disposal of evidence in Robert Pickton case

Pickton was sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 25 years for the murders of six women

Ryan nets hat trick in return as Senators beat Canucks 5-2

Ottawa winger received assistance for admitted alcohol problem

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs meet with provincial, federal ministers

Neither party speaking on the groundwork laid for tomorrow’s talks

Speaker ‘will not tolerate illegal activity’ on B.C. legislature grounds, says chief of staff

Chief of staff to the B.C. speaker Alan Mullen says situation with demonstrators appears ‘fluid’

MPs to examine privacy implications of facial-recognition technology used by RCMP

The MPs will look at how the technology affects the privacy, security and safety of children

Dates back to 2009: Calgary police lay charges in fraud involving semi-trucks

Three people from Calgary are facing charges that include fraud over $5,000

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs optimistic ahead of talks with feds, province

Discussions with provincial and federal governments expected to start later today

‘The project is proceeding’: Horgan resolute in support of northern B.C. pipeline

B.C. premier speaks as talks scheduled with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Most Read