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

Buses running and schools are open Friday in the Chilliwack school district

All facilities are open Jan. 17 including daycares, preschools and the Neighbourhood Learning Centre

Chilliwack’s Lori Johnson takes pilgrims to the Holy Land

Johnson has created Trinity Tours, to bring Christian pilgrims on trips to Israel

Chilliwack to participate in detailed route hearing for Trans Mountain project

Council has said throughout its main concern is the protection of the city’s drinking water supply

Yarrow Library helps remove barriers for young readers with Paws 4 Stories program in Chilliwack

Kids can relax and forget about feeling nervous when reading as they read stories to Lucky the dog

FVRD seeking outdoor rec feedback

Open house meetings slated for next week

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

Special prosecutor to review Cranbrook toddler drowning case

Evidence disclosure at issue in the case of a woman sentenced for criminal negligence causing death

UPDATE: Supreme Court dismisses B.C.’s appeal in Trans Mountain pipeline case

Judges decide whether B.C.’s power to protect environment can include impeding a federal project

10 B.C. cities break temperature records in winter storm

Quesnel dipped to -41.9 C, breaking a record from 1916

Vancouver Island child struck, pinned under SUV while sledding

Boy suffers serious injuries, no charges laid in incident

UPDATE: Snowfall warning ends for Metro Vancouver

Five to 10 centimetres of snow, wind chills to hit -20 C or lower

VIDEO: Lower Mainland principal makes ‘Moana’-themed snow day music video

Kendra Simonetto parodied “How Far I’ll Go” to share weather updates with her students

Unprepared for chemistry test, B.C. student begs superintendent to call another snow day

The student from West Vancouver promised he would study more, but was distracted by skiing and hot chocolate

Most Read