WestJet Link won't be grounded by strike action

By Leah Murray
May 11, 2018 - 5:46pm Updated: May 11, 2018 - 6:52pm


MEDICINE HAT – The summer travel season is heating up and so are tensions at WestJet.

Pilots have voted overwhelmingly in favour of going on strike, with 91 per cent saying yes to job action.

The possibility of pilots walking off the job has left summer travel plans up in the air for many people.

The airline and the union representing WestJet pilots, have come out and said the strike wont happen until after the busy may long weekend.

However, a strike could potentially happen right after that and could leave you stranded.

If that does happen, WestJet said it will provide its travellers with a refund, but with flights grounded travellers will have to find a last minute flight on another airline.

Air Canada said it is increasing flights in and out of major centres like Calgary, in case a strike does occur.

WestJet is going to be launching a flight service from Medicine Hat to Calgary in June. WestJet Link will be launched June 20th in Calgary, and the inaugural flight out of Medicine Hat is slated for June 22nd..

The company said even if there is a strike that service won’t be affected because WestJet Link pilots belong to a different union.

Pam Murray, a sales manager with AMA Travel said people who purchased travel insurance and had booked flights before the results of the strike vote came out should be covered,

Although WestJet is offering refunds in the event of a strike, it might not cover the cost of having to book another last minute seat on another carrier. That’s where the travel insurance would help.

Murray said those who book flights and insurance now, wouldn’t necessarily have that same guarantee.

“Knowing that the pilots are anticipating strike action, they've agreed to strike action, that's already something they know about,” she said. “So, as of now, it's unlikely that would be a covered event for people who are booking a ticket now and buying their insurance now.

“It's like buying the house insurance when the house is already on fire.”

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