WestJet is advising guests of a weather-related situation at Toronto Pearson International Airport overnight tonight, which will have a significant impact on flights on Tuesday. As of now there is a ground stop in effect for Toronto arrivals until 9:00am ET, meaning that flights are not permitted to land, as well as a backlog of aircraft on the ground at the airport waiting for a gate to become available to offload guests. We have been advised that in order to efficiently process incoming aircraft, guests will be offloaded as soon as gates become available but baggage will have to remain on board some flights until sometime Tuesday. WestJet baggage agents are advising guests on a flight-by-flight basis whether or not their baggage will be affected. We apologize to our guests for any inconvenience this will cause, and we will do our best to offload baggage as soon as we can.

For guests travelling in or out of Toronto Pearson Airport on Tuesday, we recommend you check the status of your flight prior to leaving for the airport.

Thank you for your patience as we and our airport partners work through this situation as quickly and safely as possible.

UPDATE (1:00pm ET, January 7):
FLIGHTS – Our Guest Solutions (GSOL) continues to find alternate WestJet flights for all guests affected by the weather situation in Toronto. There are a few thousand people who have been affected, so this will likely take several hours to complete, however, we will get all our guests to their final destination as soon as possible. Guests can see their up-to-date itinerary by logging into virtuallythere.com with your WestJet confirmation code (6 letters) and your last name. You won’t be able to self-manage your flights on Virtually There, but you will be able to see your new flight info as soon as GSOL team has updated your reservation.

BAGGAGE – With the exception of a few flights (1215 LGA-YYZ, 2772 YYZ-POS, 442 YYZ-YOW, 1118 YYZ-LAS, 723 YYZ-YVR) all baggage has been offloaded into the domestic or international arrivals areas at Toronto Airport. Guests who are looking for their baggage are asked to return to the arrivals area at Toronto Airport, as it will be the fastest method to get your baggage back into your hands. Guests who were on domestic flights are asked to come to the domestic arrivals area; guests who were on international flights are asked to come to the international arrivals area. A WestJet agent will direct you to your flight’s baggage when you arrive.

UPDATE (2:50pm ET, January 7):
FLIGHTS – The situation in Toronto continues to have an impact on flights throughout our network. All guests are asked to check the status of their flight at westjet.com prior to coming to the airport.

BAGGAGE – Flights 2772 YYZ-POS, 1118 YYZ-LAS, 723 YYZ-YVR and 1215 LGA-YYZ have had their baggage offloaded into the arrivals area at Toronto Airport. Guests from these flights are asked to come to the arrivals area to pick up their bags. Flight 442 YYZ-YOW still has not had its bags offloaded at this time. We will provide another update when this is complete.

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding.

UPDATE (5:20pm ET, January 7):
FLIGHTS – The situation in Toronto continues to have an impact on flights throughout our network, resulting in almost 100 total cancellations. All guests are asked to check the status of their flight at westjet.com prior to coming to the airport.

BAGGAGE – Flights 2772 YYZ-POS, 1118 YYZ-LAS, 723 YYZ-YVR 1215 LGA-YYZ and 442 YYZ-YOW have all had their baggage offloaded into the arrivals area at Toronto Airport. Guests from these flights are asked to come to the arrivals area to pick up their bags if they haven’t already. Any WestJet guests who have questions about their baggage can call our Baggage team at 1-866-666-6224 or send a message to the Baggage team via our online baggage tracking service. Though our Baggage teams are incredibly busy, we will get back to you as quickly as we can.

UPDATE (2:30pm ET, January 8):
First and foremost—thank you to everyone for your continued patience as we work through Mother Nature’s mess. Below is the latest update regarding the situation in Toronto that has impacted our entire network.

FLIGHTS – We still have a lot of work to do to get back to normal operations, though the situation in Toronto is improving slowly. We’ve cancelled a total of 192 flights since Monday, affecting more than 22,000 guests. Our Operations team continues to create opportunities for extra flight segments whenever possible, and our Guest Solutions team will move affected guests to new flights as soon as they become available.

We don’t have specific flights or routes we can share at this time but you can keep an eye on your itinerary by logging into your WestJet profile on westjet.com or by logging in with your confirmation code and last name on virtuallythere.com. If you originally booked your ticket through one of our airline partners, a travel agent or an online travel website, please contact them directly as they may have the ability to find alternate flights for you.

If you do not have a new flight indicated in your itinerary (departing from Toronto), please do not got to Toronto Pearson Airport. Our team there will be focusing its efforts on ensuring as many flights depart as possible so that we can get guests moving as quickly as possible. We also advise all guests on all flights to check their flight status prior to coming to their local airport as we continue to have numerous delays and cancellations.

BAGGAGE – If your bag was left on board one of our aircraft in Toronto late at night on Jan 6-7, you can come to the airport arrivals area to pick up your bag today. If you prefer to have your bag delivered, please call us at 1-866-666-6224 to arrange delivery. Please keep in mind that Toronto baggage deliveries may take 48 hours or longer, but it is an option that is available if you choose.

If you are in any other city and have a delayed baggage claim number from WestJet, please check the status of your file via our online baggage tracking service for updates before coming to the airport.

We recognize that this situation has had a major impact on thousands of our guests. Once again, we thank you for your patience and understanding.

UPDATE (10:30pm ET, January 10):
Our operation is slowly returning to normal, but we do still have some delays throughout our network today. We expect operations will continue to improve over the next few days, so please continue to check your flight status if you are flying with us in the near future.

Our Guest Solutions team has found alternate flights for everyone who was stranded, though some guests may have not yet flown to their destination due to limited availability on some routes. Our phone queues are much shorter than they have been for the past few days. Any guests with inquiries about their itinerary or flight options are welcome to call us at 1-888-WESTJET.

We do still have a significant amount of delayed baggage across our network and are working diligently to reunite these bags with their owners. We apologize to any guests who are still without their belongings at this time. Our Central Baggage Services team is coordinating with our Airport Baggage teams to get bags where they need to be as quickly as possible and to provide updates to our guests.

Mostly importantly, we would like to take this opportunity to thank our valued guests for their patience and understanding over the past few days. We apologize for your experience and we sincerely regret that so many of you were affected.

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  • Marie

    Don’t forget the Three P’s of winter travel.

    Patience, Preparedness & Perspective.

    Patience: Winter weather causes delays. It’s no one’s fault it’s
    just a fact of life. Blame Mother Nature and try to “roll with it”.

    Preparedness: We’ll be returning from Varadero, Cuba to
    Pearson on the 20th of January. Who knows what the weather will
    bring. After going through security at Varadero airport I will be filling my
    carry-on with water and snacks for the two grandchildren I’m bringing with me.
    If we get delayed on the tarmac, I’ll have water and snacks for them (as the
    aircraft has a small allotted space for these things and possibly will run
    out – almost guaranteed). Also a contingency plan on how to keep two young children occupied while stuck in a confined space for what could be hours is in the making…so far it includes colouring books and a lot of vebal stories that begin with “Once upon a time, there was a princess a knight and a dragon…”

    Perspective: Winter travel delays and glitches are a first
    world problem. Millions of people from third world countries who lack food and
    water every day of their lives would not find our problems such a huge discomfort.
    Having a flight delayed or cancelled and being forced to alter plans for; being picked up at the airport, missing a day of work or a business meeting, having the cat fed for an extra day etc…well all of these things can be terribly disruptive,
    but they aren’t life threatening. Count your blessings and try to keep your own
    mood light. Mind you, if you’re carrying organs for a transplant, feel free to
    freak out. Chances are, you won’t be in that situation.

    Just a few words from the Travelling Granny…not trying to be
    condescending or a Polly-Anna…just trying to be a good winter traveller.

  • Kathy H

    So disappointed in Westjet. Drove thru the storm Sunday night to put my son up in a hotel so he would be close for his 10:15 Monday am flight. Flight was cancelled the night before. Maintenance issues, then fuel issues, now YYZ is closed. Too bad your staff have been unkind, uncaring and even yelling at passengers waiting. After 24 hours of waiting there he has spend a great deal of his travel funds, lost his ride to his location on the other end of his flight and now needs another $100 to get there. Besides, being tired, funds draining and late for his job, the treatment everyone has received has soured him. At this point he is ready to have his money refunded and bail on the whole experience. Not everyone can afford the BS around weather and plane issues. Staff should be showing some kindness to these folks not twirling their hair and ignoring them, let alone yelling at people in front of other passengers. My son witnessed it and it became the last straw.

    You cannot control the weather but you can control your staff and customer service. Shame on you Westjet.

  • Rita Allushi

    Westjet treat costumers booked through third party as second class

  • Nancy Bowen

    Kathy H, So sorry your son had such a terrible experience. This is day 3 of trying to get my son back to Halifax for school. Has your son flown out? Does he need a place to stay? We live near the airport and he can stay here……fellow Mom Nancy B . P.S. My experience with West Jet agents on the phone and in baggage was very good…I was lucky that we could just leave and re-book on the phone.

  • Kathy H

    Nancy, you are the sweetest person for offering and understanding. The poor kid was spending all his travel dollars on feeding himself. He finally flew out an hour or so ago. He was exhausted but so happy to be on his way. I feel relieved he is just out of that chaos. All anyone expects is a little understanding and kindness. We know not everyone travelling can afford the extra expenses incurred through this. Thank goodness your son got to come back home to wait. As parents we try to do best by our kids and it pains us when they are struggling.

    You are the best Nancy!! Thanks xoxo

  • Rob S

    Nancy… I suspect that the airlines are doing the best that they can despite the minus 40 windchill and a debilitating ground stop emposed by the Airport Authority this morning. I appreciate that all airline staff are working overtime and without breaks and under terrible stress to assist all frustrated travellers. And somehow they do it with a smile on their face. Even the CEO of Westjet himself was seen today at Toronto Pearson helping along with frontline employees. Perhaps we can show some gratitude for their efforts in their ability to get your son on his way despite all the obstacles. There are definitely worse situations in life.

  • Kathy H

    Sadly, Rob you are wrong. The staff are stressed and overworked and were taking it out on the passengers. Yelling and extremely rude. To those who were not rude to them. Frustration is not towards the delays, unforseen and no ones fault, its towards how it is handled. It was a major fail. You would have to be there to understand.

  • Harvey Silverstein

    We were flying from Comox to Halifax via Calgary and Toronto, got caught in the problems in Toronto and had to stay two nights in Calgary. At 3:00 am – Westjet had more than a dozen agents processing passengers – and all of them were working far past their overtime to help.

    The agent who helped us had been working more than 12 hours and could not have been more helpful. Tyler, the agent helped us to secure one of the last rooms in Calgary, issued vouchers for the hotel and cab, and could not have been more helpful. He even offered to help us on his day off if we needed it. Compared to stories I have heard about US Air and even Air Canada – Westjet service in a time of real difficulty was superb.

    This was not an easy situation for anyone – but Westjet – you have just made a true convert for future air travel.

  • Alex S

    I’m trying to send my son from Edmonton back to school in Chicago since Sunday. He was rebooked 6 times. Right now he is supposed to fly to Toronto tomorrow morning. If they don’t cancel it that is. 2 trips to airport and hours on the phone so far. Twice they lost the track of connecting flight and only entered the flight to Toronto in their system.
    I don’t know if keep bumping you to the next flight when your flight is cancelled really qualifies as doing whatever they can.
    By the way, all Air Canada flights left on Sunday just fine including the one from Toronto to Chicago. The only one cancelled was the one operated by Westjet partner Micky Mouse Air… Oops, I meant American Eagle.
    I’d rather see the CEO of Westjet not to help in airport but to actually resolve the situation. Their are other airports beside Toronto and other airlines besides Micky Mouse ones.

  • Phyllis Landry

    I’m trying to get information on west jet flights, I’ve been put on hold for 45 minutes , then they told me to call back in an hour, I called an hour later, I’m still on hold, they told me the wait time is 48 minutes, is there another way to check for flights, I tried westjet flight status and it says that flight 481 is delayed, what should we do…

  • Marie

    Your post made my day, Nancy. The kindness of strangers always warms me from my head to my toes…even when it’s 30 below!

  • YBA

    I’m struggling to grasp how you ignorant people are blaming westjet for the problem, its weather they can’t do anything about that. Check the status of your flight before leaving your house and half of you would have avoided your headaches. Then you blame westjet for not getting flights out. NO ONE IS FLYING if they could get you out on time they would.. its way more of a pain to deal with rude customers blaming them for something out of their control then it is to have the flights run smooth. If you want to risk flying in this weather then deal with the consequences of the flights not going don’t blame someone just trying to work their shift cause you have no patience or common sense how to handle things maturely. My flight was cancelled today but I had the sense to check the status before I left the house and was able to wait on hold and get it sorted… grow up you spoiled brats

  • Marie

    Happy to hear that you got your flight sorted, YBA.
    A few years ago I had the experience of working in an airport for a couple of years and you’re right sometimes people are very impatient, rude and blamed the staff for situations that were out of their control. This being said, I can happily report that 90% of the time the passengers were kind and gentle with their words, even when you could see that their patience was being tested to the extreme. I’ve been called a few names working at the airport, most of which I wouldn’t write here. People would lose their cool mainly due to issues which had nothing to do with me personally or anything I had control over…and it was always somewhat disheartening as most of us were really trying our best. You’re right, we have to have patience with each other and use common sense and not be rude.

  • Alex S

    After first time my son’s flight was cancelled I was very understanding. After 5th time – not so much. And I did check it before going to airport. Every time. One flight was cancelled 20 minutes before it was supposed to take off. Another when we were in check in line.
    Not everyone is grounded. 4 westjet flights from Edmonton to Toronto were cancelled today and 3 flew. My son did not get on any of those that flew. All 3 flew well after he got to airport. The 12:30 am flight tomorrow was cancelled a few hours after they checked him on it. And guess what, the identical flight from Calgary is still on. It arrives to Toronto 1 minute after the Edmonton flight. And nobody blames front line staff, however please do me a favor and don’t equal the company that dealt with the situation rather poorly and its front line staff.
    Good for you you had it cancelled once n you and resolved. Everyone who complained here had it much worse than you did.

  • Anonymousme14

    My family is STUCK in Toronto with NO flights to Edmonton until Saturday!! My nephew is supposed to have his 6th Birthday party in Sherwood park on Saturday and his dad, a doctor, has to be in Fort McMurray on Sunday for work. Help!!

  • Ben

    Hey guys, we’re grounded in Aruba and are having a great deal of difficulty getting any information about our flight to Toronto which was cancelled yesterday. It’s still listed as cancelled and there have been no updates about rescheduling that we have seen on the Pearson, Aruba airport or westjet site. We have been unable to get through on the phone lines since yesterday. Does anyone out there have any information?

  • Kathy H

    You have missed the whole point. No one blames an airline for weather, we are saying that THEY have had many staff who were unkind, unsympathetic, rude and in some cases yelling at people who were being patient and making the best of it. Sadly, many travellers do not have the funds to support themselves with food, drinks and a hotel while waiting. We spent the extra and stayed at a hotel the night before the flight just so weather would not prevent us from reaching the airport. We were already there and flight was cancelled due to maintenance, then no fuel then airport shut down. No compensation or understanding to help those struggling to sustain themselves while living at the airport. Poor communication to those stranded, leaving them lost. This was written to make Westjet aware that they need to have better plans in place to support those struggling while living at the airport. Perhaps be a little kinder and communicate better. Other airlines where leaving during a good portion of this time that my son was stranded. He has no credit card and spent a great deal of his travel dollar prior to even leaving. Perhaps you dont live in a world where funds are not flowing like water. Maybe you should step off your pedestal and look around at reality.

    Everyone in every industry works long hours and are stressed during crisis situations, that is your job. No excuse not to continue to do it well and with a smile on your face. These are not valid excuses to be rude.

  • Chris Rollo

    My son’s hockey team was supposed to travel to Kelowna yesterday. Unfortunately, if they don’t get out today, their dream trip is shattered and many months of hard work, fundraising and preparation goes right down the tubes. As of late last night no flights were being added. It hurts to see your child so disappointed!!

  • Ben

    Seems impossible to even check our booking info on the website now. Is this because the server is overloaded, or is something else going on? Wait times on phone line are over 3 hours now, although system has hung up on us twice at around the 30 min mark, which might be the phone network, I guess. Still hoping for some information, please. :(

  • Janice

    Hi Ben! Seems like next Westjet flight from Aruba is Jan 11th. I think they only flies couple of times to Aruba.

  • Marie

    I really feel for you and your son Kathy. As I stated above, I worked in a small airport for a while. We once had a 22 hour delay…which meant we (security staff) actually worked for 22 hours straight. There was a young man (student) who was flying home and he didn’t have any money. He had to wait for 15 hours. We (the security staff) chipped in and bought him lunch and supper. But we were at a very small airport so we had the opportunity to talk to people in the airport. That’s how we found out this boy hadn’t any money for food. Many of us are parents and grandparents and we didn’t want to see this boy go hungry. I was baffled why the airline wasn’t doing anything to help feed these stranded people. There were only about 30 of them and I was especially baffled as this delay was mechanical and the airlines responsibility.
    I’m also pleased to report that our crew that worked those incredibly long hours did so with grace. Maybe we didn’t have big smiles, but we had tired smiles! We were happy these people were on their way after such a long frustrating day. :-)

  • Kim

    Parents were supposed to take the YYZ flight TO Aruba yesterday (i.e. your return flight); cancelled. Hard to get info on the Toronto end also. They have been told there may be a recovery flight to Aruba still, but no details on when. I can update here when know about recovery flight…

  • Ben

    Thanks for the update! Any info is really useful. We have managed to get some info from the Aruba airport now, but really only that there won’t be a flight today.

  • Ben

    Hey! We’re really hoping they run a flight before then to cover the cancelled one, as I suspect the Saturday flight is fully booked and they won’t be able to shift all the passengers.

  • YBA

    No I haven’t missed the point, I’m just defending the people who aren’t on here able to defend themselves, you are telling someone you have never met to get of there pedestal. . I’m a single father who does not have money flowing like water but flying at this time of year you have to be ready do these types of events… why would westjet compensate you? Its weather not them they are not responsible for compensating you, and just because other airlines had a few flights go out doesn’t mean that everything is operational. There was hundreds of flights cancelled this week you average out 135 guests per flight you are left with thousands of people affected and not just in Toronto but country wide because of this, I feel for your teenage son but I think you need to get of your pedestal thinking that just cause he’s your son he should be looked after. Maybe your son was polite and maybe westjet agents are getting more frustrated then they should but out of that tens of thousands of people affected how many do you think were polite and understanding? I can guarantee you its far less than half…. do you not think with that many people affected that its pretty much a lottery as to who gets on a plane? Why should your son get on before an elderly woman who is wheelchair bound? The POINT is that although there are legitimate complaints its watered down by all the assailed thinking the airlines are reaponsible for all of the issues and should compensate every guest.. when its weather related it doesn’t work that way. And the poor communication a lot of it has to do with the fact that they don’t know what to tell you because its weather.. its all done spur of the moment I can tell you for a fact the whole time people are whining and complaining these people who bared the terrible weather to show up for their shift to get yelled at by thousands of posses off people are trying to get every flight out they can to lessen the severity of how many people are in a bad spot… instead of complaining why don’t you be thankful your son is ok and the rest of the teens and elderly dealing with this nationwide weather emergency… people are dying by the minute from this cold and your more concerned about how an airline isn’t compensating you for something out of their control… you have first world problems so take a step back and think instead of whining about your son maybe tell him to go around and ask the elderly if he can help them with anything and maybe he will find that assisting others that are worse off will pay dividends … just a thought

  • Indi

    Is there any way to find out if a flight actually departs Toronto ? We are supposed to fly from Tampa to TO today but flight cancelled. Lucky checked online middle of night and for once was actually accurate and updated. It needs to leave TO first to ensure on it way to Tampa so we do not go to airport again and make 2 hr drive with 3 kids. Why do they not update real flight departure – it keeps saying on time even if we know 4 hr delay. Also no way to get through to anyone about rescheduling for tomorrow ? Anyone at Westjet have any ideas on how to talk to an agent live after 5 hrs trying to get through on phone ?

  • YBA

    Well I’m sorry its been such a problem for your son to get out maybe you are an unlucky one but you even said your self more than half the flights were cancelled and that then means more than half the people were stranded just like your son. My original comment was directed tothe people who are just on here to talk shot cause they feel sorry for themselves. . I realize I was lucky because when I checked my fly was cancelled and I got it sorted for a few days from now… not the next flight so don’t think I’m not affected by this either.. I’d rather be at my home in beautiful kelowna bc rather than paying out of pocket for a hotel in this frigid city. But the reason I was able to sort it calmly and quickly is because I’ve been affected the way you guys are and I know it helps no one to start ranting against the poor people trying to deal with this mayhem. . And the fact that you say no one is blaming the front line staff and in the same sentence talk about the poor front line staff is kind of comical no?

  • Nancy Bowen

    Hey Marie,
    Thanks for your kind words. But honestly, no big deal. If my kids were stranded in another city, I would hope someone would offer to help them as well.. It sounds like Kathy’s son got out as did my son last night. I was there and witnessed the carnage last night. Bags everywhere, long lines, frazzled nerves….. not a pretty sight. My advice to anyone currently trying to get out…get on the phone and just wait for an agent or better yet get on line and book a flight yourself. If you cancel that flight within 24hours, there is no charge and you are refunded the whole amount. West Jet is not charging for re-booking flight at this time as is usually their policy So re-book if you can then book another flight in case that one is cancelled. That is how I got both my kids out, by having a back up flight. Good luck to everyone and again, my experience, while a pain was super positive with West Jet. I do not work for them, just a frequent user. I also had family members flying out with Air Canada and British Airways. They also had delays, missed connections and had the same trouble this was not a West Jet problem.
    Just to keep things real…our son was on the West Jet flight 2 nights ago to Halifax and after waiting 5 hours, the Airport called the ground freeze and it was cancelled. The girl seating in the seat behind him burst into tears and told the girls beside her that she had been trying to get home to see her Grandfather before he died….he died while she was waiting.
    Where ever you are going, just get there safe and be kind to one another.
    ps…… offer stands for tonight only….. if (broke and desperate students in particular) need help with a place to stay…. reply here and we will figure something out. Nancy B

  • Jan Macdonald

    Kathy H. is your son still stuck in Toronto? I am driving there in a couple of hours to drop off a friend who was enroute to Halifax and has been stranded since Friday. I would gladly pick your son up, give him a good meal and a place to sleep, and drive him back to the airport.

  • Jonathan

    Really nice to read all the stories on this site and see how people are helping each other. I was on a flight from MIA-YYZ today (Jan 8) and my flight has been cancelled. I have checked the website but have not received any updated information and the WestJet phone line has been busy for ages. I also don’t want to be on hold for 3hrs+ as indicated in the correspondence below. Does anyone have information regarding flight to Toronto from Miami and when we should be expecting a rescheduled flight. WestJet should have a real time information update on the site to inform passengers, the unknown is what is confusing. Having a channel to communicate and update real time information to the passengers would be a good idea. Please advise if you have any information on flight 1131, appreciate all the help in advance.

  • Janice Freamo

    I’m writing this post not to provide advice to other travellers, but in the hopes that the folks at WestJet might read it, so that we can convey our thanks for their amazing customer service over the past couple of days. My husband and I arrived in Pearson on Monday and spent the next 20hrs facing down delays, cancellations and long line ups. Through all of that every single WestJet agent we spoke to was kind, patient, professional and understanding. On Monday night agents stayed at the desk until 3:30 am (until every last customer still in the lounge was assisted). Almost all of them had been there at least since our original flight had arrived (1:00 pm). Agents did their best to provide regular updates and remained positive throughout. When we did finally decide to try to get to Ottawa another way, the agent that we worked with at the baggage desk in Toronto went out of his way to help locate bags. These are just two examples of the exceptional customer service WestJet provided during trying circumstances. So, this is all to say “thank you” for helping to make a terrible situation a little more manageable and for doing so in such a kind manner.

  • Kathy H

    Marie and Nancy, deeply touched by the kindness. My son made it out yesterday afternoon and all is well. Although hard to wait at an airport, it is what you must do at times. Extra costs incurred, frustrations, etc. We all survive it, but not all can. Some cannot afford the sandwich, the drink. Lots of young students heading back, young ones travelling etc. Hope someone is looking out for them as well. My son witnessed some interesting sights while there. Made many new friends, and not all Westjet staff was difficult, however, a few needed to step up. This will all blow over, just like this cold weather. Wish you ladies well, I can see how good hearted you are. A pleasure to meet you.

  • Kathy H

    Jan, thank you SO much!! He made it out late yesterday. You are the best for offering. Good luck with your friend.

  • Kathy H

    OMG, thanks for the laugh YBA, you’ve made my day. My son would help the elderly, and give up his seat to anyone. That’s not what this is about dear. You need to calm down and listen a bit. Westjet has openly admitted they handled this poorly in at YYZ. These comments are to help them in future for all passengers not my son.

    I too am a single parent of 2, what does that have to do with anything? I work with the homeless, in the front lines, we are a family that gives rather than takes, perhaps this is why I see that these situations are tough. I have no pedestal, I am a hard working gal, as I’m sure you are. However, I do oversee a big operation myself and no matter how stressed and overworked we are, poor service and poor attitude = poor business.

    Most out there can feed and fend for themselves, however, there are some travellers who may not be able too, in the US, after 2 hours of delays, you are helped with food, hotels etc. I think that when things go days, there does need to be some help for some. Anyhow, not here to get upset with people like you. If you weren’t involved with this you have no first hand knowledge, don’t comment. No one is interested in your rantings. Westjet has all the options in the world to comment and defend themselves.

  • Kathy H

    Marie, a very kind thing you did. My son survived and learned a lot from this experience. His plane started with maintenance issues, then no fuel, then the storm. I think life is a learning process. We learned a lot, I hope Westjet did too.

  • Kathy H

    YBA, need to have a coffee and go relax…you must be a Westjet employee.

  • YBA

    You’re as ignorant as you are rude… its people like you that make things worse not better .. and no I don’t work for westjet I run multi million dollar renovations so I know all about stress and handling people… as you can see by others on here they were treated very well and with respect… so for you to group the company in as a whole is rude to those working their ass off and to say I have no say cause I’m not affected when I’m paying for hotel out of my own pocket until Saturday when I can finally fly out next (hopefully) shows your ignorance… stop talking you are embarrassing

  • Kathy H

    You’re so sweet, all the best to you and your millions dear. I am so happy you are safe and warm. All the best to you, hope your flight goes well. Safe travels. xoxo

  • Allan

    As I was on an Air Canada flight Tuesday, that landed at 5:00 PM and sat for two
    hours looking for a gate it is as follows. The planes at the gates did not
    leave as the refueling system would not work as it was too cold (-17C
    and this is Canada and as far as a metal system is concerned wind chill doesn’t count). So nothing moved as they could not refuel the
    aircraft. This was the info our pilot gave us from the tower during our
    wait. At this point it appears no matter how much spin the media types put on this problem Tuesday it was with refueling aircraft. This is a disgrace for our biggest airport – changes need to be
    made.

  • YBA

    Ill enjoy my common sense thank you.. maybe you will get there one day… but a sincere hope your son is safe and gets home soon..

  • Joshua M.

    I too am on that flight. I was able to get in contact with a person at West Jet who said that they were organizing recovery flights this afternoon and would send emails to those affected late this afternoon/early this evening. If we did not get an email, to call back. At this time, there was no chance of flying out today and that the recovery flights were most likely going to be scheduled for Thursday or Friday. I hope this helps. If anyone else has any additional information it would be greatly appreciated.

  • Leah Quatell

    Does anybody know about flights leaving tomorrow (Jan 9)?

  • Jean Ogilvie

    Hello, could we have some truth-telling about what is going on in Florida right now? Toronto has been fine for hours (now Wed. at 2:00 p.m.) and WJ has cancelled flights today from Fort Myers, Tampa, Orlando to Toronto. They have not answered their phones since 9:00 p.m. last night (busy signal), are not contacting customers directly to make alternative arrangements. I have an elderly Mom in critical health and I am trying to get home……F- to Westjet today

  • Kim

    parents told there probably wont be a make-up flight now to Aruba which means next flight is Sat Jan 11 (subsequently my flight to Aruba)… might be time to start looking into alternative one way?

  • Jamie Malysh

    Does anyone have information on how the flights will be on Friday January 10th? Is it worth it to re-book with air canada just to avoid Toronto?

  • Timothy Mangal

    My mother in law was supposed to be on the Tuesday flight out to Saint Lucia and is still stuck in Toronto. Okay, weather issues but no one can tell her up till now what is going on, Will she be on the next available flight etcetera!

    Westjet communications machine is not working well and has let down a lot of people.

  • Alex

    I really appreciate the fact of someone taking the time to update this blog entry, however the instructions for checking the Westjet profile page doesn’t work, i always get “We are currently experiencing technical difficulties, please try again later.” error. Also, doing the virtuallythere thing always says that my flight is confirmed on Jan 7!!!

    Really looking forward everything gets to normal soon as my family need to flight to Aruba sooner than later!

  • Jonathan

    thanks Joshua for the update.

  • Joshua M.

    Planes are landing in Toronto with other companies at this very moment… US Airways flight from Pensacola to Quebec City via Toronto just landed without even a delay. Meanwhile many of our flights have been cancelled with little to no contact from the company (or any ability to contact WestJet on our own). Just shows what you get with a “discount” flight operator. I guess you do get what you pay for….

  • Ben

    Looks like you might be right; for a minute there it looked like they were planning to send a rescue flight, and I suppose they still might, but last we heard the next available westjet flight is going to be next Tuesday. Westjet rep advised us to cancel our flight, even though there may not be any travel options available, especially at any kind of price that is really affordable. Hard to feel that this is really any kind of service at all. The only corresponce we have had from the airline was the blanket mail they sent to all customers telling us the lines at the airport may be long.

  • Ben

    Update: Westjet _are_ sending a recovery flight to Aruba. This is running on Friday. Hopefully, all people on this flight have been updated. Wait times on the line seem shorter now, too.

    Our personal experience was that after confirming this flight, they had forgotten to rebook us on the second leg of our return journey, but we have managed to get this sorted out, too.

    With any luck we will be home by Saturday.

    I have to say that my experience of this situation has been that Westjet’s communications infrastructure is very poor. The Natural Disaster was massive and out of everyone’s control. However, contingency management and communication protocols are entirely within the company’s control. I really do hope that Westjet is able to learn from this experience and improve their contingency protocols. I would not fault the the employees we spoke to, however, they didn’t seem to have much information to work with, and more importantly, the information they did have was very inconsistent and their suggestions seemed largely ad hoc. This has made the experience much more confusing.

    Additionally, utilization of the telephone line as the primary source of up to date information seems like a significant bottleneck. At one point they were advising everyone to call them at the same time for an update – this must have led to further congestion. Also, although, Westjet has advised people to check the website, their main site either could not handle the customer load or was taken off-line. The “Virtually-there” server was not updated, at least for our flight, meaning that we had no way of knowing if there was going to be a recovery flight or not, and coupled with the confusing advise/information from employees when we were able to get through this meant that for much of the time we have been completely in the dark. The most informative feedback we have had has been from this blog via other passengers.

    I recognize that people trapped in Aruba represent a minority of travellers, and that resources have probably been concentrated on Toronto and other hubs. However, Aruba, being remote, has especially limited options for alternative travel arrangements, and limited communication avenues, so clear communication is really quite important.

    I would suggest that Westjet think about increasing the amount of targeted information they present on their website, so that this really can be used as a primary source of up to date information. For myself, in an disaster situation, I would rather see the most current best guess of the recovery plan with some metric relating to likelihood and/or a time bounds (e.g. no earlier than, but likely before such and such a date), and if there are alternatives it might be useful to see those, too. It would definitely be preferable to have a unified and definitive strategy presented, as ad hoc and inconsistent information is a real bummer. All information is subject to change, this is a fact of life. Some (up to date) information is still better than none.

    My other thought is that Westjet’s PR emails were not the best tuned, given the context, especially in the absence of any other more informative content.

    I must say, I am glad that Westjet is sending a recovery flight, as to me, this seems like the acceptable course of action for an airline who has brought passengers to a remote location.

    Fingers crossed we’ll get home soon. And I hope everyone else travelling is also able to get to their destinations soon.

  • Joshua M.

    Also… Told last night by west jet that they could not get me to where I needed to go until 14th. I cancelled by trip through west jet and rebooked another flight through delta that got me where I needed to go on the 10th on a west jet flight…. I understand that west jet is backlogged and they have to get those stranded home, but why are they still selling seats on flights that could be used to get those stranded home? Capitalism at its finest as it is obvious that west jet will do what it wants in order to make a buck…

  • Angie

    Thanks for the updates WestJet!! Very appreciated…on my way to pearson to get my bag! :) shoutout to the guy on monday nite around 1am to the westjet baggage guy who handled the frustrated mob of people so professionally and worked very hard to find out answers and give suggestions to us for what we should do. The two ladies at baggage counter were quick courtesy and amazing in getting info out and ensuring we all understood what will happen in the next couple of days.
    Westjet nor pearson can control the weather but I feel it was handled very well. Those three workers understood our frustration and dealt with it so kindly and professionally! WestJet…THAT is customer service! :D also thanks to the pilots and flight team for a safe landing on that icey snowy runway!

  • Angie

    Its because people think the world revolves around them. Granted you can be upset but dont take it out on them. Their hands are just as tied as yours. It took me 5 days 6 cancelled flights to get home and its been 4 days waiting for my luggage but you know what…the earth controls the weather…humans make mistakes ..you wouldnt want someone bashing you if things got messed up and you werent the reason why it got messed up. Today i hopefully will get my luggage. We live in canada! Land of the snow home of the ice! Learn to live with it. Would you want to be on a plane and it crashes bc you are so rushed to get home and you are injured or heaven forbide die..all bc the world revolves around you.
    I agree they need to grow up be reasonable responsible adult. If you cant then do not fly.