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Forums Other Flight changes and cancellations help WestJet Refused to Check Me In – Help with insurance

  • Vasco 8 posts

    Apologies if this isn’t the right board to post this on, but it seemed the best fit.

    I arrived at YYC on 09 September at 0808 according to my Lyft ride history. I was due to take WS1680 to JFK at 0955. I joined the queue for bag drop together with my partner, and this was moving quite slowly, but I wasn’t overly worried, as from googling I found that check-in was open until 1 hr before departing time (I did later realise this was actually 75 minutes at YYC). About halfway through, a roving agent asked if anyone was going to JFK, to which I replied in the affirmative. The agent then asked me what my flight number was, and when I gave it, she said that wasn’t the one she was asking about. As such, we continued to wait. When we got to the front of the queue, it was 0855, and I thought we’d just made the cut, when the agent refuses to check our bags and tells us we’ve missed the cutoff. I have to admit that I acted in a less than dignified way as I pretty much begged him to use discretion (which he denied having and told me to find a manager “if I could.”). He also denied any ability to help me rebook because of my AF FF number on the booking (despite the fact that I bought it directly from WS). If you were at YYC that morning, I apologise if you had to witness my small meltdown. There’s nothing worse than seeing a grown man cry.

    I rebooked myself on DL which left me about CAD$2500 lighter (and frankly, that’s not too bad for 2 same day tickets). After I’d managed to secure the tickets, I went to ask a different agent for some kind of proof that they’d denied me boarding to submit to my travel insurer, but they denied me this too. Does anyone have any idea how I would go about proving this to a travel insurer? Obviously I have the receipts for the new flights and the boarding passes for the old WS flight, but I somehow doubt that will be enough. If anyone has any light to shed, please let me know.

    I also missed my onward DL flight from JFK which I’d got with VS points, but I don’t think there’s much hope of getting those back.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

    JDB 4,862 posts

    I’m sorry to hear of your situation, but I don’t believe what happened constitutes Denied Boarding as defined in Canadian or UK passenger rights legislation. They told you that you were too late to check in which is a different issue. Clearly, if their queues are overly long they must carry some responsibility but ultimately it’s up to the passenger to make themselves known if you are running up against deadlines. It sounds as though the agent was looking for latecomers. It’s fairly unusual for staff not to take pity and rebook you on one of their services even if they have no legal obligation.

    Super Secret Stuff 372 posts

    Check the T&Cs about how early you need to plan to arrive at an airport on your travel insurance. If it says 2 hours and you had an issue with your hotel check out, the travel insurer might cover it.

    Unfortunately I agree with @JDB this isn’t denied boarding. However the airline might be willing to refund the original tickets which would at least get you some money back. Check the airline T&Cs too, see if it states in the queue or checked in etc. If somehow they breached there own T&Cs you could have a case but it’s a massive long shot.

    Your JFK flights would depend entirely on if your insurer accepts the original claim and if you left enough time to connect flights under the T&Cs of your policy. I can’t envisage a scenario where they decline your first claim and accept your 2nd claim.

    meta 1,466 posts

    You will always be able to claim government taxes even if a no-show. Sometimes they might charge an extra admin fee. It’s probably a very small amount, but still you should claim that before going to the insurer.

    The OP seems to have had two separate tickets booked and the flight in question was to US only. So no the UK legislation does not apply. I also don’t think US legislation applies, just the Canadian.

    You might be able to claim under missed connection if travel insurance has a provision for it and depending on the terms (how much time you left in between). You’ll need some proof. I suggest writing to Westjet Customer Service and asking for it explaining the situation and be clear that it’s for insurance purposes.

    Alex G 471 posts

    It must be horrible to miss a flight, but there is a reason why WestJet recommend arriving at the airport 150 minutes before an international flight, and YYC recommend 180 minutes.

    Worth noting for anyone who has never flown into the US from Canada that after check in and security, you then need to clear the US Border in Canada before proceding to your gate.

    You might just make it in 75 minutes on a good day, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

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