Cold weather, delays in Vancouver impacting Edmonton International Airport

Just days away from the busiest travel days of the year, delays and cancellations have caused chaos for Canadian travellers.

A snowstorm in Vancouver grounded planes and left some passengers stuck on the runway for hours, and the aftershocks are being felt across the country.

“You can have an aircraft that’s starting in Vancouver this morning, enroute to Edmonton, and then from Edmonton maybe that aircraft is headed to Toronto. Well, that aircraft hasn’t left Vancouver yet, or is delayed or cancelled, so those passengers now aren’t going. Now that plane isn’t here to take passengers onto Toronto,” said Steve Maybee of YEG Edmonton International Airport.

At YEG EIA, passengers waited in long lines on Tuesday to talk to an airline agent.

“I’ve made it five hours in three days,” one passenger told CTV News Edmonton. “I’m here from Fort McMurray to Edmonton. I’ve been trying to get to Halifax. They keep cancelling flights and there’s no answers, nobody tells you anything. Nobody has anything to offer. I’m up to about $800 now in just hotels and Ubers.”

Nicholas Ong Yui planned to travel home to Malaysia for the first time since 2018.

“It’s really frustrating. It’s really, really, really awful because, like, yeah, I have been looking forward to this all year,” he said.

All his flights have been cancelled, and he’s stuck in Edmonton.

“I was in line there for about three and a half hours and they said they’re fully booked as well, or all their flights out to Vancouver are cancelled, and so I’m staying home for Christmas.”

WestJet had cancelled 90 flights as of noon, on top of 250 cancellations on Sunday and Monday.

The company is blaming severe weather and staffing challenges, including giving crews mandatory rest periods.

“The ongoing extreme cold weather warnings affecting Alberta and prolonged forecasted snow and weather events for regions across B.C. inclusive of, Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland and the Okanagan are having a severe impact not only on our operations, but our staff and service partners,” Madison Kruger of WestJet wrote in a statement.

“At Vancouver International Airport specifically, the weather prevented many of our staff and service partners from being able to get to work yesterday evening and into this morning.”

WestJet is asking travellers to wait until 72 hours before their flight before contacting the airline. 

View original article here Source