Stranded WestJet passengers 'desperate' to return to Calgary
Alberta's queue-jumping inquiry postponed as commissioner among the roughly 150 passengers stuck in Palm Springs, Calif.
WestJet says it's doing everything it can to get roughly 150 passengers back from Palm Springs, Calif. — including the head of Alberta's health care queue-jumping inquiry.
The group has been stuck since Sunday night. The provincial inquiry into queue-jumping allegations was supposed to resume today in Edmonton, but has been postponed because retired judge John Vertes is among the stranded passengers.
"Some people are getting ... a little bit desperate," said Ian Darnley, who was supposed to leave Palm Springs Sunday.
Darnley says the original flight was cancelled, as was a second flight on Monday, and every other flight in the area is full.
"I think people understand things happen with airlines all the time," said Darnley. "There's delays and problems, that's part of it, but it's sort of the way the recovery is being handled that I think people are finding frustrating."
WestJet spokesperson Robert Palmer says weather, mechanical issues and spring break have prevented the company from getting the passengers home.
He says they've been given food and accommodation and further compensation will follow.
"We certainly apologize for this experience. It is a very difficult travel time of year and that has certainly compounded the problem because flights are full and there are very few spare aircraft for us to be able to repurpose for this sort of reason," said Palmer.
A flight is scheduled to bring the passengers back to Calgary at around 2 a.m. MT.