Passengers felt 'dumped,' stranded by Porter in Stephenville
Some passengers are upset with Porter Airlines after they were left on the west coast of Newfoundland when their flight from Halifax to St. John's was diverted.
Earlier this week, a flight headed for the city had to land in Stephenville due to foggy conditions on the east coast.
"I'm a VIP Porter member, and I'm well aware if there is weather related incidents that usually they don't pay for your hotel or accommodations or anything. What I was stumped by was … the way in which it was handled," she said.
Porter's policy generally states that if your flight is delayed or cancelled due to circumstances under their control, such as mechanical issues, they will take care of you. If weather conditions are the problem with your flight, the onus is on you.
Hickman, who had been on the flight originating in Ottawa, said she was unaware there were any weather issues in St. John's until passengers started boarding in Halifax.
"I'm from Newfoundland. I understand there's fog and I understand that you may be diverted to a different airport [ but] I've never been in the case where I've just been dropped off at the other airport 700, 800 kilometres away from my home destination and not given the opportunity to return in any shape or form."
Hotel, car rental unexpected added expenses
Hickman ended up staying the night at a hotel in Stephenville, and in the morning teamed up with three other passengers to rent a car.
Young said it came as an unexpected out-of-pocket cost when she realized there was no alternate after already landing in Stephenville.
"We weren't really told any policy up front. All we were told was, we were only told of two options and that was it," she said.
"There was no policy explanation, there was nothing explained, other than you can get off in Stephenville and find your own way to St. John's or you can go back to Halifax and the next available flight is May 2."
Young added the flight crew were "great" and handled the situation with respect, but they had to follow their instructions.
"Our pilot actually got out himself with a flashlight and took our luggage off the plane and had to rummage through and find everyone's names, and he did it all himself," she said.
According to Young, any other option was shut down by the company, and the majority of people — 63 of about 70 — ended up getting off in Stephenville to find their own way.
Both Hickman and Young said they will never fly with Porter again.