An Ottawa woman with muscular dystrophy is suing WestJet after her wheelchair arrived at her destination broken and unusable.

Last January, Ginette Bastien booked an all-inclusive vacation to Cancun with WestJet Vacations. Due to her condition she must operate a customized electric wheelchair, and she said the company agreed to accommodate her special needs. 

West jet Bastien (Oct. 21, 2013).

Ottawa woman Ginette Bastien is taking WestJet to court after her costly electric wheelchair was destroyed. (CBC)

"The last time I had travelled was in 2007," said Bastien, "so I was really looking forward to this vacation."

Upon arrival in Mexico, however, Bastien found that her nearly $40,000 wheelchair was destroyed.

"It was basically half apart, missing pieces," she said. "I just wanted to cry and die and go back home because I knew there's no way I can do anything."

Wants $25K for lost vacation days, legal fees

The resort offered a replacement wheelchair, but Bastien said it did not work properly, so she ended her vacation early and returned home.


In a statement, WestJet says "We will continue to work on a satisfactory resolution." ((Larry MacDougal/Canadian Press))

She contacted WestJet to complain and said she was simply told the company was looking into it.

WestJet has since reimbursed Bastien for the cost of a new wheelchair, but she wants $25,000 for lost vacation days, the cost of the trip and legal fees, after taking the company to small claims court.

"We very much regret that our guest's wheelchair was damaged and clearly, her vacation was not what she hoped it would be," said a WestJet spokesperson in a statement.

"We will continue to work on a satisfactory resolution to this very unfortunate incident."

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