WINNIPEG —; A construction worker from Winnipeg who is based just north of Fort McMurray is feeling the effects of the tragic fires.
Terrel Hince works two weeks in Alberta and flies home to Winnipeg. He had his next flight booked and was hoping the national emergency would allow him to receive a full refund with ease.
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“They told me make sure to get the travel agency, Flight Network, to contact them and they’ll work on something,” Hince said.
“So I contacted Flight Network and 2 hours later all they would quote me that it’s airline policy, these change fees.”
Hince said he booked the WestJet flight through Flight Network and that sorting out the flights was a game of phone tag. The fees that he would have to pay to cancel or reschedule was nearly the cost of the original flight.
“The flight itself is $350, and we’re looking at about $250 to change this one flight, and this is while I’m out of a job for the foreseeable future,” Hince said.
Global News reached out to West Jet and we received a response from a representative stating:
“We are in the initial phase of figuring out what to do in the aftermath of the horrendous YMM fire, and as of right now we are in the process of updating the website and alerting our guest agents. And the appropriate WestJetters that bought tickets before May 8 will receive free change/cancellation for both Fort McMurray and Fort St. John through May 31. This date may be extended as well.”
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Hince has since received a partial refund.
He is hoping the thousands of people who fly into the province to work aren’t in the same situation.
“If you’re going to be charging people more money to try to get back to work, when they’re already out of work, that’s just not right,” Hince said.
Flight Network has since refunded Hince and also told Global News the following statement:
“Late last week we had adapted our policies to ensure that for any Fort McMurray bookings we are reaching out to the airlines to obtain the refund exemptions where applicable. This procedure will continue as long as the area is being affected.”