Travellers headed on flights from Vancouver across Canada or south of the border may experience delays or cancellations due to severe weather in a couple of places across the continent.
Several Canadian airlines have posted winter weather advisories for Atlantic Canada as a winter storm continues to pummel the region with heavy snowfall and frigid cold.
The Eskasoni First Nation in Cape Breton declared a local state of emergency on Monday, Feb. 5, as the island grapples with record-breaking snowfall. Nova Scotia has asked other provinces for help during the extreme weather.
The State of California also declared a state of emergency on Monday after an atmospheric river dumped record rainfall over Los Angeles, leaving about 830,000 people without power.
Local weather enthusiast Ryan Voutilainen shared his experience trying to get back to Vancouver from San Francisco during the storm, sharing a screenshot of several delayed flights in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
Vancouver International Airport (YVR) told V.I.A. it is aware of the heavy rainfall in southern California but that the "weather in southern California is not having a significant impact" on its flights.
YVR is also monitoring the significant snowfall in the Atlantic provinces. While there are no nonstop flights to Nova Scotia, the airport recognizes that travellers flying from YVR with connecting flights to Halifax may be affected.
"We recommend travellers check [the] latest flight information with their airline."
Air Canada flights
Canada's largest airline has revised its ticketing policy to make it easier for customers travelling on affected flights to provinces that are impacted by winter storms. These travellers can make changes to their booking without penalty, space permitting.
Flights to the following airports may be eligible: Sydney (YQY), St. John's, Newfoundland (YYT), Saint John, New Brunswick (YSJ), Halifax (YHZ), Fredericton (YFC), Deer Lake (YDF), and Charlottetown (YYG).
You can get more information about the revised ticketing policies on the company's website.
Air Canada did not respond by V.I.A.'s publication deadline when asked about local travellers who have booked flights to California.
WestJet has revised its ticketing policy to make it easier for customers travelling to St. John's, Newfoundland. Travellers can make changes to their booking without penalty, space permitting.
For all WestJet flight-only bookings for travel on Feb. 5, valid on all fares, including Basic:
- A $0 one-time fee waiver will be offered for changes or cancellations.
- If you change your destination, the difference in fare applies. Any residual funds are refunded.
- If you change to a different aircraft cabin, the difference in fare applies. Any residual funds are refunded.
- Travel must be rebooked within 60 days of the original departure date.
- If you cancel your booking, the funds will be refunded to the original form of payment.
- Any portion paid with WestJet dollars or Travel Bank credit will be returned to your account and the original expiration date (if applicable) will apply.
- Change or cancellation must be requested more than two hours before original departure.
To make changes to an existing WestJet booking, visit Manage Flights.
WestJet spokesperson Madison Kruger told V.I.A. that the weather events affecting California have not impacted WestJet's scheduled flights on Monday and the airline has not issued a travel advisory.
"We continue to monitor the situation closely and invite all guests travelling to the area to check the status of their flight before going to the airport," she added.
With files from the Canadian Press