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WestJet strike: Metro Vancouverites on hold for days trying to rebook flights

"Is there a way to reach customer service?" asked a frustrated flyer.
Over 100,000 WestJet passengers faced travel disruptions over the long weekend, including numerous flights to and from Vancouver International Airport.

Scores of travellers are still stranded in destinations following the WestJet strike over the Canada Day long weekend while others are finding it difficult to re-book flights. 

WestJet updated its change policies on Monday, July 1, to reflect the current Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR), promising passengers a path home within 48 hours of their scheduled departures. 

On Wednesday, the airline said its "operations have stabilized," and it projects minimal future cancellations relating to strike action. 

But many passengers say they haven't been booked on new flights; they can't even get a hold of a customer service representative by phone. 

Over 100,000 WestJet passengers faced travel disruptions over the long weekend, flooding the airline with re-booking requests and eleventh-hour advice. Many travellers had flights to and from Vancouver International Airport (YVR).

While WestJet says it took "significant strides" to resume normal operations, dozens of flights have been cancelled daily following the strike action. The airline reported 79 cancellations on Tuesday and 30 on Wednesday; it expects an additional eight flights will be cancelled on Thursday. 

Under the APPR rules, WestJet must re-accommodate guests booked on cancelled flights with a flight on an alternative airline within 48 hours of their scheduled departure if they do not have another flight available. WestJet must book flights for its guests with airlines outside of its network if no flights are available. 

Travellers finding the re-booking process challenging

One frustrated customer claims the airline turned its phone lines off and hasn't been able to get through in three days. 

"Is there a way to reach customer service?" they asked in frustration. 

WestJet responded to the message by acknowledging that the phone lines "may be saturated at the moment due to the sheer volume of calls being made at the same time."

"Please keep trying to be connected, or give us a call later," the airline added. 

The customer responded by saying they "must have called 100 times at least. I do not even get placed on hold, it gives a message and hangs up. The message says to call back later, always. For several days in a row. This is ridiculous!!"

A frustrated stuck at their destination says they've been on hold for seven hours trying to reach a representative.

Other WestJet guests continue to experience a variety of issues, including being stranded in their destination and incurring massive costs. Some people say they continue to experience strange adjustments to their itinerary without being notified. 

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