If you ask how Bridget Saraka would describe her recent experience flying through the Saskatoon airport, one word comes to mind – “insensitive.”
On Jan. 10, she said she arrived at the airport exactly when her FlightNetwork itinerary recommended she should but she ended up missing her flight while waiting in line and was forced to pay $650 to rebook.
Saraka, who was en route to Halifax early that morning to see her new grandchild, said her excitement about the trip quickly wore off when she found herself among a sea of panicked passengers.
“I could see the time and thought ‘there’s no way I’m going to make my flight,'” she said.
She missed her flight, trapped in the security line. Saraka said she asked agents at least nine times to help her but was ignored.
“We have security, which I’m grateful for because they’re making our flights safe, but where’s the customer service?” Saraka questioned.
According to Saraka, it took more than an hour and 40 minutes to check-in then snake through both the baggage and security line-ups.
“You have every single person, on every single flight, now also going through a baggage line for the entire airport,” she said.
For Saraka the kicker came when she had to shell out over $600 because her cancellation insurance didn’t cover this type of situation.
“The second you missed your first flight, your second flight is automatically cancelled,” Saraka said she was told by an airline attendant.
“So now I’m out two flights because of security.”
Saraka told Global News that the airline honoured her return flight. She has now filed a complaint with the Saskatoon Airport Authority, Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA), WestJet and contacted FlightNetwork.
Security screening is strictly the responsibility of CATSA, however, the airport authority is reminding all passengers to arrive at least two hours early for domestic flights, three for international flights.
It said it understands the frustrations felt by some passengers given the multiple touch points operating within the airport and that it does its best to communicate any disruptions within the airport to the travelling public on its website in advance, i.e. construction projections.
The authority also expressed some concerns of its own in regards to third-party travel sites and itineraries issued to passengers, saying they often do not reflect accurate airline check-in times.
“The airline, nor the airport, are responsible for any incorrect information that a reseller posts.”
In Saraka’s case, the document recommended she show up 60 to 90 minutes ahead of her flight as opposed to the 120-minute industry standard.
In an email to Global News, FlightNetwork.com highlighted a section of its terms and conditions page from its website.
The company stated that passengers should reconfirm check-in times with the airline directly as suggested times from the company are guidelines only and are subject to change without notice.