Countries around the world have shut down the use of the Max planes until safety issues are sorted out, following fatal crashes in Africa and Asia.
Multiple direct flights out of Winnipeg between November and January will be affected including destinations like Phoenix, Cancun, Las Vegas and Puerto Vallarta. Scheduling changes are set to run Nov. 4, 2019, to Jan. 5, 2020, unless otherwise specified.
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Canada One Travel agent Mary Jane Hiebert told 680 CJOB she’s not sure exactly how many travellers will be affected by the cancellations.
“We’re not exactly sure to what extent WestJet is going to cancel,” she said. “There are other carriers who are still continuing to have direct flights, so it will move traffic from WestJet to other carriers.”
Hiebert said her agency was recently visited by a man who was headed south to Puerto Vallarta, but his travel plans were affected by the shutdown.
“In this situation, this gentleman was not offered a refund,” she said. “He was offered to go via Toronto, or if he didn’t want to go, they would put his money toward future travel.
“That’s not a great alternative for many people. They spend a lot of money on these flights, and for them then to have to find resources to purchase another flight… that’s not necessarily possible for everyone.”
Hiebert said travellers should book sooner rather than later, and if they want to avoid a situation like the man who couldn’t get a refund, they should use a travel agent.
“We have direct access to sales reps. We can make influence in a certain way.
“Book early, book with a travel agent.”