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Canadian airline ordered to pay for delayed baggage

A woman's bags were delayed when she took a WestJet flight from Prince George to Ottawa.
A woman had to buy replacement items when her bags were delayed on a WestJet Prince George-to-Ottawa flight.

B.C.’s Civil Resolution has ordered Calgary-based WestJet to pay a B.C. woman $315 for lost baggage.

Corrine Allbee claimed WestJet Airlines Ltd. temporarily lost her baggage while she was travelling from Prince George to Ottawa on vacation, tribunal member Megan Stewart said in a May 16 decision.

Allbee said she bought essentials to use while her baggage was missing, but WestJet only offered to reimburse her for a portion of the amount she spent.

“Mrs. Allbee claims $945.85 for the total she spent on clothing and toiletries,” Stewart said.

The airline denied the claims, saying Allbee could claim only expenses for items that were reasonably necessary.

Allbee left Prince George on Aug. 28, 2022 with two checked bags which did not arrive with her. She reported the missing bags to WestJet, and it created a delayed bag report.

Allbee said she went to a Walmart to replace essential items and bought clothing online from Lululemon. The total cost of her purchases was the $945.85 she claimed.

WestJet says the baggage delay was approximately 27 hours from the time Allbee arrived in Ottawa.

Allbee says her bags were delivered on Aug. 31 not Aug. 30, resulting in a 51-hour delay.

WestJet said the amount Allbee claimed for incidental expenses was unreasonable.

Before the dispute, WestJet offered Allbee $302.25 in compensation for the delayed baggage, an offer Allbee declined.

Stewart said Allbee was not entitled to compensation for the Lululemon clothing as she had her own clothing back before the order arrived.

Stewart acknowledged Allbee did not know when her baggage would arrive and her accommodation was in the countryside.

“Mrs. Allbee says she needed different clothing for the various activities she had planned, although she does not explain what these were,” Stewart said.

She spent $588.20 at Walmart, an amount Stewart called excessive.

“I allow $215.27 for the two hoodies, two tops, two tanks, two bras, one pair of joggers, one item of footwear, and socks she bought,” Stewart said. “I also allow $100 for toiletries, for a total of $315.27. I dismiss the balance of Mrs. Allbee’s claim.”