London family stranded in Jamaica after no notice given of flight cancellation
It was a rocky end to a family vacation for a London, Ont. couple. Now they are speaking out after they were left stranded in Jamaica.
What was supposed to be a fun-filled birthday trip for their six-year-old son Zachary turned into a frantic and stressful return to Canada.
Jamaica is a destination where Adam Collet and his family travel frequently, and on August 14, they boarded a WestJet flight for Jamaica.
It was after arriving at the airport to return home, that things took a turn for the worse.
"We show up on the day to leave - August 21 at 6 o'clock. We get to the airport at 4:30, 4 o'clock…and yeah, there's no flights leaving," Collet says.
He and his partner Jenny double checked with the itinerary they printed before departing for the trip. They say everything checked out, except when they contacted Expedia they were told they were on their own.
“That's the big thing right there. That blows my mind that there was no help,” Collet says. “It was like, too bad so sad, you're stuck in a foreign country."
At this point Collet and his family were two hours from their resort in a section of Jamaica under a travel advisory.
They found a villa where they could spend the night, but there were no direct flights to Toronto available for several days.
Collet booked a flight to Fort Lauderdale, hoping to find a connecting flight to get them home. He wasn't that lucky - as it would be 20 hours of flights with several stopovers and a price tag of $4,500.
The next best option was to rent a car and drive from Florida to Michigan where some friends could drive them the rest of the way home.
When he contacted Expedia to explain, the company says emails were sent to the couple to advise of the change in flights. But it was never reflected on the itinerary and Collet says more could have been done to inform them.
“A phone call could have been made to the hotel. A phone call could have been made to us...There's more than just an email on July 5 and July 12 that you claim to have sent, which isn't in our junk folders, which isn't in anything,” Collet says.
Expedia sent CTV News an email late Friday afternoon explaining the booking company’s position.
They maintain several emails were sent to the couple as well as an attempt made to contact them by phone, including leaving a voicemail.
Expedia also says the flight was cancelled as part of the Boeing Max 8 grounding.
In the email, Expedia says it regrets the inconvenience this caused the travellers and that the company will be refunding the cost of the flight that was missed.