How to Get Compensation from WestJet

by | Published Nov 17, 2022 | Edited Nov 17, 2022


  1. How to Get Compensation from Air Canada for Flight Delays, Damaged Baggage, and More
  2. How to Get Compensation from WestJet

Recently, and for the second time this year, I had the pleasure of being boarded and then subsequently deplaned and informed of a flight cancellation. This time, my unfortunate experience happened on board a WestJet flight from Comox to Edmonton. And even more unfortunate, the subsequent rebooking of the flight was not as smooth as I’ve experienced with Air Canada. 

WWE WestJet meme, the Dudley boys (westjet) slam a passenger into a table.

I will detail this experience and lessons learned in another article, so I will save the details. However, I wanted to outline the process to submit claims to WestJet for compensation for flight delay as stipulated by APPR, and also for reimbursement for expenses incurred as a result of flight interruption (delay or cancellation). 

I’ll also mention how you can take advantage of your credit card insurance (if you were smart and paid for your flight with the right credit card) to get reimbursed for incurred costs as a result of a canceled flight. 

WestJet Compensation Claim for Interruption (Flight Delay or Flight Cancellation)

Air Passenger Protection Regulations

Canada has regulations that govern compensation for air passengers in the case of a canceled or delayed flight. These are called the Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR) and are issued by the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA). Unfortunately, Canada’s APPR has a bit of a loophole that airlines have been taking advantage of. They only apply when the cause of delay or cancellation is “within the airline’s control”. 

Airlines have begun a practice of using this ambiguity to get out of compensating passengers for their screw-ups. I’ve even heard a tale of someone who watched (and video recorded) a pilot drive the plane into the jet bridge by mistake, and then still have the airline deny their claim for compensation due to “unscheduled aircraft maintenance”… 

Nonetheless, the APPR stipulates that the airline should compensate passengers for flight disruptions according to the following schedule:

Length of arrival delayAmount (CAD)
3 – 6 hours$400
6 – 9 hours$700
9+ hours$1,000

Even though the airline will probably try to deny your claim, it’s always worth submitting a claim for this compensation If you experience a flight delay or cancellation.  

On my recent WestJet mishap, my arrival delay was a cool 94 hours… (yes 94 hours). So you’d better believe I’d be submitting a claim under APPR. 

How to Submit a Compensation Claim with WestJet for Flight Delays or Flight Cancellations

The process to apply for APPR compensation with WestJet is very straightforward. You will simply navigate to this page: Flight delay and cancellation claims | WestJet official site and complete the provided form.

Importantly, WestJet mentions the following conditions to be eligible for compensation:

  • you were on a WestJet flight flying from, to or within Canada
  • you were informed 14 days or less before the departure time shown on your original ticket that the arrival at your destination would be delayed
  • you’ve received a refund for a delayed or canceled WestJet flight and want to receive compensation for the inconvenience
  • your WestJet flight was delayed or canceled for reasons within WestJet’s control

I wouldn’t pay a lot of attention to these, particularly the last point. ‘WestJet’s control’ is quite ambiguous and you can bet they’ll be as broad as possible in applying that label. 

Fill out the form for each passenger on your itinerary, per direction of travel (ie. all flights to the destination that was interrupted).

Be prepared to provide basic information about yourself and the flight, including name, phone number, address, WestJet Rewards ID (optional), flight number, reservation code, ticket number, and departure and arrival airport.

WestJet APPR compensation flight information fields.

You can find your flight number and reservation code on the booking confirmation you received via email when booking your flight, or in the WestJet app.

WestJet itinerary and receipt

You can also find your ticket number in your eTicket receipt attached to the confirmation email.

WestJet eTicket receipt

After submitting you’ll get a confirmation message noting that an agent will respond within 30 days. In my experience, it often does take close to 30 days for requests to be actioned. 

WestJet APPR compensation form confirmation

WestJet Reimbursement for Interruption (Flight Delay or Flight Cancellation)

If you experience a flight interruption, albeit a lengthy delay or cancellation and rebooking, there is a good chance that you incurred some expenses as a result. You should submit these to WestJet for reimbursement, which can be done at the following page:

Submit expenses | WestJet official site

Expenses fall into the categories in the table below and have a maximum allowable reimbursement (compensation amounts) per day. 

ExpenseDetailsMaximum Daily
HotelReimbursement when WestJet is unable to secure a hotel room on your behalf (almost always). In-room movie costs, tips/gratuities, and long-distance telephone charges are excluded$150 CAD for Canadian destinations, and $200 CAD for non-Canadian destinations
MealsReimbursement of meals when meal vouchers are not available from WestJet (again, do such vouchers even exist?). 
Alcoholic beverages and tips/gratuities will be excluded (boo!).
$45 CAD per day per guest
TransportationCost incurred for transportation between the airport and the hotel.None

You’ll need to submit personal and contact information, in addition to WestJet flight information including flight number, reservation code, ticket number, departure date, departure airport, final destination and arrival airport.

Next, you will need to calculate the total reimbursement you are requesting and attach supporting receipts/invoices.

WestJet flight information - estimated expenses for reimbursement
You can also opt to receive WestJet dollars, but I’m not sure why anyone would…

There is also a space to leave comments. In this space, you can itemize your expenses to make it easy for the rep to approve your request.

After submitting you’ll get a confirmation message, however, note that no timeline is provided. 

WestJet reimbursement form confirmation message

WestJet Reimbursement for Delayed or Damaged Baggage Incident

If your baggage is delayed or damaged, WestJet has another separate page and reimbursement request form located here: 

Baggage expense form | WestJet official site

You will need to include similar personal and flight information as with the other compensation forms, but also your Baggage File Number.

WestJet baggage delay or damage claim form - baggage file number

Although the page mentions a ‘recommended amount’, this is once again WestJet trying to be stingy. 

If WestJet ruins your $1,000 Rimowa bag, they are legally obligated to repair or replace the bag (whether you will have to take them to court for that is another story). There is no ‘recommended amount’ when it comes to property damage.

Hot take: Rimowa luggage is overpriced and kind of bland looking
At up to $2000, these seem a tad overpriced…

Although a paucity of instructions are given by WestJet for what proof of damage is required, I would assume you should upload pictures of the damage and receipts for the cost of the bag if you have them. Similarly, in the case of a delay, include receipts for the essential items you were required to purchase. 

For damaged baggage, As with Air Canada, I would recommend going to find a customer service agent right away at the airport if you notice the damage there.  

I’ve never submitted this type of claim with WestJet myself, however I know that airlines have to take these claims more seriously than APPR due to the legal ramifications and the Montreal Convention.

Getting Compensated with Credit Card Insurance 

In cases where your flight is delayed/canceled, or your baggage is delayed, lost or damaged, and depending on the credit card you used to pay for the flight, you may be covered for financial damages you’ve incurred by the credit card’s insurance benefits. 

Coverage eligibility can get a bit trickier if you paid for part of the flight using points, say WestJet Dollars or Aeroplan. However, we’ve covered in detail which credit cards offer coverage on partial charges in this article: Credit Card Travel Insurance For Award Flights.   

Insurance coverage offered by credit cards is highly specific to the particular card, in terms of what types of expenses are covered, and what technical stipulations exclude or include eligibility. Generally, the following expenses that occur within 48 hours of an interruption can be claimed: 

  • Hotel accommodations
  • Transportation
  • Meals and drinks
  • ‘Essential’ items

Notice essential items, as this is something apparently an expense category not reimbursable by WestJet directly. Also, note that credit cards do have a cap on the amount you can claim for one trip, so do be mindful of that.  

The process for submitting an insurance claim is highly dependent on the specific credit card and can either be done by phone or through an online portal to submit personal info, flight details, and expenses along with supporting receipts. You will need to inquire with your credit card issuer to sort this out.  

What if WestJet Denies All Compensation? 

If WestJet or any other airline outright rejects your compensation request and you feel you’ve been unfairly denied compensation, rest assured that there exist further actions you can take, namely to make a small claims case against the airline. 

While this might sound intimidating, the process is actually more straightforward than it seems. A Facebook group called Air Passenger Rights (Canada) has several guides to the small claims process and over 85,000 members, including some legal experts, to help answer your questions.

Air Passenger Rights (Canada) facebook group

We are also planning to create a more detailed how-to article on the process ourselves, so stay tuned for that!   

Conclusion

Flight interruptions, last-minute cancellations, and baggage delays, are some of the downsides of travel that can put a major kink in your travel plans at the start of a trip, or leave a sour taste in your mouth at the end. Make sure they don’t leave a gap in your wallet at the same time by taking advantage of compensation from WestJet and/or your credit card insurance coverage. 

Overall the process for compensation from WestJet is straightforward and clearly outlined, compared with Air Canada compensation which has a convoluted navigation menu and a single contact form for multiple claim types. 

However, the wording of WestJet’s guidelines and the quoted maximum compensation amounts leads me to believe they are also comparatively ungenerous when it comes to dolling out compensation for their screw-ups.  

If you’ve any experience to share with getting compensation from WestJet, do let us know in the comments below!

Reed Sutton

Reed Sutton

Founder at Frugal Flyer
Reed is addicted to the science (and art) of earning and redeeming travel points, and frequently pairs his trips with his other hobby: photography. Through Frugal Flyer, Reed aims to distill some of the complex and esoteric points strategies into digestible information. Furthermore, he hopes to use his technical expertise to develop invaluable applications and tools for the travel community.

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1 comment on “How to Get Compensation from WestJet

  1. Hi,

    My wife and I travelled on WS from Halifax to Grande Prairie, via Calgary, when we arrived in Calgary we were told that we were bumped off the flight to Grande Prairie, it’s not like the flight from Halifax arrived late, it was on time, time enough for our suitcase to find its way to GP on the flight that we should have been on.

    We were told we had been booked on a flight the next day, so we had to book a hotel etc, when we asked about Hotel and/or Meal vouchers we were told that due to demans they had none left, the we had to cover that out of our own pocket.

    We returned to the check in the next morning, boarding cards in hand, to be told we’d been BUMPED AGAIN, for that read DENIED BOARDING, and that that the earliest WetJet could get us to GP would be (are you ready for it) THE NEXT DAY !!!

    Still now Hotel or Meal vouchers, so we had to book another nights stay, $500 out of pocket already.
    We are stuck in Calgary, while out suitcase is going dizzy riding the carousel in GP, so add $200 for change of clothing etc the $500, we are both in our mid 70’s living of what once looked like reasonable pensions, but no thanks to inflation $700 is a chunk of money for us.

    So we are back at the check in on our 3rd day in Calgary, boarding passes in hand, and we actually get on the ‘plane and it’s READY TO GO, but it can’t, there’s something wrong with the door, it won’t close, so everyone has to deplane, and then sit around for a couple of hours while WetJet find a replacement.

    By the time we have reboarded and managed to finally get to GP we have lost 48 hours of our trip to see our granddaughter, it was her birthday, she’s 8,

    We are back home in Nova Scotia now, the best part of $1,000 out of pocket, $1,000 more than we had budgeted for, but… One of the WetJet staff mentioned that seeing as we were Bumped we could make a claim using the new APR regulation, we were well past the 9 hour delay in that bit of regulation, and we would qualify for $2,400 each under the APR scheme.

    The problem is, there’s no Denied Boarding aka Bumped form on WetJets web site, just the Late Arrival form, I filled that in only to be told I’ve filled the wrong form in, that’s just for LATE arrivals, but there’s no form where you can claim for Denied Boarding as were were TWICE !!!

    I’ve now spent over 6 hours filling the Late Arrival form in online, they won’t process it as I’m claiming Denied Boarding, but after eventually talking to a Rep I was advised I’d be “better off” just claiming Late Arrival, really !!!

    Looks to me like it’s WetJet who would be “better off” if I accepted $2,000 rather than the $4,800 that we are entitled to under the APR regulations,

    Trying to get through on phone takes HOURS, I’ve had the line mysteriously drop on 5 occasions, and there’s no option online to claim if you get bumped.

    Hellish ain’t it, maybe a letter to the CEO might help…

    Bob.

    Reply