Tag: canada

Transport minister, airlines and airport managers to testify about holiday travel mess

From long hours waiting on hold to sleepless nights on airport floors and desperate scrambles to rebook flights and find missing bags, it was a holiday travel season that no one had on their wish list — but that thousands of people got.

Now, Canadians have a chance to hear top travel executives and the federal transport minister explain what went wrong, and what might be done to avoid a repeat.

Leaders from the country’s major airports and airlines are among witnesses set to appear today during an emergency meeting of the House of Commons transportation committee being convened well ahead of Parliament’s return later this month.

The meeting is expected to kick off with a panel of representatives from Air Canada, WestJet and Sunwing Airlines.

Sunwing, a vacation-destination airline, has apologized for leaving hundreds stranded in Mexico after cancelling its flights due to a winter storm that swept across parts of Canada in the lead-up to Christmas Day, and then axing trips out of Saskatchewan until early February due to “extenuating circumstances.”

But it’s not Mother Nature MPs are taking issue with. Rather, it’s the communication — or lack thereof — that companies had with passengers whose plans were upended.

And while Sunwing Airlines president Len Corrado is scheduled to appear, neither Air Canada nor WestJet will be represented by a president or CEO, with the airlines instead sending vice-presidents to testify.

“Canadian travellers who were mistreated by airlines deserve an explanation. The very least that these rich CEOs can do is show up, explain what went wrong and show Canadians how they’re going to do better,” NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said in a statement to The Canadian Press.

Bloc Québécois transportation critic Julie Vignola echoed that sentiment,

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Polar vortex set to end Alberta’s ’23 vacation from winter

They’re the two worst winter words in the world, and they’ll soon be extra relevant in Alberta: polar vortex. 

The dreaded weather system hovering over Siberia has generated the coldest temperature on Earth so far this year, and according to meteorologists, could be headed to Canada in early February. 

It will likely spell an abrupt end to Calgary’s January vacation from winter.  

“We’re showing a large area from all of British Columbia, all of the Prairies, the Northwest Territories, the Yukon, and right through to Northwestern Ontario as being colder than normal for the month of February,” David Phillips, Environment Canada’s chief meteorologist, told CTV News. “I think that is a direct result of the diving down southward of the polar vortex.”

CTV Calgary meteorologist Kevin Stanfield says the first few days of the cold snap could even bring in a few centimetres of snow.

It’ll arrive after a balmy stretch in the city that has provided limited snow. It’s been great for those who work in outdoor industries. 

James Beck, who owns winter rental shop Outlaw Sports, says he’s loving what 2023 has had to offer thus far, weather-wise. 

“Usually there is a down-tick right after Christmas, but this year there wasn’t,” he told CTV News. “We still want to go out and recreate and do stuff. We can only wash our car so many times.”

With files from Megan DeLaire

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