The unbearable cold snap is not only keeping Albertans indoors, its also grounding hundreds of WestJet flights across Canada.
WestJet said the extreme cold weather and sporadic snowfall impacted flight operations in the Prairies, and plummeting temperatures were affecting the effectiveness of de-icing fluid.
“Out of an abundance of caution for safety, we are limiting the amount of time our crews and ground partners are working outside,” the airline said in a statement Friday.
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The Calgary-based airline said a total of 87 flights were cancelled nationally on Thursday and 104 on Friday.
“We sincerely thank our guests for their ongoing patience as our teams and partners on the ground, in the air and behind the scenes work tirelessly, battling frigid temperatures, to ensure a safe operation,” said David Powell, WestJet vice president. “Your travel plans are extremely important to us, and we are committed to providing timely and proactive communication as we work to restore our operations as the weather forecast evolves.”
Passengers are being instructed to verify the status of their flight before heading to the airport and to expect long wait times once they arrive.
To help with high wait times at their call centers, WestJet is requesting travelers only contact customer service in the 72-hour window before their flight.
Anyone travelling to or from the Prairies between Jan. 11 and 15 can review flexible change and cancel guidelines.
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