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Via Rail offers apologies, compensation after holiday travel chaos

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Via Rail’s president and CEO issued a statement apologizing for the cancellations, delays and stranded trains in Southern Ontario and Quebec around Christmas, saying the service did not meet its own standards and passenger expectations. rice field.

From December 23rd to 26th, train services were severely disrupted in the Corridors of Windsor, Ontario and Quebec City, and were completely canceled on Christmas and Boxing Day.

A storm hit on December 23 and derailed a CN train near Grafton, Ontario on December 24, blocking tracks and leaving passengers trapped on the train for hours.

CBC News heard passengers complain of cramped conditions, unusable bathrooms and lack of food and water.

Statement issued Tuesday at noon ETand to President and CEO Martin R. Landry, which included multiple apologies.

“We appreciate that our passengers were looking forward to their holiday celebrations and family gatherings. For many, we regret that those plans were interrupted. We were unable to meet your expectations. We apologize for that,” the statement said.

Via Rail needs to better share information about delays and better support passengers on these trains, the statement added.

See | Christmas Train Travel Issues:

Via Rail cancellation adds to Christmas travel problems

More travelers were stranded over the Christmas weekend when Via Rail had to cancel service along the corridor from Toronto to Montreal. Meanwhile, the airport is still dealing with a backlog of delays and cancellations earlier in the week.

Full refund and travel credit

Passengers whose trains were “stuck” on December 23 and 24 will receive full refunds and travel credits, Via Rail said in an updated statement on Tuesday.

It has already been announced that full refunds will be automatically issued to passengers whose trains are canceled between December 24th and 26th.

The company also hires outside experts to review its storm planning and response, as well as customer care and communications.

“Not only did we fail to meet customer expectations, we did not meet our own standards,” the statement said.

“Despite circumstances beyond our control, such as weather events and freight train derailments, it is clear that lessons can be learned and changes made.”

Members of the House Transportation Committee said last week, along with the CEO of Sunwing Airlines, they would like to hear from Landry about the holiday issue.

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