Family misses flights and Christmas dinner in Newfoundland, says Yellowknife airport needs to improve – North

A Yellowknife family says delays at the Yellowknife airport ruined their holiday plans to visit relatives in Newfoundland — in what was supposed to be their second visit in 20 years.

Jennifer Bond says she, her husband and son were checked in, past security, and standing in the boarding lounge well before their scheduled take-off time on Dec. 20.

But they ended up missing all of their connecting flights, thanks to delays at the Yellowknife airport, says Bond.

“[We] hopped through security, no problem, we were the first ones through,” said Bond, a long-time Yellowknifer of 35 years.

But within minutes, Bond says the security line-up became extremely long, creating a bottle-neck. Their WestJet flight, which was supposed to leave at 8 p.m., left about an hour and a half later, Bond said.

When they got to Calgary, they missed their connecting flight to Halifax, and subsequently, their flight to St. John’s. Their Calgary layover was supposed to be approximately one hour.

The family was then offered another flight three days later, says Bond.

Bond says that would have meant spending five days travelling for just a few days in Newfoundland, so they decided to cancel their trip and head back home to Yellowknife.

“It was pretty rotten,” said Bond.

“[There] was a big build up and it was really exciting for everybody. It just turned into a really awful chain of events.”

Bond says WestJet reimbursed the family in full for their missed trip.

The family is still waiting for all of their Christmas presents, which were shipped to Newfoundland before their trip, to be mailed back to Yellowknife.

Yellowknife airport’s 1 line for security

There’s only one line to get through the security checkpoint at the Yellowknife airport.

Bond says the Government of the Northwest Territories, which operates the airport, should look into improvements with security checks and re-organizing flight schedules during peak travel seasons.

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