'Unreasonable and excessive:' BC couple lose legal fight with Westjet over lost baggage claim | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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'Unreasonable and excessive:' BC couple lose legal fight with Westjet over lost baggage claim

Image Credit: WestJet

A BC couple has found the hard way that a $2,800 laptop and $400 on toiletries and makeup are not reimbursable expenses when your baggage is delayed on your flight home.

BC couple Timothy Jordan Brown and Amy Rosenberger tried to claim $4,401 from WestJet when their luggage was delayed for a week on a flight from Alberta to their home in an unnamed BC city in January 2022.

The couple took the airline to the BC Civil Resolution Tribunal arguing that WestJet had to cough up $2,799 for a brand-new MacBook Pro, along with a $235 electric razor, $213 for two lipsticks, two lip pencils and other makeup, and a further $500 on clothes.

However, according to a May 30 decision, the tribunal didn't look too kindly on the couple's extravagant spending calling it "unreasonable and excessive."

"(The couple) have not explained the necessity of the purchased items, which I find significant given the baggage was only delayed after they returned home," the Tribunal ruled. "This is a different scenario than if the baggage was lost while (they) were still away from home."

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The tribunal pointed out the couple failed to explain what other clothing they had available to them at home while they waited a week for their luggage or why they needed to buy the amount of clothing and toiletries they did.

WestJet argued it's happy to cover $300 which covers a few pairs of pants, a jacket, socks and some underwear.

The airline also pointed out that many of the goods the couple bought didn't even arrive until after the couple got their luggage back.

The tribunal said the couple didn't address any of the purchased goods’ delivery dates or their return policies and ruled that many of the goods were likely to have been delivered after they got their luggage back, and were perfectly fine to be returned for a refund.

"I also find the number of items excessive, given the applicants were never told their baggage was permanently lost," the tribunal ruled.

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Rosenberger argued she needed the $2,800 laptop for school but ordered it from Apple with a three to four-week delivery time.

"(This) new laptop could undisputedly have been returned for free up to 15 days following delivery for a full refund. The laptop’s order receipt also indicates the applicants could have cancelled the order before delivery after they received their baggage," the tribunal ruled. "Again, the (couple) do not address the laptop’s delivery timing or the option to cancel the order or return it."

The tribunal also dismissed the couple's argument for compensation for "picking up bags from the airport" as the evidence showed their bags were couriered to them.

An unexplained claim for "inflation" was also rejected by the tribunal.

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Ultimately, the Tribunal ruled $310 was a reasonable amount for WestJet to pay and rejected the couple's remaining $4,100 claim.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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