Air Canada rebooked two children and their mother on different planes after canceling their flight

·3 min read
Air Canada airplanes on the Terminal three tarmac at Pearson International Airport that services Toronto in Mississauga. June 10, 2022.
Air Canada planes at Toronto airport.Steve Russell/Getty Images
  • Air Canada canceled a flight and then put two children and their mother on different planes.

  • Their father said the airline then put them on a flight that did not exist.

  • He said there was no excuse for putting two children on a different flight to their mother.

Air Canada rebooked two children aged 9 and 12 and their mother on different planes after canceling their flight.

They were flying from Los Angeles to Halifax on June 23 but were told on a layover in Montreal that their connection had been canceled 30 minutes before the scheduled 6:30 p.m. departure.

Jason Belleville told Insider that his wife and children were left waiting for two hours before being told they were now booked on a flight on June 25 at 1:05 pm.

"Nobody reached out about hotels vouchers, compensation or anything – they were just adrift in Montreal. That's when things actually got worse," he said.

"My wife, when checking her tickets, realized that Air Canada had booked her and the kids on the same row … but on different flights," Belleville said. "She would have had to abandon them in Montreal for five hours while they waited."

Insider has viewed documentation indicating the children were booked on a flight later that day.

After failing to get through to Air Canada's customer service helpline, Belleville called his brother who is a preferred flyer and was able to jump the queue, but still took him two hours to get through.

"He was able to finally get them rebooked on an Air Canada flight on early Saturday morning that flew from Montreal back to Ottawa and then to Halifax. And best of all, my wife and kids would actually be on the same plane."

However, at 3 a.m. Belleville's brother called to say Air Canada had texted him to say that his wife and children had been rebooked on a flight that "didn't technically exist."

He then decided to buy tickets on another airline to get them back to Halifax that morning.

Canada recently instituted an air passenger charter that is intended to protect passengers in such situations by offering compensation for alternative flights and accommodation. However, Belleville said Air Canada was blaming unforeseen staffing shortages due to COVID-19 and not paying claims.

"They are wording their responses to cloak themselves in the COVID crisis even though they aren't claiming any specific crew were sick. And, even if you believed crew shortages was the problem with the initial flight they have nothing to do with what happened to my family," he told Insider.

It was not acceptable to expect his children to be left alone for several hours in Montreal airport due to the airline's error, Belleville added.

Insider has viewed the family's flight tickets and itinerary. Air Canada did not respond to a request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider