Photo Credit: Air Canada
Air Canada Leaves 14-Year-Old Stranded At Toronto Airport After Canceled Flight
After a cancelled Air Canada flight, a 14-year-old was left stranded in Canada’s largest airport for the final leg of her trip back home.
Diomerys O’Leary told CBC News that on January 18 her daughter’s flight was canceled and rebooked for two days later. Eva, her daughter, was flying from the Dominican Republic after visiting her father.
The flight from St. John’s International Airport in Newfoundland and Labrador was canceled and rebooked for two days later. According to the email, the cancellation was because of staff disruption at St. John’s Airport.
O’Leary reported that her daughter asked Air Canada staff at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport for help following the cancellation, but they refused to help her, twice.
This is when a string of texts came flooding in from O’Leary’s daughter asking what she should do since Air Canada had recommended that the 14-year-old finds a place to sleep, food and transportation on her own.
From 2,000 kilometres away, O’Leary tried her best to help her daughter find a place to stay or something to eat.
“[This will come] as a pretty big surprise to a lot of adults if they do send their child on a plane … because under Air Canada’s own rules, they could be abandoned,” shared Ian Jack, vice president of public affairs at the Canadian Automobile Association.
Air Canada offers a for-fee service depending on certain conditions, where staff assist children flying on their own. Unfortunately, that service is not available for multi-leg trips like Eva’s.
When asked about the discrepancy, Air Canada said that the agent tried to help “by instructing the mother on how to proceed”.
“I tried the first resource, which was the airline. Once they did not do anything, I just did everything in my power to keep my daughter safe.” reported O’Leary. Since Air Canada would not assist in providing the teenager with a safe alternative, O’Leary found an Airbnb that would allow Eva to stay the night, booked an Uber for her to get there and ordered delivery for her daughter to eat.
In the General Terms and Conditions of Carriage, Air Canada writes that the airline “will not assume any financial or guardianship responsibilities for unaccompanied minors beyond those applicable to an adult passenger.”
After spending a night on her own, Eva arrived home St. John two days later on January 20.