A pair of senior citizens were escorted off of an Air Canada flight by armed police for “no reason,” Richard Brailey, 71, along with his 66-year-old wife, Patricia, had just completed a three-week long trip through Canada. The couple had taken their seats and were waiting for take-off.
According to the couple, armed police and airport staff approached them and asked them to leave the airplane along with 20 others on board the delayed Air Canada flight departing Montreal for London Heathrow. The couple had no choice but to oblige.
The official statement given by Air Canada begins: “Our general policy is to not discuss incidents of disruptive behaviour onboard our aircraft, but we can confirm the deplaning of passengers from flight AC866 on 20 June [the original day of the flight] was related to non-compliance with Canadian government mask regulations, Canadian Aviation Regulations, as well as directives of our crew.”
However, the Braileys say they were both wearing their masks.
The statement continues, “The actions taken were for the safety and benefit of the other 266 passengers on the flight.”
Yet, the Baileys were sleeping and not disturbing anyone.
After being escorted off the Air Canada flight early Tuesday morning, the senior citizens escorted had to re-enter the country. The Braileys checked themselves back through Canada’s customs, which took the couple until two in the morning to complete.
Air Canada did not pay for a hotel for the couple and also let them know they couldn’t fly for 24 hours. The Braileys were forced to spend the night at the airport.
The Brailey’s children booked their parents a flight for the next evening, the cost of which was also not immediately covered by Air Canada. After the couple’s family purchased the tickets, the airline changed its mind and decided to fly them to NYC.
From there, the two would take the flight to Heathrow. The couple ended up taking the alternate Air Canada flight and arrived home over 24-hours after their original slated arrival time.
Mr. Brailey told The Independent, “Everyone treated us as though we were completely out of order.”
Air Canada stated, “We regret that some customers who were not involved were unfortunately deplaned. We have since reached out those we have identified as mistakenly removed to apologise and address their concerns.”
According to Canadian Air Transport rules, the Braileys could be awarded monetary compensation for their troubles. But, they may never get a full explanation of exactly why it happened.