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'Beyond the pale': Mother flying with 5-year-old says she was stranded in Vancouver by Air Canada

"I think it’s especially egregious that they would do this to the ticket held by a five-year-old child," she said.
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Brenna Clarke Gray spent a month in Ontario with her family following her father's death and was travelling home when her flight was rescheduled through Vancouver.

A B.C. woman says she was stranded in Vancouver with her young son after Air Canada failed to provide her with a hotel after rescheduling her flight. 

Brenna Clarke Gray was spending a month in Ontario with her family following her father's death. She was scheduled to travel home to Kamloops on Wednesday, Nov. 16 with her five-year-old son and was in "a depleted emotional state due to grief," she told Vancouver Is Awesome

While her original Air Canada flight was scheduled to depart from Ottawa at 4:15 p.m. EST to Calgary, inclement weather pushed the departure time back to 4:40 p.m. EST. On top of this, a "refuelling rig error" pushed the time back further, as passengers waited on the tarmac for an hour prior to deicing. 

"This is important because we all would have made our connection with the weather delay, but the error is what caused everyone connecting on to Kamloops or Kelowna to miss those two flights," she explained. 

When the flight arrived in Calgary, passengers were issued new boarding cards that routed them through Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and then to Kelowna or Kamloops the following morning.

"We were all told that we would be met by a gate agent at the plane in Vancouver and would be issued hotel and meal vouchers," she said. 

Air Canada passengers not issued meal or hotel vouchers at YVR airport

When they arrived in Vancouver, customer service representatives said they "shouldn’t have been told" there would be meal or hotel vouchers. But Gray underscored that she would have arranged a different route if the airline hadn't offered them, particularly because she was travelling with her son.

The passengers were later informed that they could open a claim for reimbursement for their hotel expenses, but the frustrated traveller is skeptical that they will receive compensation. 

"It’s unreasonable to be told one thing (and agree to an itinerary based on it!) and then have it revoked. We were left at Vancouver airport after 10 p.m. — no shuttles running! — with no plan or assistance. I think it’s especially egregious that they would do this to the ticket held by a five-year-old child. But honestly, no one should be treated this way," she said.

Numerous air travellers have expressed outrage following last-minute flight delays and cancellations over the past year. In July, a Vancouver man said he was "speechless" after Air Canada left him and his wife stranded on the other side of the country after cancelling and rebooking his flights. 

V.I.A. has reached out to Air Canada for comment.

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