Canada Flight delayed: Air Canada leaves Saskatoon man 'stuck in limbo' for 4 days

21:46  30 april  2017
21:46  30 april  2017 Source:   cbc.ca

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Saskatoon . Vacation plans were cut short for some Air Transat customers who were stuck at a Calgary airport after their Mexico-bound flights were delayed by more than a day .

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It was a series of unfortunate events for a Saskatoon man as he was "stuck in limbo" for four days trying to get home with Air Canada.

On April 27, René Prefontaine boarded the first of three flights on his journey home to Saskatoon from Cancun. It was the end of his nine-day vacation with his partner, and the couple were scheduled to arrive in the Bridge City later that same night.

But when they landed in Montreal on their initial flight, that's when their itinerary started to unravel.

Prefontaine said the couple boarded their second connection that was headed to Toronto. There, they were supposed to catch a final flight home to Saskatoon.

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"We flew into Montreal that same evening, and boarded our next flight [to Toronto]," he explained. "That plane pushed back from the runway, sat on the tarmac and was eventually cancelled and brought back into the Montreal airport."

According to Prefontaine, the airline told them that there were thundershowers rolling through Toronto and it was enough to cause delays.

"We got off the plane and [they] said, 'You need to find a hotel. There's one we can give you for a cheaper rate. See you later. Come back tomorrow and we'll get you on another flight,'" he said, adding that the couple abided by the direction.

He noted they got a discount of about $60 on their hotel room, but had to foot the bill for their stay.

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The following day, they were able to catch a plane to Toronto but were told by an Air Canada employee that the next available flight to Saskatoon wasn't for another couple of days — on Sunday night.

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"He told me that it's taking so long to get back on a flight to Saskatoon because Air Canada is, according to him, consistently overbooking their flights," Prefontaine said. "So all of the flights [on Saturday] were overbooked."

He said between hotel bills, food and others in costs that they've incurring because of the airline delay, it's going to add another $1,000 from their own pocket to the cost of their trip. Air Canada paid for one night in a hotel.

"It's a loss of about four days of our time which is having an impact on our livelihoods and our businesses back home," Prefontaine added.

"A half day delay in getting home is one matter. A four-day delay is an entirely different one, and one I think most people would agree is unacceptable."

He said during the whole ordeal, the company seemed indifferent and insensitive to their situation when they asked for help on multiple occasions.

Air Canada apologizes

"We are sorry these customers have experienced delays returning home," Peter Fitzpatrick, Air Canada spokesperson, wrote in an email to CBC News.

"Unfortunately, two of their Montreal-Toronto flights were cancelled due first to weather and then ground delays arising from construction on the runway at Pearson Airport, and we were unable to rebook them earlier for the final leg of their journey because of high demand."

He added that the airline will be contacting Prefontaine to discuss the situation and work to resolve their concerns.

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