Okanagan woman stranded at Toronto airport for 5 days, loses $10K – Okanagan | Globalnews.ca

Carla Leinweber calls it “the most humiliating, degrading and nightmarish airport treatment” she has ever received.

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On Tuesday, June 14, Leinweber boarded his Air Canada flight from Kelowna, BC, to Montreal. Originally, he was supposed to go from Montreal to Deer Lake, NL. However, the airline recommended that he fly to Toronto Pearson International Airport, as he had a better chance of making his connecting flight to Deer Lake.

His flight to Deer Lake was canceled for the night of June 14 and the following two days. She spent the next several days stranded with other passengers at Pearson Airport while dealing with customer service.

“I was basically locked up, in a hostage position with Air Canada. You’re basically living at the airport,” Leinweber said.

“After the third night, a woman said maybe we should call the RCMP and say we’re stranded.”

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Leinweber spent the four days looking for his luggage, trying to book his next flight, and sleeping on the airport floor. On Friday morning, he decided to book a flight home through WestJet instead of waiting for a flight to Newfoundland for his vacation. Then the long, frustrating days took their toll.

“While waiting to check-in at the WestJet counter at the Toronto airport, I actually collapsed. My cart and luggage, backpack, cane and purse went flying,” Leinweber said.

She said other passengers and WestJet staff helped lift her into a wheelchair. In the days that followed, her leg was covered in bruises.

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To reduce the number of delayed and canceled flights, Air Canada has adjusted its schedule. They have reduced an average of 154 daily flights in July and August. Most of the affected flights are to and from Toronto and Montreal airports, including a direct flight from Kelowna to Montreal.

In a statement, Air Canada says its operations have been affected by resource issues.

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“The operating environment globally has changed since before the pandemic, particularly well-documented issues such as security and customs lines, aircraft being held at gates unable to unload passengers at airports, problems with airport luggage and limitations on the number of flights imposed. by air traffic control in both Canada and the US forcing airlines to make last-minute cancellations,” the statement read.

The airline says it is working with travelers to offer refunds.

“Customers are automatically notified when flights are cancelled. Whenever possible, they are immediately rebooked, while for others Air Canada will continue to look for alternatives and advise if options become available. Customers can also request a refund to the original form of payment at any time, and when compensation is due, Air Canada will honor its APPR obligations.”

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Not only was the trip emotionally and physically draining, but Leinweber said he also lost more than $10,000 on return flights, lodging and the cancellation of his vacation. She says that she was lucky that her trip was just a vacation, as those around her had more worrying reasons to visit.

“One person was going home because it was his brother’s funeral. Mother and daughter, she had not seen her elderly parents (since) before COVID-19 and one of them had health problems. They ended up not visiting their family,” Leinweber said.

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Even as an avid traveler, Leinweber does not advise anyone to take a flight in the near future.

don’t fly Just don’t fly. The most horrible experience I’ve ever had at an airport or with an airline.”

Leineweber has contacted an attorney and is seeking a full monetary refund.

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