Ontario single mom felt ‘crushed’ after finding out she couldn’t fly alone with baby twins

Amanda Bailey, a 26-year-old single mother with four-month-old twins, said she felt “hopeless” after Flair Airlines told her she could fly solo with her children, only to find out just days before her flight this was against the rules.

It was going to be her first flight with her kids, Ezra and Evangeline, and she wanted to make sure she did her due diligence to make sure her travel day went as smoothly as possible. The family of three was to fly from Toronto to Saint John NB to visit Bailey’s mother.

Bailey told CTV News Toronto that she called Flair Airlines with a variety of questions about car seats and strollers. She also asked for help in booking his flight, as she was having trouble booking it online.

“I was assuming they weren’t allowing me to make the babies online because they were trying to register them as lap, which I didn’t want to do,” she said. “I wanted to buy a seat so we could have the whole line, not have to bother anyone, and go about our business.”

When she was on the phone with Flair, Bailey said she told them her children’s ages and they checked with their supervisors to make sure she was okay, “on multiple occasions,” she added.

“So they booked it,” Bailey said.

The trip was booked weeks in advance, and his flight was originally scheduled to depart Toronto Pearson International Airport just before 7 a.m. on June 22.

Two days before her flight, suitcases packed and car seats in tow, Bailey learned via an online group that she may not be able to travel alone with her two babies.

After commenting on her upcoming travel plans, Bailey said another mother told her she couldn’t fly with her children.

“’Your twins are four months old. You’re not allowed to fly alone with them,’” Bailey recalled reading. “I’m like, ‘Well, yes I can. I’ve confirmed it multiple times, on multiple different occasions, and I can. Then she sent me the screenshots of the Canadian Government website”.

Low Canadian aviation regulationsno passenger can be responsible for more than one infant under the age of two.

“If you are traveling with children under the age of 2, a passenger must accompany each of your children, even if you purchase seats for them,” the Travel Canada website reads.

A Transport Canada spokesperson confirmed to CTV News Toronto via email that this requirement “is based on the assistance required during an emergency or evacuation,” such as when travelers need to don an oxygen mask on the flight.

“Failure to comply with this important security requirement could result in denied boarding,” Transport Canada press secretary Nadine Ramadan said in an emailed statement.

When Bailey tried to confirm this with Flair Airlines, the company reiterated that she was, in fact, allowed to travel with her two babies.

“This is also to confirm that there will be no problem taking the flights,” says the email from FlairAir Reservations, reviewed by CTV News Toronto.

“Why did they tell me? [that I could]?” Bailey said, adding that she canceled her Flair flight after becoming “uncomfortable” with her going back and forth with the airline.

‘I WAS CRUSHED’

“Everything was packed up and ready to go. I was crushed, like that’s what you feel. You feel hopeless,” Bailey said. “I was really depressed for the next two days because I was like, ‘Great, I’m a single mom. For the next two years, will it be like this?’”

A Flair Airlines spokesperson told CTV News Toronto that they are sorry for what happened to Bailey.

“A customer service agent gave Amanda inaccurate and conflicting information, and we are sorry,” the emailed statement said. “To remedy this, our CEO contacted Amanda directly to apologize to her and we refunded her in full…In addition, we have offered her a companion to fly with her and her twins, all at no charge.”

Bailey rebooked her trip in mid-July with air canadaas a family friend is flying to Saint John at the time.

She said she initially faced some hurdles when booking one of her children to ride on her travel companion’s lap, due to a third party booking.

But Bailey adds that now “things are looking up,” with her flight scheduled to leave Toronto Pearson on July 12, and her two children can sit on a lap on the way.

amanda bailey

While Bailey says she agrees everyone’s safety is important, she believes change is still needed to remedy the double standard that a single parent can fly only a two-year-old but not a baby.

“A baby is controlled by their parents, so their parents are the ones who will get them off the plane in a timely manner. […] When it comes to my two-year-old twins, I’ll probably drive alone because they’re hard to handle, much harder to handle than a baby depending on their parents to get them off the plane.”

In the future, Bailey advises other single parents to review travel rules and regulations before flying with their little ones.

“I would really hate it if another parent had to go through all of this and then end up in my situation.”


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