Okanagan woman stranded at Toronto airport for 5 days loses $10,000 – Okanagan

Carla Leinweber calls it “the most humiliating, degrading and nightmarish airport airline treatment” she has experienced in her life.

On Tuesday, June 14, Leinweber boarded her Air Canada flight from Kelowna, BC to Montreal. She was originally scheduled to fly from Montreal to Deer Lake, NL. However, the airline recommended that she fly to Toronto Pearson International Airport because she had a better chance of making her connecting flight to Deer Lake.

Their flight to Deer Lake was canceled on the night of June 14 and the two days that followed. She spent the next few days with other passengers at Pearson Airport while she handled customer service.

“I was basically in a lockdown hostage position with Air Canada. You practically live at the airport,” says Leinweber.

“After the third night a woman said we might need to call RCMP and say we were stranded.”

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Canada’s airlines and airports experienced the world’s worst delays over the long weekend

Leinweber spent the four days looking for her luggage, booking her next flight and sleeping on the airport floor. On Friday morning, she decided to book a flight home through WestJet rather than wait for a flight to Newfoundland for her vacation. Then the long, frustrating days took their toll on her.

“While waiting to check in at the WestJet counter at Toronto Airport, I actually collapsed. I let my cart and luggage, backpack, cane and purse fly,” said Leinweber.

She said other WestJet passengers and employees helped pick her up and put her in a wheelchair. In the days that followed, her leg was covered with bruises.

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Air Canada is reducing flights from Kelowna International Airport

To curb the number of delayed and canceled flights, Air Canada has adjusted its flight schedule. They reduced an average of 154 flights per day 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 operations have been impacted by resource issues.

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“The operating environment has changed globally from what it was before the pandemic, particularly the well-documented issues such as security and customs lines, aircraft being held at gates unable to offload passengers at airports, problems with airport baggage systems and limitations on the number of those imposed Flights from air traffic control in both Canada and the US forcing airlines to cancel at the last minute,” the statement said.

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

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

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Air Canada Flight Cancellations – How to Get Refunds, Other Compensation

Not only was the trip emotionally and physically draining, but Leinweber said she lost over $10,000 in return flights, lodging and the cancellation of her vacation. She says she was lucky her trip was just a vacation as those around her had more worrying reasons for visiting.

“One person went home because it was her brother’s funeral. As a mother and daughter, she had not seen her elderly parents (since) prior to COVID-19, and one of them had health issues. In the end, they didn’t visit their family,” said Leinweber.

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Even as an avid traveler, Leinweber does not recommend anyone to fly in the near future.

“Don’t fly. Just don’t fly. The most horrible experience I have ever had at an airport or on an airline.”

Leineweber has contacted an attorney and is demanding full financial reimbursement.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

https://globalnews.ca/news/8967118/okanagan-woman-stranded-toronto-airport/ Okanagan woman stranded at Toronto airport for 5 days loses $10,000 – Okanagan

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