Air Canada Bars Toronto Family from Flight, Forces Them to Pay Extra $4,000 for New Tickets

A family from Toronto, Canada, is demanding an explanation from Air Canada after they were barred from their flight in June 2017 when they were forced to pay an extra $4,000 for new flight tickets for their vacation.

The incident happened on June 27 when Shanty Thivakaran and her family decided to go to Sri Lanka for vacation. The whole family: Thivakaran, her husband Thiva Maheswaran, their two sons, and Maheswaran mother, arrived at Toronto’s Pearson airport at around 2.5 hours before their Air Canada flight to London.

Upon arriving at the airport, the family was directed to the wrong check-in line by an Air Canada agent. After more than an hour, Thivakaran and her family found their correct check-in line – with one hour and 40 minutes room to spare.

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However, an agent from Air Canada denied them access saying “A family of five is a no-go” after the three passengers in front of them had all been checked-in.

We were so upset,” Maheswaran told CBC News. “My mom’s crying, the boys started crying. I was almost crying. It was an emotional scene.”

The family, after the ordeal, had presumed that the plane was already booked for the flight that’s why they were denied access. However, it was later discovered that there were actually eight available seats on the plane at the time.

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The ordeal continued even the following day when they returned to the airport ticket line at around nine in the morning. The agent that Thivakaran spoke to at the time said they had been designated as “no-show” for their previous flight.

It was also suggested by the Air Canada agent to contact the agency where they bought the ticket, which was marked as a “private fare,” to resolve the matter.

The family soon fixed the problem after heading over to the agency where they had to pay up extra amount of the tickets. All in all, the family had to pay $12,326.38 for the whole trip, $5,345 more than the original cost of the tickets.

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When asked by CBC News about the incident, Peter Fitzpatrick, a spokesperson from Air Canada said: “I cannot get into specific issues.” But as a compensation and “as a goodwill gesture,” the airline offered the family a voucher for 25% off on their next flight after complaining to Air Canada.

The airline still failed to give a specific explanation regarding the whole ordeal. Thivakaran and her family are now demanding an explanation from Air Canada as well as compensation for all the trouble.

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