- A couple and their two children missed out on a Disney cruise after Air Canada canceled their flight.
- Instead, they spent three days traveling and slept “on benches” at the airport overnight.
- Their daughter tested positive for COVID in the emergency room a few days later, her father told Insider.
A family of four missed out on a long-awaited Disney cruise after Air Canada delayed and canceled their flights over the Independence Day weekend — among hundreds who have seen vacation plans ruined by this summer’s travel chaos.
“Our kids are devastated,” their father, Nathan Morris, told Insider. “We had planned the trip many months ago and had talked about it almost every day since then.”
The $5,500 weeklong cruise to Alaska was meant to be a birthday present for the family’s six- and ten-year-old children, who instead spent the holiday weekend at multiple airports.
The family’s first flight from Baltimore to Toronto took off two hours later than scheduled and sat on the tarmac for more than an hour waiting for baggage personnel, Morris said. This caused them to miss their connecting flight to Vancouver, where the cruise was transported.
Air Canada then rescheduled the family’s early-morning flights with an additional stop in Montreal, flight documents seen by Insider show.
“One person in customer service even stated that, if we had seen the news, we would have known this was going to happen,” Morris said, adding that the airline did not offer hotel accommodations.
The couple and their two young children had to sleep “on benches under the escalators at the Toronto airport,” he told Insider.
Passengers were ‘herded in like cattle … without so much as an apology.’
The flight from Toronto to Montreal was delayed the next morning, according to Morris. Then, the connecting flight from Montreal to Vancouver was delayed three and a half hours due to “an unforeseen aircraft maintenance issue,” the documents show. By noon, the flight to Vancouver was completely cancelled.
The next available flight wouldn’t leave until the next day, meaning the family wouldn’t be able to make it to the port in Vancouver before the cruise left. After two full days of traveling with the children, the couple decided to book the next flight home.
Throughout the rebooking process, Morris said they were “herded like cattle from one customer service desk to another without so much as an apology.”
“To make matters worse, we received notification that we were exposed to someone with COVID on our return flight,” he told Insider. “Our daughter, a few days later, tested positive for it after visiting the emergency room due to a high fever that we couldn’t control and persistent vomiting.”
Air Canada did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. An airline spokesman said last week that the industry is “currently challenged by issues with airports and third-party service providers such as passenger screening, customs and air navigation”.
“We are working hard with these partners and governments to resolve these issues as they are affecting the airlines’ performance,” the spokesperson added.
Morris submitted an online refund request for the $1,500 airfare and was able to receive a partial refund for the $5,500 Disney cruise, he said. The only response he got from Air Canada was an automated message saying an agent might not be available for another 30 days, he added.
The family also lost hundreds on airport parking, transportation, a kennel for their dog and an unused hotel room. Morris and his wife had taken days off from work, making those vacation days useless.
“My wife and I are still in shock. Not only because we lost a long-awaited and expensive cruise and gift for our children (we don’t have much money – both working parents), but also how we were treated,” he. said in an email to Insider.