Family Loses $6000 On Transatlantic Flights Following Air Canada Ban

A Canadian mother and daughter have reportedly spent more than CAD $8,000 (USD $6,026) trying to get home after being banned from Air Canada flights. After being removed from a flight for bad behavior, the pair managed to book further flights with Air Canada and weren’t informed of the ban until check in.

Air Canada 787
The pair were left stranded by Air Canada. Photo: Air Canada

A mother and her daughter were apparently removed from an Air Canada flight due to bad behavior. However, they were not told at the time that their removal also constituted a ban from flying on the airline in future. As such, they were able to rebook seats on a different flight, which they were then banned from boarding.

Reports suggest that the pair have spent approximately CAD $8,000 (USD $6,026) attempting to return home from their trip.

What happened?

The Quebec passengers, Ana Constantin and daughter Lisa Maria Paun, were allegedly behaving in a disruptive manner on their flight from Bucharest to Montreal on the 31st July, 2019. They had boarded an Air Canada flight from Henri Coandă Airport in Bucharest after visiting family in Romania.

The issue began when there was some reassignment of seats going on to allow families to travel together. Paun apparently had to move to allow someone else to sit in her seat. Accounts from here in are contradictory, with Paun alleging she was asked to return to her assigned seat, which she clearly could not.

CBC reports Paun as saying,

“I said that I can’t move back because you just put a man in my seat. And that’s when she just got angry with me and said that I’m not co-operating.”

However, Air Canada told CBC that the two were ‘verbally abusive to the crew’. It also said they were refusing to take their assigned seats or to stow their carryon bags safely. Air Canada said that they attempted to diffuse the situation, but that the crews efforts were unsuccessful.

Whatever the truth of the situation was, the end result was the same. Both passengers were removed from the flight in Bucharest.

Booked on another flight

Paun and Constantin claim that Air Canada had said they would place them on another flight home. As such, they spent two days in Bucharest trying to all Air Canada to find out what was happening. However, the airline apparently told them there was nothing on the system regarding their case.

Finally, in despair, Constantin purchased two tickets back to Montreal to travel on August 4th. These, she says, cost her $3,916 and were issued by Air Canada.

A Lufthansa A380 during takeoff.
Boarding in Bucharest was not a problem as this leg was operated by Lufthansa. Photo, Kiefer – Flickr

Boarding the plane in Bucharest was no problem for the pair, as it was operated by Air Canada’s partner airline Lufthansa. They traveled to Frankfurt, where they were due to board an Air Canada flight for the second leg of the journey.

It was only at this point that the travelers found out about their ongoing ban to fly on Air Canada. They were stopped at the gate and denied boarding to the plane. Constantin told CBC that,

“We felt like dirt … I couldn’t take it anymore. I started to cry.”

With no other options seemingly available, and facing time stranded in Frankfurt Airport, Constantin booked yet more flights out of her own pocket. She says that the final flights with Austrian Airlines cost her another $3,842.

Austrain Airlines
Austrian Airlines finally got them home. Source: Wikimedia

Overall, she says she has racked up more than CAD $8,000 in airfares, hotel stays and added expenses just trying to get back home.

Why was she allowed to rebook?

CBC asked Air Canada why she was allowed to book on more flights if she was subjected to a ban. The airline said that it was policy that anyone could make a booking, and only at the point when passengers check in and present their ID are they notified that they are banned.

Air Canada says that notice of the ban was sent by post, and also by email to Ms. Constantin. However, with the pair overseas, it is likely that neither of these notices were picked up.

Constantin has reportedly received CAD $200 (USD $150) from the airline in compensation. It is unclear at this stage whether she will receive any further payment.