When flights go wrong due to unforeseen delays, most people would be more than happy to have the airline pay for a hotel. That is until the airline accommodates you in a room with a complete stranger. According to the CBC, this is allegedly what happened to a passenger traveling from Ottawa to Paris through Montreal.
Ms. Elizabeth Coffi Tabu, 71 years old, was planning to head to France after visiting her family in Ottawa, Canada. Given that no airline flies direct from Ottawa to Paris, Ms. Tabu’s return itinerary included a stopover in Montreal.
According to the CBC, Ms. Tabu’s Ottawa to Montreal flight on the 19th of July was significantly delayed, resulting in a missed connection.
Although it’s not reported which domestic flight Ms. Tabu was on, an educated guess would be that it was AC 478. According to FlightAware, AC 478 from Ottawa to Montreal was delayed by approximately 30 minutes on the day concerned.
Supposing that Ms. Tabu was scheduled to take AC 884, from Montreal to Paris CDG, she may have been unable to make her 17:50 departure.
It is also understood that Ms. Tabu required special assistance, perhaps a contributing factor to her missed connection.
Air Canada does, however, operate a later flight from YUL to CDG, AC 2400, departing at 20:53. However, that flight is currently operated by a Qatar Airways A330-200 rather than the much larger Air Canada 777-300ER.
Accommodation allegedly included a roommate
Per the CBC, Ms. Tabu and an unknown gentleman were told that only one hotel room was available for the two of them. Ms. Tabu further claims that the room only contained one bed, much to the displeasure and shock of both passengers.
After Ms. Tabu and her family contacted Air Canada, Ms. Tabu was eventually re-accommodated.
Ms. Tabu and her family are still, however, concerned about the company’s policies involved concerning passenger accommodations. In particular, regarding passengers with limited mobility or who require assistance.
Air Canada’s position on the issue
According to an Air Canada spokesperson, it is not the company’s policy to have passengers who are not traveling together to share a room.
In this instance, the company has accepted that an error was made with the initial room allocation. However, Air Canada maintains that issue was rectified and that the passengers did not share a room.
Canadian and International passenger rights
Delays, missed connections, and cancellations are an unfortunate part of travel. However, thanks to various statutory rights and consumer protections, passengers may be accommodated and compensated depending on their jurisdiction.
Canada for one has recently introduced A Bill of Passenger Rights. According to the regulations, should a flight be delayed overnight, or the passenger re-booked for the next day, airlines must offer accommodation, free of charge. Additionally, airlines must provide transportation to, and from, the accommodation location to the airport. (See: SOR/2019-150, 14 (2).)
In the European Union, Reg. (EC) 261/2004 also mandates that passengers be accommodated in the case of cancellation or significant delay. Additionally, passengers may also be entitled to monetary compensation.
Have you ever experienced a significant delay or missed connection? Did you receive compensation or accommodation? Let us know in the comments below.