An international journey that was supposed to last eight hours from the airport to the passenger’s destination ended 47 hours in total after several “disappointing” flight changes and delays, according to a Canadian flying from the US to Sudbury, Ont. via Toronto. had been, told Granthshala. News.
Further, the passenger alleged that the airline failed to inform him of a flight change and the change resulted in him not being given a hotel voucher for one night. He also said that he was not given any food vouchers.
“To me, this story really, really stands out on the level of how poignant it is,” said Gabor Lucas, president of Air Passenger Rights, an advocacy organization.
“Whatever happened here makes zero sense.”
Sean O’Reilly, 34, was originally scheduled to fly with Porter Airlines on September 24 from Dulles International Airport in Virginia to Sudbury, Ont. via Toronto. Within a week of booking his flight, he said the airline canceled it and extended his service restart date, giving him the option of a cash refund or credit and bonus credit.
O’Reilly took the credit option. He has always had positive experiences with Porter in the past and hopes to fly with the airline again. He booked his second flight on 10 October with credit to Toronto via Dulles to Sudbury. He said he was informed of the minor timing change, though it was a long time ago.
“The next email I got was the day before my flight – it was a web check-in,” O’Reilly said. “I followed the web check-in link, entered my reservation number and my name, and it said there is a problem, call to find out what the problem is and get it resolved.”
O’Reilly said he spoke to a Porter Airlines representative over the phone, who advised that he had been randomly selected for a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) check, which required him to go to the counter at the airport. . Otherwise, he said he was told the flight was still scheduled as planned.
“On the day of my flight, I arrive at the airport at noon two hours before my flight, go to the counter and there is no porter agent,” O’Reilly said.
“I go to the main information desk, and the guy says, ‘They don’t open the counter until two hours before the flight, and it’s not until 6:30 tonight.'”
Then, O’Reilly said he began to realize something was amiss. He didn’t see his flight listed on the airport departure board and still didn’t see any porter staff at the counter.
After talking on the phone with two Porter customer service representatives, O’Reilly said he was told that his flight had been canceled at 1:20 p.m. on October 10, half an hour before takeoff.
O’Reilly said he knew there was another flight from Dulles to Toronto at 6:30 that evening, and at that time, he knew he would have to cross the border before 10 a.m. on October 11 or Then his negative COVID-19 test would end after the required 72 hours because he was swabbed.
“Under Section 13 of the APPR (Air Passenger Protection Regulation), they should have notified him as soon as he learned that the flight had been cancelled,” Lucas said.
O’Reilly alleged that he was told by a representative for Porter that if he took the October 10 flight from Dulles to Toronto at 6:30 p.m., he would be given a hotel and the second leg of his flight from Toronto to Sudbury. will have to pay for. Since at his own expense he had originally booked a route with one connection a day and a Sudbury flight was scheduled for the next morning.
“I told[them]that I wasn’t interested in the option of paying for my hotel in Toronto and paying for a new flight to Sudbury, so I accepted it for the next whole day, with assurances Plus two different people told me that the policy is, in the event of a delay or cancellation, the validity of a COVID test is based on the original time of departure,” O’Reilly said.
He stayed overnight in Dulles from the night of 10 October to the morning of 11 October and had dinner, breakfast and lunch the next day. O’Reilly alleged that Porter’s representatives told him they did not think he was eligible for hotel or meal reimbursement; He could have tried to apply for compensation, but there was no guarantee.
(To air passenger safety regulations Under the Canada Transport Act, the airline operating the interrupted flight must provide a reasonable amount of food and drink and a means of communication. If a passenger has to wait overnight, airlines are required to provide free accommodation and free transportation to and from accommodation.)
“If something like this happens, the airline has an obligation to take a passenger as soon as possible,” Lucas said.
The next day on 11 October, O’Reilly arrived at Dulles Airport for his 12:05 a.m. flight to Toronto, the final destination being Sudbury. Once he arrived at the gate, O’Reilly said porter agents pre-checked Arrivcan to make sure all passengers had the COVID-19 information they needed.
He alleged that he was told that his COVID-19 test was not valid because it was 74 hours old – not 72 hours old, he alleged. O’Reilly said the Porter agent told her there was no exception to the COVID test.
Eventually, O’Reilly said Porter’s reps spoke with a higher official, who said they would consider his COVID test valid and that he could take the 6:30 p.m. flight on October 11 — but he took her without him. The flight left to Sudbury.
“Now I have a boarding pass — I can board the 6:30 flight, but now, the entire reservation is for Toronto only,” O’Reilly told Granthshala News.
“That’s what I’m talking to the agent when I call… Eventually, things started to turn around at that point. I went to Toronto, went to the counter, there was someone who knew what was going on, they gave me a Voucher for hotel, they asked me to keep my receipts.
O’Reilly said the agent in Toronto also gave him his Sudbury boarding pass, which was covered by Porter. She finally landed at Sudbury on the morning of 12 October, marking the 47-hour journey.
O’Reilly said he filed a complaint with Porter. He said he expects to be reimbursed for all meals at the Dulles Hotel, Dulles and his meals in Toronto, as well as compensation under the Air Passenger Safety Regulations. He also said that he is looking for an apology.