Sleeping on airport benches and on the floor while feeling abandoned by airlines at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is not how Caroljoy Green expected to spend Christmas Day.
She and her husband Scott managed to get from Ontario to Vancouver on the way back to Prince George, but say Air Canada left them with chunks of coal the whole way.
The couple spent five hours on the tarmac in Toronto as there was no ground crew to load their luggage. Once they arrived in Vancouver, they waited in line for hours to figure out what had happened to their luggage and rebook their flight to Prince George. The first available flight leaves on Wednesday.
“There is a lack of basic communication. There are long lines and you have no idea what people are queuing for,” Caroljoy said. “I stood in a baggage line that seemed shorter only to realize that halfway through there was a sign indicating priority. So I passed at the end of the long one, to find myself closer two hours later and they said “oh priority to us”… So not Air Canada’s best hour.
As the airport handed out free water and snacks, Scott says they felt let down by Air Canada.
“They didn’t want to put us up in a hotel. They didn’t want to refund our tickets. They didn’t want to pay for the food, and for that I’m pretty pissed off,” he said.
Vancouver airport flights resume after winter storm causes massive flight cancellations
They are among many airline passengers still dealing with the aftermath of last week’s winter storms that led to hundreds of flight cancellations and delays across North America.
YVR expected nearly 60,000 passengers to pass through the airport on Christmas Day, between 430 scheduled flights, 221 departures and 209 arrivals.
The airport was 93% operating, according to YVR spokeswoman Alyssa Smith, and more than 30 flights were canceled due to weather events in Canada and the United States.
“We’ve put so many things in place throughout the terminal here to try to make them as comfortable as possible while they’re waiting for their flights. So things like providing hotel rooms, providing restaurant vouchers. Smith said, adding that the airport was taking the situation day by day and working with airlines to rebook passengers.
However, other passengers say changing the reservation was difficult.
“I got a ticket online but it’s wrong,” said Teresa Serenith, who is also stranded at Vancouver airport. “They said it didn’t matter. It’s already overbooked.
With the snowy weather in eastern Canada, YVR says it could be days before all flights are booked and back on schedule.
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In the meantime, Caroljoy says she and her husband will try to stay with friends until their flight on Wednesday.
“I kinda identify with Mary and Joseph’s trip on Christmas Day. Things didn’t turn out the way they planned and I realize it could be a lot worse. So we’ll make the most of it. »
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