Traveling as a minor, even if you are 15 years old, can be an intimidating experience even when all goes well. However, what happens when you get bumped from your flight? These are challenges that even 50 year old travelers sometimes struggle with.
CBC Canada recently reported on Hayden Levy, a boy who was traveling alone and had to sleep on the floor at Toronto’s Pearson Airport as a result of issues he encountered during his travels. Levy left Winnipeg, Manitoba after visiting his relatives, and was in Toronto for a stopover. However, he was bumped from his flight to Halifax and spent close to 24 hours at Pearson by himself. Brian Truelove, Levy’s grandfather, said that Air Canada only gave his grandson a $10 food voucher. After contacting Air Canada’s customer service line, the family received an apology and offered Levy a $400 voucher toward future travel. Air Canada disputes the timeline of events, and said that Levy was compensated at the time his flight was delayed. Truelove said Levy had to sleep at the airport because he was a minor and could not be offered a hotel room by himself.
A similar event occurred several years ago with another Air Canada flight, with a 13 year old who spent the night alone at the airport when poor weather caused his flight to be canceled, and he was unable to get a hotel room.
Air Canada offers an unaccompanied-minor service for a fee of $100 plus tax, which is optional for those aged 12 to 17. It is interesting to note that this is only available on non-stop flights. Air Canada stated that there was no indication on the booking that the passenger was 15 years old, and if there was, other arrangements (such as a chaperone) could have been made.
What are your thoughts on this incident?