Air Canada Bumps 15-Year-Old Off Flight, Forces Him To Sleep at Airport

by Eric

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?

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Rob July 28, 2016 - 9:09 am

This is not AC’s fault. The parents are to blame. They are the ones who did not want to pay the UM fee, or have an adult travel with the child. I see this all the time from parents wanting to save a few dollars. it usually turns out fine, until it doesn’t.

Erica July 28, 2016 - 9:59 am

I find it interesting that Air Canada said there was no indication that the passenger was a minor on the reservation. Last time I checked, all airlines require a birthdate in order to book.

Chris W. July 28, 2016 - 10:01 am

The parents are NOT to blame. Many 15 y.o. kids these days are competent and independent. He may have traveled frequently with his family and knew how to get around an airport. Whenever I see an unaccompanied minor, I like to introduce myself so I can be available to assist IF needed. I’ve only been “needed” on one occasion for a nervous 15 or 16 y.o. As to the airline, it would likely be apparent this person was a minor and he should have been offered assistance in this case.

Thad July 28, 2016 - 11:58 am

Big deal if this is the biggest problem a 15 year old is facing while traveling I would say he’s doing okay furthermore if this is what we’re worried about we might be focusing on the wrong problems

Miriam July 28, 2016 - 12:01 pm

There is no direct flight from Winnipeg to Halifax. These parents probably had no choice than book a connecting flight. This is entirely fault of AC for not offering unaccompanied minor service for connecting flights. My son was flying by himself last year on AC. I wanted to purchase the UA minor services and was told that it is offered only on nonstop flights. How ridiculous. They are eager to charge $100 on direct flight but they will not offer the service on connecting flight because theye would actually have to do some work and transfer the child from one flight to the other. Direct flight is the only flight where UA minor service is actually not necessary because the child is dropped off on one end and picked up by adult on the other. AC needs to wake up and start offering the same service as other major carriers.

Matt G July 28, 2016 - 10:42 pm

I had a connection at Pearson airport and this was just few days ago 07/22/16 they kept delaying their flights not just mine I was headed to cleveland.They were showing 15 minutes delay than 30 minutes than 1 hour than 1and half hours so basically 4 hours delay and they just gave $10 voucher which u can’t get anything with airport prices! So I don’t blame the kid for this.Air Canada is very irresponsible and they don’t care about any of their customers!So I’m done with them!

Scott C July 29, 2016 - 3:20 pm

If my daughter had been treated like this; I would have been shouting from the treetops. I’m sorry, but this is not acceptable for a 15yo


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