A Paradise woman has filed a complaint with the Canadian Transportation Agency against Air Canada after she and her three-year-old daughter were prevented from boarding a recent flight.
Misty Rowsell says airline staff would not let her and her daughter board the May 20 flight from Halifax to St. John's, even though she had checked in online and received the boarding passes a day earlier.
Air Canada says Rowsell missed a 45-minute deadline to check baggage. But Rowsell says Air Canada told her the flight was overbooked. She also insists she and her daughter arrived at the airport several minutes before the 45-minute cutoff.
But Rowsell acknowledges they got caught in a long line to check their bags.
She says 44 minutes before her flight, while still in line, an Air Canada agent told her the flight was closed, and she would have to see a ticket agent.
Had to book another flight
That's when Rowsell got more bad news.
"She [the agent] told me, they overbooked the flight. So there was no way I was getting on board that flight."
"I wasn't offered a voucher, I wasn't offered anything. Nothing for a meal, nothing for a hotel, no additional information, just 'here's the card, call reservations.' "
Rowsell said Air Canada offered to fly her to St. John's three days later at a cost of $1,800 dollars, or to Deer Lake the next day for $2,300.
Instead, she flew to St. John's the same day with WestJet, at a cost of $1,000.
CTA rules on Air Canada compensation
On Tuesday, the Canadian Transportation Agency ordered Air Canada to increase compensation for passengers who've been bumped from flights.
Air Canada has not commented publicly on Rowsell's case.
But in an email to her, the airline said her flight was not overbooked, and that all baggage must be checked 45 minutes before a scheduled departure.
And in an email to CBC, Air Canada claimed Rowsell had to drop off her child's car seat at a separate oversized baggage belt that would have required additional time for handling.
Rowsell said in addition to her complaint to the CTA, she wants Air Canada to compensate her for the cost of her WestJet flight.