British Columbia

Spring-break passengers run into delays at YVR after Boeing aircraft ban

Some passengers at Vancouver International Airport are facing long delays after the government grounded Boeing 737 Max aircraft Wednesday due to safety concerns.

Canada grounded all Boeing 737 Max aircraft Wednesday due to safety concerns

Passengers at Vancouver International Airport say they're facing delays and long standby waits for flights after the grounding of Boeing 737 Max 8 and 9 aircraft Wednesday. (Yvette Brend/CBC)

Passengers at Vancouver International Airport say they're facing delays and long standby waits for flights following Wednesday's safety notice from Transport Canada grounding all Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9 aircraft.

Airlines and travel agents across Canada are scrambling to accommodate passengers during an especially busy travel week at the airport.

This weekend marks the end of spring break for students in Ontario and the start of spring break for families in British Columbia. 

Steven Parsons, a high school student from London, Ont., had been visiting his sister in Vancouver for his spring break. 

He was supposed to get on a flight to Toronto at 11 a.m. PT, but it has been delayed until 1:50 p.m. 

"On the SkyTrain on the way over here, I got four emails from WestJet saying I got delayed," Parsons said.

"I was expecting to get delayed but not by this much."

Steven Parsons, a high school student from London, Ont., is just one of many passengers who have had their flights delayed. (Yvette Brend/CBC)

Peak volumes 

Vancouver International Airport says it is expecting a daily average of close to 75,000 passengers during the upcoming spring break period. 

It is advising passengers to check in with their airline about flight status. The three airlines affected by the ban — Air Canada, WestJet and Sunwing — have been rebooking passengers, but due to the number of customers affected, there may be delays in speaking to a rebooking agent. 

Passenger Samantha Calderbank and her family, from Toronto, who flew in from Hawaii this morning, are on standby for a flight but they're not expecting to get a spot until this evening or even tomorrow.

"We've always been standby, but you'd think ... once we're here, there'd be lots of space to get on," she said, noting she wasn't sure when she'd get back home.

"I've got to be back at work for Monday."

With files from Yvette Brend

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