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'They did nothing': Stranded passengers got little help from Calm Air

A Nunavut couple was offered two $10 vouchers towards the cost of their lunch by a Calm Air representative after they were stranded in Winnipeg for five days.

‘I was worried that they weren’t getting enough to eat,’ says mother of stranded passengers

A Nunavut couple was offered an apology and two $10 vouchers towards the cost of their lunch by a Calm Air representative, after they were stranded in Winnipeg for five days. (Calm Air)

People from Nunavut's Kivalliq region were hit with some unpredictable weather this month and many of those travelling ended up stranded in Winnipeg for days.

This month Nunavut was hit with a series of blizzards, heavy winds, and poor visibility — conditions that led to the cancellation of numerous flights.

With only one airline, Calm Air, flying to the Kivalliq region, stranded passengers had no choice but to wait for a flight to open up. As the weather worsened, the list of those waiting for a seat just got longer.

'I was homesick and so worried about budgeting to make it last, it was hard,' said Nancy Tasseor. (Submitted by Nancy Tasseor)
Nancy Tasseor, her little brother, father and fiancé were only supposed to be in Winnipeg for four days for a shopping trip, returning on April 21. They ended up stranded for an additional five days.

The family had set aside enough cash for wedding shopping, a Rihanna concert and a few other family outings.

They had not anticipated having to stay in Winnipeg for five extra days. Even when the weather cleared, Tasseor and her family said they kept on being booked and moved to later flights due to the lack of seats.

"They did nothing," said Nancy Tasseor in Inuktitut.

"I didn't complain while we were stuck. I was homesick and so worried about budgeting to make it last. It was hard." 

'They kept bumping my children off' 

Nancy Tasseor's mom, Martha Tasseor, who had stayed at home in Arviat, said she was sick with worry about her family.

"They kept bumping my children off and I was extremely frustrated," said Martha Tasseor.

'They kept bumping my children off and I was extremely frustrated,' said Martha Tasseor. (Submitted by Martha Tasseor)
"I was worried that they weren't getting enough to eat, about hotels and if they'd had a safe place to stay. I was worried about the costs."

The Tasseors said the worst part was not being given a full explanation of what was happening and why.

In the end the family said they spend over $1,000 on unexpected hotel expenses, and over $400 on food.

Gary Bell, the President of Calm Air said it's not unusual for flights to be cancelled because of bad weather.

"We're not cancelling because we don't want to take the passenger," he said. 

"We cancel because we can't take the passenger and our rules on that, our procedures on that, pretty much matches any other airline in the world," added Bell.

In the end, Nancy Tasseor and her fiancé were offered two $10 vouchers towards the cost of their lunch by a Calm Air agent an hour before their flight home took off.

The family has not received any other compensation at this time. 

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