Windsor woman stranded at Toronto Pearson airport frustrated with Air Canada

After her connecting flight was cancelled due to runway construction at Toronto's Pearson airport, a Windsor woman says Air Canada 'dropped the ball' in helping her get home.

Jennifer Carey says airline was 'unprepared' for runway construction at Toronto's Pearson airport

(Mike Hillman/CBC News)

A Windsor woman says Air Canada left her stranded in Toronto last week, cancelling several flights that would have delayed her trip home by four days.

Jennifer Carey was flying from Newfoundland to Windsor, Ont. the evening of May 2, expecting to make a connecting flight out of Toronto's Pearson airport.

Instead, her flight was cancelled with the next available flight leaving two days later. Carey said the airline cited construction at Pearson for a series of delays and cancellations that have wreaked havoc on people's travel plans. 

  "Air Canada seemed to be completely unprepared to deal with these flight cancellations that are happening as a result of the runway construction,"  Carey said.

The Walkerville woman says nearby hotels were booked, so she ended up paying a premium price for a Toronto hotel, plus a VIA Rail ticket. All in, she spent about $500 to complete her trip.

"They are not accepting any responsibility, financially, for these passengers like me, who are left in this dilemma," Carey said.

A call and email left with Air Canada's media line Wednesday morning have not yet been returned. 

More passenger woes

Other passengers have had similar troubles with Air Canada, including a Thunder Bay teen whose mother says he had to spend a long, scary night alone because of cancellations.

Derrin Espinola, 15, was flying May 1 from Denver to Thunder Bay, with a stopover in Toronto. A flight delay leaving Denver caused him to miss his connecting flight.

Air Canada booked him a flight the following day at 6 p.m., but did not offer any accommodation or vouchers for food.

"I was trapped in the airport and there was nowhere I could go," Espinola said. "I could not leave. I could not get a hotel, because I am a minor. It was like being held prisoner."

Carey's journey to Windsor would have been stretched over several days with Air Canada first offering a flight two days later. Then came a second and a third cancellation that would have kept her in Toronto for four nights.  So she opted to take train instead.

"I could literally walk to Windsor," she said of the confusion. "They're a good airline in most respects, but they've dropped the ball on this."