Passengers flying from Vancouver to New Delhi have been stuck at the Vancouver airport for more than 24 hours with nowhere for many to go after their flight was delayed Monday morning, then cancelled.
Those who were close enough simply went home. Dozens of others weren’t so lucky.
James Campbell travelled to Vancouver from Victoria and has been at the airport since Monday waiting for his flight.
He says the flight was initially scheduled for 11 a.m. PT on March 13. It was cancelled and rebooked for 8 p.m.
Passengers didn’t board the plane until 11 p.m. Monday, Campbell said, after which they sat there.
“It was not air-conditioned. It was not particularly clean,” Campbell said, describing the whole situation as “chaotic” and “haphazard.”
After about an hour of waiting, the flight crew brought snacks and water. Twenty minutes later, Campbell said they were told to get off the plane.
The passengers made their way to the baggage claim, where Campbell says they waited another hour and 40 minutes for their bags to arrive.
“We’ve been sitting in the airport ever since,” Campbell said Tuesday.
He’s been rebooked on another flight to India — in two days. Unlike some passengers, he can’t simply go home and wait. Instead, he hoped the airline would find him somewhere to stay or at least offer more information about the situation.
AI 186 from Vancouver behind schedule by 13 hours , after loading passengers at 22:15 and offloaded and cancelled flight at 00:15 hours without any reason . Great service Air india you are truly making Making India proud . <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/madhavraoscindia?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#madhavraoscindia</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/YVR?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#YVR</a> <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/campbellwilson?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#campbellwilson</a>
Campbell said he was eventually able to speak with someone from the airline and was told there were no more hotels available, and passengers would have to figure it out and submit receipts to Air India for compensation.
In an email to CBC News, Air India said the flight was cancelled for “technical reasons.” A YVR spokesperson said it was because of an aircraft maintenance issue.
The airline said passengers would be put on the earliest available alternative flight.
What are your rights?
The Air Passenger Protection Regulations (APPR) — the standards governing airlines operating in Canada — group flight disruptions into three different categories: situations within the airline’s control, situations within the airline control but where the disruption is required for safety, like unforeseen maintenance problems or safety decisions made by the pilot, and situations outside the airline’s control.
Compensation varies depending on which category the flight falls into, and the airline is required to tell passengers the reason for the flight disruption, according to the APPR.
When a flight is cancelled or delayed more than three hours, the airline has to offer alternative travel arrangements in the same class of service. Using a reasonable route, they must rebook the passenger on the next available flight operated by them or another airline.
The APPR says that if a passenger is forced to wait overnight, airlines must offer and cover the cost of a hotel or other accommodation, as well as free transportation there.
If passengers aren’t satisfied with the alternative travel arrangements, there are circumstances where they can also seek a refund or further compensation.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by PostX News and is published from a syndicated feed.)