After an incident where a 10-year-old was bumped off an overbooked US carrier United Airlines went viral and garnered lots of negative criticism, Air Canada has apologised and offered compensation to the victim's family.
Brett Doyle said his family, after failing to check in his older son online, was informed by airport there was no seat available on the overcrowded flight, which was flying from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, to Montreal. The family then drove to Moncton to catch a different flight to Montreal only to find out at the airport that it had been canceled. "I thought it was a joke, that there were hidden cameras or something," said the entrepreneur from Prince Edward Island, according to The Channel News Asia.
When the family contacted Air Canada in March, they were more disappointed after they only received an apology and a trip voucher worth C$2,500 (US$1,876). A Canadian newspaper also took up the story and published it on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Air Canada is not available for any comment. However, it was reported that an airline spokeswoman told the Canadian Press: "We are currently following up to understand what went wrong and have apologised to Mr. Doyle and his family as well as offered a very generous compensation to the family for their inconvenience."
Doyle gave the example of the Asian-American doctor, who was dragged from his seat on an overcrowded United plane in Chicago on April 9, to highlight the increasing problem of overbooking by airlines. "People are fed up...You shouldn't be able to sell something twice," he said, as reported.
United's parent company, United Continental Holdings Inc, which is still recovering from the public relations debacle, apologised again on Monday for the passenger's forceful removal, while reporting quarterly earnings.
Doyle said the incident on United Flight 3411, which spread rapidly on social media after being shot on video by passengers, resonated with his family. "I ... said things could always be worse," he said after hearing about the United incident. "At least we weren't thrown off the plane."
The 69-year-old doctor, David Dao, was one of four people who was randomly selected to step down from the oversold flight, just before takeoff. When he refused to get down, Chicago Aviation police officers were called to remove him from the plane which resulted in a bloody scuffle between the victim and the officers.