Parents Furious As Airline Bumps 10-Year-Old Son, Air Canada Issues Apology And Compensation

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald April 21, 04:00 am
The Doyle family learned a day before they were to leave for Costa Rica that Air Canada overbooked and bumped their 10-year-old son off the flight.
(Photo : Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The furious parents of a 10-year-old boy called out Air Canada for how it handled an overbooked flight. The airline bumped their son a day before the family's scheduled travel to Costa Rica for the holiday.

Dad Brett Doyle said he booked the family's four tickets last August 2016 for their March trip to Costa Rica. He couldn't, however, get a seating assignment for his son, Cole Doyle, via the online check-in system a day before their flight.

The dad called up the airline for assistance but got no help. His wife, Shanna Doyle, drove to the Charlottetown airport to straighten things out. They told her they oversold tickets and had to bump Cole off the flight.

Air Canada couldn't guarantee Cole any seats on the overbooked flight. As this was peak holiday season, passengers won't likely give up their seats.

The airline's staff suggested the family drive to another city and catch a trip to Costa Rica via Montreal. Flights, however, were also booked solid at the other airport.

Brett looked for other options via Air Canada online and found at least three more flights open. An agent, however, confirmed these flights were technically sold out.

"I asked why would I be able to purchase these online if they were sold out and what would happen if I purchased and showed up at the gate," Brett said, as per Daily Mail. The agent said they could likely get bumped too.

The family, however, still made it to Costa Rica for the holiday but not without making travel changes, shifting schedules, more bookings, as well as experiencing stress and headache. Cole was even afraid his family would leave Canada without him.

Brett continued reaching out to the airline when they got back but received no response. "It wasn't until the media picked up the story that Air Canada actually contacted us," the father said, as per The Guardian Canada.

Air Canada apologized to the family and offered compensation. "This situation involving a family traveling together should not have occurred," a spokesperson said, as per CBC. The Doyles, however, confirmed no arrangements were made as of Tuesday despite the Air Canada's offers.

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