Strange Bedfellows: Air Canada Apologizes for Putting Two Strangers in One Hotel Room

For many travelers, flying can be a pretty stressful experience. And if you had missed your fight or have got one delayed or cancelled, it could be extremely frustrating and taxing. It was a shocking experience for one Air Canada passenger last week, when she missed her connecting flight and was told by the Canadian airline to share a single hotel room with a complete stranger, a male half her age!

Air Canada puts two strangers in one hotel room – Passengers shocked

A lady from Ottawa was out in fury after her mother, who missed a connecting flight with Air Canada was told to share a hotel room with a complete stranger – a man half her age. According to Jerryne Mahele Nyota, her 71-year-old mother, Elizabeth Coffi Tabu, was scheduled to to fly back to Paris from Ottawa on Friday, July 19. The flight had a short connection in Montreal, which Tabu unfortunately missed — due to an earlier delay on her flight from Ottawa. As the missed connection was not her fault, Tabu, who was travelling in a wheel chair after recovering from cancer treatment, expected to be simply allowed to board another flight. Instead, Tabu was told that she would have to stay the night in Montreal and take an alternative flight the next day, as it was not possible to catch a similar flight before then. The Air Canada agent told her and another passenger that there was only one hotel room available. He gave them one hotel voucher and told them they would have to share a room. They were literally shocked to learn when they got to the hotel that the room only had one bed.

Jerryne Mahele Nyota demanded a formal apology from Air Canada
Jerryne Mahele Nyota demanded a formal apology from Air Canada

‘I don’t know this man. We are not a couple’

While Tabu told the Air Canada agent, ‘I don’t know this man. We are not a couple,’ the airline persisted on having only one room. Finding herself helpless on not having cellular reception at the airport and not knowing what else to do, Coffi Tabu went to the hotel with the man. However, the gentleman offered to sleep on the room’s sofa. Nyota called Air Canada, and after a long phone call, the airline found her mother an alternative room at a different hotel. Coffi Tabu received two $10 food vouchers and a preferred seat with additional leg room. Though Coffi Tabu made it back to Paris, her daughter said it was nearly 24 hours later than originally planned.

Air Canada Policy
Air Canada Policy

Air Canada Policy for vulnerable passengers

Air Canada confirmed that it’s not their policy to ask passengers to share a room if they are not travelling together. It had investigated and confirmed that error was initially made in allocating rooms. While, the leading Canadian airline has followed-up to apologize for the mix-up, the incident has raised concerns for vulnerable passengers.

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