Kelowna residents stuck in air travel nightmare at Vancouver airport – Kelowna News
Photo: Twitter: Paul Hyland
It’s bad because the snow storm at Vancouver International Airport has caused all departures to land.
Several Kelowna residents have been stuck in YVR for more than 24 hours with no idea where they will be able to go.
Nicole Millard and her family were on their way home from a trip to Cancun with delay after delay and eventually a canceled flight.
“We were supposed to leave early on Sunday morning and everything was fine. We boarded our plane, boarded and sat on the tarmac for four hours. As we were sitting in the front, we overheard a conversation with the captain and the flight attendants that we ran out of fuel and that’s why we didn’t leave,” he said
“They only put on enough fuel to make a jump and make the jump to Kelowna. We waited on the tarmac for four hours by the time we got to the de-icing and de-icing station, we didn’t have enough fuel to take off, to turn around. Then we waited another hour on the tarmac waiting for a gate.”
Millard says that once he got to the gate, the crew worked the maximum hours of the day.
“So the crew was escorted off the plane and then the flight was aborted,” he said.
Millard says about 300 people were forced off the plane and told to find a hotel.
As the cancellation is weather-related, Air Canada did not issue vouchers or compensation to passengers. Air passengers are entitled to compensation if delays and cancellations are within the airline’s control.
Millard says he took a shuttle to one of the last hotel rooms in the Richmond area.
“Then we had to fly [Tuesday] Our flight was canceled again this morning and we have not been rebooked.”
Milliard says he was told all flights to Kelowna are booked until Dec. 26.
The family says they left their car in Vancouver because their outbound flight between Kelowna and Vancouver was canceled, so they took a flight from Vancouver to Mexico.
On the way back, the plan was for Milliard’s husband to drive home while the rest of the family flew to Kelowna.
Milliard says her husband had already made the trip back to Kelowna before the rest of the family’s flight was canceled altogether. Now he’s driving down from the Okanagan to pick them up.
Millard says that because she chose to drive home instead of flying, Air Canada has refunded her flight and additional cash credit.
Another Kelowna resident, Kate, finds herself in a similar situation.
He says he had to fly to Vancouver for a test at Varican and was supposed to be back on Sunday, but he never made it out of the Vancouver airport.
“It kept getting delayed and eventually our flight was cancelled. We were told to go to the hotel and rest and we should book our flights for the next day, which is what we did.”
“The next day my flight with Flair Air was supposed to leave around 7am and it kept getting delayed. They delayed it about five times and finally they boarded us and kept us on the plane for over an hour and a half to de-ice and finally they told us it wasn’t safe and they told us all to get down.”
Kate says she was also told that the cabin crew worked maximum hours.
“They didn’t tell us any information, but they told us to wait for an email from Flair bookings. I wake up the next day and get a booking. We’re booked back to Kelowna on December 30th.”
Kate says she’s working on getting a ride home from a friend.
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