TORONTO – An Air Canada Rouge flight that saw 202 passengers stranded in Manchester, England for two days landed in Toronto on Sunday afternoon.
Nina Bullock, who was flying to Toronto with her two children to spend time with her boyfriend, said she was frustrated by the lack of customer service from the airline.
“For two days we were waiting for somebody to come from Air Canada, an Air Canada representative to tell us what was going on and we couldn’t find out really,” she told Global News after arriving at Pearson Airport.
Bullock said customers were getting upset about the delay, with the airline needing security to calm them down.
“We couldn’t get answers,” she explained.
“At the end, people were getting so angry that they had to call the security guys to calm them down. It was bad.”
Paul Hatcher was coming home to Canada with his family to visit his parents. He said they had trouble getting information as to why the flight was delayed which led to a call for airport security.
“No one was giving us any information, so a lot of people went to the desk and wouldn’t go until they had information, but unfortunately there was none to give,” Hatcher said. “There was no one from Air Canada there whatsoever. It was left to the company on the ground and they had no information.”
Hatcher’s wife Tracy, said they were running out of formula for their 15-week-old. The passengers spent 10 hours at the airport on the first day, waiting for their flight. A day later they waited 13 hours before being shipped to a hotel.
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“We were just given no information at all,” she said.
The company apologized for the delay while also praising its customers in a comment on the Global News Facebook page.
“We are grateful for the incredible patience of our customers as a series of unfortunate mechanical and crew challenges delayed the flight for far longer than is acceptable,” the company wrote. “We apologize for the extended delay: this does not meet our own standards and we are sorry we’ve let our customers down.”
Air Canada also wrote, “We will be in touch with them to offer a full refund.”
The Air Canada Rouge flight to Toronto was scheduled to leave Friday, but Air Canada had said that as many as 202 passengers would have to wait until Sunday before taking off.
Canada’s largest airline was taking heat from the stranded passengers over the weekend.
One person tweeted “horrendous experience. Stuck in Manchester for 2 days and no one has been in contact to tell us what’s going on.”
Another tweet to Air Canada said “A second night in Manchester … due to more flight delays. AirCanada this is not how to treat your passengers.”
Manchester residents Melanie Best and her husband had booked the flight with plans to attend a wedding celebration in Toronto.
In an email to The Canadian Press late Saturday night, a frustrated Best described their long and trying ordeal.
Best said they boarded the plane Friday after a two-hour delay, then sat on the tarmac for the next five hours while mechanics tried unsuccessfully to fix a hydraulic pump. After the flight was finally cancelled the passengers were put up in a hotel and instructed to return to the airport the following day.
However, after checking in again Saturday morning, Best said repeated delays kept her and the other passengers stuck in the airport lounge until the early evening.
“Come 6 p.m. passengers were getting really stressed and angry and all gathering by customer information demanding more information,” she said.
According to Best, the passengers were told that the plane had finally been repaired and would be leaving at 8 p.m.
But after departure time came and went, the passengers were then informed the flight had once again – this time due to flight crew issues – been cancelled, and rescheduled for Sunday around noon.
“At this point people were crying and disgusted beyond belief,” she said
With files from Canadian Press