Air Canada has apologised and offered “very generous compensation” to a Canadian family after a 10-year-old boy was bumped off an overbooked flight to Costa Rica.
According to the Vancouver Sun, the boy was due to travel on holiday with his family from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island to Costa Rica last month. His father, Brett Doyle, had purchased four tickets for the trip in August 2016.
However, Doyle was unable to book a seat for his son, Cole, when checking in a day prior to the flight’s departure.
When his parents went to the airport to find out what the problem was, they were told the flight had been oversold.
Cole’s mother Shanna Doyle told CBC News that she had even asked if one of the adults travelling with their party could give up their seat for Cole. “I was told that while yes, we could give up our seat, there would be no guarantee that the seat would go to my son,” she said.
The family then booked a flight for Cole and his father from Moncton airport the same day, a flight which was later cancelled, which meant they had to drive to Halifax to catch a connecting flight and stay in a hotel overnight.
— CBC News (@CBCNews) April 16, 2017
Brett Doyle told CBC that he estimates the unforeseen additional travel expenses cost him $1,000 CAD (£598).
The Vancouver Sun reported that Air Canada said in an emailed statement that it has apologised to the Doyle family.
“We are currently following up to understand what went wrong and have apologized to Mr. Doyle and his family as well as offered a very generous compensation to the family for their inconvenience,” an Air Canada spokeswoman said on Monday.
The family said it was offered a $2,500 CAD ($1,873 USD or £1,489) voucher which expires in a year, and was told the airline may cover their expenses.
The news comes after United Airlines has suffered a major reputation crisis following the forcible removal of passenger Dr. David Dao after he refused to give up his seat on the overbooked plane. The violent manner of his ejection has caused outrage around the world.