A woman who recently moved to Halifax said she’s suing Air Canada partly over an incident in which she had to choose between potentially sitting several rows away from her three-year-old daughter on a plane or missing the flight.
“Nobody seemed interested in helping us at all, and it was really upsetting,” said Nicole Paine.
The incident happened on Dec. 14, 2016.
Paine was moving from British Columbia to Nova Scotia and was scheduled for a 1 p.m. flight that connected in Toronto.
She got to the airport with her family at about 11:30 a.m., but Air Canada had no agents there free to help them, according to a notice of claim filed on Feb. 22 in the Small Claims Court of Nova Scotia.
The seats were booked next to each other, said Paine.
“We were guaranteed by at least two staff members that we would indeed make that flight,” she said.
About 30 minutes later, the family was attended to by an agent, but Paine said they were told the flight had then ended the check-in period.
They were subsequently booked on another flight that would depart at 2 p.m. the same day
Paine was accompanied by her twin newborns, three-year-old daughter, and mother.
She said her family were only able to board last, due to being told they were on standby, and it was then when they realized that they had been booked in seats 24J, 33K, and 38J.
While there was the possibility that passengers may have moved to let the family sit together, Paine said she couldn’t take the risk.
“You never know what’s going to happen on a flight, especially in the winter. If I didn’t have access to my other baby, and he couldn’t feed for five hours, I couldn’t do that,” she said.
Paine also said it wouldn’t be fair to have a three-year-old sit next to a stranger.
The family was put in a hotel for the night, paid for by the airline, then got on a flight the next day.
They’re seeking $2,400 “plus costs,” according to the notice.
A statement to Global News from Air Canada…