Canceled flights leave 14-year-old stranded en route to New Brunswick OCN News

Beth Savage’s 14-year-old son left Vancouver on Sunday, en route to visit his grandparents in Fredericton, N.B.

But his first solo trip landed him in 20-hour queues after his Montreal-Fredericton flight was canceled — twice.

It has become a very common story, especially inside and outside airports in the Maritimes that connect Pearson to Toronto or Trudeau to Montreal.

“We are at around, depending on when you look, 18, 19% cancellations for flights departing from smaller airports in Atlantic Canada,” says data engineer Ray Harris, owner of DataWazo, a data agency strategic.

“If you try to leave New Brunswick or Charlottetown specifically, you have almost a one in five chance that your flight will be cancelled. And it hasn’t changed for three weeks.

Over 4,500 miles away, Savage had to find another travel option for his son.

He contacted a relative and the family paid $1,333 for a rental car so they could drive to Fredericton. This is after she spent over $700 on a hotel so her son wouldn’t have to spend a second night upstairs at the airport.

An eight-hour trip ended up taking four days.

“I received 43 emails from Air Canada in less than a few days,” she said. “With revised time, canceled flight, revised time.”

She is now trying to find another way to bring her son home when the time comes.

“I don’t feel like they care. They stuck an underage child in a non-English speaking province for three days without even a food stamp,” she said.

Jennifer Macdougall left Whitehorse, Yukon on June 25 with her two children, ages 15 and 7, and her six-month-old baby.

They planned to fly to Sydney, Nova Scotia, with Air Canada to visit relatives, stopping in Vancouver and Toronto along the way.

But a delay, two cancellations, two lost bags, five days — many sleeping on airport floors — and more than $1,000 later — the family are still on the way after a friend picked them up in Halifax .

She hopes to arrive in Sydney on Wednesday evening.

“It’s been an absolute nightmare,” she said in an interview with CTV News Channel. “There were people sleeping on the floor everywhere…I had no diapers left for my six month old so he had to sleep in the same diaper overnight because I had no way to access stores or whatever because it was too late when they canceled my flight for me to go anywhere to get diapers for her.

In a statement, Air Canada said it was operating around 1,000 flights a day systemwide, and the “vast, vast majority” were successful. But he acknowledges that there continue to be problems plaguing the system.

“For example, if an aircraft is held at a gate longer than expected by customs or if a flight is suddenly forced to cancel due to flight limits imposed by air traffic control, this can affect staff schedules. on the ground that maintains the aircraft and the flight. crews, whose day of duty is regulated, and disrupt subsequent flights and the movement of baggage,” the statement read.

“This is happening even as we continue to hire and now have 32,000 employees, almost our staffing level in 2019, and we are carefully managing 80% of our 2019 summer schedule.”

The airline said it was redeploying its Jetz charter fleet to transport delayed baggage.

The acting president of the Canadian Airports Council says these stories are definitely “not the experience we want for Canadian travelers or visitors to our country,” and while everyone is working on solutions, the improvements are slow.

“Once the system is backed up, there are lags and it’s very hard to recover,” said Monette Pasher.

“There are still labor shortages in our aviation ecosystem and ground service delays have been implemented at some airports by Canada’s air navigation provider, resulting in unforeseen impacts on airline schedules and has a cascading impact on the whole system.”

She says thousands of new employees are being trained – but it takes time.

Harris started tracking the data three weeks ago after her own flight was canceled.

He says since then there have been no real improvements – and the Maritimes may be seeing the worst of it.

“I would like to warn that there does not seem to be an end in sight. And if you’re worried about having travel plans right now, unfortunately I have no words of comfort,” he said.

Canceled or delayed flights departing from airports in the Maritimes between June 22 and June 29:

  • Saint John: 25% cancelled, 44% delayed
  • Moncton: 19% cancelled, 43% delayed
  • Fredericton: 14% cancelled, 42% delayed
  • Charlottetown: 14% cancelled, 55% delayed
  • Halifax: 6% cancelled, 36% delayed

Source: DataWazo

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