Child Forced To Sleep Alone At Airport By Air Canada

| by John Freund
Air CanadaAir Canada

A Nova Scotia man is asking Air Canada to improve its policy for transporting minors after his grandson was bumped from a flight and forced to sleep alone at the airport.  

Hayden Levy, 15, was visiting relatives in Winnipeg, and had a layover in Toronto on his way back to Halifax. Unfortunately for Levy, he was bumped from the flight to Halifax, and given only a $10 voucher for food. Levy was also told he was "too young" to stay in a hotel alone, so he was forced to sleep on the floor of the airport by himself, according to CBC.  

Brian Truelove, Levy's grandfather, complained to Air Canada's customer service agents, who responded by giving Levy a $400 voucher toward future air travel. But that is little comfort for Truelove.

"I think it's uncalled for," he said. "You do not bump a minor."

"He's too young to put in a hotel room, but he's not too young to bump off a flight and leave laying in the international airport on his own," Truelove added.

Truelove describes his grandson as level-headed, but trusting.

"Hayden is the kind of guy who, if someone came up to him that looked official and said, 'We're taking you to a hotel room,' he probably would have went," he said. "Then we'd have a whole different set of circumstances because we would have a child that was missing."

Air Canada responded to the incident with a statement: "We don't ask for date of birth at time of booking and all tickets being electronic, it is important that the information is captured in the booking file so our agents at the gate have it on their screens when taking care of customers during operational challengers such as delays, [cancelations], aircraft changes."

Air Canada offers an unaccompanied-minor service for a fee of $100 plus tax, where staff will escort children and young people from the check-in area to their destination, according to its website. It is mandatory for children aged eight to 11, and optional for youth aged 12 to 17. 

Air Canada spokeswoman Isabelle Arthur added that:" Even if a parent has not asked for our unaccompanied-minor service, our agents will take care of a child or teenager in need of support. Once our agents realized he was a teenager, we made arrangements for him on a later [flight] with a relative."

This is not the first time Air Canada has bumped an unaccompanied minor from a flight and forced him to sleep at the airport alone.  The same situation occurred in 2013 when a 13-year-old boy was forced to stay at the airport with only a $10 voucher for food, according to CBC News.

Sources: CBC, Air Canada / Photo Credit: Air Canada

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