Facing weather and mechanical delays, a group of Air Canada passengers experienced heat wave temperatures while stuck on their aircraft for over four hours. Flyers aboard the airplane say the carrier wasn’t attentive in helping them, but the airline says everything was in order.
Air Canada flyers are expressing frustration with the carrier, after they say they were stuck on a sweltering aircraft for over four hours due to weather-related and mechanical delays. The Ottawa Citizen reports flyers flying from Ottawa International Airport (YOW) to Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) were forced to sit on their airplane in over 100-degree heat while the airline sorted the situation out.
Two issues caused the delay, starting with a thunderstorm passing over the airport. After the weather incident, pilots received an engine notification, forcing them to turn back to the gate for maintenance. The aircraft departed at 7:40 p.m. – over four hours after their original departure time.
During the delay, flyers say they weren’t allowed to depart at any time. In addition, they claim a mechanical issue meant air conditioning was not working, forcing flyers to recirculate hot air already in the cabin. While flight attendants did provide water for the stuck passengers, those aboard said they experienced a two-hour gap between water services.
When the aircraft returned to the gate, passengers say they were not allowed to leave the aircraft. Air Canada confirmed this, saying they only expected delays to take a short amount of time and deplaning could have lead to a cancellation.
“What annoyed me was that they were talking to all these different people. But it’s been two hours, can we get some more water?” Josie Sima, a passenger aboard the flight, told the Citizen. “They didn’t run out of water, but let’s face it — in a sense, it was rationed. We got the first cup at 3:30 … and they didn’t distribute again until after 6:30.”
A spokesperson for Air Canada told the Citizen the aircraft was scheduled to depart on the short flight at around 3 p.m. local time but took off at 7:40. They said their actions reduced the total disruption for passengers and blamed the combination of weather, mechanical issues and holiday air traffic for the perfect storm of conditions.
“Because of the holiday our flights were quite full so there was limited ability to put people on later flights,” Air Canada spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick told the Citizen. “Our approach minimized the travel disruption for most customers while giving those who did not wish to travel the option not to travel.”