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Air Canada

Forced to Share A Bedroom After a Flight Delay?

Forced to Share A Bedroom After a Flight Delay?
Jeff Edwards

A 71-year-old Air Canada passenger says the airline told her she would have no choice but to share a single-bed hotel room with a man she had never met before. The company says the mistake was the result of a “misunderstanding” and was corrected as soon as it was made aware of the unusual sleeping arrangements.

An elderly Air Canada passenger says that Air Canada tried to bully her into sharing a single-bed hotel room with a man she had never met before after a delayed flight forced her to spend the night in Montreal. Elizabeth Coffi Tabu claims that an airline agent not only told her she would have to have to share accommodations with a total stranger but also neglected to inform the 71-year-old that the room only had a single bed.

“The decision was he would be sleeping on the sofa and my mom in the bed,” Tabu’s daughter, Jerryne Mahele Nyota told CBC News. “I told her, ‘No, you don’t sleep with a total stranger. No, don’t do that. Stay there and I’m going to do what I can to find a solution.’”

After spending considerable time on the phone with airline representatives, Nyota was able to shame the carrier into offering a more appropriate place for her mother to spend the night. She says, however, that she can’t help to wonder what would have happened if her mother did not have family fighting in her corner.

“It is not our policy to have passengers who not traveling together share a room,” Air Canada told Narcity in a statement. In this case an error was initially made due to a misunderstanding. Once we realized, the customers were provided separate rooms.”

Other Air Canada passengers, however, have come forward to dispute Air Canada’s insistence that it does not routinely require strangers to share rooms it sometimes provides in the event of delayed or canceled flights.

“Air Canada did the same thing to me three years ago!” one customer wrote in a reaction posted to Twitter. “When the other passenger and I got to the hotel at Pearson they actually did have another room which I put on my credit card and only after some insistence did the airline pay me back for.”

Air Canada officials say they have reached out to the family to offer an apology. The carrier says it also upgraded Tabu to an extra legroom seat on her remaining flight segments and provided her with a $20 food voucher, but the family says it has lingering concerns about the airlines’ blatant disregard for the wellbeing of potentially vulnerable passengers.

“Now she realizing, how is it possible? You know?” Mahele Nyota told reporters. “And she said, ‘It’s not fair, it’s not fair, they never gave me another option.'”


[Featured Image: iStock]

View Comments (5)


  1. copaflyer

    July 27, 2019 at 9:00 am

    Should people traveling together and wiling to share a room get a cash payment or travel voucher? My wife and two sons all shared a room when this happened on Air Canada. We could have received four rooms. No where in our ticket price is it reflected that we are willing to share a room if needed.

  2. FlyingNone

    July 27, 2019 at 7:20 pm

    Seriously ?…if she didn’t get in contact with her daughter (who advocated for her), she didn’t have enough sense to object on her own ?

  3. mvoight

    July 28, 2019 at 11:15 pm

    Why couldn’t the man sleep on the sofa and the mom and daughter sleep together?

  4. mvoight

    July 29, 2019 at 9:32 pm

    Oddly, the story changed after I responded. The story I read indicated the daughter would be on the sofa bed and her mother would share the bed with the man. That didn’t make sense.

  5. drphun

    August 21, 2019 at 5:28 am

    Somehow this just sounds like a misunderstanding.

    But I want to point out that outside of big cities there are usually only a limited number of hotel rooms and once those are gone, everyone just ends up sharing the floor in the airport (that sounds more acceptable but why should it be?)

    It can even happen in large cities. A few years ago we were flying out of NY early in the morning, so we booked a hotel for the night before. There was a snowstorm. Once at the hotel, they told us our room was the only one left and all the people milling about the lobby were hopng for a cancellation. The next morning at the airport, we saw a lot of people who had spent the night.

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