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Woman Suffers Cross-Border Nightmare After Losing Passport on Air Canada Flight

A woman lost her passport aboard Air Canada flight, which lead to a nightmare ordeal with the airline.

A Canadian flyer faced nearly $400 in rebooking fees after being denied boarding on a flight from Philadelphia to Toronto, even though the airline allegedly assured her that wouldn’t happen. Global News reports Laura Stewart was ultimately able to return home, but not before a showdown with the Canadian flag carrier.

Stewart was flying from her home in British Columbia to Philadelphia when she accidentally left her passport aboard her Air Canada flight. When she realized what happened, Stewart says she immediately alerted the airline. Stewart claims that when she asked if she would be allowed to return home without her original passport book, multiple customer service agents told her it wouldn’t be an issue.

“They told me no problem, file a police report, bring a copy,” said Stewart. “They assured me I’d be able to board my return flight to Canada.”

However, when she tried to board her return flight from Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) to Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), Stewart claims she was denied boarding, despite having electronic copies of her travel documents and the police report.

In addition, Stewart told Global News that she faced nearly $400 in rebooking fees as a penalty of missing her first flight. Stewart opted to rent a car and drive from Philadelphia to Toronto instead, telling Global News that it was simpler to drive across the border, where she explained her situation to border guards and presented the e-documents rejected by Air Canada, than sort things out with the airline.

Air Canada later agreed to compensate Stewart for the incident, waiving all fees involved, and reimbursing her for the cost of the rental car and an overnight hotel stay in Toronto. However, in a statement, the airline stood by its decision to deny Stewart boarding.

“Had Air Canada boarded the passenger without such documentation, we would have been subject to significant fines from the U.S. government,” said Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick. “Additionally, there are Canadian requirements for valid identification, and we are subject to further fines if we carry customers to Canada without such identification.”

[Photo: iStock]

Comments are Closed.
weero December 26, 2015

She just left the passport on an AC plane and alerted the airline immediately? Then why not just wait until the cleaners and crew returned it to her? Nah, she bungled that thing and doesn't want to take the responsibility. $400 and 5 hours sounds like a bargain for loosing a passport.

JW76 July 10, 2015

I remember the good old days when all you needed was your driver's license. And in Europe, you can drive from Switzerland to surrounding countries without even stopping or any form of ID at all. And fly anywhere with just a national identity card. Canada and the US should just relax and bring down these walls.

AllieKat July 10, 2015

Air Canada shows utter despise for their customers once again. They are a rude, nasty, horrible joke of an airline.

drvannostren July 10, 2015

I think the problem is here an employee (and apparently multiple employees) gave her advice, but it was incomplete. Would AC let her board the flight? Sure, a copy, a report etc probably would've worked out. Would UA staff check her in? Apparently not, it's not their fault she screwed up and they're just following the rules. If she had checked in online she could've skipped them, but then would TSA let her through? Doubt it. Was AC wrong? Looks like not exactly, but perhaps incomplete info was given.

Dianne47 July 10, 2015

How long was she in the U.S.? Why did she not obtain a new passport?