‘We just didn’t have a clue what was going on,’ a passenger laments

A two-hour flight from BC to the Yukon became a two-day international tour frustrating for the dozens of passengers this week.

Air Canada 88 passengers begin their journey Monday night, flying out of Vancouver. They headed for Whitehorse, but ended up in Anchorage, Alaska, for a night, and then flown back to Vancouver for one night.

Some passengers finally arrived in Whitehorse early Wednesday afternoon – more than 36 hours late. The others are expected to arrive on the next flight on Wednesday.

“This is an inconvenience, but nobody has been in the cold,” said Thea Rogers on Tuesday night from Anchorage. He was one of the passengers trying to get home to Whitehorse.

“My one criticism is the lack of communication with Air Canada – you know, we just do not have a clue what was going on.”

Rogers describes how the early flight was uneventful until the end.

“In fact, I think we’ve landed It’s kind of got that bumpy -. [As] when the wheels touch the ground – and you know, that ‘dunk.’ And then rose sharply, up, up, up, and everybody’s like, ‘Oh, I do not think we came to being.’ ”

He said they flew for 15 minutes or more before the announcement was made, telling them they would Anchorage.

“[There is] no information as to why we are going to Anchorage, and do not go back to Vancouver,” he said.

Another diversion

Rogers said the passengers were still in the dark once the plane landed in Alaska. After about half an hour on the tarmac, they were told that they would spend the night.

“Then they did not tell us if we’ll just sleep on a chair in the security area, or whether we will really be able to leave. I do not think we can leave without a passport.”

The passengers were staying at a local hotel for the night. Rogers has no complaints there – he said in Anchorage hotel staff were very friendly and helpful, and in fact, is more beneficial than Air Canada.

He said on Tuesday, it was frustrating trying to figure out what was going on.

“The man who drove us to the airport has more information on Air Canada people.”

In a follow-up email, the airline called “low ceiling” in Whitehorse that might have made landing unsafe. The city has been overcast with periods of snow in the last few days.

The flight finally left Anchorage on Tuesday and headed to Whitehorse – but once again, the weather prevented landing. The aircraft went to Vancouver for one night.

Passenger Roger Gauthier said the plane “could not believe it.”

“We flew over Whitehorse, we really could see the lights below,” he said.

Another Air Canada flights to Whitehorse also diverted back to Vancouver on Tuesday, and two more after that flight was canceled.

Gauthier says “total chaos” when they arrived back in Vancouver, as directed passengers through customs and told where to take the meal vouchers.

Arriving in Whitehorse on Wednesday, he said it was likely out several payday because of work missed. The main complaint, though, is being kept in the dark by Air Canada.

“Major drawbacks communication – since Monday,” he said.

New passenger protection rules

Air North, meanwhile, was able to fly scheduled Whitehorse. The company’s president Joe Sparling said that because the plane had GPS equipment that allows them to land in low visibility.

The new air passenger protection rules came into force on Sunday in Canada, dealing with compensation for delayed or canceled flight passengers – large airlines like Air Canada now have to pay passengers up to $ 1,000 for flights delayed more than nine hours.

According to regulations, airlines do not have to pay if the flight is delayed or canceled due to uncontrollable factors such as bad weather.

Lisa Schroeder, visiting Whitehorse from Manitoba, said on Wednesday that its long journey disappointing, but he did not really care.

“No one can control the weather, and we are very grateful that the pilot made a wise decision,” he said.

He said passengers were warned before takeoff on Wednesday that they still may not be able to land in Whitehorse, like the sky is still unclear.

“We just pray that God will open the doors so that we could have landed safely, and him. And we are very grateful,” he said.

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