Woman misses cruise after Air Canada bumps her off overbooked flight

Air Canada
Air Canada

A woman missed a dream cruise to the Galapagos Islands after Air Canada bumped her off an overbooked Toronto to Miami flight she had booked two months in advance.

Vicki Russell then missed her connecting flight for the $10,000 (£5,780) cruise.

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Speaking to CBC, she said: "I was so upset, I thought I was going to cry. Air Canada caused me to miss the trip of a lifetime."

Retired lawyer Russell said she had always wanted to visit the remote destination, which only allows small groups of travellers to visit the islands in two to four hour shifts to protect its unique wildlife.

Russell explained that she was supposed to meet with her tour group in Miami to continue the journey to the Galapagos but after checking in for the first leg of her flight from Toronto in early April, she was then told two hours later at the boarding gate that the flight was overbooked and she wouldn't be allowed to board as she didn't have a valid ticket.

She said she was "extremely upset" as Air Canada has already checked in her luggage for a $25 fee and issued her a ticket.

"The woman could not have been more rude, hostile," she said. "In all my years of travelling, I have never had a travel person treat me so badly."

Vicki had all her travel documents and asked her tour company to email her the receipt to shore she had paid for the flights but the flight left without her.

She was sent to Air Canada customer service to find a new flight to Miami but there were no flights available that would allow her to make connection to the Galapagos Islands.

After filing a complaint with Air Canada, she received $800 (£463) in compensation.

Lindblad Expeditions, which organised the $10,000 National Geographic cruise, came through for Ms Russell and offered to rebook her onto another expedition free of charge, including the Miami to Galapagos airfare.

However, Ms Russell thinks Air Canada should foot the bill of her trip and also wants an apology for the way she was treated.

An Air Canada spokesman said it had oversold the flight and told the BBC: "This is a very regrettable situation and we are sorry this occurred."