Air Canada passengers stranded in Manchester now en route to Toronto
Air Canada has confirmed that the passengers stranded in Manchester for two days are now en route to Toronto.
The airline says it will be in touch with the affected customers for a full refund.
The flight to Toronto was scheduled to leave Friday, but Air Canada had said as many as 197 passengers would have to wait until Sunday before taking off.
In an email to The Canadian Press, Air Canada spokeswoman Isabelle Arthur says the airline apologizes for the extended delay and “we are sorry we’ve let our customers down.”
Canada’s largest airline was taking heat from the stranded passengers over the weekend.
One person tweeted: “Horrendous experience. Stuck in Manchester for 2 days and no one has been in contact to tell us what’s going on.”
Mechanical problems blamed for delay
Another tweet to Air Canada said: “A second night in Manchester … due to more flight delays. AirCanada this is not how to treat your passengers.”
Manchester residents Melanie Best and her husband had booked the flight with plans to attend a wedding celebration in Toronto. In an email to The Canadian Press late Saturday night, a frustrated Best described their long and trying ordeal.
She said they boarded the plane Friday after a two-hour delay, then sat on the tarmac for the next five hours while mechanics tried unsuccessfully to fix a hydraulic pump.
After the flight was finally cancelled, the passengers were put up in a hotel and instructed to return to the airport the following day.
However, after checking in again Saturday morning, Best said repeated delays kept her and the other passengers stuck in the airport lounge until the early evening.
Passengers stressed, angry
“Come 6 p.m., passengers were getting really stressed and angry and all gathering by customer information demanding more information,” she said.
According to Best, the passengers were told that the plane had finally been repaired and would be leaving at 8 p.m. But after departure time came and went, the passengers were then informed the flight had once again — this time due to flight crew issues — been cancelled, and rescheduled for Sunday.
“At this point, people were crying and disgusted beyond belief,” she said.
Arthur called the delay an “unfortunate situation” caused by mechanical problems and crew duty restrictions.