A family from Thornhill, Ontario alleged that neither their airline Air Canada nor rewards program Aeroplan took responsibility in getting them safely back home after they were left stuck in Florida following the mass shooting in Ft. Lauderdale last week – with their insurer also unable to help.
On Friday, Andrew and Rachel Laderman were set to return home that day with their two-year-old son Lev after spending two weeks visiting relatives, the beach, and Disney World.
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Their 11am flight was delayed, however, when the shooting incident erupted. CBC News
reported that the family spent the next 10 hours being shuffled between the tarmac and the terminal.
The Ladermans alleged that they could not find anyone from Air Canada to seek help from. They also alleged that representatives from Delta Airlines were giving out vouchers to customers later in the afternoon to explain how to rebook their travel arrangements.
The couple then tried to call Air Canada, but they ended up waiting for three hours before they could speak to an agent. The Ladermans were worried that their phones might run out of power, so they waited until they could leave the terminal—they made the call sometime after midnight.
When the couple managed to finally reach an agent, they were informed that because they booked their ticket using Aeroplan points, they would have to outline their issues with the rewards program instead.
They then reached out to Aeroplan, who redirected them back to Air Canada.
“So they were both going back and forth blaming each other,” Rachel Laderman said. “Nobody wanted to help us.”
Aeroplan later agreed to help the Ladermans, but pointed out that the next flight out of Ft. Lauderdale would not be until two weeks later, or between five and seven days at the very least. The family, however, could not afford to take another week of vacation, so Aeroplan offered to instead refund their points.
This developing predicament still left the Ladermans without a flight back home. Notably, their insurance would not cover for flights booked through a rewards program.
Eventually, the Ladermans gave in and purchased overpriced tickets from American Airlines that cost them over $1,800 just to return home.
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