Derrin Espinola, 15, was traveling alone earlier this month when he missed his flight to Thunder Bay from Toronto because his first flight out of Denver was delayed.
According to the teen and his mom, Air Canada rebooked him on a flight the following day at 6 p.m. but did not offer him any hotel accommodations or vouchers for food.
Because he’s a minor, Derrin was unable to check himself into a nearby hotel, let alone get there by himself. So he was stranded and scared all night…
In an interview with CBC News, he recalled:
“I was trapped in the airport and there was nowhere I could go. I could not leave. I could not get a hotel, because I am a minor. It was like being held prisoner.”
He said he spent part of the night trying to get help at airline service desks to no avail, before he just focused on staying awake for fear of being robbed:
“I was very hungry, very tired, very scared. I didn’t know really what was going to happen to me.”
During this whole ordeal, the teen’s mom, Karin Patock, said she spent 10 hours on the phone with the company trying to make arrangements for her son.
She’s understandably upset considering Air Canada “rebooked him like any other person” in “one of the biggest airports in Canada, all by himself.” Ultimately, they paid out of pocket for Derrin to get out of there on a different airline.
She said Air Canada claimed to be unable to help because the airport was under construction.
In a statement, the travel company said they were looking into the incident and would be “reaching out to the family”:
“It has been a challenge with the ongoing runway construction at Toronto Pearson, which was also compounded by severe weather conditions last week in the Toronto-Montreal-Ottawa and surrounding areas, including recent adverse conditions in Thunder Bay.”
The days of stress-free traveling appear to be long gone!
[Image via Air Canada/Instagram.]