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A mother says her 14-year-old daughter was stranded at Toronto airport after Air Canada canceled her flight home: report

Air Canada Boeing 767.

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  • A girl was stranded at Toronto airport after her Air Canada flight was canceled, her mother told CBC News.
  • The girl asked Air Canada staff for help but says they turned her away twice, the mother told CBC News.
  • The airline said it gives priority assistance to young passengers but was dealing with flight cancellations on the day.

A 14-year-old girl was stranded at Toronto airport after Air Canada canceled her flight back home, her mother told CBC News.

Diomerys O’Leary told CBC News that she received an email January 18, saying her daughter’s flight from Toronto’s Pearson International Airport to St. John’s International Airport in Newfoundland and Labrador was canceled and rebooked for two days later.

Her daughter, Eva, was flying from the Dominican Republic – where she was visiting her father – to St. John’s International, and due to change planes at Pearson International, O’Leary told CBC News.

The email said the cancellation was because of staff disruption at St. John’s Airport, O’Leary told the broadcaster.

O’Leary said that her daughter asked Air Canada staff at Toronto for help but said that they turned her away twice, according to CBC News.

“What did they [Air Canada] expect for her to do? Sit on a bench, and sleep there for days and not even give her food, or anything?” O’Leary told CBC News.

O’Leary told CBC News that she managed to book an Airbnb, order an Uber, and send a food delivery to Eva that night.

O’Leary spent around two hours on the phone with Air Canada and got a flight for her daughter, scheduled for the next day, to Gander International Airport, another airport in Newfoundland and Labrador, she told CBC News.

CBC News reported that O’Leary provided a recording of the conversation she had with an airline employee, who recommended that Eva should try a different Air Canada desk in the airport.

Air Canada didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

The carrier told CBC News that it gives “priority assistance” to certain passengers including those who are disabled, elderly, and young, but it was experiencing “unexpected and abrupt” flight cancellations on the day that Eva was traveling and lots of customers needed assistance.

Air Canada told the publication that it’s not advisable for children to travel alone on connecting or international flights because of the possibility of disruption. CBC News reported that this advice isn’t written on their website or the booking form.

Air Canada’s website says the airline offers an “Unaccompanied Minor service,” whereby young travellers receive help from staff members until they arrive at their destination. However, it says this service is not available for connecting flights, such as Eva’s.

The airline’s general rules state that “the carrier will not assume any financial or guardianship responsibilities for unaccompanied minors beyond those applicable to an adult passenger.”

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