Edmonton couple turned away by Flair Airlines after vacation ID stolen

An Edmonton man is seeking reimbursement – and answers – after being stranded in Kelowna after his girlfriend’s ID was stolen.

Eric Grouse was vacationing in British Columbia with his girlfriend, Roxanne Manuel, and his 15-year-old daughter. The day before their flight home, Manuel’s wallet, along with his ID card and all of the family’s bank cards, was stolen.

Grouse said he contacted Flair Airlines and told them Manuel only had photos of his birth certificate, health card and Métis status card. He adds that the representative initially said that only original documents would be allowed, but after explaining the situation, he was given the OK.

“His very last word was ‘Great,'” Grouse said. “So I’m like, ‘Perfect.’

“We are ready to go.”

They went to the airport early to make sure, Grouse said, but were told at the counter that Manuel couldn’t board. He said the agent didn’t give them any information on how they could find a solution, she just said no.

After checking with Air Canada, who Grouse said told them that a police report and the photos they had would be enough to board with them, the family filed a police report and returned, but the Edmonton man said they were told no again. He said they called Flair, and another agent told them it was the ticket agent’s choice to accept the documents, but even after getting the two reps to talk, Manuel was again repressed.

“It was confusing,” Grouse said. “Everything they said was contradicted by theirs – the next thing they say. It made no sense to me.

In an email, a spokesperson for Flair Airlines told CTV that all passengers should follow Canadian federal guidelines for identification, which are also posted on the airline’s website.

“It is truly unfortunate that our passengers lost their wallets and IDs on their travels.” Flair said, but gate agents don’t have the ability to override the regulations. CTV asked Flair what passengers should do if their IDs are stolen or missing, but the airline has yet to respond.

Grouse said they had no money and nowhere to go, and the airline didn’t offer help, so they sent Manuel’s daughter on the plane home alone. home.

“She was having panic attacks, anxiety through the roof,” Grouse said. “But she did it for us, because we didn’t want her on the streets with us in Kelowna.

“It was a nightmare.”

Grouse said the couple spent the night wandering the streets of Kelowna with their luggage before they were able to organize a car through her work. He said they were asking for a refund, but they also wanted to warn people that they could be left unprotected if something went wrong.

“I’ve never felt so hopeless in my life and I just thought there would be a little more compassion, a little more empathy for the situation.”

Eric Grouse (right) tells Joe Scarpelli that a police report wasn’t enough to convince Flair Airlines to let his girlfriend board with photos of her documents after her wallet was stolen. (CTV News Edmonton)

Dr Gabor Lukacs, chair of air passenger rights, said Grouse’s situation was delicate.

“It’s really one of the dire situations that I dread one day for someone that matters to me,” Lukacs said.

He adds that Canadian law allows the use of alternative ID with a police report, but they must be physical copies.

“I feel a lot for the passenger, and the only thing the airline should be held responsible for is giving him the wrong information over the phone,” Lukacs said. “It’s something that worries me.”

If someone has their ID stolen or lost while traveling, it’s best to send the original documents as soon as possible, Lukacs said. In international cases, an embassy can help with a missing passport, but there’s really nothing anyone can do in the Grouse case other than to have the documents sent.

Terms and conditions vary from airline to airline. Lukacs therefore cannot say whether Grouse will get his money back, but he said the conflicting information he was given was the best reason for a refund. come Grouse’s way. He adds that misinformation will be the best bet for getting a refund.

“If he had received the right information, he could have taken another course of action.

“It’s the only leg he can stand on.”

About Gene Schafer

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