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Burst tire just the start of travel nightmare for Air Canada passengers

GINELLA MASSA AND NEWS STAFF | posted Thursday, Jul 20th, 2017

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After a nearly two-day ordeal, passengers on an Air Canada flight are finally returning to Toronto.

On Monday, Air Canada flight RV1925 burst a tire during take-off from Gatwick Airport. Officials closed the runway for inspection and passengers were taken back to the airport while the plane was towed away.

Air Canada apologized for the inconvenience and said it was working to provide hotel rooms for the passengers.

That should have been the end of the story, but for several passengers, it was only the beginning.

Gurbux Tehar was one of the approximately 300 passengers on the flight.

Tehar said she and other passengers spent hours at the airport only to be shuttled to a hotel that didn’t have the space to accommodate them.

“First they were saying they got the hotels for us near Gatwick, but at the end they didn’t have the hotels for us there and they had to send us to Heathrow,” she explained.

Tehar said they were then shuttled to Heathrow, but were taken to the wrong hotel.

“They dropped us off at the Hilton hotel. We waited there an hour and then they said, ‘We don’t have any bookings for you guys,’” she said.

The group then had to walk to another hotel, dragging their suitcases behind them.

An Air Canada spokesperson said the delay and cancellations caused by the burst tire meant thousands of people were stranded at Gatwick and scrambling for hotel rooms.

“Due to the high number of flights cancelled yesterday at Gatwick there were thousands of travelers at the airport during the day also looking for hotel rooms and we are sorry if some passengers arrived at hotels that were already full,” the airline said in a statement to CityNews.

“We informed them to keep all receipts so that we can refund them of any expenses.”

Tehar said she’ll think twice next time about flying with Air Canada.

“I have to travel, but it might not be (with) Air Canada; it might be a different flight,” she said. “Two days. I wasted two days down there, running around,” she said.

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