Tag: Toronto Pearson YYZ

Whitehorse man claims Air Canada lost his dog, leading to 30-hour ordeal

News provided by CBC News – link to full story and updates

Airline says dog was not lost and it will reach out to Bobbie Milnes directly

CBC News · Posted: Aug 22, 2019

Bobbie Milnes and his dog Spruce. Milnes chose not to fly to Whitehorse when Spruce, who was checked in a crate, missed the flight that Milnes and his family were travelling on to Vancouver. (Submitted by Bobbie Milnes)

A Whitehorse man is frustrated and looking for compensation after being separated from his dog during a cross-country flight turned into a 30-hour ordeal.

Bobbie Milnes, his wife, and two daughters recently returned to Yukon after visiting relatives in Eastern Canada. Their flight path home, via Air Canada, was relatively simple: Toronto, to Vancouver, and up to Whitehorse.

Accompanying them, as he had several times, was their dog Spruce, who was in a crate and checked through to Whitehorse. 

However, when their Vancouver flight landed, Milnes says he was called to the front of the plane, where he was given some unwelcome news: Spruce wasn’t on their flight.

“They said: ‘your dog is on a flight, but it’s not your flight,'” he said. “It’s on its way now, but it won’t be here until just after midnight.”

Eventually, Milnes and Spruce were able to go to a hotel, but only had a few hours to rest before heading back to the Vancouver airport. (Submitted by Bobbie Milnes)

Milnes and his family, who landed around 7 p.m., had a tight connection to their Whitehorse-bound flight. The decision was made for Milnes to stay in Vancouver and wait for Spruce, while his wife and daughters continued on with their luggage.

Just after midnight, Milnes was reunited with Spruce, who “was a total mess,” Milnes said. 

“She was pretty upset … the crate was just soaked in I don’t know what. It was not good.”

Milnes and Spruce were both re-booked on the first flight to Whitehorse the next morning and Air Canada gave them a hotel room. They wouldn’t have much time to sleep — the next flight out was just after 7 a.m. — but that was just the beginning.

‘I could walk around with dignity’

Milnes returned to the airport at about 6 a.m. to check Spruce in for the flight. Without any luggage, he used his belt as a leash and fed her bacon and eggs from a sandwich.

However, the pair received unwelcome news at the check-in counter — the early flight to Whitehorse was full. 

Frustrated, Milnes asked to speak with a manager.

“I said, you know, I’m sorry, but I’m tired, I’m stressed, I was supposed to be on this flight,” he said. “My dog was missing, I’ve been separated from my family, all of these things.

“And she looked at me and said, “Sir, that was the past. This is the present.'”

Unsatisfied, Milnes spoke with another manager — and then another one. On his third attempt, the manager listened to his concerns, Milnes said, and provided him with a leash for Spruce, allowing him to put his belt back on.

“I could walk around with dignity. And my dog.”

With his luggage home with his family in Whitehorse, Milnes used his belt as a leash for Spruce. (Submitted by Bobbie Milnes)

That manager booked Milnes and Spruce on a 2:30 p.m. flight home and gave them a day room in a hotel.

“So, in the end, by the time I landed, [it] was about 30 hours,” he said. “What should have been a seven-hour travel experience was about 30 hours.”

Airline says dog wasn’t lost

In a statement, Air Canada said “this passenger’s dog was never lost,” but was “inadvertently not boarded on the same flight as the passenger.” The airline said it would be reaching out directly to Milnes.

Milnes said he did receive an apology over the phone from Air Canada, but disputes the airline’s claim that his dog was not lost at the Toronto airport.

“They lost it in Pearson,” he said. “They didn’t have it on our flight.”

He said he’s seeking financial compensation.

“In the end, they could provide no assurances of what would happen to our dog. Obviously, we couldn’t trust them anymore.”

Check pets as cargo, says expert

John Gradek, a lecturer in aviation management at McGill University, suggests that Air Canada passengers ship their pets as cargo. (McGill University)

John Gradek, a lecturer in aviation management at McGill University, says there are “very little statutory rules” for airlines when it comes to dealing with a live animal checked as luggage.

The animals are held with other baggage, he explained, with no facility to provide special handling. Airlines have their own internal rules, but many do not handle the animals in any way, he said, to prevent potential escapes from crates.

This doesn’t change even if the animal is delayed in their trip, he said.

“They don’t know if that dog’s been there two hours, four hours, 12 hours, 18 hours,” he said. “They have no way of knowing.”

Instead, Gradek recommends that pets be shipped via Air Canada cargo, which he says “has done a great job” in defining their processes around shipping live animals. Passengers can request that their pet be shipped on their same flight, he said.

The option may be more expensive and requires checking in and picking up the animal at the cargo terminal, “but from a pet care perspective, the Air Canada cargo option is what I would do when I’m travelling with my dog,” Gradek said.

As for Spruce, Milnes said she’s “recovering,” and that everything is getting back to normal. 

Will he fly with Air Canada again?

“Certainly not with the dog,” he said. “I think that is an achievable goal, never flying Air Canada with a dog again.”

Written by Garrett Hinchey, with files from Elyn Jones, George Maratos

Hey Honduras! WestJet welcomes Roatán to its network

Provided by WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership

Airline brings snorkelling and diving paradise to its guests this winter from Toronto

CALGARY, Aug. 22, 2019 /CNW/ – WestJet today announced it will be adding Roatán, Honduras to its Caribbeandestinations with its new non-stop seasonal service from Toronto starting December 15.

WestJet today announced it will be adding Roatán, Honduras to its Caribbean destinations with its new non-stop seasonal service from Toronto starting December 15. (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)
WestJet today announced it will be adding Roatán, Honduras to its Caribbean destinations with its new non-stop seasonal service from Toronto starting December 15. (CNW Group/WESTJET, an Alberta Partnership)

“With the addition of the snorkelling paradise of Roatán to our network, WestJet guests now have convenient access to 14 Caribbean destinations non-stop from Toronto this winter,” said Arved von zur Muehlen, WestJet Chief Commercial Officer. “Roatán is home to miles of coastline featuring barrier reefs, white sand beaches and turquoise waters and is a bucket list getaway that we can’t wait for our guests to explore starting this December.”

“We congratulate WestJet on this new service to the beautiful island of Roatán,” said Scott Collier, Vice President of Customer and Terminal Services, Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA). “Toronto Pearson is proud to be a part of WestJet’s continued growth and we are sure our passengers will be excited to discover this part of the world, thanks to WestJet.”

“We at the Bay Islands Tourism Bureau are so happy to know WestJet will be servicing Roatán as we love to see our friends from the north visit and look forward to working with the premier Canadian airline,” said Mike Carter, Vice-President, Bay Islands Tourism Bureau. “From the beginning of our talks, all the way through the process, the cooperation and communication from all involved has been amazing.  A special thanks to our political and business stakeholders and the entire WestJet team as we have the foundation of a great partnership for growth and service.”

The new service will be operated on WestJet’s Boeing 737 aircraft featuring the airline’s Premium and Economy cabins. Flights are timed to optimize connectivity to WestJet’s Toronto hub and provide for WestJet Rewards accumulation and redemption along with additional benefits for WestJet Rewards top tier members.

Details of WestJet’s service between Toronto and Roatán:

Once weekly9:30 a.m.1:11 p.m.December 15, 
Once weekly2:10 p.m.7:27 p.m.December 15, 

*Subject to government approval

For more information on new routes and increased frequencies in WestJet’s 2019/2020 winter schedule, please visit westjet.com/flight-schedules-new.

Additional Quotes:
“We are very excited to welcome WestJet to our airline family. Canadian travellers are discovering Roatán and are some of our most dedicated repeat guests. There is also a large expat community of Canadians that live on the island either full or part-time. So, WestJet passengers, Welcome, Bienvenido, Bienvenu, Benvenuto, to our home,” said Syntia Solomon, President Bay Islands Tourism Bureau, Mayor Jerry Hynds, Governor Dino Silvestri, and Congressman Ron McNab.

Sunwing returns to the island of Tobago this winter following successful inaugural season

Provided by Sunwing Vacations Inc/Globe Newswire

TORONTO, Aug. 19, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Following an immensely successful inaugural season in 2018/2019, Sunwing has announced it will be returning to Tobago this winter with weekly direct flights from Toronto. Sunwing is the only Canadian leisure carrier to offer direct flights to this tropical destination, with flights operating weekly from December 19, 2019 until April 16, 2020. Sunwing’s direct flight service to Tobago has had a positive effect in the island’s tourism industry, with arrivals increasing throughout Sunwing’s inaugural season.

President of Tour Operations for Sunwing, Andrew Dawson, commented on the news, “We are excited to be returning to the island of Tobago for a second season and offering residents of the Greater Toronto Area with even more ways to Vacation Better. We’re certain that the island’s lush landscapes, untouched beaches and tropical rainforests will continue to be a big draw for our customers this coming season.”

“The return of Sunwing’s winter service to Tobago is great news for tourism in Tobago,” added Louis Lewis, CEO for the Tobago Tourism Agency. “This follows a very strong performance for the inaugural season in 2018/19 where our overall arrivals increased by 10%. We welcome the service and look forward to building a strong partnership with the airline to support growing arrivals from the Canadian market.”

Sunwing Vacations Inc

The smaller of two islands that make up the nation of Trinidad and Tobago, Tobago is known for its lush landscapes, breathtaking beaches and vibrant culture. Vacationers who choose to visit this picturesque destination can spend their time soaking up the sun on pristine beaches, snorkelling alongside exotic marine life or discovering the island’s unique tropical landscapes on a Sunwing Experiences excursion.

Travellers can choose from numerous resorts on the island with options for all ages, tastes and budgets. The family-friendly Starfish Tobago Resort offers comfortable accommodations in a picturesque tropical setting, with an action-packed kids club and delicious dining options. Another popular resort on the island is Magdalena Grand Beach and Golf Resort. This luxurious property is located on an 18-hole championship course designed by the PGA and offers breathtaking ocean views.

Technical issue that caused delays at Pearson airport now resolved

News provided by CBC News – link to full story and updates

Passengers travelling to the U.S. faced delays Friday into Saturday morning

CBC News · Posted: Aug 17, 2019 11:09 AM ET | Last Updated: an hour ago

Extra staff were in the airport handing out water and helping passengers, Pearson said in a tweet Saturday morning. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)

A nationwide U.S. Customs and Border Protection technical problem has been resolved after passengers travelling to the U.S. faced delays at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport early Saturday, the airport said.

Extra airport staff were on hand at Pearson on Saturday morning, handing out water and helping passengers, the airport said in a tweet.

Although the issue has been resolved, passengers “may still experience some delays as processing returns to normal,” said Beverly MacDonald, senior communications advisor, said in an email earlier in the day.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection experienced a temporary outage with its processing systems on Friday, the agency said.

On Friday evening, the agency said the affected systems were coming back online and travellers were being processed.

“There is no indication the disruption was malicious in nature at this time,” the agency said.

The agency said it was using “alternative procedures” to process international travellers during the outage.

Delays at Pearson airport after U.S. Customs and Border Protection IT outage

News provided by The Toronto Star – link to full story and updates – with a hint from P.N.

By Sherina Harris Staff Reporter Fri., Aug. 16, 2019

Passengers leaving for the U.S. from Pearson Airport experienced delays Friday evening due to a nationwide Customs and Border Protection IT issue.

The airport previously said it expected Friday to be its busiest day of the year, with more than 172,000 passengers expected.

As of just before 7 p.m., U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the affected systems are coming back online and a message on Pearson’s website confirmed that the disruption has been resolved.

“There is no indication the disruption was malicious in nature at this time,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a tweet.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection previously confirmed they were experiencing a “temporary outage” with their processing systems.

They said they were “taking immediate action to address the technology disruption” and are continuing to process international travellers using “alternative procedures.”

“CBP officers are working to process travelers as quickly as possible while maintaining the highest levels of security,” they said.

With files from Mississauga.com, Sherina Harris is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto.

How to survive the busiest travel day of the year at Pearson International

News provided by CTV News – link to full story and updates – with a hint from P.N.

Solarina Ho, with a report from CTV News’ Brandon Rowe
Published Friday, August 16, 2019

Travellers flying out of Toronto Pearson International Airport on Friday will need to plan ahead and gird themselves for what is expected to be the airport’s busiest travel day of the year, according to the Greater Toronto Airports Authority.

More than 170,000 passengers are expected to pass through the airport on Friday, breaking last year’s record of more than 160,000 passengers.

The GTAA recommends planning ahead, checking the traffic to the airport, and arriving early to give buffer time for the larger crowds.

For those travelling internationally, an eDeclaration app is available from Canada Border Services Agency, which can help save time when processing through Canadian customs.

The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) also has an app that allows travellers to check wait timesat major Canadian airport security screening checkpoints, as well as other information such as what is allowed or not allowed in carry-on and checked baggages.

Feeling overwhelmed about crowds and flying? The GTAA has you covered with a therapy dog program to help calm frayed nerves.

“If you’re an anxious flyer, you don’t really like crowds, St John Ambulance is part of our welcome team here. There’s 13 dogs that will walk up and down in some of the passenger areas and just give people a chance to pet the dogs, chill out a bit,” Robin Smith, GTAA media spokesperson told CTV News.

Pearson is ranked top five among the world’s most connected airports alongside London Heathrow, Chicago O’Hare, Frankfurt, and Amsterdam. The airport, a megahub for international travellers and the biggest gateway for Canadians heading abroad, is expecting a record-breaking 10.7 million passengers between the Canada Day and Labour Day long weekends, the GTAA said.

Air Canada Announces First Two New Routes To Be Operated With Game Changing Airbus A220-300

Provided by Air Canada/CNW

  • The only non-stop flights from Montreal-Seattle, and from Toronto-San Jose, California
  • Customers to benefit from modern, spacious new cabin interior
  • A220 technology reduces fuel consumption by 20 per cent per seat

MONTREAL, Aug. 14, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Canada today announced the first two new routes to be operated with the Airbus A220-300, the only non-stop service between Montreal and Seattle and between Toronto and San Jose, California, both beginning in spring 2020. As well, the carrier also provided a first look at the interior features of its newest aircraft, which will offer customers a choice of Business and Economy Class service, its newest in-flight entertainment system, onboard Wi-Fi and more.

Air Canada's two-class cabin on the A220 will have a total of 137 seats: 12 in a 2x2 configuration in Business Class and 125 in a 3x2 layout for Economy passengers. Every seat on the A220 features a Panasonic eX1 in-flight entertainment system with content available in 15 languages and featuring more than 1,000 hours of high-quality entertainment, including access to Bell Media’s premium entertainment service, Crave, and Canadian-based multi-platform audio service, Stingray. (CNW Group/Air Canada)
Air Canada’s two-class cabin on the A220 will have a total of 137 seats: 12 in a 2×2 configuration in Business Class and 125 in a 3×2 layout for Economy passengers. Every seat on the A220 features a Panasonic eX1 in-flight entertainment system with content available in 15 languages and featuring more than 1,000 hours of high-quality entertainment, including access to Bell Media’s premium entertainment service, Crave, and Canadian-based multi-platform audio service, Stingray. (CNW Group/Air Canada)
Air Canada announced the first two new routes to be operated with the Airbus A220-300, the only non-stop service between Montreal and Seattle and Toronto and San Jose, California, beginning in spring 2020. (CNW Group/Air Canada)
Air Canada announced the first two new routes to be operated with the Airbus A220-300, the only non-stop service between Montreal and Seattle and Toronto and San Jose, California, beginning in spring 2020. (CNW Group/Air Canada)

Special introductory fares from Montreal to Seattle start as low as $315 CDN one-way, all in, and fares from Toronto to San Jose starts as low $297 CDN one-way, all in. Tickets are now available for purchase at aircanada.com or through travel agents until August 28 for travel between May 4 and July 31, 2020.

“This aircraft is a game changer for Air Canada as there is simply no rival in this category. The A220 will further strengthen our position on transborder and transcontinental markets and be instrumental in our continued growth. Our customers will benefit from innovative design features in a spacious and comfortable cabin. When connecting through our hubs across Canada onward to international destinations, customers travelling on an A220 will benefit from a virtually seamless cabin experience offering the same level of service and comforts as on a widebody aircraft,” said Mark Galardo, Vice President of Network Planning at Air Canada. “The two routes announced today are the first of many future possibilities as the A220 will allow us to further develop our North American network, offering customers new routes and more robust year-round schedules.

Air Canada

“With these two new non-stop routes, Air Canada is deepening its transborder network. This includes strengthening our position in the Seattle market by providing yet another key link for business and leisure travellers with service from Montreal, complementing our existing non-stop service there from Toronto and Vancouver. And with our new Toronto-San Jose route, we are increasing our presence in the Bay Area, adding to our many flights into San Francisco in addition to our existing service to San Jose from Vancouver. Customers from Canada now have another gateway to the Bay Area and Silicon Valley,” said Mr. Galardo.


Air Canada will begin the only daily year-round flights to Seattle from Montreal on May 4, 2020, complementing existing services to Seattle from Toronto and Vancouver.

Flights are timed to provide connectivity in Montreal to and from Europe and North Africa including Casablanca, Paris, Nice, Lyon, Algiers, London, Frankfurt, Geneva, Rome, Dublin and more.

FlightDepartsArrivesDays of Week
AC 565Montreal 17:55Seattle 20:45Daily
AC 564Seattle 08:35Montreal 16:34Daily

Toronto-San Jose

The only year-round, daily service to San Jose from Toronto starts May 4, 2020, complementing existing services from Vancouver to San Jose.

Flights are timed so customers can connect through Toronto on Air Canada’s wide-ranging domestic network, allowing easy connections to another Silicon Valley city.

FlightDepartsArrivesDays of Week
AC 765Toronto 08:55San Jose 11:28Daily
AC 766San Jose 12:15Toronto 20:10Daily

Customers can collect and redeem Aeroplan Miles through Canada’s leading loyalty program when travelling with Air Canada, and eligible customers have access to priority check-in, Maple Leaf Lounges, priority boarding and other benefits. Eligible connecting international customers departing Toronto Pearson International Airport have access to Air Canada’s Signature Suite, recognised as the World’s Best Business Class Dining Experience by Skytrax.

About the Air Canada A220-300

Air Canada

Air Canada’s first Airbus A220-300, built at Airbus Canada’s Mirabel facility employing 2,500 people, is scheduled to be delivered later this year. Each A220 includes parts from 30 Canadian suppliers.

Air Canada will be the first North American carrier to operate the larger A220-300 version of the aircraft, which has a range of 3,200 nautical miles.

To be initially deployed from Montreal and Toronto on existing Canadian and transborder routes such as to Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton and New York – La Guardia, the A220-300 will open new markets such as the Montreal-Seattle and Toronto-San Jose flights announced today.

The two-class cabin will have a total of 137 seats: 12 in a 2×2 configuration in Business Class and 125 in a 3×2 layout for Economy passengers. Customers will have more personal space thanks to the widest economy seats in the fleet, and the largest overhead stowage bins for an aircraft this size.

Additional features include larger windows and full-colour LED ambient and customizable mood lighting that contribute to reducing fatigue while travelling. The high ceilings, extra shoulder room and storage make this an unparalleled interior in the narrow-body segment.

Every seat on the A220 features a Panasonic eX1 in-flight entertainment system with content available in 15 languages and featuring more than 1,000 hours of high-quality entertainment, including access to Bell Media’s premium entertainment service, Crave, and Canadian-based multi-platform audio service, Stingray.

The A220 will come equipped with satellite based high speed connectivity for Wi-Fi access with USB A, USB C, and AC power available to every passenger.

The A220 will also further Air Canada’s environmental commitment, with the innovative Pratt & Whitney PurePower PW1500G geared turbofan engines projected to yield a 20 per cent reduction in fuel consumption per seat and NOx emissions 50 per cent below CAEP/6 standards. The A220 is also the quietest aircraft in its category thanks to its new technologies.

Learn more about the A220-300 on our special web page. 

WestJet flight bound for Toronto returned to Calgary after hitting bird

News provided by Global News – link to full story and updates

13 August 2019 By Heide Pearson, Online Journalist,  Global News

A WestJet plane takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Vancouver on Monday, May 13, 2019.
A WestJet plane takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Vancouver on Monday, May 13, 2019.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

An airplane and its 165 passengers were forced to turn back to Calgary on Tuesday afternoon after the plane hit a bird.

According to WestJet, flight WS660 bound for Toronto struck a bird when taking off and as a precaution, turned around landed back in Calgary. Emergency vehicles were also called as a precaution, WestJet said.

The plane was taken out of service for a maintenance inspection and the passengers were brought back to the gate to await a different flight. There were no injuries reported and the plane had a safe landing.

It’s expected the passengers will be departing at 2:30 p.m., spokesperson Morgan Bell said, making for about a five-hour delay.

Bell said the maintenance inspection is routine after a bird strike, adding that a bird can do considerable damage to an aircraft. Bell did not know whether the plane in Tuesday’s incident sustained any damage.

Bell said passengers often don’t know the plane they’re on has hit a bird, and said there were no reports of commotion on Tuesday when WS660 hit the bird.

The Calgary Airport Authority confirmed a plane was turned around “as a precaution,” but did not provide any more details.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

GTAA Reports 2019 Second Quarter Results: Continued Strong Commercial Revenues at Toronto Pearson

Provided by Greater Toronto Airports Authority/CNW

TORONTO, Aug. 8, 2019 /CNW/ – The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (“GTAA”) today reported its financial and operating results for the three- and six-month periods ended June 30, 2019.  Passenger activity increased at 3.0 per cent during the first six months of 2019 as compared to the same period of 2018.  This growth was due to increased aircraft load factor, aircraft size and flights on existing routes, and is reflective of the economic strength of the Greater Toronto Region, and the role of Toronto – Lester B. Pearson International Airport (“Toronto Pearson”) as Canada’s largest airport and North America’s second busiest airport in terms of international passengers.

“With service to 163 international destinations, we were recently named the most international airport in North Americaby OAG Aviation Worldwide Limited, and total traffic continued to grow over the first half of the year by 3.0 per cent to a record-setting 24.5 million passengers,” said Howard Eng, President and CEO, Greater Toronto Airports Authority.  “In addition to connecting to the world, we also remain focused on strengthening our communities with integrated transit solutions, environmental initiatives and programs to build social well-being.  We are not just here to provide connections, but also to help advance economic growth, sustainable development and access to opportunity, and our passengers and the region can count on Pearson to do just that.”

During the three-month period ended June 30, 2019, 12.8 million passengers travelled through Toronto Pearson, representing an increase of approximately 400,000 passengers or 3.2 per cent, as compared to the same period in 2018.  During the six-month period ended June 30, 2019, a total of 24.5 million passengers travelled through the Airport, representing an increase of 800,000 passengers or 3.0 per cent, as compared to the same period in 2018.  Passenger activity in the international sector increased by approximately 600,000 passengers reflecting 3.9 per cent growth and the domestic sector increased by approximately 200,000 passengers reflecting 1.3 per cent growth, over the same period in 2018.

The GTAA recorded net income of $36.9 million for the second quarter and $47.8 million for the first half of 2019, compared to $37.2 million and $20.4 million in the comparable 2018 periods, respectively (excluding one-time interest and financing items incurred in the first quarter of 2018, adjusted net income was $47.8 million in 2019 compared to $46.5 million in 2018).  Net income was negatively impacted in the first quarter of 2018 by the early retirement of debt charge of $28.7 million from the early redemption of Series 2009-1 Medium Term Notes.  As at June 30, 2019, the GTAA has reduced its gross debt per enplaned passenger and net debt per enplaned passenger by (0.4) per cent and (0.8) per cent to $259 and $240 when compared to the same period in 2018, respectively.

For the three- and six-month periods ended June 30, 2019, the GTAA reported total revenues of $370.9 million and $733.3 million, representing increases of $11.8 million and $25.7 million from the same periods in 2018, respectively.  The continued growth in revenues was a reflection of increases in commercial revenues and passenger growth.   The increase in commercial revenues was due to increased passenger growth, commercial advertising and sponsorship, parking and ground transportation and to rental revenues generated by the Airway Centre Inc.

Total operating expenses reported during the three- and six-month periods ended June 30, 2019 for the GTAA were $260.8 million and $539.7 million, representing increases of $14.0 million and $33.1 million from the same periods in 2018 respectively.  The increases were primarily related to snow removal costs as a result of harsher winter weather conditions in 2019, increased staffing to manage passenger flow, increased costs related to additional investment properties acquired in the fall of 2018 and a higher depreciable asset base.  During the three- and six-months ended June 30, 2019, operating costs (including amortization) of $12.7 million and $20.8 million were incurred by the GTAA in support of government agencies to improve passenger flow, an increase of 39.2 per cent and 12.1 per cent, respectively, over the comparable periods of 2018.  These included direct and indirect operating costs to enhance services provided by the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Canada Border Services Agency.

Earnings before interest and financing costs and amortization (“EBITDA”) during the three- and six-months ended June 30, 2019 were $182.7 million and $337.4 million, representing increases of 1.4 per cent and 0.1 per cent from the same periods in 2018, respectively.

The GTAA’s June 30, 2019 financial results are discussed in more detail in the GTAA’s Condensed Interim Consolidated Financial Statements and Management’s Discussion and Analysis, each for the three- and six-months ended June 30, 2019, which are available at www.torontopearson.com and on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

The GTAA is the operator of Toronto Pearson International Airport.

‘It was horrible’: Sunwing passengers booked via FlightHub left stranded at the airport

News provided by CBC News – link to full story

Following a CBC News inquiry, airline reimburses the passengers

Sophia Harris · CBC News · Posted: Aug 04, 2019

Rolland Li and his fiancée, Hannah Ng, showed up at the Vancouver airport for their Sunwing flight, only to find out that it had been cancelled. Sunwing later sent Li an apologetic email and offered him a refund.(Submitted by Rolland Li)

When Chu Lisong Chang and her husband arrived at the Vancouver airport on June 24 to take their Sunwing flight to Toronto, they were shocked to discover that the plane had already left — four hours earlier.

Desperate to return home to Toronto, the couple paid $1,309 for two last-minute seats on an Air Canada flight. It didn’t depart until the next morning, so they spent the night in the airport terminal. 

“It was horrible,” said Chang.

She had never received a notification that her flight had been rescheduled, but when she confronted Sunwing and her online travel agency, FlightHub, neither company accepted any responsibility.

“It’s their fault but they’re blaming us,” she said. “What can we do?” 

Chu Lisong Chang of Toronto enjoyed her trip out west — until she arrived at the Vancouver airport to fly home and discovered she had missed her flight. (Submitted by Chu Lisong Chang)

Chang is one of two Sunwing passengers who complained to CBC News last month that they missed their flight — booked using FlightHub — because they didn’t get a flight change notification. 

At the time, both FlightHub and Sunwing wouldn’t accept any blame or offer refunds. 

However, following a CBC News investigation, Sunwing reversed its stance and offered to reimburse both customers. The airline said that although it had followed proper procedure, it was discovered that the passengers had never actually received their flight change information. 

Despite this revelation, neither Sunwing nor FlightHub has admitted any fault. Even so, the passengers are relieved they’re getting their money back. 

“I’ve waited so long,” said Chang, who will be reimbursed for her Air Canada tickets. “I’m feeling quite happy now with a little justice.”

Feeling ‘powerless’

When Chang initially tried to get answers in late June, she hit a brick wall. She said Sunwing insisted it had sent FlightHub her flight change information. 

Chang said FlightHub told her it had forwarded her the information, so it was her fault she missed the flight.

“They just washed their hands of [it].”

Rolland Li of Vancouver endured a similar experience. His troubles began when he and his fiancée, Hannah Ng, arrived at the Vancouver airport on June 28, and discovered their Sunwing flight to Toronto — booked using FlightHub — had been cancelled. 

Unable to afford pricey, last-minute tickets, the couple had no choice but to forgo their trip to visit Li’s parents.

“I felt horrible,” said Li. “When we got home, I honestly just started crying because I only get to see my family once or twice a year.”

Not only did Li never receive a notification about his cancelled flight, but also, he was never alerted that Sunwing had actually rebooked the couple on an Air Canada flight for the same dates. 

On top of that, neither Sunwing nor FlightHub would refund the couple’s Sunwing tickets — which cost $996.

“I just felt simply powerless,” said Li. “If the airline doesn’t want to do anything, and then the flight agency I dealt with doesn’t want to do anything, it just kind of seemed like I was out of options.”

‘We made best efforts’

When CBC News first asked Sunwing about Li’s and Chang’s cases, the airline said that it had done its job by notifying FlightHub about the passengers’ flight changes. 

FlightHub said it had passed on the notifications to the passengers.

However, several days later, Sunwing sent Li an apologetic email and offered him a refund.

Following a CBC News investigation, Sunwing has decided to reimburse two customers who missed their flights because they didn’t get notification about a schedule change. (Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press)

CBC News reached out again to Sunwing. The airline said that it had had “another opportunity” to review both cases and had determined that Li and Chang weren’t at fault. 

The airline said that although it had sent the correct information about the flight changes to FlightHub, somehow the passengers never received it. 

“While we maintain we made best efforts to advise our customers of these changes and did advocate on their behalf with their travel agency, we appreciate that their travel plans were compromised and sincerely regret the inconvenience they experienced,” said spokesperson, Rachel Goldrick. 

When asked for comment, FlightHub suggested Sunwing was to blame, claiming the airline didn’t properly enter the flight changes into a shared software system. 

“Sunwing did not send the changes through,” said Nick Hart, CFO of Montreal-based Momentum Ventures, which owns FlightHub.

Sunwing denied the accusation.

What are the rules?

While it could not comment on these specific cases, the Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) told CBC News that, in general, airlines are responsible for advising passengers of flight changes and cancellations.

Canada’s new air passenger regulations — which took effect a few weeks after these Sunwing cases — state that airlines must keep passengers informed about flight delays and cancellations.

Passengers who feel they weren’t provided with adequate notifications can file a complaint with the CTA.