A couple from Victoria, B.C., say they have yet to receive an explanation as to why they were dropped off a plane from Montreal Trudeau airport Tuesday night.
He said Josh Slackoff and his wife, Tara Sharp, were left stranded in Montreal after being ordered by the plane’s captain to be banned from boarding another Air Canada flight for the next 24 hours.
Slackoff said they were on their way to the UK for a memorial service.
“His grandmother had recently passed away so we were going to be there with the family. Our flight had a connection to Montreal,” he said.
They say they were sitting and waiting for a flight to London when a group of police officers boarded around 12:30 and began taking two people off the plane.
Slackoff said the plane was scheduled to depart on Monday night and although it was delayed, those on board were patient. Some felt like they were returning from Grand Prix weekend.
Slackoff said, “The front row of us was also removed, and it involved a couple who were in their 70s. I was completely shocked at the time. We didn’t know what was going on.” “
“Then the Air Canada attendant pointed to our line, and he told us we needed to leave too.”
By the time the two arrived at the airport, an Air Canada agent told them that the plane’s captain had asked for some people to be removed because they were drinking and not wearing masks.
But Slackoff says he doesn’t remember seeing any rowdy people on the plane, and that included him and his wife.
“We showed our masks, N95s, and I said to him, ‘What kind of mask would this look like if someone were refusing to wear a mask?'”
‘At the mercy of Air Canada’
Air Canada says it is now investigating the incident. He confirmed that a total of 25 people had been “aircrafted” from the flight.
“We understand that there are allegations that some unrelated persons were also deboarded during the evacuation of these passengers,” the airline said in an emailed statement.
“Some of these removed customers were rebooked this morning and are on their way to their final destination.”
But, as of Tuesday morning, Slackoff said it was still waiting to hear from someone.
He stayed at a hotel in the city after being stranded at the airport at 2:00 a.m., but now he may need to plan another night on the town. His belongings are in London.
“We are at the mercy of Air Canada at this point,” he said.
He and his wife were planning to stay with the family in London until the end of the month before returning to Victoria. They still plan to fly.
“You made a terrible mistake and I really want to see what you’re going to do to correct it,” Slackoff said.
It is not yet clear who the policemen were. The Montreal Police Service, SPVM, says the airport authority called 911 about the flight but “everything went smoothly and our officers didn’t have to intervene.”
The Canada Border Services Agency said it was “aware that several passengers had been removed from an outgoing flight” but that its officers “did not board the aircraft to remove the passengers.”
“CBSA’s involvement was limited to facilitating the re-entry of passengers to Canada,” the agency statement said.
The airport authority did not immediately return calls to CBC.