Competing airline offers L.A. tickets to family refused Cuba vacation refund
Jackie Dunham, CTVNews.ca
Published Friday, May 12, 2017 8:09AM EDT
A Calgary family denied a refund for a trip to Cuba after an unexpected pregnancy will still be able to enjoy a nice getaway together thanks to the generosity of a competing airline.
The Aburtos had planned to fly to Cuba on Thursday, but their plans were derailed when Leslie Aburto discovered she was pregnant in the days leading up to their departure date.
Cuba is still fighting the spread of the mosquito-borne Zika virus, which can cause serious birth defects in the fetus if a pregnant woman becomes infected.
Leslie and her husband Wilfredo were unwilling to take a chance on the health of their future child, so they decided to cancel their trip. When Sunwing told them it was against their policy to issue refunds or transfer tickets for last-minute cancellations, the Aburtos thought they would be out more than $6,000.
But a manager at Air Canada in Calgary heard about their story and took pity on the family of four.
“It just tugged at my heartstrings and I just thought we would see what we could do to help them,” Mark Dantu told CTV Calgary on Thursday.
Air Canada offered the Aburtos free tickets to Los Angeles, Calif. and the family gladly accepted. Now, Leslie and Wilfredo will be taking their 17-month-old son to Disneyland on Friday, while their eldest son is in Cuba for the original vacation.
All in all, the family will only lose approximately $3,000 on the Sunwing package and they will still be able to enjoy a trip away together.
“You know, we’re just overjoyed,” Leslie said. “There are no words to even really describe it.”
With a report from CTV Calgary’s Kamil Karamali