'Scariest time of my life': Another woman left alone on empty Air Canada plane
Just days after news broke of a woman being left alone on board an Air Canada flight, another woman has come forward with a similar experience.
Pamela Prescod, a 69-year-old woman from Guelph, Ont. who is visually impaired and has several other health issues, landed at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport on April 6 following a three-month vacation in Barbados.
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She needed help filling out the customs forms and required a wheelchair to leave the Air Canada Rouge aircraft, so she says the crew on-board told her to wait in her seat and they would come back to help.
The staff never returned.
“(I was) scared because I have all these health issues,” she told CTV News Kitchener. “I didn’t even have a cell phone to call for help.”
“The scariest time of my life was there.”
Prescod said she sat there for an about an hour until a maintenance worker noticed her. She said the mechanic told her had he not been there, she might have been stuck in the plane for several hours until a cleaning crew arrived.
In a statement to CTV News, Air Canada blamed “a miscommunication among crew” for the incident and adds that video shows Prescod was alone in the aircraft for 10 to 15 minutes.
“Following this incident, we undertook to review our protocols with respect to on-board service,” Air Canada wrote in the statement. “This involves reinforcing our procedures by more specifically designating responsibilities among crew members to ensure consistent and proper care and handling of all customers, especially those with special needs.”
Air Canada has issued Prescod an apology and refunded her the cost of her ticket. They also offered her a $500 voucher for future travel.
“I don’t think a plane ticket is good enough,” Prescod said. “I was traumatized.”
Michell Knight, one of Prescod’s daughters, came to pick her mother up that day and said the whole ordeal was worrying to say the least.
“She’s the only mom I have and if something were to happen to her, that’s a hard loss,” she said.
Prescod’s story comes just days after Tiffani O’Brien came forward with a similar experience with Air Canada. During a flight from Quebec City to Toronto earlier this month, O’Brien said she was left on the plane after falling asleep.
In this case, O’Brien said the plane had moved off the loading dock and had been parked with all its lights turned off. She was eventually spotted by crew members on the ground.
“How could it happen twice in three months if they’re taking the necessary precautions?” said Prescod’s other daughter Debbie Louttet.
“How many more have Air Canada just left? How many more times have they dropped the ball?”
Knight added that she expects these two incidents to be a wake-up call for Air Canada.
“I hope Air Canada realizes they have a commitment to their clients and a responsibility that we are safe, and I hope they do have to face public accountability,” she said.
Prescod’s daughters said that moving forward, they will no longer let their mother travel alone.