Air Canada issues apology and compensation to 10-year-old boy bumped off plane due to overbooking

The incident highlights the airline industry's controversial practice of overselling flights.

Air Canada issued an apology to Brett Doyle after bumping off his son from a overbooked flightGetty Images

Air Canada has issued an apology and offered a compensation after it bumped off a 10-year-old from a flight, the boy's father said on Monday (17 April).

Brett Doyle, the boy's father, said he had booked four tickets from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island in Canada to Costa Rica in August 2016. When he tried to check in his family online in March this year, a day before their holiday was to begin, he could not select a seat for his oldest son, Cole. The family were told at the airport that their son was bumped off the flight as it was overbooked.

"The agent told us that the plane only had 28 seats, but that 34 tickets had been sold. She said it was very unlikely that six people wouldn't show up for a flight over March break," Doyle was quoted by the Globe and Mail as saying.

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The family then drove to Moncton, New Brunswick, to catch another connecting flight to Montreal from where they were to fly to Costa Rica, but discovered at the airport that the flight was cancelled. They were forced to drive another two hours to Nova Scotia, Halifax and stay in a hotel overnight.

In an email, Isabelle Arthur, a spokesperson for Air Canada, said "We are currently following up to understand what went wrong and have apologised to Mr Doyle and his family as well as offered a very generous compensation to the family for their inconvenience," the publication reported.

The family arrived in Montreal finally and were able to make it to Costa Rica.

Doyle reportedly tried to reach out to the airline many times before and after the trip but to no avail.

"It wasn't until the media picked up the story that Air Canada actually contacted us," Doyle said. He was given a voucher for C$1,600 (£951) that expires in a year. He reportedly negotiated with the airline to increase the voucher to C$2,500 (£1,486) and expenses, but even that does not cover the cost of tickets for a family of four.

"Without sounding greedy, what I'd really like is to experience the trip we had planned for so many months and this voucher isn't going to do that," he said.

The incident highlights the airline industry's controversial practice of overselling flights and bumping off passengers.

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On 12 April, a passenger named David Dao was dragged from an overbooked plane in Chicago after he refused to be bumped off the flight.

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