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Passengers on delayed Air Transat flight allege mistreatment by staff


Several passengers scheduled to fly from the Dominican Republic to Toronto last Sunday took Air Transat to task on social media for its alleged handling of a mechanical issue that delayed the flight by a day.

“Unfortunately, we experienced an unforeseeable hydraulic leak on flight TS829 upon taxiing off and had to return to the gate,” Debbie Cabana, a spokeswoman for Air Transat told CBC News in an email. “The flight was not cancelled, arrangements were made to dispatch an alternate aircraft to operate the flight. During the delay, passengers were transferred to an all–inclusive hotel.”

Cabana added that “medical personnel was made available at the hotel as a precautionary measure” following the leak into the cabin, and that the airlineoffered a goodwill compensation of $ 250 per paying passenger.”

But some passengers are telling a different story.

Contradictory instructions

They claim the pilot and flight attendants were offering contradictory instructions, and that the crew was unprofessional and unable to maintain order during the gas leak.

In an interview with CBC News, Basel Sabbagh described the scene inside the plane as chaotic and said “things went downhill” after everyone was transported back to the terminal.

“All the parents wanted to know what it was their kids were inhaling, people were asking for water, for blankets for their kids,” Sabbagh said. “I saw one young mother asking for a blanket for her kid and the (Air Transat) representative said to her, ‘We can’t give you a blanket until a certain time has passed.'”

He alleges that the representative also told the woman she couldn’t give her any water, and that a couple of Air Transat employees laughed at her when she informed them that she had a panic attack on the plane.

But Air Transat’s Cabana maintains its crew “did strive to support passengers in a timely and professional fashion.”

Lawyer Sonia Mavrak, who was on the flight, said that “from a legal perspective (the incident) raised some red flags.”

“I will definitely explore and see if there are any legal ramifications,’ Mavrak said. “I don’t know if we’ll be taking legal action but I’ll definitely be exploring any options.”

CBC | Toronto News

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