Air Canada Flight Turns Into 4 Days of Chaos, Lost Bridesmaid Dress

  • A maid of honor flying to her sister’s wedding in Greece says Air Canada lost her dress.
  • Then, her trip back to the US turned into a 4-day ordeal after multiple flight delays and cancellations.
  • That same week, Air Canada announced it would cut 150 flights per day through July and August.

A maid of honor flying from Minneapolis to her sister’s wedding in Greece this June says Air Canada lost her bridesmaid dress, canceled flights, and turned what was supposed to be a 24-hour trip home into a four-day travel “nightmare.”

The passenger, Kailey Hagen, made it back to her 17-month-old son two days later than planned after a friend who is a pilot picked up her and her husband Ryan on a four-seater plane and flew them home through a thunderstorm, she told Insider.

“That might sound scary, but my relief at never having to fly Air Canada again overwhelmed all my other emotions,” Kailey said.

The couple’s story is one of thousands of trips upended as understaffed airlines struggle to handle this summer’s explosive travel demand. On June 30, the same week the Hagen’s return flight was delayed, Air Canada announced it would remove 150 flights per day from the remainder of Its summer schedule in order to cut down on passenger volume.

A spokesperson for Air Canada said the airline deals with their customers “directly” and that they “understand how important it is for customers to arrive with their bags and how frustrating and disappointing it is when journeys are interrupted.”

“All parts of the global air transport ecosystem must work well in order for the overall journey to be smooth,” they added. “We continue to work very hard both internally and in cooperation with our partners to further improve the entire air transport ecosystem. “

Flying over the Michigan shoreline heading into the thunderstorm (left) and lost baggage piling up at the Athens airport (right).

Flying over the Michigan shoreline heading into the thunderstorm (left) and lost baggage piling up at the Athens airport (right).

Courtesy of Kailey and Ryan Hagen

Kailey said the initial issue of her lost baggage “put a lot of stress” on her and her sister (the bride) as “the entire bridal party had to scour the island for a replacement dress” the day before the wedding.

But the real chaos began during the Hagens’ journey back to the US, when their flight from Athens to Montreal was delayed by 3 hours, causing them to miss their connecting flight to Minneapolis. Following the delay, Air Canada rebooked their flight and added a Second layover in Toronto.

“Instead of arriving in Minneapolis on 8 Sunday night, we’d now be getting in about 1:30 pm Tuesday pm after staying overnight in Montreal, flying to Toronto Monday, and staying overnight there,” she said, noting an Air Canada employee said their 6.5-hour wait for support was a regular occurrence lately.

“By the time we reached the counter, we’d been awake for 30 hours straight. We were rewarded for our patience with the only helpful Air Canada employee we encountered on our entire trip,” Kailey continued. “She seemed genuinely upset when she heard our story … She also got us hotel, transportation, and food vouchers. But she wasn’t able to find us a better flight.”

The next morning, they finally landed in Toronto after yet another round of delays — only to find that their last flight to Minneapolis had been canceled. Air Canada automatically rebooked them onto a Wednesday morning flight to Philadelphia with a connection to Minneapolis leaving in the afternoon .

“By this point, we’d been away from our 17-month-old son for over a week and for over 24 hours longer than we should’ve been gone,” Kailey told Insider. “We had to struggle to arrange childcare while at the same time figuring out how we were going to get home. We decided we could no longer trust Air Canada, so we took matters into our own hands.”

After scouring the airport for a rental car, the Hagen’s drove four hours from Toronto to Flint, Michigan, where their pilot friend picked them up.

They got back to their house in Wisconsin at 10 pm on June 28, she said, adding almost two full days of additional air travel. Then, because their car was still parked at the airport in Minneapolis, they made an eight-hour round- Trip drive the next day to pick it up. Overall, the whole ordeal took four days.

In an email to customers sent June 29, Air Canada’s CEO Michael Rousseau apologized for recent delays and said the airline is working to improve.

“Regrettably, things are not business as usual in our industry globally, and this is affecting our operations and our ability to serve you with our normal standards of care,” Rousseau wrote. “Around the world, there are recurring incidents of flight delays and airport congestion, resulting from a complex array of persistent factors impacting airlines and our partners in the aviation ecosystem.”

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