Allegedly, Air Canada denied a passenger access to the onboard toilet when the flight was delayed by two hours, waiting to be taxied to the runway. The passenger unable to wait any longer had an accident in her seat and sat through the 7 hour journey from Bogota to Toronto.

Here is the sequence of events as narrated by the passenger;

  • She was traveling from Bogota to Dublin via Toronto on Air Canada.
  • The flight from Bogota to Toronto was delayed by two hours, waiting to be taxied to the runway. During the two hours, the passenger approached the staff several times to use the bathroom.
  • Having been denied access to the bathroom multiple times during the delay, the passenger had an accident while at her seat.
  • Humiliated and upset, the passenger sat in her seat for 7 hours of the journey to Toronto.
  • In Toronto,  the passenger decided to pay for a hotel to clean up and shower.
  • Upon reaching Dublin, the passenger shared her complaint with Air Canada and was offered a $500 airline voucher as compensation.

Here are some excerpts of her comments shared with DublinLive;

“I asked four times over a two-hour period if I could use the toilet and told a cabin crew member that it was an emergency and I was going to have an accident if they didn’t let me use the toilet.

“I was aggressively told to go to my seat and denied access to the bathroom eventually I had an accident.”

“On one of the many occasions when I asked to use the bathroom, I got out of my seat while the aircraft was still stationary and walked towards the toilet.

“I was aggressively told by who I assume was the head crew member to get back in my seat.

“I explained I had asked on several occasions to use the toilet and feared I was going to have an accident that I had already waited as long as I could but the plane wasn’t taking off or taxiing.

“That’s when the crew member named John screamed into my face ‘get back into your seat now ma’am’.”

“I was completely humiliated and visibly upset the cabin crew ignored me for the rest of the flight.

“When I was leaving the plane I looked for the different crew members who I had asked to use the toilet to left them know how disgusted I was at how they treated me but they had cowardly hid at the back of the plane.”

No matter how you slice and dice this story, the fact remains that common sense did not prevail and the airline/crew could have done many things differently. For starters, airline policies should accommodate for extenuating circumstances, especially when the same passenger begs multiple times to use a bathroom over two hours of delay. I cannot imagine being in such a position of helplessness and embarrassment, including the plight of fellow passengers.

I am all for giving the airline a benefit of doubt, but that Air Canada offered a compensation voucher shows poorly on their handling of the incident. Throwing money airline vouchers at allegations of human right violations is definitely not very Canadian.


Hat-Tip: @AirPassRightsCA

Title Image Source: Air Canada