What would you do on a two hour 50 minute flight in a plane without a bathroom?
- Not fly?
- Ask for the plane to be diverted?
- Use a bag on the plane?
An incident on 30 April 2014, on an Air Canada Express flight from Deer Lake (YDF) on the west coast of Newfoundland to Wabush (YWK) in Western Labrador is being widely reported today. Air Canada Express is the brand name for “feeder flights” in Canada.
The flight operator (not Air Canada) reportedly substituted the regular plane due to a mechanical problem with the original plane. The replacement Beechcraft 1900 turbo prop had 19 seats and no lavatory. Passengers were advised of this fact at boarding and asked to avail themselves of the facilities at the airport, Air Canada reports.
A male passenger on board chose to utilise a bag to relieve his discomfort – twice. Another passenger has been reportedly upset about it and told the media. She is less upset with him than with Air Canada. My question is what is the airline to do? Not fly the service at all or do what they did and fly it sans restroom?
Something in her narration that shocked me was the cost of the 800 kilometre (489 mile flight). The passenger complained that it cost her $2400 for three round trip tickets. I did a flight search and sure enough, while I could find a discount ticket for $899 return, the fare sits around $1000.
The other thing I don’t understand is the Air Canada timetable shows this flight as having a stop in Goose Bay. This would indicate that there was possibly time to de-plane and use the facilities on the ground mid-flight? Anyone enlighten me?
Passenger ratings of Air Canada on the Skytrax site, sit at round 56% but they seem to have a real PR problem with lots of complaints about them in the Canadian media and on Facebook. They had an incident a month ago with staff throwing luggage which got major airplay. I gave the carrier four stars from my experiences with them over a seven year span but have not flown them for a couple of years now.
No Place for a Woman (Westjet)