VANCOUVER – Two sisters who were traveling to the Philippines for their grandfather’s funeral say they were turned back halfway by Air Canada.
Maranda and Marjory Reyes of Maple Ridge, British Columbia, had booked a flight to Manila with a stopover in Japan.
The first leg of the Jan. 7 trip went well, but when they arrived in Narita, gate attendants wouldn’t let them board their next flight due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“It was like we were intimidated to go back to Vancouver,” said Maranda Reyes.
The Philippines has placed strict restrictions on anyone entering the country. But the Reyes sisters, who were born there, checked and rechecked the entry requirements, and were assured by the Philippine Embassy that they had all the correct documents and were ready to go.
Airline agents in Vancouver also confirmed this, but Japanese staff disagreed.
“They just didn’t want to listen,” said Marjory Reyes. “It’s almost like everything we said, everything the embassy said, they didn’t seem to really care”
“They sent us away, took all of our things and started walking away from us so that we had no choice but to follow them and leave,” her sister added.
In a statement, Air Canada blamed a partner airline.
“These customers were denied (boarding) on their connecting flight to the Philippines by their next airline, ANA in Narita, Japan,” the airline wrote, adding that they were not allowed to. board due to a change in entry policy by the Philippine government.
But Maranda Reyes insists it was an Air Canada employee who refused to let them complete their trip.
“She had a tag. I took a photo of her tag, and she was the one talking to us all the time, ”said Maranda Reyes, who then showed CTV News the photo of the Air Officer’s ID. Canada.
“It was a lot. You know, we were so excited to come home. Our grandfather is the most important person in our life, ”she added.
The family are now booked on a flight with Philippine Airlines, and the carrier has confirmed the sisters have the correct papers.
The Reyeses want an apology from Air Canada and all their money.