cancelled flight pearson airport

Angry passengers spent 7 hours stuck on plane at Toronto airport before being booted off

A severe winter storm caused over 100 flight cancellations out of Toronto Pearson International Airport on Wednesday night, and a passenger who had the misfortune of being on one of these flights has some harsh words for Air Canada after spending an excruciating wait on a plane before his flight was eventually cancelled.

Ricardo Rapaport boarded Air Canada flight AC 90 from Toronto to São Paulo on Wednesday evening with a scheduled departure of 9:30 p.m., all as snow descended on the airport.

He emailed blogTO from the airplane almost six hours after his scheduled departure, frustrated with the devolving experience.

"It's 3:10 a.m. on Thursday, and we are still on the tarmac," said Rapaport. "It's been almost 6 hours since we boarded. This is a prison. Cereal bar and a cup of water. That's all we had. Plane was de-iced one hour ago. It will probably have to be de-iced again."

Rapaport would continue to email blogTO as the aircraft idled and passengers grew frustrated, reporting just before 3:30 a.m. that a passenger had fallen ill, and that the flight crew was asking around for a doctor among passengers.

"We still don't know when we are taking off. It's been 6 hours since we boarded this plane. About three hours ago, they let us stretch our legs at the bridge."

Minutes later, Rapaport told blogTO that "someone is having a medical emergency and we are headed back to the gate for the second time. This was not weather. Mechanical issues, staff shortage. Other planes took off. Thank you Air Canada."

Rapaport's final update on AC90 came at 4:15 a.m., the defeat evident in his words.

"Seven hours stuck on the plane. After coming back for the second time to the gate. Flight is finally cancelled. Seven hours tour around Pearson's tarmac. That was all we got. And a cup of water with a cereal bar."

An Air Canada representative confirmed the cancellation to blogTO, explaining that all of the hiccups combined with the flight time would have stretched beyond crew workday regulations, forcing the flight's cancellation.

According to the airline, "AC90, our flight from Toronto to São Paulo last night, was initially delayed by a mechanical issue and then weather conditions."

"Following these, after it left the gate to take off, a customer medical emergency required the aircraft to return to the gate again."

The Air Canada rep continued, "Unfortunately, at this point, the crew was unable to operate the flight due to the regulations that limit crew duty days. The flight was cancelled, and the passengers are scheduled to travel later this morning."

Lead photo by

Ricardo Rapaport


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