Vancouver – Two sisters who were on their way to the Philippines for their grandfather’s funeral are said to have returned midway through Air Canada.
BC, Maple Ridge Maranda and Margery Reyes were booked on a flight to Manila with a stop in Japan.
The first phase of the voyage went well on January 7, but when they arrived in Narita, the gate attendants were not allowed to board their next flight due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“We felt like we were being bullied to go back to Vancouver,” Maranda Reyes said.
The Philippines imposes strict restrictions on anyone entering the country. But the Reyes sisters, who were born there, checked the entry requirements, double-checked, they had all the proper documents by the Philippine embassy, and it was good to go.
Flight attendants in Vancouver confirmed this, but staff in Japan did not accept it.
“They don’t want to hear,” Marjorie Reyes said. “It’s just like anything we said, whatever the embassy said, they don’t seem to really care.”
“They turned us around, took all our belongings and started walking away from us, so we had no choice but to follow them out,” his sister said.
In a statement, Air Canada blamed a partner airline.
“These customers were denied boarding (boarding) to the Philippines via ANA in Narita, Japan, their next airline,” the airline wrote, adding that they were not allowed to board due to a change in the Philippine government’s entry policy.
But Maranda Reyes insists that an Air Canada employee just refused to complete their trip.
“She had a tag. I took a picture of her tag and was talking to us the whole time,” Maranda Reyes said, then showing CTV News a photo of the Air Canada aide’s identity.
“It was a lot. You know, we were so excited to go home. Our grandfather was the most important person in our lives,” he added.
The family is now booked on a flight with Philippine Airlines, and the carrier confirmed that the sisters have the right paperwork.
Rice has to apologize to Air Canada and get their money back.