After a power-tripping flight attendant and captain kicked off 25 passengers from a Montréal to London Heathrow flight, including an elderly couple, a pregnant woman, and three Williams Racing Formula 1 team members, Air Canada has been in the news for all the wrong reasons.
As police officials led the group of passengers off the crowded Boeing 787 Dreamliner at around 12:30 am on Tuesday, they received little information regarding the reason they were being removed from the trip.
Some of the passengers were informed after arriving at the airport terminal that they would be prohibited from traveling by Air Canada for at least 24 hours under the Captain’s directives. There was mention of face mask non-compliance, drinking, and other disorderly behavior, but the staff was either unwilling or unable to justify the claims made against them.
The fact that none of the other passengers on the trip had voiced any objections about the group that had reportedly been kicked off the flight arbitrarily was what, however, made the scenario so bizarre.
Is this the flight? pic.twitter.com/9BqB73K2qL
— Kyle.Taylor (@livingbyyyz) June 22, 2022
Photos uploaded from the plane showed calm but obviously upset passengers having their masks taken off by police. Could it be that on the same flight, approximately 30 passengers in various distinct groups were acting in such a way that the police had to be called?
It turns out that the forceful evacuation of the group from Air Canada aircraft AC866 wasn’t caused by the group’s disruptive behavior against other passengers.
According to sources, the particular cargo in the belly hold caused the plane to be overweight, and the weight had to be quickly reduced. The police were asked to aid employees to deliver the terrible news that a group of customers will be “disrupted,” presumably due to their lack of airline status, onward connections, or other factors.
The prevailing hypothesis holds that ground staff and police were advised they had to remove “disruptive passengers” and that something was lost in translation (perhaps between native and non-native French speakers).
Was on this flight (the last one out of the airport to LDN) and the attendants pulled 23 people off the plane totally at random, including this elderly couple, a pregnant Williams team member, and a family of 4.
Absolutely disgraceful @AirCanada https://t.co/5v7FuxbJZd
— Jess McFadyen (@JessMcF1) June 21, 2022
It turns out that several passengers were forced to leave their handbags, which held their wallets and passports, on the aircraft in the haste to get them off. The misplaced luggage then resulted in a security alert upon arrival in London.
The latest theory has not been confirmed by an Air Canada spokesman, and the airline continues to hold the view that the passengers were removed from the flight due to disruptive behavior.
“We are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding this incident involving a group of 25 customers who were removed from our flight from Montreal to London Monday night, due to disruptive behavior,” the airline said in a statement.
“We understand that there are allegations that in the course of removing these passengers, certain unrelated individuals were deplaned as well,” the statement continued.