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'It was a nightmare': Airline cancels Ontario man's B.C. flight 3 times

His snowboard bag arrived at YVR before he even got there.
On the left, one of the emails Geoff Strickland received from Porter Airlines. On the right, his snowboard bag.

A Toronto man who was visiting B.C. had multiple flights cancelled and describes his experience with an airline as a nightmare. 

Geoff Strickland booked his trip to the West Coast through Porter Airlines and was supposed to fly out of Toronto on the night of Feb. 26. He was planning on staying with a friend and visiting Whistler for a snowboarding trip. 

Not only did he have three flights cancelled by the airline, but his snowboard bag was also sent to Vancouver without him and he ended up rebooking with Air Canada out of fear the flights would keep being cancelled. 

"It was a nightmare,” he says. "I would recommend avoiding them for the time being.” 

That February morning, he boarded what was supposed to be his original flight out of YYZ to YVR. 

"I was sitting on the plane on Sunday and everything seemed to be going fine,” he says. 

Strickland and his fellow passengers waited on the plane for 'a while,’ only to be told over the PA system that they couldn’t take off and everyone needed to be rebooked. 

“There was one of the stewardesses who was over her allotted hours ... they had to tell everybody to leave the plane, and then they'd have to get rebooked. So everyone got off the plane,” he tells Glacier Media. 

At first, he wasn’t too flustered and rebooked his flight for the next day. 

"I was waiting around for my snowboard bag to come out of the oversized luggage area and it wasn't coming out, after like two hours,” he says. 

His snowboard bag left without him and was en route to Vancouver. 

Strickland says he asked Porter Airlines staff to look up his bag but was told "they don't have the software for tracking luggage.”

Once he landed in Vancouver, he was told to go to the main terminal for his bag.

"I went over and looked and it was my bag, but it was just out in the open... like in the main Vancouver airport. I was like, this is crazy,” he says. “It's just pretty bonkers."

The following week, he spent his time in B.C. visiting with friends and snowboarding in Whistler, hoping that flying home would be smoother. 

But his return flight home on March 5 was cancelled and moved to Tuesday. 

“It's not even like a day later. That's like 48 hours later,” he says. “That's super disruptive.” 

Thankfully, he was staying with a friend and could work remotely, but was concerned the flight on Tuesday would get cancelled as well. 

“On Monday, I was getting ready to go for dinner with my friend and I was like, ‘Cool, I'll be flying home tomorrow,’” he recalls. “I get an email being like, ‘Your Tuesday flight has been cancelled. You have been rebooked for Wednesday.’”

Questioning if he’d even get on the Wednesday plane and not wanting a fourth cancellation, he looked at his other options. 

“Technically, all three cancellations, the cancellation reason was due to insufficient staff,” he says. 

In an email to Glacier Media, a spokesperson for Porter Airlines apologized for the inconvenience. 

"There continues to be work done to enable more E195-E2 aircraft to enter our fleet, which may cause schedule changes,” said the spokesperson, adding they are not aware of the number of cancellations but are aware there have been some.

"As we build up the frequency of flights, which we plan to do for Vancouver later in the year, we'll have more options to accommodate people,” the statement continued. "We don't expect it to be a continual issue."

The airline just started flying to Vancouver in February, as part of an expansion.  

Strickland booked a one-way ticket to Toronto on Air Canada for Tuesday and says it cost him roughly $800. 

“I’m pretty pissed off,” he says. 

Strickland was previously planning on using the airline for business but says he will reconsider now.