'Holiday from hell' for Winnersh familyBy Lewis Rudd
October 10, 2011
A Winnersh man has hit out at airline bosses after claiming he and his family suffered a “holiday from hell” while on a recent trip to the United States.
Sunil Dharmabandhu claims his family was left “humiliated and thoroughly exhausted” following two days of torment while travelling with Air Canada from London Heathrow to Newark via Toronto in June.
The 65-year-old, who lives in Reading Road, set off for the Mountain Laurel Resort and Spa in Pennsylvania, with his wife Delyth Dharmabandhu, daughter Kisholi Dharmabandhu, sister-in-law Ann Morris and her son Thomas Hedley on Sunday, June 26.
The travelling party missed their connecting flight to Newark as it is claimed just four US Immigration and Customs officers had been tasked with checking the documentation of around three hundred passengers.
But despite reassurances from Air Canada staff the family would make their second flight, the family did not make the departure gate in time and had to wait at Toronto Airport until 7am on the Monday morning to get seats on another plane.
And to further add to their woes, the group arrived at their resort, where they stayed for two weeks, without their luggage, which was sitting in a holding area at Toronto Airport and had to be later collected from another holiday complex some six miles away.
A frustrated Mr Dharmabandhu said: “We have never experienced anything like this before and never before in our 35 years or more of flying experience worldwide. That includes red tape riddled and non-English speaking Middle Eastern countries for connecting flights, never have we ever experienced anything remotely similar.”
A spokesman for Air Canada said: “Air Canada is committed to ensuring that all of our customers receive the best possible service. We are sorry to hear of the difficulties that Mr Dharmabandhu experienced during his travels.
“We have investigated this matter thoroughly and have offered compensation and, as a goodwill gesture, a discount on purchasing future flights with Air Canada.”