by Fran Golden at AOL Travel News
Alaska Airlines has agreed to reimburse a Canadian couple after they were bumped from a flight in an incident that started with a smelly diaper, and that the carrier calls “rare.”
Colleen Roberge and Dan Blais had just gotten married in Las Vegas and were on their way home to Edmonton, Alberta. But when they were about to board the plane their baby son had an explosive dirty diaper.
Roberge tells CTV Edmonton she left the gate to change the baby’s diaper, leaving her husband behind to explain the situation. But when she returned she was told her ticket had been given to another passenger on standby.
The couple was not allowed to board the flight, and Roberge says a customer service agent even told her she should have boarded the plane before changing the soiled diaper.
After being bumped, the couple was left with the option of spending up to two days on standby for another Alaska Airlines flight or paying about $1,000 for tickets home that day on another airline. The couple chose the latter, and got home on WestJet.
The upset couple blogged about the incident, and Alaska Airlines left a comment explaining its stance. “Reservations are subject to cancellation if customers aren’t ready at the gate within specified times,” the carrier says. “If we accommodate people who arrive late, we risk arriving at the destination late.”
But the carrier now says it will pay for the couple’s flight home.
“It goes to show that one employee’s actions doesn’t always represent the whole company and it seems Alaska Airlines didn’t thoroughly understand exactly what happened at the gate that day,” Roberge and Blais say on their blog.