A Porter Airlines passenger claims he was given a list of phone numbers for homeless shelters when his flight was canceled due to bad weather.
Neil White was traveling from Ottawa to Ontario in Canada with a layover in Toronto, but was derailed by a big snow and ice storm.
White ended up stranded at the airport as his flight was rescheduled for the next morning.
He was advised to book a hotel, but the last-minute rates were way too expensive. When he shared his dilemma with airline staff, he received a lack of empathy and no real solutions, according to Daily Mail.
“Billy Bishop airport closes overnight so you have to go somewhere, and Porter staff didn't seem to care where that was," White reportedly said. "I really wish they could have provided a more comprehensive set of options and been willing to work with passengers to make sure everyone was okay overnight. Instead they handed you a slip of paper and sent you on your way.”
On that slip of paper were purportedly phone numbers to local homeless shelters which White posted a photo of on Twitter.
"As a passenger, the shock and lack of communication was very disorienting, and then to have them handing you a list of homeless shelter numbers as if this was seriously the best they could do, it really left you feeling stranded."
The airline has refuted White’s claims, saying he requested those numbers and he was being “verbally aggressive” with staff.
However, if what White says is true about the staff’s lack of empathy and insufficient accommodations, “verbal aggression” may have been justified.
White said he made a sarcastic remark when asking what the airline staff expected him to do, but he didn't think they would take him seriously.
“I got to the point where I was like what am I supposed to do?" He reportedly said. "Am I supposed to stay on someone’s couch or go to a homeless shelter?”
Looking beyond the fact that it’s insulting and cheap to offer a man who is not homeless to sleep in a shelter — it’s also very insensitive to actual homeless people.
Homelessness is a serious issue worldwide, why make light of that by sending a non-homeless man to take a spot from someone who truly needs it?
Actually, the homeless population of Toronto should be even more offended than White by such a crass move from the representative who pulled the stunt.
White told his Twitter followers he ended up sleeping on a relative's couch that night, which would further debunk that whole thing about him seriously "asking" for a list of homeless shelter phone numbers.
I slept on my cousin's couch so I'm okay. But pretty shabby customer service. If you strand me in Toronto, I think you should help me out.— Neil W (@neilwhite89) December 29, 2015
The holidays are a very tumultuous time for traveling ever year, let's just hope other airlines are treating their passengers with a little more respect and are also not encouraging displacement of the homeless from the few places they can seek refuge from harsh winter weather.
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