Edmonton couple stranded in Kelowna after wallet, I.D. stolen

Couple stranded in Kelowna

UPDATE 8:45 p.m.

The Edmonton couple who lost their credit and debit cards, identification and cell phone are finally headed home after spending more than 24 hours walking the streets of Kelowna after they were unable to board their flight home Sunday.

Eric Grouse and Roxanne Manuel managed to get a helping hand, “we are on our way home thanks to Kelowna Chrysler and their general manager named Trevor Carson. I was able to get my bank card and a little walking around money.”

ORIGINAL 6:45 p.m.

An Edmonton couple has found themselves stranded in Kelowna after having their wallet and identification stolen last week from a parked car at Bluebird Beach.

Eric Grouse, Roxanne Manuel and their 15-year-old daughter flew into Kelowna from Edmonton on August 6.

Manuel's entire wallet containing I.D. and cards, along with her phone, were then stolen while visiting the beach.

The couple filed a police report and knew they would be in for an uphill battle when it came to boarding the return flight Sunday night.

In order to fly in Canada, passengers need to present a Canadian provincial or territorial health card, identification card or birth certificate.

Grouse tells Castanet he spent time checking with the airline to try and find another solution.

“We had our roommate send up pictures of her (Roxanne's) birth certificate her health card and her Métis status identification, that's what their online representative said would be OK.”

But when it came time to fly, Roxanne was not allowed to board the flight.

According to the Public Safety Canada website, “an air carrier must, at the boarding gate for a domestic flight, verify the identity of each passenger who appears to be 18 years of age or older.

In the event that a passenger’s identity cannot be verified because of the loss or theft of one or more pieces of their identification, "the air carrier may verify their identity using alternative forms of valid identification such as their employee identity card, public transit pass or baptismal certificate if the passenger presents the identification in conjunction with documentation issued by a government authority or a police service that attests to the loss or theft.”

Grouse says they arrived at the airport four hours early for a domestic flight, but Flair Air refused to let her board.

Grouse tells Castanet he was dismayed by the way the issue was handled, “no empathy or compassion.”

“They tried to claim that it was Transport Canada's rules but then when we talked to other airlines such as Air Canada and WestJet, they said that they would accept those forms of documentation, along with a police report.”

Grouse said they placed their 15-year-old on the plane by herself and stayed behind in Kelowna.

The couple has since made arrangements to stay with friends but they are still trying to figure out how to get back to Edmonton without identification.

At this point, it is looking like they will have to obtain a vehicle and drive.

“At this point, I don’t know what I can do,” says Grouse.

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