Months after his family was stranded in Mexico after being denied boarding, a Penticton man has been left without reimbursement, despite the airline's earlier promise.
Myles Barron and his family headed to Mexico on an emergency trip in December 2022. His kids were denied boarding a Swoop airline when trying to return home.
Barron said he was told by the Swoop staff that an error occurred within the system for the kids' passport status.
With no solution available to have the family catch their flight in time, Barron had to head back home alone while the rest of his family tried to figure out what to do next.
Luckily, the family had relatives in Mexico to stay with in the meantime. They finally got home two and a half months later.
Castanet reached out to Swoop for comment at the time. The airline confirmed that two travellers were denied boarding the flight "due to an error in validation that occurred regarding the traveller’s identification documents."
"Travellers’ identification documents are verified through a government regulatory system upon check-in at the airport and in this instance, the travellers’ emergency travel document was flagged and required secondary verification," the airline said in a January 2023 statement to Castanet.
"When a travel document is flagged, Swoop agents consult with Canada Border Systems Agency (CBSA) and require approval from CBSA to permit the traveller(s) to board and in this case, the CBSA team indicated they could not validate the documents that had been provided ... We are in the process of contacting the travellers to provide a refund to their original form of payment and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this has caused."
But Barron said he was never contacted after the statement was issued by Swoop and no refund was ever received.
“It was just really disappointing,” he added. “It was a big relief at first and then as time was just going on by, it was just kind of on the back burner.”
Barron said he estimated he is owed over two thousand dollars for the lost tickets, baggage and fees.
“That's money that we could have used.”
By September, Barron took it upon himself to email Swoop, hoping to get an answer on what happened to his reimbursement.
That email went unanswered.
Castanet reached out to Swoop for comment once again on Tuesday. They confirmed Barron had not been refunded.
“Unfortunately, there was an error in their outreach and refund process and this traveller’s matter was not resolved when we’d intended to do so. We sincerely apologize for the length of this delay. We have processed the refund today and the amount should be reflected on their credit card within five business days,” the airline said in an emailed statement.
Barron said he hopes to see what he was originally promised returned to him soon.