Hollywood actor Holly Robinson Peete has raised concerns on social media about how her sons were treated at Vancouver International Airport last week, saying they were barred from boarding an Air Canada flight with tickets she bought for them.
The actor took to Instagram to share her frustration. Peete has been filming a Hallmark Christmas movie in B.C. and her teen sons came to visit.
The actor said in a video that when her sons, who are both Black, went to board a flight using tickets she bought for them, they were denied boarding because the tickets weren’t paid for on their credit card.
“I was very, very upset, very disappointed, did not like the way they were treated, especially by that ticket agent and then even some of the customer service people were unnecessarily rude and disrespectful,” Peete said in the video. In the video caption, Peete said the boys were asked to produce the credit card used to pay for the seats, adding that she’s been flying with the airline for 35 years and has never been asked for this herself.
“One of the things that really bothered me is when the boys were trying to talk to the ticket agent, we were on the phone and I kept saying, ‘I want to talk to him,’ and he would not talk to me. He would not talk to the parent. That is not cool.”
Peete said she had to pay for her sons to stay at a hotel, then paid for another flight in the morning. The two boys were able to board that flight without showing the credit card.
“I feel this is a policy that is selective and really needs to be looked at and they need to do much better,” Peete said in the post.
An emailed statement from Air Canada said “this was an unfortunate situation” that came from the company’s “credit card security processes.”
“Sometimes legitimate transactions require additional verification when the booking is made in an unusual way, such as foreign purchases made outside Canada for last-minute travel and these are identified by our automated anti-fraud systems,” Air Canada’s statement said.
“In this instance our fraud prevention team, which is not located at the airport and therefore operates impartially by only reviewing the purchase transaction, had a concern with the way in which the tickets were purchased for these customers and it alerted the airport agent.”
Air Canada’s statement acknowledges the purchase “regrettably was not validated in time for the customers to travel,” adding that the company has followed up with Peete because the incident “did cause inconvenience.”
With files from CTV News Vancouver’s Angela Jung