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Young scouts stuck in Zurich after missing Air Canada flight to Toronto

A number of young scouts are stuck in Zurich, Switzerland, after some members of their group missed an Air Canada flight to Toronto on Friday and it’s not clear whether travel insurance will cover their return, one of their mothers says.

“It was a great experience until it was time to come home,” Karina Vega, the mother of one of the scout members, told CTV News Toronto on Saturday afternoon.

Her 14-year-old son Marcus Roy set out on a 10-day trip to Switzerland with his contingent of scouts aged 12 to 14 from Bancroft, Ont. 

But on their way home, the Bancroft contingent faced challenges with the ArriveCan app. The leaders had entered the group's information on the app, but when they arrived at the airport, they discovered only the information for the two adults was logged. They also couldn’t get Wi-Fi at the airport because they didn’t have a local phone number.

“By the time they got everything sorted out, the check-in desk closed,” Vega said. “They literally saw their flight leave.”

According to Air Canada, 15 of the 21 people in the group flew home on July 15, while six others – including two adults – were not on the flight due to lengthy security lines.

As a group, Vega said, they paid for travel insurance.

“Air Canada won't respect their travel insurance policy, which they purchased at an extra cost and includes missing flights,” she said. She added that it was going to cost $1,800 per kid to fly home.

“All of our kids are Canadian citizens, they're scared, tired and very stressed,” Vega said.

The mother says the parents enlisted Scouts Canada, the group who organized the trip, for help with getting their kids home.

“We just got a call saying the embassy is involved,” Vega said.

CTV News Toronto has reached out to the Canadian embassy for comment and is waiting on a response.

Meanwhile, Air Canada confirmed that some members of the group missed their flight, but did not comment on whether or not the airline would honour the group’s travel insurance.

“Since they booked via a travel agency, someone has already reached out to their travel agent to assist,” a spokesperson for the airline said.

Vega said her son, along with the other five members of the group, is now at a hotel and in “better spirits” since the embassy got involved.

“At the beginning, everyone was pretty stressed out, crying, upset, but now their mood has changed because the embassy of Canada has contacted them directly,” she said.

Now, she’s hopeful her son will be on a flight home soon. Top Stories

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