(Images: AirCanada.com)

Trail kidney patient faces undue hardship awaiting Air Canada refund

Dan Ervin has waited for an Air Canada refund since his kidney transplant was cancelled in August

Nobody wants to wait months for a refund cheque.

Especially if that cheque was a loan from a friend in the first place.

Dan Ervin lives in Trail and has been waiting for a kidney transplant for six years; however luck was in Ervin’s favour when a call came in eight weeks ago that a donor was available.

But the clock was ticking, because in order to receive a new kidney, Ervin had to get to Vancouver from Trail within 12 hours.

He lives on a small disability pension, money is tight and the plane ticket would cost hundreds of dollars Ervin didn’t have.

The next flight out of the West Kootenay Regional Airport was Saturday Sept. 2 via Air Canada at the price of $323.53, one-way.

So Ervin’s good friend, a senior on a fixed income, saved the day. The man drove Ervin to the airport and paid $323.53 by debit for the Vancouver-bound flight.

Unfortunately, before Ervin could board, he received a call from Vancouver informing him the kidney was no longer available and the transplant cancelled.

Understandably upset, the men returned to the Air Canada desk and asked for a refund as the medical flight was no longer needed.

Ervin says they were told a refund could not be issued right away. Instead, they would have to wait for it to be processed at the corporate office, and a cheque would be mailed out.

Now the end of October, he is still waiting for the $323.53 refund.

Being out the money is a real hardship, because by the time Ervin pays rent and food, there’s nothing left to start paying back his friend.

“I’ve been calling them (Air Canada) every week for the last two months,” says Ervin, clearly frustrated. “All I’m getting is the run around, a wooden voice comes on the line and says, ‘your request is being processed and the cheque will be coming in the mail’.

That’s exactly what it (phone recording) says … and it’s hard because the people who loaned me the money did it as a favour to me, they are seniors and on a fixed income too.”

The Trail Times contacted Air Canada media relations Thursday, the company responded by email that afternoon, citing concern. The email stated the Air Canada Customer Relations team would be in touch with Ervin.

By late Saturday afternoon, Ervin says he has not yet been contacted by Air Canada.

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