18/04/2017 08:03 BST

Air Canada Apologises After Boy Bumped Off Flight To Costa Rica For Family Holiday

'I thought it was a joke.'

An airline has been forced to apologise to a family after a 10-year-old boy was bumped from an overbooked flight.

Air Canada has offered family “very generous compensation” after Cole Doyle was left without a seat on the flight from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, to Costa Rica in March.

The boy’s father, Brett, said that after he was unable to check his son in both online and at the airport, the family made the two-hour drive to Moncton, New Brunswick to catch a different flight.

But there, they discovered that flight had been cancelled.

Doyle told Reuters: “I thought it was a joke, that there were hidden cameras or something.”

Father and son eventually drove to Halifax - another 2.5 hours in the car - where they were able to catch a flight to Montreal and then on to Costa Rica.

He said the family contacted Air Canada, the country’s largest carrier, in March, but only received an apology and the offer of a C$2,500 (£1,500) trip voucher after the story was published by a Canadian newspaper on Saturday.

The Huffington Post Canada quoted the airline’s spokeswoman, Isabelle Arthur, as saying: “We are currently following up to understand what went wrong and have apologised to Mr Doyle and his family as well as offered a very generous compensation to the family for their inconvenience.

Bloomberg via Getty Images
Air Canada apologised and offered the Doyle family compensation for the incident

The news comes after United Airlines was left facing a PR nightmare after footage emerged of a passenger being dragged violently from one of its overbooked flights.

Doyle said he understood the outcry over that incident and said, “people are fed up”.

“You shouldn’t be able to sell something twice.”

He added that upon hearing about the incident he said: “Things could always be worse. At least we weren’t thrown off the plane.”