More Than 200 Passengers Misdirected Past Customs at Vancouver Airport
Vancouver International Airport and Air Canada have each launched internal investigations into an avoidable security breach at the airport on Sunday.
According to the Vancouver Sun, after landing ahead of schedule, more than 200 passengers deplaning an Air Canada flight from Beijing were misdirected through the domestic terminal of the airport and thus bypassed customs altogether.
"When we did disembark, it was through the domestic arrivals area and I was one of the first off and literally walked out to the cab line up," said passenger Mark Monteiro via the Sun.
Monteiro, who told the Sun he makes the international journey frequently, said he tracked down a Canada Border Service Agency officer after realizing what had happened.
In an emailed statement, airport spokesman Chris Devauld said that most of the passengers were eventually located by officers and processed.
While the airport confirmed that it plans to review its internal procedures to avoid another mishap that could jeopardize security, Air Canada is also looking into the matter. "We are also working with Vancouver airport Authority and Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and other agencies in this matter," said airline spokeswoman Angela Mah in an emailed statement via the Sun.
If there are any penalties handed out as a result of the incident, it's the airline that's likely to receive them. The CBSA said the responsibility lies with the airline to ensure that passengers reach customs.
CBSA spokeswoman Stefanie Wudel told the Sun in an email that "in cases where individuals do not properly report for border processing as a result of errors caused by air carriers, these incidents are thoroughly reviewed and responsible parties may be subject to fines, penalties, and possible prosecution."
More by Patrick Clarke
Get Travel Deals and Travel News
Recent Travel Opinions
Airlines & Airports
Cruise Line & Cruise Ship