By Cynthia De Castro/Asianjournal.com
LOS ANGELES – Call it too much excitement, stress, temporary Alzheimer’s disease or insanity – but a Filipino family actually boarded their flight from Vancouver to Winnipeg – and left behind their 23-month old baby in the airport.
The incredible story happened Monday at the Vancouver international airport and was reported to the media on Tuesday. Apparently, the toddler’s family – who had just immigrated to Canada from the Philippines – were found to have overweight bags. Pressured to catch their connecting flight to Winnipeg in time, the family hurriedly repacked their bags and made a dash for the gate.
Jun Parreno, the boy’s father, reported in an interview that he thought his son was with his wife and the boy’s grandparents who ran ahead of him. The other members of the family, on the other hand, assumed Jun had the baby. Since the family members were seated separately, none of them realized that the baby was left behind.
Meanwhile, the toddler was wandering around the Vancouver airport when a security guard found him. The boy did not speak English and Air Canada officials had to track down the boy’s family. The Vancouver Sun reported that airport security found a Tagalog-speaking Air Canada agent to talk to the child and look after him while officials contacted the Parrenos on the flight. The airline personnel did not notice a passenger was missing because the baby would have sat on his parent’s lap during the flight and therefore was not issued a boarding pass.
The shocked father then flew back to Vancouver to pick up his son who was in Air Canada’s office, playing with some toys the staff found for him. Upon their arrival in Winnipeg, the father and son quickly rejoined their waiting family.