84-year-old woman received a $450 bill after asking Air Canada for an ice pack

An 84-year-old woman was stunned when she received a $450 bill from Alberta Health Services after asking an Air Canada employee for an ice pack at the check-in counter.

Mary Marshall, who was traveling from Calgary to Vancouver Island, was boarding a flight at Calgary International Airport in January when she turned her back and lifted a large carry-on bag onto the ramp. Fortunately, she had over-the-counter medication, which she took for the pain.

However, she knew that some heat or ice would also help, as that is her usual remedy, and asked the receptionist for an ice pack.

To her surprise, her request would result in a $450 medical bill, which is comparable to the cost of an out-of-county ambulance.

alberta bill
Marshall received a $450 medical bill after asking for an ice pack at the Air Canada check-in counter

Marshall immediately refused additional medical attention, stating that she had previously treated the condition and all she needed was some ice.

Faced with such a bill, Marshall took it upon himself to contact Air Canada directly. Although the company acknowledged that the service she received “did not meet the airline’s expectations,” they told her she would have to pay the $450 fee and that it was not their responsibility.

That’s when Marshall decided to share her story with the public.

Air Canada agency
Air Canada initially offered Marshall a flight credit and told her she was responsible for paying the $450 bill

Media outlets contacted Air Canada on her behalf and soon received an email stating that the airline’s customer service team was reviewing the incident and would contact the customer directly.

Around the same time, Marshall received a message from Air Canada stating that they had reassessed her case and that they would “be happy to refund her the $450 bill.”

The importance of documenting aviation interactions

Air passenger rights advocate Gabor Lukacs says Marshall’s case highlights the importance of documenting every interaction you have with an airline. He also urged passengers to speak out if they feel wronged by the company.

He recommends passengers document everything that happens to them and keep audio recordings, photos, videos, emails, receipts and anything that might help with their case, even if it’s a simple dispute.

After reviewing her case, Air Canada offered to reimburse Marshall for the $450 bill

He added that airline passengers often need “a reporter on their right and a lawyer on their left” to be treated well.

After refunding the $450 bill, Marshall has no more complaints about the airline’s response. However, she believes Air Canada should have taken action as soon as she told them about the issue, and not after she contacted the media.

Marshall encourages other passengers who encounter these situations to come forward because their stories need to be heard.