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Spelling mistake lands B.C. travel company in hot water

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  •   09-26-2018  12:17 pm

Spelling mistake lands B.C. travel company in hot water

A Richmond, B.C.-based travel company is paying big for leaving a mother and her son stranded in Iran – all due to a spelling mistake, CBC reports.

Last week, B.C.'s Civil Resolution Tribunal ordered Plan-It With Pam Holidays to pay Arman Aria $1,100 for negligence after an employee at the company misspelled the middle name of Aria’s young boy, Arad, on his airline tickets and did nothing to fix it when the family pointed out the mistake, according to a recent decision from the Civil Resolution Tribunal.

The error resulted in little Arad and his mother, Azadeh Lotfifar, being stuck in Iran for two days, the tribunal concluded.

Plans fall apart

According to tribunal member Kate Campbell, the family had booked the tickets over the phone with Plan-It With Pam Holidays in October 2017. When the spelling error was noticed, an employee said “that the middle name is not always that important, as airlines look at the first and last names.”

The mother and son duo flew to Iran on Lufthansa without a problem, but they ran into problems upon their return trip home on Dec. 1. That flight was booked with British Airways, which turned them away.

In addition to the costs of staying in Iran longer than expected, little Arad also missed his second birthday party in Vancouver, CBC reports.

The travel company's manager, Dean Malik, denied that the misspelled name was the reason for the ordeal, blaming the fact that Lotfifar had two passports under different names, decision stated.

An email from British Airways later contradicted that story, stating that it was because the name of the child and the name on the ticket did not match, CBC reports.

In the end, the tribunal concluded that Plan-It With Pam was negligent and had failed to meet a reasonable standard of care for its customer. Aria was awarded the cost of the new ticket she had to pay out of pocket, plus $200 for food and two nights' hotel accommodation in Iran.

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