'I pulled on everything...I was stuck': Westjet passenger mistakenly locked in hall for hours at Calgary airport
Ayden Schumacher, remained remarkably "chill" during the ordeal, even as staff called him "the hallway guy"
A Winnipeg man took to TikTok to document his experience of getting locked down a hallway for hours while trying to catch a flight from Calgary to Las Vegas.
Ayden Schumacher missed a connecting flight after arriving from Winnipeg in Calgary on Feb 28, and was told by staff at American customs to head back to Canadian customs. However, when he made his way down the hallway, which he describes as the hallway that leads to the airplane when passengers are boarding, the door on the other end was locked.
When Schumacher turned around to get back to where he’d entered, it turned out to be locked too.
“There were a couple of other doors and I pulled on everything I could find but I was stuck in there,” he tells Yahoo News Canada.
So the University of Manitoba law student took to TikTok to document his bizarre experience. At one point, another person walked by the locked glass doors and Schumacher called out to her to let her know he was trapped. Unfortunately she told him he couldn’t help, but he was hopeful she’d come back.
After a phone call to the airport, someone arrived to talk to Schumacher, and told him to meet him around the other side where he’d originally come through. Ultimately, that airport employee couldn’t help him either, telling him it would be a breach, so Schumacher waited a while longer.
After waiting over an hour, he then reached out American border security at the airport, who told him they would find help.
Once more than two hours passed, a security guard came to rescue Schumacher, and walked him through to Canadian customs.
I think they wanted to make sure I wasn’t doing anything sketchy so they walked me all the way through and were like, ‘OK you’re free, see you later,’” he says. “So I went on my way.Ayden Schumacher, trapped Westjet passenger
After he got out, he made his way to Westjet customer service to tell them what happened. The agent he was talking to was familiar with his situation, referring to him as “the hallway guy”.
The service representative explained to him that his ticket identified him as an infant, and Schumacher says that’s likely why he was rebooked on a flight the next day but wasn’t offered accommodation. However, the Westjet representative changed his itinerary so he could get food vouchers and a hotel. He was able to fly out to Las Vegas the next morning.
Since Schumacher’s initial video received so much attention, Westjet reached out to him on Instagram and gave him a $50 voucher.
“I wasn’t mad, it was an accident,” he says. “Fifty dollars is fine by me.”
In the comments of a follow up video, which updated his followers on what happened after he was freed, many people were puzzled by the treatment Schumacher received when he was trapped, along with the compensation he was offered.
“But I am just not understanding how EVERYONE knew that you were there but they couldn’t let you out?? Why wouldn’t they let you LEAVE???” wrote one.
“They were gossiping about you but still no one came to help?” wrote another
“You’re adorable and $50 is an insult. @westjet do better,” one chimed in.
Ultimately, Schumacher says his takeaway from this experience is that it's helpful to staying positive and enjoy the moment.
“I do a lot of travelling and I end up in a weird situation and I just go to it as ‘oh this is a cool story,’” he says. “It was an airport, I knew someone would find me eventually. There was no need to panic.”