A Toronto woman and her daughter’s seven-day vacation in the Caribbean turned into a nightmare after a COVID-19 test malfunction.
According to Ellen, the issue occurred when she attempted to use a Switch Health RT-LAMP test. These tests are certified by Health Canada as an alternative to PCR and are exclusively available to Aeroplan members among other benefits.
Furthermore, the unlucky woman says that she received a promotional email from Air Canada shortly before the departure, claiming the tests are an accepted and affordable option for re-entry into the country.
The Switch Health kit consists of a nasal swab performed during a video call with a nurse who guides travellers through the test process and answers questions.
While her daughter’s test went uncomplicated, Ellen encountered problems with the device. Namely, she says all of the lights on her apparatus began flashing. After trying to re-insert the batteries 4 times, the nurse filed a complaint and the company refunded the costs for one test.
Although she was reimbursed for the test, the woman had to get a PCR test done, which took half a day off her holiday. Thankfully, her results arrived in time for the departure. However, Ellen and her daughter were greeted with bad news by the Air Canada check-in staff. It turned out that the RT-LAMP test results were not valid.
Even though Air Canada issued a $300 voucher to Ellen’s daughter, she says the compensation isn’t appropriate for the trouble they both went through and hopes other travellers learn from her experience.