A British man says his winter getaway turned into a travel nightmare, after his plane was diverted to Winnipeg on Jan. 30.

Christian Stoner and Natalie Walker were flying from London to Los Cabos when their TUI Airways flight made an unplanned stop in Winnipeg.

"We didn't know anything about until we heard the announcement you're diverting to Winnipeg," said Stoner.

An unruly passenger forced the plane to land in Winnipeg. RCMP arrested the passenger and charged him with endangering the safety of an aircraft, resisting arrest and mischief over $5,000.

While waiting on tarmac in Winnipeg, Stoner said Walker got into an altercation with another passenger.

"Ten to 15 minutes later the head stewardess came back with an airport policeman and said could you remove this lady too, it was minor" Stoner said.

Police then removed Walker off the plane and charged her with mischief over $5,000, the cost related to diverting the plane.  

RCMP say alcohol was a factor in both arrests.


The Winnipeg Airport Authority said passengers disembarked and were put on a flight to Mexico the next day, Jan, 31.

Stoner wanted to skip Mexico and planned on staying in Canada until Walker was released.

"The next thing I knew I was surrounded by three or four border police who told me I couldn't stay at the airport any longer," said Stoner.

A statement from Canada Border Service Agency said he was missing the required documents, "The traveller didn’t possess the necessary travel documents to remain in Canada as this wasn’t his final destination. Non-Canadian travellers are required to have a valid visa or Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), depending on their country of origin."

Stoner said he then asked officers if he could buy a ticket back to the UK but instead, he says he was forced to get back onto the plane destined for Los Cabos.

"It didn't make much sense to me. I was being forced onto a plane against my will to a foreign country," Stoner said.

David Matas, an immigration and refugee lawyer, said there are gaps in the regulations and they don't account for situations like Stoner's.

"You can't expect the passenger to anticipate an unscheduled stop," said Matas. "There really needs to be an exception to the exception, so that you do not need an electronic travel authorization because of an unscheduled stop, so you can stay, at least for a little bit under some circumstances or go back if you want to."

Stoner calls the situation "a complete nightmare."

Speaking via Skype in his resort in Los Cabos, he said he is worried for his friend, Walker, and has no choice but to wait.

-With files from CTV's Touria Izri