Total stranger helps Montreal nanny fly home to PH for holidays
Lalaine Canillo, a nanny in Montreal, just wanted to go home to the Philippines for the holidays to see her children, but the unexplained cancellation of the Air Canada ticket she bought from an online site left her frustrated.
Canillo had booked her ticket for Nov. 30 via the site, Flighthub. When it was canceled, the site offered only to refund her, saying it could not find a flight at the date and comparable price she wanted. Air Canada said the problem must be resolved between her and Flighthub.
The Montreal Gazette reported Canillo’s predicament and her frustration at trying to get an affordable flight for weeks. She had worked Hong Kong for two years and came to Canada in 2019. She has not seen her children who had to be left in the care of her aunt and uncle after her husband died in an accident in January 2020.
Several readers responded to the Montreal Gazette article, wanting to help Canillo, who answered each email. One stranger, however, was particularly quick to act.
“She saw flights on Nov. 30 and asked me if I want to be booked on that date,” Canillo told the Gazette. “I said, ‘Yes, please madam.’ She said, ‘In the morning, I will book you a flight.’
“On Tuesday, I received the booking confirmation. I was so happy, so overwhelmed. I couldn’t help myself. I was crying, I was so happy. I didn’t expect someone would help me. I didn’t know this person.
“I’m so thankful and so blessed that somebody helped me. Now I can see my kids and I can go home. In this world that is full of negativity, there are still people who want to help.”
The woman who sent Canillo the ticket told the Gazette she just wanted to help and did not want her real name revealed so as not to draw attention to herself. “I’m very sensitive to what immigrants and refugees go through when they come here.
“Filipino nannies work so hard. They leave their families behind. I can’t imagine doing this. I’m in such a fortunate position. I have my health and my family here; all my basic needs are met, and more. I think it’s important to give back by helping people in its simplest human form, which we sometimes forget is not always about a tax receipt.”