The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Elizabeth Coffi Tabu, 71, had been due to return to Paris on July 19, after spending a month with her family in Canada.
However, when she missed the second leg of her journey from Montreal after her first flight was delayed, she was offered an overnight stay with another passenger – a 35-year-old man she had never met before.
In a statement an Air Canada spokesperson said: “It is not our policy to have passengers who are not travelling together share a room. In this case an error was initially made allocating rooms.”
Speaking to CNN, Coffi Tabu’s daughter Jerryne Mahele Nyota said: “My mother told the Air Canada agent, ‘I don’t know this man. We are not a couple,’ – but they said there was only one room.”
She added that her mother, who makes the trip out to North America every year, struggled to make her connection as she was currently a wheelchair user following a run of cancer treatment.
Upon discovering the room only had a single bed for them to sleep in, the man offered to spend the night on the sofa.
Mahele Nyota added: “He was a perfect gentleman but I obviously felt uncomfortable with my mom spending a night with a man half her age, a man that’s a total stranger.”
After several hours Mahele Nyota was able to arrange for another hotel room for her mother, who received two $10 (£8) food vouchers for her flight and a seat with additional leg room from the airline after explaining her ordeal.
Coffi Tabu was returned to Paris almost 24 hours after her scheduled arrival time.
Mahele Nyota has since called on the airline to apologise, and expressed concern that vulnerable people unable to ask for help could be left in the same situation as her mother.
She told Canadian broadcaster CBC: “Now [my mother is] realising, how is it possible? You know? And she said, ‘It’s not fair, it’s not fair, they never gave me another option.’”
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