The ripple impact of flight cancellations and lengthy delays continues to strand Canadian vacationers and trigger issues for the airline Sunwing.
Since a winter storm hit Vancouver on Dec. 18, Sunwing passengers have reported flight delays on each outbound and return flights — some as much as 5 days.
Canadian Sunwing passengers stranded in Mexico for five days with ‘no communication’
Canadian Sunwing passengers stranded in Mexico for five days with ‘no communication’
Erin McCall booked a Cancun trip together with her husband, 4 younger kids and in-laws for December seventeenth by means of December twenty fourth.
The Beaumont, Alta., girl mentioned the Christmas Eve flight “did not occur.”
“There was no indication of any issues … till we bought on the shuttle to go to the airport,” she mentioned.
“The second we hit the airport, pandemonium. It was completely insane.”
Her in-laws flew again to Halifax on their scheduled WestJet flight on Dec. 24, however McCall and her household have been informed their Sunwing flight had been delayed and must return in two days.
“It was chaos,” she mentioned. “They did not give us any updates.”
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Late that night time they have been transported to a different resort in Cancun. Day by day earlier than midday that they had to take a look at, see if Sunwing had rebooked them, after which if not, hope the resort had a spare room for them.
“We principally squatted on the lodge till about 7pm each night time.”
Their return flight fell by means of once more, McCall mentioned. They mentioned Sunwing representatives saved telling them it was delayed – presumably till December 30 – however no different info was supplied.
Lastly, McCall’s in-laws booked the household a flight residence on December 29 through WestJet.
Total, the household paid about $5,000 out of pocket to cowl alternate flights, prolonged pet lodging, airport parking and provides for his or her prolonged keep in Mexico, similar to diapers and sunscreen.
McCall would not anticipate to get any of that again until the household pursues litigation in opposition to Sunwing.
“They do not need to be in enterprise. They do not need to fly anybody wherever.
“It was a lot greater than a delay,” she added.
“They refuse to honor even the slightest a part of their dedication to any passenger in any approach… They need to exit of enterprise.”
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Passenger rights advocate Gabor Lukacs is asking on folks to take these claims to court docket.
“If Sunwing refuses to pay voluntarily… this can be a regular course of enterprise. You serve them with court docket paperwork.
“I enchantment to passengers to face their floor. The regulation could be very a lot in your facet,” mentioned Lukacs, the president of Air Passenger Rights.
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“That is the one option to make it clear as soon as and for all that this kind of habits won’t be tolerated.
“The federal government is making it cheaper for airways to flout the regulation … than to really respect passenger rights,” he mentioned.
Shopper Affairs: Journey Flight Compensation
In an emailed assertion to World Information Friday, Sunwing apologized to clients for the delays.
“Our groups are nonetheless working 24 hours a day to return our remaining clients.
“We now have now deliberate 43 restoration flights, of which 34 have already been carried out or will probably be accomplished by the top of the day immediately (December 30). We anticipate most, if not all, remaining clients to be again by January 2.”
Sunwing mentioned clients will probably be up to date by means of flight alert notifications and thru vacation spot representatives.
“For patrons delayed in vacation spot, Sunwing supplies lodge lodging, meals and beverage, and airport transportation, whatever the motive for the delay.”
The corporate acknowledged it was a difficult time for groups regionally and at locations, “who have been working across the clock to assist restore common operations.”
In response to the federal transport minister calling the Sunwing state of affairs “unacceptable”, the corporate mentioned: “We acknowledge that, regardless of our greatest efforts, we now have failed to satisfy our clients’ expectations , and we deeply apologize for this. We might additionally wish to guarantee our clients that our native and vacation spot groups proceed to do all the pieces doable to revive common service and return our remaining delayed clients residence.”
Sunwing cancels all Saskatchewan flight operations till February 2023
Sunwing introduced Thursday it’s canceling all operations from Regina and Saskatoon airports by means of February 3, 2023.
In a message on Twitter, the corporate mentioned it was conscious that its operations have been lower than the anticipated customary and that it was not serving clients correctly.
“We remorse to tell our clients in Saskatoon and Regina that, because of extenuating circumstances, we’re sadly canceling our operations from each airports. The cancellations will take impact instantly and apply to journey from each airports as much as and together with Fri. February 23/3,” reads the tweet.
“We all know that, regardless of our greatest efforts, we now have failed to satisfy our clients’ expectations, and we deeply apologize for not assembly the service requirements that our Saskatoon and Regina clients rightfully anticipate do not anticipate.”
Clients on southbound flights will obtain a full refund.
However Lukacs says: “Sunwing can not pressure refunds on passengers.
“A passenger can select to take a refund if they need, however which means Sunwing is off the hook when it comes to its different obligations from that time ahead.”
He recommends that passengers don’t settle for the refund and as an alternative insist that Sunwing present various transportation.
“If we’re speaking a couple of passenger from Saskatchewan who hasn’t departed but, Sunwing has to rebook them on different airways,” Lukacs mentioned.
He mentioned it was not a cancellation because of climate; it’s a enterprise choice.
Lukacs defined that different airways are additionally responsible of this, but when they cancel a flight and can’t rebook passengers inside 48 hours, they must ebook clients with different airways.
“It is an obligation that’s clearly set out of their passenger safety laws, however they only shrugged and mentioned, ‘We do not care. The regulation doesn’t apply to us.’”
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A Sunwing media spokesperson informed World Information on Friday that regardless of the suspension of Saskatchewan service, the corporate has no plans to droop operations from Edmonton or Calgary.
“As for our Saskatchewan clients at present in vacation spot, some repatriation flights might join by means of Edmonton.”
Megan Corridor, a spokeswoman for Edmonton Worldwide Airport, mentioned there have been two departing Sunwing flights Friday that departed on time, “however impacts in different areas are affecting some arrivals in Edmonton.”
Sunwing at present flies from Edmonton to Costa Rica, Jamaica, Cuba, Dominican Republic and varied locations in Mexico.
Canadian Sunwing passengers stranded in Mexico
Andrew Leeming, the vp of operations on the Saskatoon Airport Authority, mentioned it was clear that Sunwing needed to do one thing after all of the delays and cancellations that started on Dec. 18.
“Issues simply by no means bought again to what I might name regular,” he mentioned. “There have been repeated cancellations, day of flights, even when passengers have been right here on the airport.”
Nonetheless, chopping service utterly till February 3 stunned him somewhat.
“That prolonged 5 weeks of canceled surgical procedures is fairly dramatic.”
The most important impression Leeming foresees is with public frustration – Saskatchewan individuals who booked holidays early at the moment are scrambling and leaving.
“It is rather disappointing for the passengers themselves and their expectations.”
Saskatchewan Airports nonetheless expects some restoration flights returning Saturday “tentatively,” “however … it is dynamic.”
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