Canadian Sunwing passengers stranded in Mexico for five days with ‘no communication’

Canadian Sunwing passengers stranded in Mexico for five days with ‘no communication’

As a whole bunch of Canadians scramble to get residence after their Sunwing flights from Mexico had been cancelled final week, a passengers’ rights advocate says stranded travellers ought to take into account authorized motion in the event that they aren’t compensated by the airline.

As of Sunday, a whole bunch of Canadian travellers had been caught in Cancun, Mexico after Sunwing cancelled their flights residence. Some described being shuffled from resort to resort, generally arriving to search out there have been no rooms booked for them, whereas Sunwing officers supplied inaccurate and incomplete details about once they may get residence.

Sheldon de Souza mentioned in an interview Monday {that a} comparable state of affairs is taking part in out in Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s west coast. He mentioned he flew there along with his spouse, three youngsters and three household mates on Dec. 14, with a flight residence scheduled with Sunwing on Dec. 21.

That flight was cancelled, although just some passengers had been informed, he mentioned. A number of days of incomplete info and confusion from Sunwing adopted, he mentioned.

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He and a gaggle of fellow passengers had been moved to completely different resorts and requested to take a look at every day and report again to the foyer each hour, in case there was information of a flight.

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Sunwing officers on the resort would say there was a flight developing then, hours later, would say it had been cancelled, de Souza mentioned. He mentioned within the meantime, the flights wouldn’t present up on the airport’s each day schedules, main de Souza to consider he was being misled.

He mentioned he booked himself a spot on an Air Canada flight again to Calgary on Dec. 23, which value him about $1,000. His spouse, his kids and their mates managed to get a Sunwing flight residence on Boxing Day, however solely as a result of they began exhibiting up on the airport to push for a spot, he mentioned.

He mentioned they’d snagged seats on a Sunwing flight to Edmonton late on Christmas Day, even making it to the gate with boarding passes. However then officers mentioned the crew had been past their allowed most working hours and the airplane was cancelled.

“It felt like Sunwing simply deserted us, they didn’t care,” de Souza mentioned. “It’s not even that they made an effort, they forgot us.”

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He mentioned there have been “a number of hundred” Canadians stranded in Puerto Vallarta when he left, and a few are possible nonetheless there.


Click to play video: 'Travellers furious over cancelled flights and lack of communication'


Travellers livid over cancelled flights and lack of communication


Sonal de Souza, their youngsters, Sarah Pereire and her youngster lastly made it residence to Calgary on Monday, after a five-day delay and three resorts later. However the prolonged keep was not vacation-like, Sonal mentioned.

“You’re strolling round with all of your necessary paperwork. You’re not likely having fun with it since you’re maintaining a tally of your cellphone to be sure to’re not lacking any communication to be sure to can get out.

“And the communication from Nexus, that’s the consultant in Puerta Vallarta, was terrible. They mentioned there’s a flight coming in for you. Ensure you’re on the foyer at 8:30. Pickup is at 9. We waited till 11:30. No one confirmed as much as decide us up.”

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Learn extra:

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Within the wake of “no communication from Nexus or Sunwing in any respect,” the group went to the airport themselves, “demanding to get on a flight.”

And, the flight residence “was half empty,” Pereire mentioned.

Each girls say they’ll search compensation from Sunwing.

“I don’t low cost the flight was delayed due to climate, however 5 days?” Sonal mentioned.

“We all know as a result of we’re all in a gaggle chat, there’s individuals stranded which have been kicked out of the resort, don’t have any place to go and Sunwing isn’t responding,” she added.

Different stranded passengers reported half-empty return flights from Mexico.


Smartlynx chartered flight from Cancun to Regina Dec. 26, 2022 at 5:25 p.m.


Equipped to World Information

Gabor Lukacs, president and founding father of the Air Passenger Rights group, says passengers grappling with cancelled flights and insufficient details about once they may be rebooked should purchase their very own tickets residence with a distinct service, and maintain cautious data and receipts of their bills.

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If Sunwing refuses to compensate them underneath the federal Air Passenger Safety Rules, they need to take the matter to small claims courtroom, Lukacs mentioned in an interview.

“We’re at a degree in Canada the place suing an airline isn’t merely about your individual cash, it’s about altering how they function. It’s about behaviour modification,” he mentioned. “And that’s the place the federal government is derelict in its duties to the general public.”


Click to play video: 'Consumer Matters: Travel flight compensation'


Client Issues: Journey flight compensation


He mentioned passengers also needs to cellphone their native member of Parliament and ask for higher enforcement of passenger rights in Canada.

The federal Air Passenger Safety Rules mandates airways to pay as much as $1,000 in compensation for cancellations or vital delays that stem from causes throughout the service’s management when the notification comes 14 days or much less earlier than departure.

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Lukacs mentioned it’s unlikely Sunwing will voluntarily pay up. The Canadian Transportation Company, which acts because the federal airline regulator, doesn’t do sufficient to carry airways accountable, he mentioned, in order that they don’t really feel a lot stress to obey the foundations.

Federal laws grants the company’s enforcement officers the facility to research corporations and people it believes have damaged the foundations and to subject fines of as much as $25,000.

The regulator’s web site exhibits that previously 5 years, only one service — WestJet, for 55 situations in late January — has been fined for not offering sufficient compensation to passengers. The overall penalty was $11,000.

Learn extra:

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Lukacs mentioned the company isn’t issuing sufficient fines. “The federal government is popping a blind eye to airways’ misconduct,” he mentioned.

The Canadian Transportation Company didn’t reply instantly to a request for remark.

In an electronic mail to World Information Tuesday, Sunwing mentioned “a lot of return flights proceed to be impacted by delays resulting from displaced crew and plane ensuing from the aftermath of extreme climate disruptions throughout Canada.

“Our groups are working onerous to reaccommodate clients in vacation spot by subservicing plane, and arranging alternate resorts and transfers for these with in a single day delays,” a Sunwing spokesperson mentioned.

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“Our groups proceed to proactively work across the clock with a number of airline companions to subservice plane and return clients residence.

“We’ve got accomplished two restoration flights to date this week, have deliberate one other eight restoration flights that are scheduled to depart between at present and Dec. 30, 2022, and are at the moment finalizing restoration plans for our remaining passengers in vacation spot. Extra info might be supplied to clients by means of flight alert notifications and their vacation spot representatives as soon as rescheduled return flights are confirmed. Within the meantime, clients can join flight alerts on Sunwing.ca.”


Click to play video: 'Mexico-bound Sunwing passengers stranded at Edmonton airport'


Mexico-bound Sunwing passengers stranded at Edmonton airport


Sunwing additionally mentioned passengers who’re at their vacation spot however wish to guide an earlier flight residence on one other service can accomplish that at their very own value after which submit a refund request for his or her unused Sunwing flight.

Prospects at the moment in vacation spot who would favor to guide an earlier return flight on one other service can accomplish that at their very own value, ought to they so select, and should submit a refund request for his or her unused Sunwing return flight.”

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Edmontonian Matthew Hudson is caught in Cancun along with his household of 5 after Sunwing cancelled their return flight residence.

“It’s been not less than 24 hours now,” he informed World Information on Tuesday afternoon. “I count on it will likely be longer.

“It truly began earlier than we left. We had been delayed by over 24 hours even leaving, which, looking back, ought to have been a pink flag.”

Hudson mentioned there are a number of different travellers in the identical boat at their resort. Some have been delayed for days, he mentioned.

“It undoubtedly provides to the stress. We’ve got zero belief in something that’s being informed to us by Sunwing,” he mentioned. “Our solely choice is to look on the app and hope. We’ve obtained basically no communication from them — no updates, no updates to our journey preparations, no point out of a resort, or any form of advantages, a meal, something. It’s been zero communication.”

It’s meant sudden out-of-pocket bills for Hudson and his household.

“Our room that we’re spending the evening in tonight — which was the one room accessible — was $1,400 USD, in order that’s out of pocket. We’ve booked various flights residence with WestJet, which depart the day after tomorrow, and that’s going to value us virtually $5,000.

“We’ve got nowhere to remain tomorrow, as of now.”

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Hudson mentioned, after this expertise, they’ll by no means journey with a small, vacation-based airline once more.

“Positively by no means Sunwing.

“This needs to be a wake-up name to the Canadian airline trade and needs to be a wake-up name to the federal government when it comes to guidelines and rules surrounding air journey.”

— With information from Emily Mertz, World Information