Hundreds of Canadians were stranded in Mexico for days after Sunwing was canceled

Hundreds of Canadians were stranded in Mexico for days after Sunwing was canceled

Hundreds of Canadians were stranded in Mexico for days after Sunwing was canceled

Hundreds of Canadians stranded in Cancun, Mexico, are still trying to figure out how to get home after Sunwing flights were canceled last week.

Travelers said they have been shuffled from hotel to hotel on airport floors and lobbies with no end in sight to their ordeal.

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“We just want to go home,” said Tess Friedenberger, who was scheduled to board a Sunwing flight from Mexico to Calgary on Dec. 22.

“I never expected that we would be in a situation like this. I never thought it would be possible. We are writing to the consulate, we are writing to hire lawyers, we are ready to do whatever it takes.”

Friedenberger said in an interview that Sunwing’s information has been inadequate and inaccurate, and that many of his fellow passengers are angry and beginning to despair. Video captured by a Sunwing passenger and seen by The Canadian Press shows dozens of people at the Cancun airport chanting “Lies!” and “Take us home!”

“There’s no help and there’s no one we can really trust at this point,” he said. “We are solving it ourselves.”

Friedenberger left Calgary for Cancun on December 15th. He was supposed to return home a week later, but received a notification that his flight had been delayed. Over the next few days, the notifications kept coming, pushing the flight through the week.

Finally, she and her friend were told their flight would leave on Christmas Eve, she said. But when the moment came, a Sunwing representative said the flight didn’t exist.

They haven’t heard anything since they were supposed to get home, he said.

People sleeping in the hotel lobby

In the meantime, Sunwing has shuffled him and his fellow travelers between hotels in Cancun, paying for their own cabs to get there, he said. The second hotel they arrived at didn’t know they were coming and didn’t have a room booked, he said. People slept in the lobby of the hotel until they were finally given a bed.

“There were elderly people who needed medication,” he said. “There were children all over the lobby, screaming, crying and trying to sleep.”

When Sunwing diverted them on Christmas Eve, some were so distrustful they stayed behind to sleep in the lobby again until they had proof they were waiting for a room, he added.

Sunwing said in tweets on December 22, 23 and 24 that it had canceled flights in several parts of the country due to severe winter weather conditions. Friedenberger said he understands that bad weather can wreak havoc, noting, “We’re Canadians.”

“It’s a lack of communication and not knowing what’s going to happen and bouncing around,” he explained. “You know we won’t be home until December 28th, that’s fine. Tell us that, and put us in a hotel room.”

Friedenberger said other Sunwing flights have encountered other Canadians stranded in Cancun, and he said they are facing the same strangers.

“There’s a lot more to it than us,” he said. “I’d say hundreds at this point.”

Cristina Oppedisano said Sunwing’s flight home from Cancun to Toronto on Dec. 21 was also canceled. Like Friedenberger, Oppedisano said in an interview that he and his family don’t know when they will get home.

‘We’re trapped here’

She and her group of 10 family members, including four children, have also been shuttled from hotel to hotel, sleeping at the airport and on lobby floors all the time. He and his family are part of a group of about 100 passengers who would have been on the canceled Sunwing flight, he said.

“We are trapped here,” he said, adding that he, too, has not heard from Sunwing when they will arrive home.

In a statement emailed to The Canadian Press on Sunday evening and later to the CBC on Monday, Sunwing said “some northbound flights” continue to experience delays as severe weather hampers their ability to move aircraft and crews to other airports. .

The company did not say how many flights were affected.

A statement to CBC News said customers whose flights southbound were canceled due to weather will receive full refunds.

“For customers with a flight delay of 24 hours or more and travel scheduled up to December 30, they have the option to cancel their flight or vacation and receive a full refund of their original form of payment,” the statement said.

“Our teams are working hard to re-accommodate customers, servicing aircraft where possible, as well as arranging alternative hotels and transfers for those experiencing overnight delays,” the airline’s statement to CP said, adding that customers should continue to check in on their flight. online status

“Our teams both locally and at destination continue to proactively manage the situation and are doing everything possible to get customers home over the coming days.”

Sunwing did not immediately respond to an email asking when those stranded in Cancun would get home.

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