Passengers on a Sunwing Airlines flight scheduled to fly into Toronto were stuck on a hot plane with no air conditioning in Cancun Friday. There were reports of people fainting.
A video was posted on Twitter by user Sam Guan of the passengers on the plane trying to cool themselves using paper as fans, with one man pleading for staff to open the emergency exit, saying “kids are fainting.”
“We can confirm that flight WG272, operated by Eastern Airlines, was delayed on departure from Cancun today due to a maintenance issue that also affected the air conditioning on board,” Sunwing said in a statement.
The airline said the flight was operated by Eastern Airlines due to the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX jets.
Sunwing says passengers deboarded the plane while a technician tried to fix the issue with the plane on the tarmac for about an hour with no success.
The airline’s statement did not address reports on Twitter that said children became faint in the heat.
Twitter user Brianna Bendici says that the flight was delayed by 3.5 hours after boarding and was deboarded twice “with no communication to passengers.” She said they deboarded due to “rising temperatures.”
Twitter user Krista Sobocan said passengers were trapped on the plane “for hours” with no air, and passengers were “hyperventilating, crying, fainting.”
Another Twitter user by the name of Rik recalled taking drastic measures to stay cool on the plane.
“Had to strip my kids to their underwear in a desperate attempt to cool them after they were faint!” he said.
He claimed that the temperature was up to 40 degrees Celsius.
Sunwing says that the plane was not serviceable on Friday, and will fly out of Cancun the next morning. The airline says passengers have been given accommodation for the night as well as food and beverage vouchers during their stay at the airport.
Last week, a Sunwing flight on the same route from Cancun to Toronto was delayed by over 13 hours because the flight crew exceeded the maximum hours they could work.
The Canadian federal government announced Friday new regulations that require airlines to provide status updates every 30 minutes if flights are late or cancelled, which will take effect beginning July 15.