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Sunwing travellers stranded in Mexico demand answers, compensation

Click to play video: 'Sunwing passengers demand compensation following ‘nightmare’ trip'
Sunwing passengers demand compensation following ‘nightmare’ trip
WATCH ABOVE: A number of Sunwing passengers on a recent vacation from Calgary to Puerto Vallarta are demanding the airline step up following numerous cancellations and delays. Tomasia DaSilva reports. – Nov 14, 2022

Some travellers with Sunwing are demanding answers and some money back after what they call a nightmare trip full of delays and cancellations.

Megan Hunter contacted Global News on Sunday after her flight from Puerto Vallarta to Calgary was cancelled. But the Okotoks, Alta., resident said the problems actually began on the trip out.

Hunter said they were originally scheduled to leave Nov. 6 for Mexico. However, that flight was delayed and then cancelled. The passengers were apparently then told they had to check back in, in order to get on the next flight Nov. 7.

“We sat in line for about four hours,” Hunter told Global News. “There was probably about 200 of us.”

She said some passengers were told to go back home while others were put up in hotels.

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Fellow flier Janice Paton of B.C., who was with a large wedding party, said they weren’t offered anything despite almost not making it to the wedding.

“We ended up going to a hotel, most of our group,” she told Global News. “But we ended up paying out of pocket.”

The women told Global News they were faced with flight delays once again the following day. And they added the problems didn’t end once they were onboard.

“So we get on the plane on Monday the 7th, but there was no pilot — there was no pilot for us. Then, we sit on the tarmac — again for another couple of hours — and they tell us to get off because they don’t have enough fuel.”

The flight did eventually take off, and Hunter and Paton both said it was a wonderful vacation. But coming back, the problem-plagued trip hit more turbulence. Their Nov. 13 flight was once again cancelled and rebooked for Nov. 14.

“We had to tell the Sunwing guy that it was cancelled,” Paton said. “He didn’t even know.”

The passengers were provided accommodations but both women said the hotel they were taken to was “sketchy.”

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“There’s mould in the showers, the toilets don’t flush properly and there were no towels,” they listed off. “Oh there’s cockroaches too, in some people’s rooms.”

Global News reached out to Sunwing with the concerns raised by several passengers.

Sunwing issued a statement to Global News.

“We can confirm that immediately prior to the scheduled departure time for flight WG523 from Calgary to Puerto Vallarta, a mechanical issue was discovered that delayed the southbound flight while maintenance crews investigated and resolved the issue, which in turn impacted the northbound return flight in question,” the statement reads in part.

“This has resulted in an overnight delay until this evening, Nov. 14, for flight WG524 from Puerto Vallarta to Calgary.”

Sunwing added that its “best efforts” were made to notify passengers about any delays. It also said its teams worked to source alternate hotel accommodations for passengers and co-ordinated new airport transfers for the resulting return flight.

Hunter and Paton said, unfortunately, the airline’s best efforts weren’t good enough.

“We’re out of pocket quite a bit of money and we’ve lost days,” Paton said.

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“We want compensation.”

The flight was on schedule to arrive in Calgary on Monday night.

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