‘Hundreds’ of Canadians stranded in Mexico for days after Sunwing cancellation

Hundreds of Canadians are stranded in Cancun, Mexico and don’t know how they will get home after Sunwing flights were canceled last week.

Passengers said they were traveling from hotel to hotel after sleeping on airport floors and lobbies, saying their ordeal had no end in sight.

“We just want to go home,” said Tess Friedenberger, who was due to fly back to Calgary on the Sunwing flight from Mexico on Dec. 22. “I never thought we would be in this situation and I never thought it would be possible. and ready to do whatever it takes.

Friedenberger said in an interview that the information from the Sunwing was inadequate and inaccurate, noting that many of his companions were starting to feel angry and desperate. A video seen by The Canadian Press shows dozens of people chanting “Liars!” at Cancun airport. and “Go home!”

“There is no help and no one we can really trust at this point,” she said. “We’re mostly keeping to ourselves.”

Friedenberger left Calgary on December 15th for a vacation in Cancun with the Sunwing. She was supposed to return home in a week, but she received notice that her flight was delayed. Notifications kept coming in over the next few days, and flights were pushed later in the week.

Finally, she and her companion were told the flight would depart on Christmas Eve.

She said she hadn’t heard anything about when they were going home.

Meanwhile, she and her fellow passengers were being transported between hotels in Cancun by Sunwing and had paid for taxis to get there, she said. Unaware of this, there were no rooms reserved for them. People slept in hotel lobbies until they were finally given beds.

“There were also elderly people who needed medicine,” she said. “There were children all over the lobby, screaming, crying, trying to sleep.”

When Sunwing ushered them to another pot pot on Christmas Eve, some became very distrustful and slept in the lobby again until they had proof that the room was waiting for them.

Sunwing said in tweets on December 22nd, 23rd and 24th that it had canceled flights due to severe winter weather across the country. Friedenberger said she understands that bad weather can wreak havoc, saying, “We are Canadians.”

“It’s a lack of communication and not knowing what’s going to happen and bouncing around,” she explained. Say that and put us in a hotel room.

Friedenberger said he encountered other Canadians stranded in Cancun on other Sunwing flights, and said they were dealing with the same unknowns.

“We’re not the only ones,” she said. “I would say hundreds at this point.”

Christina Opedisano says the Sunwing flight from Cancun to Toronto on Dec. 21 has also been cancelled. Like Friedenberger, Opedisano said in an interview that she and her family did not know when she would be home.

She and a group of 10 families, including four children, were also sent from hotel to hotel unprepared and slept on the airport or lobby floor the entire time, she said. She and her family were among a group of about 100 passengers who were scheduled to board the canceled Sunwing flight, she said.

“We are trapped here.”

In a statement emailed Sunday afternoon, Sunwing said “many northbound flights” will continue to be delayed as inclement weather is hampering its ability to move planes and crews to other airports. said to be facing

The company did not disclose how many flights were affected.

“Our team is working hard to re-accommodate our customers by sub-serving our aircraft when possible.We are also arranging alternative hotels and transfers for those who are delayed overnight. In addition to doing so,” the statement said, adding that customers should continue to check their flight status online.

“Our local and destination teams continue to actively manage the situation and are doing everything possible to bring customers home in the next few days,” the company said.

Sunwing did not immediately respond to follow-up emails asking when people stranded in Cancun could return home.

Sarah Smelly

canadian press