Sunwing flights delayed, passengers stranded due to network-wide issue

A technical issue has delayed a number of Sunwing Airline flights, stranding some Canadian travelers as the issue hinders check-in and boarding.

In a statement on Monday, a spokesperson for Sunwing Travel Group said the airline’s systems provider is experiencing a network-wide system issue affecting carriers globally, including Sunwing flights. .

Sunwing’s website shows that virtually all flights scheduled for Monday – more than 40 – were delayed, some by more than 12 hours.

“We sincerely regret the impact this is having on our customers’ travel plans and are working diligently with our technology provider to resolve the issue as soon as possible,” the statement read.

Jean-Hugues Demers of Boucherville, Quebec was stuck waiting in the lobby of a Cuban resort with his girlfriend and friends for several hours.

The group left Montreal on April 6 for a week at the Paradiso resort in Varadero, Cuba. They were due to return to Canada at the end of the long weekend, until Demers learned that their flight had been delayed.

Jean-Hughes Demers says he is disappointed with Sunwing’s crisis management. (Kwabena Oduro/CBC)

“I just texted my boss this morning saying I’ll be there tonight, but now I don’t know,” he said.

“The hotel has been very good to us…” he said. “But it’s still hot, and we want to know what happened.”

Around 4:45 p.m. ET, Demers said he was on his way home.

“The information does not change”

Anne Estabrook said she and her children had been waiting at a Mexican airport for an hour before employees first told them the system had gone down. They were due to return to Vancouver early Monday.

“It turned into about six hours of sitting on the ground at the Mexico City airport with no knowledge of what was going on,” she said.

“Every time they give us an update, [they say]”I’ll tell you in an hour,” she said. “It’s happened six or seven times, and the information doesn’t change after this time.”

Six hours sitting on the ground at Mexico City airport not knowing what was going on.– Traveler Anne Estabrook

Mario Marcil said he and his wife had been waiting since Monday around 3 a.m. at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport to board their flight to Cuba.

The couple bought their tickets for an 8pm Sunwing flight yesterday in the hope of seeing Marcil’s mother-in-law before she dies.

Marcil said he received numerous calls from Cuba amid the delay asking when they would arrive. At one point, a family member told him that he only had a few hours left to live.

“We don’t know if we’ll make it in time,” Marcil said in tears.

Mario Marcil held back tears, saying his delayed flight to Cuba could mean he and his wife won’t make it in time to see his mother-in-law before she dies. (Radio Canada)

Meanwhile, the airline says ‘best attempts are being made’ to let passengers know how their flights are affected and encourages passengers with travel scheduled for the next day to check their flight status before traveling. at the airport.

He says he also coordinates hotel accommodations and airport transfers with his destination management company.

Know your rights

Maintaining a computer system is the responsibility of the airline, said passenger rights advocate Gábor Lukács.

“There can be really exceptional liabilities like being hacked like accidentally cut internet cables, but airlines have to have contingencies,” he said.

When a passenger is delayed or a flight is canceled for reasons beyond the carrier’s control, he said, the passenger owes not only meals, lodging and expedited transportation to their destination , but also up to $1,000 in financial compensation for the inconvenience.

Air passenger rights advocate Gábor Lukács says passengers are entitled to financial compensation of up to $1,000 if they are delayed or their flight is canceled for reasons beyond the carrier’s control. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

“If other airlines are not affected, then Sunwing must purchase a ticket for you at its own expense on other carriers’ flights,” he said.

Joaquin Chanchan, a Montrealer who is traveling to the Dominican Republic for a family reunion, said he will make sure to submit all the necessary documents to be reimbursed for the loss of a day of his trip.

“We were supposed to arrive at noon, now it’s seven in the evening, so the first day of our vacation is wasted,” Chanchan said.

“I expect compensation for this.”

Joaquin Chanchan, center, says he’s been waiting at Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport with his family since about 3 a.m. He says he will take the necessary steps to be reimbursed for the loss of a day of his trip. (Kwabena Oduro/CBC)

Lukács says this is well within passengers’ rights, and he urges them to be aware of airlines’ lack of transparency about them.

“You don’t ask the airline what your rights are, you tell them your rights,” he said.

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