Angry Sunwing passengers say they spent 8 hours stuck on tarmac

A flight from the Dominican Republic to Calgary that was supposed to land before midnight on Monday didn’t touch ground until dinnertime Tuesday, after repeated delays, including some eight hours spent sitting on an a tarmac in Ontario, angry passengers say.

See Full Article

The Sunwing flight left Punta Cana around dinnertime on Monday, and landed around 9 p.m. EST in Hamilton, Ont., to refuel and change crews.

But instead of disembarking for the final leg to Calgary, the plane sat on the tarmac in Hamilton for about eight hours, according to passengers.

Passengers said there was little food on board, toilets couldn't be flushed and there was no clear explanation for the delay.

Passenger Pauline Lamoureaux, who was on board with her husband and five-year-old daughter, said they were given only cookies and juice in the final hour before they were let off the plane. She said passengers became so frustrated that they called 911.

Sunwing said it made the decision to let the passengers off the plane about five hours after landing in Hamilton, but there were no international customs officers available. It also said bad weather prevented a ramp from being attached.

It wasn’t until about 6 a.m. EST that passengers were bussed to a hotel, where they were able to get a couple of hours of sleep before being brought back to the airport around 9 a.m. EST for the final leg of the flight.

That flight didn’t end up leaving until the afternoon, making the passengers even more miserable and exhausted by the time they got to Calgary around dinnertime Tuesday.

The airline apologized for the inconvenience and has offered each passenger $150 off future travel.

Robert Hansen, who was also on the flight, said he would like “some more rights as a passenger.”

The NDP introduced a private member’s bill in 2013 that would have required passengers grounded for more than one hour on tarmacs be allowed to get off planes, or get compensation of $100 per hour. It was blocked by the Conservatives and Bloc Quebecois.

Travellers can also complain to the Canadian Transportation Agency if they feel their agreements with the airlines, known as tariff provisions, have been breached.

However, the CTA recently dismissed the complaint of a traveller whose Sunwing flight was delayed by more than six hours in January. The adjudicator wrote in his ruling that “as pointed out by Sunwing, the Agency has determined, in previous decisions, carriers should have the flexibility to alter their schedules to respond to commercial and operational obligations, and that tariff provisions reflecting such flexibility are therefore just and reasonable.”

With a report from CTV’s Alberta Bureau Chief Janet Dirks



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Duke University removes damaged Robert E. Lee statue

    World News CTV News
    DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke University removed a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee early Saturday after it was vandalized amid a national debate about monuments to the Confederacy. The university said it removed the carved limestone likeness before dawn from the entryway to Duke Chapel, where it stood among 10 historical figures. Source
  • Saskatchewan Party to vote for new leader January 27 following Brad Wall retirement

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    REGINA — The Saskatchewan Party will choose a new leader to replace Premier Brad Wall on January 27, saying the successor will be decided through a one-member, one vote system at a convention in Saskatoon. “The Saskatchewan Party looks forward to a robust campaign, with many leadership candidates entering the race,” Saskatchewan Party president James Thorsteinson said in a news release following a meeting of the party’s provincial council in Regina. Source
  • Hate in America never in short supply

    World News Toronto Sun
    Oozing like a dark slime from dark, primal crevices American fascism is a festering boil that needs to be popped every 20 years or so. Its latest manifestation — fuelled by that conduit of intelligent discourse, social media — reared its head last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia. Source
  • Utah teacher and bride-to-be asks for donations for homeless students in lieu of wedding presents

    World News Toronto Sun
    SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah high school teacher is getting married next month. But instead of registering for a blender or stemware, she’s asking for shoes and backpacks to give homeless children at her school. Copper Hills High School teacher Rickee Stewart said she was shocked when she found out more than 100 homeless students attend her school. Source
  • Israeli leader to meet with Putin in Russia

    World News CTV News
    JERUSALEM - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office says the Israeli leader will travel to Russia on Wednesday to meet with President Vladimir Putin. Netanyahu's office said late Saturday that the meeting would take place in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi, and the two would discuss "the latest developments in the region. Source
  • Magician Penn Jillette apologizes for calling Newfoundlanders 'stupid'

    Canada News CBC News
    Celebrity magician Penn Jillette has apologized after Newfoundlanders took him to task for insulting their intelligence on a talk show. Jillette, half of the comedic magic duo Penn & Teller, talked about his Newfoundland roots during an appearance on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher that aired Friday night. Source
  • Eclipse so bright, gotta wear special shades

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Unless you’ve been living in a dark cave, by now you’ve heard about the solar eclipse on Monday. The day will turn into night in many places across North America, as the moon shrouds the sun, and precautions are needed for the big celestial event. Source
  • Quebec thieves leave stolen goods behind during early-morning robbery

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    LAVAL, Que. — Police say thieves who broke into a Quebec department store early this morning accidentally lost hundreds of thousands in stolen goods as they fled. Laval police received a call at around 3:30 a.m. about a break-in and robbery at a Hudson’s Bay store in a shopping centre just north of Montreal. Source
  • Woman's flag ripped away, 20 arrests as 'free speech rally' cut short in Boston [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    BOSTON — Conservative activists and leftist counterprotesters prepared for a confrontation on Boston Common that could draw thousands a week after a demonstration in Virginia turned deadly. Police Commissioner William Evans said Friday that 500 officers — some in uniform, others undercover — would be deployed to keep the two groups apart on Saturday. Source
  • Suspect in killings of two Florida officers arrested at bar

    World News Toronto Sun
    KISSIMMEE, Fla. — A suspect in the fatal shooting of a police officer in Florida and the grave wounding of a sergeant was arrested several hours after the attack in a bar, authorities said Saturday. Everett Miller faces a charge of first-degree murder for the killing of Officer Matthew Baxter and could face other charges for the wounding of Sgt. Source