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

  • Trump heads to U.N. with long list of deals he's yet to close

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump, a self-described deal-maker, is saddled with a long list of unresolved foreign policy deals he has yet to close heading into his U.N. visit this coming week. There are challenges with Iran, North Korea, the Afghan Taliban, Israel and the Palestinians -- not to mention a number of trade pacts. Source
  • U.S. man dies during underwater proposal, girlfriend says

    World News CTV News
    A couple from Louisiana had their romantic trip to a Tanzania resort end in tragedy after the man died while to proposing to the woman while underwater, according to local reports. Kenesha Antoine posted a memorial to her partner Steven Weber that included photos and videos of the proposal on Facebook. Source
  • Teen activist Greta Thunberg delivers message ahead of UN youth climate summit

    World News CBC News
    The first UN youth climate summit kicks off in New York City on Saturday with a panel of speakers that includes 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg. She was on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, wrapping up a six-day visit to Washington, appearing with other young activists before the House foreign affairs subcommittee on climate change. Source
  • Greta Thunberg, other activists, deliver messages at UN youth climate summit

    World News CBC News
    The first UN youth climate summit kicks off in New York City on Saturday with a panel of speakers that includes 16-year-old Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg. She was on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, wrapping up a six-day visit to Washington, appearing with other young activists before the House foreign affairs subcommittee on climate change. Source
  • U.K.'s Labour Party in turmoil as vote to oust deputy ditched

    World News CTV News
    LONDON -- A vote to oust the deputy leader of Britain's main opposition Labour Party was ditched Saturday after a big backlash to the proposal prompted Jeremy Corbyn, the party's leader, to intervene. The surprise attempt to abolish the role of deputy leader by one of Corbyn's close allies caused uproar among many Labour members and has overshadowed the start of the party's annual conference in the southern England city of Brighton. Source
  • Rare protests in Egypt call for el-Sissi to step down

    World News CTV News
    CAIRO -- Rare anti-government protests broke out in Egypt Friday night calling on President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to step down. The former army general has overseen an unprecedented political crackdown, silencing critics and jailing thousands. Source
  • Police use tear gas in Paris amid an array of protests

    World News CTV News
    Paris police used tear gas Saturday to disperse anti-government demonstrators who try to revive the yellow vest movement in protest at perceived economic injustice and French President Emmanuel Macron's government. The French capital was placed under high security as few hundred anti-government protesters started marching in the Paris streets Source
  • Paris police use tear gas for 2nd time on day of protests

    World News CTV News
    PARIS -- A protest march on climate change brought thousands of people to the streets of Paris, including some agitators who scuffled with police and drew tear gas in response Saturday. Peaceful participants marched in the south of Paris to demand urgent action from the government and corporations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save the burning Amazon rainforest and stop the Arctic from melting. Source
  • Iraq detains suspect in deadly bombing that killed 12

    World News CTV News
    BAGHDAD -- Iraqi security forces boosted their presence and measures around the Shiite holy city of Karbala on Saturday, a day after a deadly bombing hit a minibus packed with passengers outside the city. Iraq's prime minister said security forces have detained a man suspected of detonating the bomb. Source
  • Hong Kong protesters burn flag, police fire pepper spray

    World News CTV News
    HONG KONG -- Protesters in Hong Kong burned a Chinese flag and police fired pepper spray Saturday in renewed clashes over grievances by the anti-government demonstrators. Police accused some protesters of throwing gasoline bombs after a march by several thousand people in Tuen Mun, an outlying district in the northwest of the Chinese territory. Source