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

  • Israeli defence minister resigns over Gaza ceasefire deal

    World News CBC News
    Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman has abruptly resigned his post in protest over a ceasefire reached with Gaza militants, rocking the Israeli political scene and potentially bringing about early elections. Lieberman termed the ceasefire ending two days of intense fighting "surrender to terrorism," and said he could no longer serve a government that endorsed it. Source
  • Plane crash that killed couple went unnoticed for six hours

    Canada News CTV News
    More than six hours elapsed between the time a small plane crashed while attempting to land at a southern Ontario airport, killing its two occupants, and the time the crash was noticed. People who live near the Brantford Municipal Airport say they heard a loud noise similar to a bang around 1:30 a.m. Source
  • Trump warnings about migrant caravan fall off after election

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Did someone say caravan? One week after Election Day, U.S. President Donald Trump's daily drumbeat of warnings about a caravan of "bad thugs" and potential terrorists intent on invading the U.S. from Mexico has largely fallen silent. Source
  • Theresa May begins process of convincing party, Parliament on Brexit divorce deal

    World News CBC News
    Prime Minister Theresa May will try to convince senior ministers on Wednesday to accept a draft European Union divorce deal, telling the House of Commons the agreement "takes us significantly closer to delivering what the British people voted for. Source
  • 89 homicides in 2018: Toronto ties record for most murders in a year

    Canada News CTV News
    Toronto has matched its previous record, set in 1991, for the most murders in a year after a man was shot to death in in the city’s northwest early Wednesday morning.Visit CTV Toronto for more details on this story Police were called to the area of Ann Arbour Rd. Source
  • Expensive APEC summit sows division in host Papua New Guinea

    World News CTV News
    PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea -- After three decades of promoting free trade as a panacea to poverty, the APEC grouping of nations that includes the U.S. and China is holding its lavish annual leaders' meeting in the country that can least afford it. Source
  • Boeing didn't disclose control feature eyed in Indonesia crash, U.S. pilots say

    World News CBC News
    Boeing didn't tell airline pilots about features of a new flight-control system in its 737 MAX that reportedly is a focus of the investigation into last month's deadly crash in Indonesia, according to pilots who fly the jet in the U.S. Source
  • Sask. eHealth exec got free PGA golf trip from vendor doing business with province

    Canada News CBC News
    A former Chief Information Officer with the Saskatchewan Crown corporation eHealth acknowledges that last year he received an all-expenses-paid trip to Charlotte, North Carolina where he and two other eHealth employees attended the PGA Championship. Wilbour Craddock told CBC's iTeam the flights, accommodations, meals and tickets to the August 2017 tournament were all paid for by Lexmark, a large printing firm that does business with the government of Saskatchewan. Source
  • Canada's first successful heart transplant was 50 years ago this week. Here's how it happened

    Canada News CBC News
    In mid-November 1968, a team of cardiologists at St. Michael's Hospital received a call they had been waiting on for months. An 18-year-old man had been badly injured in an accident, they learned. He was ruled brain dead, but his heart was still beating. Source
  • Man shot to death in north end is Toronto's 89th homicide this year — tying grim record set in 1991

    Canada News CBC News
    A man's shooting death overnight Wednesday in north Toronto marks the city's 89th homicide this year, a grim record that has stood unbroken for nearly three decades. Police responded to Ann Arbour Road, in the area of Albion and Weston roads, around midnight after several callers reported hearing multiple gunshots. Source