Travelers that were heading for a holiday to Cancun, Mexico got a scary surprise this weekend as their flight was forced to emergency land on Saturday. A Sunwing plane that was heading from Toronto to Cancun was forced to land in New Orleans due to a mechanical issue which left hundreds of passengers stranded for hours. Many passengers took to Twitter to share their awful experience.
What was supposed to be a relaxing holiday turned into chaos for many passengers on Saturday when they boarded Sunwing Flight 511 just after 10 AM. They were in the air for a few hours before they were forced to land at the Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans around 1:30 PM.
Sunwing confirmed to CTV News that the flight was forced to divert their path after their Boeing 767-300 aircraft had reported mechanical issues. The plane landed safely and all 239 passengers on board were uninjured.
However, that was only the beginning of the problem according to the passengers who were stranded on the flight after landing.
After an emergency landing @SunwingVacay has all 250+ passengers locked in the basement of New Orleans airport with no news, no plan. No one from the crew is to be seen, the call centre says “we are working on it, keep waiting”. Shame on you #sunwing @CTVNews @CBCNews @CP24 pic.twitter.com/m1uJ8wpy66— Marcelo Gomez-W (@MarceloGW) March 30, 2019
When the plane was forced to emergency land in New Orleans there was no ground staff to help out, which created a logistical problem that prolonged the delays.
Passengers told CBC News that they were stranded on the Boeing plane, a replacement plane for the grounded Boeing 737 Max 8, which was banned due to safety concerns, for four hours before they were transported to a basement in the New Orleans airport.
my parents are stranded in New Orleans because of an engine failure on a plane. They've been there since 1:30 PM and it's now 7:30 PM. They cant leave the airport since they're not cleared for US customs, so now we don't know if they're even going to get a voucher for1/2— ✨Lee✨ (@mochileeart) March 30, 2019
@SunwingVacay sitting in New Orleans when we should have been in Cancun five hours ago with ZERO updates from your company. Take our money and treat us like cattle. Let’s see how many hoops I have to jump through to get any money back for your incompetence.— Heather Jay (@HSadura) March 30, 2019
@SunwingVacay Sunwing needs to be more helpful!!! No one is giving us any information!!!— micki romeo (@MickiRomeo) March 30, 2019
One Twitter user recalled the awful experience, stating that "all 250+ passengers locked in the basement of New Orleans airport with no news, no plan,". Another Twitter user even stated that it felt like they were stuck in a basement that felt like a "detention centre".
However, Sunwing told CTV News that they provided the stranded and unhappy passengers with water and snacks when they were attempting to find another aircraft to continue their journey.
A replacement flight was scheduled after hours of delays and eventually, the passengers were able to continue their flight to Cancun, Mexico.