Sunwing Keeps Cancelling Flights & Here's Everything You Should Know About The Drama

The airline has cancelled all flights out of two Canadian cities until February. 👀

A Sunwing plane.
Associate Editor

A Sunwing plane.

It's been a rough couple of days for passengers of Sunwing Airlines after weather complications disrupted flights and led to hundreds of people being stranded over the holidays.

What's more, the airline has now announced that it has stopped flights going out of airports in Saskatoon and Regina until February 3, 2023, due to "extenuating circumstances."

The carrier cited weather disruptions, heavy demand over the holidays and staffing issues as some of the reasons behind the cancellations.

"Sunwing had initially planned to supplement seasonal demand for travel from Saskatoon and Regina with the assistance of temporary foreign pilots for the winter months," a statement from the airline read.

It continued, "When foreign pilot deployment was not agreed to, we brought in subservices to sustain our operations, however the conditions and schedule have proven too significant for our subserviced aircraft partners."

"We have attempted to reposition Sunwing aircraft to support but have been unable to do so as a result of flight delays and cancellations brought on by recent weather disruptions, and heavy demand over the peak holiday period."

The cancellations began with immediate effect on December 29, meaning many were left stranded – something that led to a huge backlash.

Among the many affected were a couple whose destination wedding in Mexico was ruined, according to Global News.

Even the Saskatchewan premier weighed in on the whole mess, calling the flight cancellations an "irresponsible decision."

"In the days ahead, we expect Sunwing to appropriately compensate everyone who did not receive the service they purchased from Sunwing," Premier Scott Moe said.

The airline says its teams have been working to repatriate all affected customers with cancelled return flights.

What happened to Sunwing Airlines over the holidays?

Sunwing is one of the major airlines that cancelled flights over the holiday period due to a giant winter storm in Canada.

In the lead up to Christmas, the airline announced that due to poor weather conditions, all southbound flights from Vancouver were cancelled.

It later extended this to Kelowna, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina and Winnipeg airports with departures up to and including December 25.

This culminated in a whole lot of chaos, with missing luggage, complaints of bad service, customers chanting expletives at airports and hundreds of passengers stranded in other parts of the world, including Mexico.

One group of Canadians, stranded in the Dominican Republic, eventually got back to Quebec with the help of the New England Patriots football team, according to Global News.

The airline also got into hot water after a Sunwing representative reportedly threatened a family that they'd "make sure they stay [in Mexico] forever" after they enquired about a return flight, according to a report from CTV.

In a statement to Narcity, the airline said that the destination's representative's comments, which were captured on video, were "inappropriate" and that the person had been removed from all duties and will face disciplinary actions.

"An internal review has been conducted," the statement said.

"We know that, despite our best efforts, we have failed to deliver on what customers have come to expect of Sunwing and sincerely apologize to our customers who have been affected over the holiday season," the airline said in a separate statement on Twitter.

How to get a refund if your flight was cancelled

Impacted customers with cancelled southbound departures should receive a full refund from the carrier within 30 days. No action is required.

Saskatoon and Regina customers who were notified 14 days or less before departure are entitled to $125 in compensation.

Those affected can submit a claim for compensation or a refund online, while receipts for related expenses can also be sent to Sunwing Cares for review.

What's happening now?

On Tuesday, January 3, Sunwing stated that its teams are working to get customers home and provide those stuck in other destinations with accommodation, food and airport transfers.

The airline has also announced that as of Tuesday, all of their scheduled recovery flights are complete.

Those still stranded are either taking longer vacations and flying back on a later date or have already rescheduled their return.

Any other scheduling changes are not related to the holiday disruptions, the carrier confirmed.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Janice Rodrigues
Associate Editor
Janice Rodrigues was an Associate Editor for Narcity Media focused on Canadian immigration and passports, and is based in Scarborough, Ontario.