Few things in life are more frustrating than finding out your flight has been delayed. Add being stuck on the tarmac without air conditioning for a few hours, deplaning, and then re-boarding hours later only to later find out the flight is cancelled? That's just the start of what happened during a Toronto-bound Sunwing flight delay in Cancun this weekend.
Sunwing passengers flying from Cancun, Mexico to Toronto's Pearson International Airport endured what could only be described as the flight delay from hell this weekend. According to a report from CTV News, passengers claim that they were stranded for hours on a hot plane without air conditioning while their flight sat on the tarmac, delayed in Cancun.
After several hours, passengers were eventually allowed to disembark. When they boarded the plane for a second time hours later, they were yet again met with disappointment when their flight was eventually cancelled.
A video of the chaos was shared by Krista Corinne Sobocan on Facebook this past Friday, on May 24th. "Never fly Sunwing Vacations," she wrote in the caption. "Ourselves and the other passengers on flight WG 272 from Cancun to Toronto were held on a plane with no AC for hours with no explanation. Mass panic and fury erupted as people started to pass out and have anxiety attacks."
In total, the agonizing series of incidents endured by the passengers spanned nearly 24 hours. Unsurprisingly, Sunwing is now at the centre of a mass of criticism.
One of the passengers, Ulises Concepcion Velazquez, explained to CP24, "the heat was truly bad and we asked several times for them to let us out." Another passenger, Angel Kivinen, commented to CTV News Toronto, "I think the biggest part for me was that there were so many people who were panicking and nobody had anything to say. Flight attendants just kind of looked at you…tell us what’s going on."
In a video recorded while onboard the plane by Velazquez, someone can be heard yelling, "Shame on you! There is a child crying. Shame!" Another passenger, Azam Hassam, stated that airline employees kept making excuses for the delay, such as the cargo doors not closing and the engine not starting. It was "one thing after another."
In an emailed statement to Narcity, a spokesperson for Sunwing identified as only "Rachel", blamed the delay on mechanical and maintenance issues. In the statement, she wrote, "Since the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX, regrettably some of our regular operations have been disrupted, as we have had to sub contract the services of other carriers, such as Eastern Airlines."
She also said that the "plane was not serviceable" and that "a replacement aircraft was sourced to operate" on Saturday morning. "We remain extremely apologetic for the delay to today’s service and will be offering our customers compensation," said the statement.
According to the statement, Sunwing arranged for passengers to stay in an all-inclusive resort for the night. They finally made it to Toronto after the rescheduled flight took off Saturday morning.