A class action is contemplated against Sunwing

Nothing is going well for Sunwing. The airline is plagued with complaints from customers who are considering taking legal action to seek compensation for expenses incurred due to delayed or canceled flights. Meanwhile, the company announces that it is suspending all flights from two Saskatchewan airports.

On the Facebook page called « Sunwing Complaints », which has more than 5,000 subscribers, testimonies accumulate from customers of the airline company who have seen their flight leaving or returning from a sun destination being delayed many times. times, sometimes over a few days, before being simply cancelled.

In the last few days, the airline justified these delays and flight cancellations due to extreme weather conditions. However, what the many customers contacted by The duty Thursday, it is above all the lack of communication and organization of the company towards the many travelers whose vacation plans have been disrupted.

Federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra himself described as “unacceptable” on Wednesday the way Sunwing handled the effects of these flight cancellations on these customers.

“The situation with Sunwing Airlines is unacceptable, as Canadians rightly expect their airlines to keep them informed and manage disruptions accordingly. We expect all airlines to communicate with passengers and keep them informed of delays or cancellations,” added Minister Alghabra’s office on Thursday in a statement sent to the Homework.

Sunwing, for its part, assured Thursday to work hard to try to remedy the problems encountered by its customers still stuck in sun destinations.

Our teams continue to work to reduce return flight delays and get our customers affected by these delays home as soon as possible. This indicates that it has planned “40 recovery flights this week”. Of this batch, 24 had been made as of Thursday. The company also ensures that travelers who have had their flights canceled will receive a refund.

A proposed class action

Many travelers joined by The duty said they had to find a return flight on their own with another airline after Sunwing canceled their flight without offering them an alternative option. However, the Air Passenger Protection Regulations specify that an airline must find a flight with a competing company if it is unable to provide the service itself to its customers within 48 hours. following the initial departure time.

« We were just canceled our flight and were told that it’s up to us to manage to get back, » says Marie-Christine Beaudoin, who turned to a competing company to return from Miami to Montreal in the last days. “If we had stayed, we would have had to struggle to find a place to sleep,” said Camelia Fleseriu, who resigned herself on December 27 to buying a return ticket with Air Transat from Cancún to Montreal, Sunwing being unable to provide a way for her to return home with her seven-year-old daughter.

Several customers also believe that they should receive compensation for the hotel and travel expenses they incurred during the periods when their flight was delayed. They were thus more than 260, as of Thursday evening, to have joined a group created on the WhatsApp platform dedicated to Sunwing customers wishing to initiate a class action against the company.

“I hope they will. It is completely legitimate to do so, ”says Mehran Ebrahimi, professor at UQAM and director of the International Observatory of Aeronautics and Civil Aviation, about this possible class action. According to him, “it is by doing things like this that we will be able to improve our regulations and scare the airlines for the next crises so that they ensure respect for the rights of passengers”.

The president and founder of the Travelers Rights group, Gabor Lukacs, recalls for his part that the federal government has the legislative levers to impose hefty fines on air carriers who do not respect the rights of their passengers. « The problem is that the government does not impose these fines, » said Mr. Lukacs.

Sunwing takes a break in Saskatchewan

A sign that times are tough for Sunwing, the airline announced Thursday the suspension, effective “immediately”, of the cancellation of its flights scheduled until February 3, inclusive, from the airports of Regina and Saskatoon.

« We are aware that, despite our best efforts, we have not been able to meet our customers’ expectations and we sincerely regret not being able to achieve the levels of service that customers in Saskatoon and Regina have expected. right, ”wrote the air carrier on its Twitter account on Thursday afternoon.

By e-mail, the company specifies that it has tried in vain to “meet the increase in seasonal demand for travel from Saskatoon and Regina by calling on foreign pilots during the winter period”, in vain. The company therefore finds itself having to cancel flights departing from these two cities.

“For customers currently in destination who wish to return to Saskatoon and Regina, our team is working proactively to bring home any customers affected by the cancellation of their return flight. We expect to repatriate most or all customers from Saskatchewan by January 2, 2023,” the company adds.

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