From $600 to $2,000: Sunwing nearly quadruples baggage compensation after criticism – National

Sunwing Vacations has come under scrutiny for telling passengers they will be compensated far less than is legally required for their missing or lost baggage.

The travel agency told several passengers it would compensate them up to $450, or about $600 CAD, for what they spent to replace necessary items in luggage that didn’t arrive at their destination.

Sunwing has since « revised » that amount to C$2,000, which is much closer to the C$2,300 maximum set out in Canada’s Air Passenger Protection Regulations, which airlines must compensate for lost baggage. .

“There is no legal basis for (the $450 amount),” Gábor Lukács, president of the air passenger rights organization, told Global News. « It’s just plain fraud. »

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Canadian Sunwing passengers stranded in Mexico for 5 days without ‘no communication’

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Air Passenger Rights called the lower initial amount Sunwing presented as « misinformation » on Twitter.

The problem, however, is that many passengers don’t know their rights, Lukács said, and overly complex rules don’t help.

Julian Rizhanovsky is a traveler who had no idea that airlines are legally required to compensate up to $2,300. He told Global News that his two friends did not receive their luggage from Sunwing when they arrived in Cuba and had already spent around $750 over two days to replace essential items in their luggage, given the high tourist prices. in the country.

« We weren’t dropped off in Florida where we can pick up $10 T-shirts, » he said. « There was none of that. »

It was only after Rizhanovsky explained the situation to his friends on Twitter that Sunwing responded with the « revised » compensation amount.

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Transport minister ‘concerned’ about travelers stranded abroad

« Apologies for the confusion » Sunwing responded on Thursday. “The maximum for essential purchases at destination (for delayed or lost baggage) has been revised to CA$2,000 per person. Please keep your receipts and submit them when you return.

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Global News has contacted Sunwing for an explanation of the changing amount, but has not received a response as of press time.

On Wednesday, Transport Minister Omar Alghabra said on Twitter that he was « very concerned about the current situation with Sunwing Airlines » over the reported lack of communication.

« This current situation is unacceptable, » he said. « Passengers have rights. »

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Stranded in paradise: Airline catches up after flights delayed by severe weather disruption

Sunwing has been struggling with issues over the past few weeks that have left travelers stranded in multiple countries.

On Thursday, the airline said it was sending dozens of flights to Mexico to bring home thousands of stranded passengers after winter storms disrupted operations.

Also on Thursday, Sunwing announced it was canceling all flights to and from Saskatchewan through Feb. 4, 2023, with « immediate effect. » The company said in a statement that it had no choice but to suspend all operations out of Regina and Saskatchewan airports and that all travelers would receive a refund within 30 days.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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