Sunwing working to clear backlog of delayed flights after cyberattack

Delays continue for Sunwing Airlines passengers after a cyberattack caused a system-wide failure earlier this week.

The network issue is affecting the boarding and check-in features and causing flight delays and long lines at Pearson Airport for a fifth straight day.

“Our third-party systems provider, Airline Choice, continues to work on resolving their system issue which was prompted by a compromise in their network,” said the airline in a statement provided to CityNews.

“Sunwing continues to manually process as many flights as possible to minimize service disruptions.”

The airline says they were able to board more than 30 flights that left Pearson on Wednesday between manual check-ins and sub-chartered aircrafts.

Airline Choice confirmed to CityNews a data security event was the cause of the disruption to “a limited number of our computer systems,” and as a result, the company took certain systems offline.

“We also immediately launched an investigation to determine the nature and scope of the event. We are working diligently with third-party computer specialists to investigate the source of this disruption and confirm its impact on our systems.”

The flight board on the Toronto Pearson website shows another 12 Sunwing flights delayed on Thursday.

Passengers turn attention to compensation from Sunwing

Dozens of flights from Pearson to vacation destinations have been rescheduled since Sunday and passengers who have been hit with long delays are now turning their attention to compensation.

One passenger tells CityNews she’s already lost two days of her family’s vacation to the Dominican Republic because of the delays.

“We already looked into extending on the other end,” she says. “We’re lucky enough that we have taken a longer time off, but people have lost days of work and money.”

Some travellers say they’ve faced flight delays up to three days, which has cut into nearly half of their week-long vacation times in some cases.

Sunwing’s president says the company will be offering cash compensation to every passenger involved, varying on the length of delay.

CityNews has learned the airline changed its description from a large airline to a small one in January. The change means compensation could vary based on the date that passengers booked their trip.

Canada’s air passenger protection regulations state that anyone on a large airline who is delayed more than nine hours is due $1000. For a small airline, they are due $500.

An air passenger advocate says the hack was within the airline’s control and Sunwing is responsible for reimbursing customers.

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