Sunwing ‘incredibly sorry’ after holiday travel disruptions leave many customers stranded

By Brett Bundale, The Canadian Press

Sunwing has issued an apology to passengers left stranded after winter storms upended operations but says, “most of our customers enjoyed their holidays with minimal disruption.”

In a joint statement, Sunwing Travel Group CEO Stephen Hunter and Sunwing Airlines president Len Corrado say they are “incredibly sorry for letting our customers down.” The executives say they regret that the company “did not meet the level of service our customers expect from Sunwing.”

“Like many Canadians, we dreamed this holiday would be a return to normal. We planned our highest travel schedule since pre-pandemic. We invested significantly to mitigate the potential risks that would come with meeting the high demand for travel over our peak winter season,” the statement read in part.

“While most of our customers enjoyed their holidays with minimal disruption, we had clear failures in execution, particularly in responding to weather-related delays and the aftermath of severe weather disruptions, which limited our ability to reposition aircraft and crew to other airports to help alleviate the backlog in flights.”

Hundreds of passengers were affected by Sunwing delays, which began to pile up as it started to cancel flights on Dec. 22 due to weather.

Some customers were stranded for days in tropical destinations amid a flurry of cancellations, winter storms and a breakdown with the airline’s digital communication service that left some flights with empty seats.


The company says it has completed all recovery flights related to holiday disruptions and has the plan to fix technical issues with flight alert notifications and communication flow to customers.

The airline is also continuing to “actively work to reunite customers who travelled during this period with their baggage in a timely fashion.”

“In response to the factors mentioned above, we took several measures to mitigate further delays for our customers during the holidays. This included subservicing aircraft from several airline partners to repatriate those in a destination with significant delays,” the statement continued.

“Our teams worked around the clock to return customers home while providing customers in destination with hotel accommodations, food and beverage, and airport transfers, regardless of the reason for the delay.”

The airline announced on Dec. 29 that it was immediately cancelling its operations through Feb. 3 at Saskatchewan’s two largest airports.

Sunwing said it has “reduced some capacity during the month of January to ensure that we can execute to the highest standards with the least disruption to customers as we move through the winter season.”

The airline added that it’s actively accepting eligible claims for compensation and will fully comply with Canada’s Air Passenger Protection Regulations.

With files from Lucas Casaletto of CityNews

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