Toronto Sunwing passengers stranded all over as flight delay problem drags on for 3rd day
Ridiculously long flight delays continue for Sunwing Airlines and thousands of Canadian travellers, some of whom have now been stuck in the Caribbean — or worse, at Toronto's Pearson International Airport — for going on three days now, with little information about when they'll take off.
Passengers first started reporting that their Sunwing flights were being repeatedly delayed for much longer than what could be considered normal on Sunday.
Canadians in Mexico, Cuba, Aruba, Jamaica and other sunny locales reached out to the Toronto-based, low-cost air carrier and tour operator on Twitter to ask what was up, explaining that they couldn't get any information from reps on the ground or by phone.
Some complained that their flights had been outright cancelled, only to be rebooked and cancelled again, forcing them to take shuttles back and forth to resorts where they no longer had rooms to even go to.
Meanwhile in Toronto, hopeful vacationers had their dreams of getting away crushed by similar rolling cancellations and indefinite delays.
Last communication from #sunwing was at 7:06am 5 minutes after arriving to the airport for what was our 8 am then 10am and now 4:30pm flight. Does anyone know if 4:30 flight is still happening? pic.twitter.com/PY5JURon5S— Maria (@murmur44) April 18, 2022
Late Monday morning, more than 16 hours after the complaints started rolling in on social media, Sunwing issued a public statement explaining that the airline was experiencing issues with its check-in and boarding systems.
"We are currently experiencing a network-wide system issue which has impacted check-in and boarding, resulting in flight delays for all departing flights over the next 12-24 hours," read the statement from Sunwing, issued at 11:20 a.m.
"We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and are working to have the issue resolved as soon as possible. We strongly encourage all customers travelling during this period to check their flight status before heading to the airport."
As of 2 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, widespread problems exist within the Sunwing network.
Travellers in Toronto are furious to be missing out on vacations they've already paid for.
There is no May about it - it’s been three days and you still can’t get your act together - you’re screwing with two brides and all of their guests on one flight alone - I can’t imagine the other 8 that are delayed - #worstairline— Cheryl De Luca (@cheryldeluca) April 19, 2022
And many say a lack of information from Sunwing is only making things worse.
Sunwing did finally issue another statement on Tuesday just before noon as thousands of people remained grounded and confused.
"Our check-in provider continues to experience a system issue affecting our flight operations. We sincerely apologize to all of our customers whose flights have been impacted. Our team is working around the clock to help you reach your destination, and we've successfully had 15 flights depart since yesterday with more to come today," reads the statement.
"Our systems provider continues to work on resolving the issue and we will share further updates as they become available. In the meantime, our teams both locally and in destination are working hard to manually process as many flights as possible, but additional flight delays are anticipated. We truly appreciate your patience and understanding."
3 words: Class action Lawsuit !— Tim Cooke (@Ti_mCook) April 19, 2022
Customers aren't exactly forgiving, given how stressful the situation has been and continues to be.
Having a panic attack right now. Thanks to @SunwingVacay for its poor management and lack of answers— My Brilliant Friend (@missfreyja2) April 19, 2022
There's certainly a silver lining for some customers who don't mind spending a few extra days in the sun.
I just came back from lobby. @SunwingVacay is putting us up for another night. We leave tmrw evening. Hopefully. Another day on the beach, oh my. Now I gotta notify my employers. #sunwing pic.twitter.com/JbpoCVBG5B— Tania Cameron (@TaniaCameron) April 19, 2022
For others, however, the situation is growing critical. Not only do people have jobs, families and other responsibilities to worry about at home, they've also got vital medical services.
We are stuck in the Dominican Republic with no word on updates. The Sunwing rep has advised there is no compensation for alternate travel plans we make to get home. My husband will run out of heart medication shortly and we are continually advised to ‘return to the lobby’.— Nicole Smythe (@NicoleSmythe2) April 19, 2022
And back at Pearson, the lineups for Sunwing's service counters are... intimidating, to say the least.
The airline continues to promise passengers on Twitter that it's doing what it can to resolve the problem, but the problem — whatever it is — persists.
Even those passengers who've reported being able to get on one of the very limited Sunwing flights out of Pearson say the process has been long and arduous.
After 5 hrs of standing in line, luggage has been checked in. Separate seating from travelling companions. If you paid for your seats you need to contact #sunwing for reimbursement pic.twitter.com/DViwK3i55E— eileen (@Nootellahh) April 19, 2022
"The pilot actually told us that the reason they were able to get us on flights today is not because the problem is solved, but because they found a manual workaround," wrote one Twitter user.
"Such a disaster."
Frustrating as it all is, some are finding humour in the situation.
Dozens of Sunwing flights from Toronto to Mexico, Jamaica, Cuba and the Dominican Republic remain delayed as of 2 p.m. on Tuesday, or have been cancelled outright.
You can find live updates on Toronto Pearson's website.
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