Sunwing Travel Group / sunwing flight 297 from holguin, cuba to halifax, ns on march 14, 2017
Last week on March 14, 2017, I was on Sunwing flight 297 from Holguin, Cuba to Halifax, NS stopping in Fredericton NB. We landed in Fredericton in a blizzard to let the Fredericton passengers off the plane. We were on the tarmac well over an hour probably closer to two while it was decided if we would fly on to Halifax. The decision was made to continue on to Halifax even though the wind was quite strong and there was snow blowing across the runway. Also all flights into Halifax by all airlines except 1 Air transat and our Sunwing flight had been cancelled. We were on the runway with the engine revved, ready to take off when one of the passengers, who was a flight attendant from another airline, noticed ice build up on the wings. She spoke up and the Sunwing flight attendant then looked out the window and then got the first officer. They decided to abort the flight.
Back to the airport we taxied but we weren't able to deplane because the Custom's officers had gone home and had to be called back in . We were kept on the plane almost 2 hours more. We were told when we got in the airport that hotel rooms would have been arranged and then we would be given a flight home the next afternoon. When we finally got off the plane and went through customs we entered the main part of the airport, to find no one there. The airport had been shut down. There were no rooms, no food, no flights, no information. 89 passengers roaming around a deserted airport. After a while we were told that they had hotels for us but taxis were not running and were would be getting updates shortly. Come to find out that there were taxis running and that the hotels were not contacted until morning. At about 7 am Wed it was announced we could get in line to receive hotel and taxi vouchers. An hour standing in line for a hotel voucher and an hour and half in line to get a taxi. We needed to be back to the airport by 1 am for a flight to Halifax.
On Wed I tried to find our flight on line so I could give the person picking me up a time. I couldn't find the flight at all but I was surprised to note that our flight had arrived in Halifax the night before on time. Strange that we were still in Fredericton !!
Tues night during the storm, my husband drove to the airport to get me. 91 km to and 91 km from the airport in a storm on snow covered roads . He checked at 8:45 and the flight status said the flight was on time. When he arrived at the airport the flight was not listed on the board. He asked the ground transport person about the flight, which they were also looking for. He called Sunwing and got a message that there was no information on that flight. No one at the airport knew where we were.
At the Fredericton airport, on Wed we were told we were scheduled to leave at 3 even though there was no where on the Sunwing web site to confirm that. Even the Sunwing employees couldn't find it. Also they had no explanation on why the site was saying we had arrived in Halifax on time the night before. We were at the airport on time for departure and again the plane was an hour late taking off with no explanation.
I feel the safety of all the people on that plane was put in jeopardy and the safety of the people traveling to the Halifax airport to pick up those passengers. There was very poor communication or no truthful communication throughout the ordeal.
Besides the inconvenience, I had the expense of 2 phone calls home using my credit card at a pay phone $21.81 and a round trip to the airport for the second time 182km @.50 = 90.10 and parking fee $6 because the plane was late. The credit toward another sunwing vacation is not requited for what we endured and I would also request compensation for the above expenses.
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