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If this is all true, its why there will some day be a pax rights bill passed in Canada.

Home > Sunwing Airlines > 2010 > Review

Taken 3 January 2010 from Toronto, ON (Lester B. Pearson International Airport) - YYZ to Montego Bay (Sangster) - MBJ

I have to say this was the most horrific flying experience I have ever had.

I am already a nervous flyer, so when we got to the Toronto Pearson Airport 3 hours early as required, I was shocked to hear the Sunwing plane we were supposed to fly to Montego Bay in had some kind of incident earlier in the day.

I heard it caught fire while landing, Ice over the propeller, and a few other stories from fellow passengers all claiming to have heard it on the news.

I asked one of the Sunwing Representatives about it and he told me not to worry about it, that nothing was wrong, but now we were to be flying out of a Skyservice plane instead of Sunwing.

Our flight was scheduled to leave at 4:45pm. At 4:30 our flight was not even listed on the screen that shows all the flight schedules, so again I had to look for a Sunwing representative. The same gentleman told me that the Sky service plane we were switched to was just coming back from another flight and was at a different gate unloading passengers and luggage, then it had to go through the refuelling and de-icing process. After that it would come to our gate to take us on our vacation.

They finally put our flight on the screen and listed it as "Delayed" until 6:45pm.

An hour delay, not so bad, however, at 6:45 as we are all standing by the gate, we notice the airplane isn't even there! At 7:15 they finally announced our flight was to be further delayed until 9:00pm because the plane was still re-fuelling.

I guess the felt bad because they then gave us all a $15.00 meal voucher to eat in one of the airport restaurants.

At 8:00 we were all still waiting for the boarding announcement, at 8:30 there was still no plane at the gate.

The only answer we kept getting was, "The plane will be here very soon, don't worry" from the Sunwing representatives. Still, at 9:20 there was no plane and no announcement for delays or anything.

At this point, we are already on 7 hours waiting in the airport, so the people that smoke that were on our flight were willing to walk through the entire airport and go through the security procedures again to have a cigarette, which seemed fine at first.

Finally at 10:00pm they tell us, "Don't worry," (why do I keep hearing that?) "our flight is delayed until 12:00, we are just waiting for the plane to land and drop off the passengers." Didn't they already tell us the plane was at the other gate and unloading hours ago?

You can imagine how loud it got when we finally saw the Skyservice plane rolling up to our gate at 12:00pm. We were finally going to Jamaica!

We all boarded the plane and awaited takeoff. The Captain got on the speaker and announced were going to be taking off shortly, we just had to refuel the plane and then we had to drive around the airport to de-ice the plane. What!! The Sunwing man told us they already did that, but we were on the plane so all the passengers grinned and bared it.

After the 25 minutes it took to gas up and de-ice, we were all strapped in, the Captain announced some of the passengers were complaining about a bad smell in the cabin after the de-icing process and that some of the solution could have leaked in and that's what they could be smelling so to be on the safe side they had to have an inspector come on board and check it out. That took another 20 minutes just to get him on the plane and looking around. After he got off the plane, the Captain announced that the plane was fine but he believes honesty is the best policy and he regrets to inform us that they just found out the Montego Bay Airport we were supposed to fly into would be closed for construction at the time we were to land there so unfortunately we were further delayed, but we could fly out at 2:00am and get there by 6:00am, so we will all get another meal voucher to tide us over until then.

So then we all had to de-board the plane! When we got back into the airport we were the only ones still there and all the restaurants other than a small Tim Horton's was closed. The Tim Horton's didn’t even sell soups or sandwiches- just coffee and donuts so we could all get $15.00 worth of that with our meal vouchers.

At this point, the passengers weren't very happy at all to have to de-board and everything after a long day in the airport and they surrounded the Sunwing Representative demanding some kind of answer as to how nobody could have known the airport would be closed before they loaded us on that plane and drove us around the airport. Some were even more suspicious of the smell that was on the plane- wondering if that could have been the reason instead- after all the were already caught lying to us a few times that day!

The Sunwing man said he didn't know anything about what was going on and just sat there when some passengers told him to get on the phone with someone who did know something, to be proactive instead of sitting there with a goofy look on his face.

One passenger was wise enough to call the Montego Bay Airport to find out they were open and never intended to close for any construction or any other reason. In fact as far as they knew they were expecting us around 6 in the morning.

Another passenger then informed us all of a noise law in Toronto preventing the airport from letting any planes take off after 2:00am, yet that was the time they scheduled our delay. So the airport doesn't know when they can and can't fly?

That set a few passengers off and forced the Sunwing representative to call security and after a few men got thrown against the wall, people kind of calmed down, but security stayed close by.

After de-boarding the smokers attempted to subdue their nerves by going outside for a cigarette- again willing to walk the length of the airport and go through the security searches all over again.

Unfortunately the security at the check in told us if we go outside we won't be able to re-enter seeing as we were all on the plane and only had half of the boarding pass.

After complaining to the Sunwing representative, he made an announcement that all the smokers would be allowed to go for a cigarette for 30 minutes before they would be denied re-entry. So again we all walked the distance to find out the security had not cleared this and was still not going to let us outside.

By the time we got back to the gate, another Sunwing representative, a woman this time, came out and announced the Montego Bay Airport really was closed and we can't fly out tonight at all so our flight will be even further delayed until 6:45pm, a whole 25 hours after our original flight!

They were kind enough to put us all up in a hotel room for the remainder of the night- seeing as at this point it's already past 2:30 in the morning.

She also informed us that because this was an international flight, anything we bought at Duty Free would have to be returned before we left the airport, seeing as we are still in the same country. I had bought a carton of cigarettes at the Duty Free and had been smoking those when I went out for my cigarette breaks earlier, so one pack was open.

The Duty Free store itself was closed, but they had some airport staff putting returned items in bags and giving us numbered tickets we were to bring in the next day to pick them up.

I asked if I could keep the pack I opened, and she threatened to call security if I tried.

After filling out declaration cards and going through customs even though we never even left the airport, we finally made it to the hotel at 3:30am.

Check out time was 1:00pm so we all had to go back to the airport and wait until 6:45pm when they said we would be flying. The night before we were all given the Sunwing Customer Service telephone number to call in the morning with all our complaints. When we did call, we were offered one of two things;

-you can re-book your trip for flying out on the Wednesday so out get the whole seven days of your vacation, but if the same trip is any more money than you originally paid, you are responsible for the difference.

OR.

-Each passenger that still flies out and misses a day out of their trip will be given a $150 travel voucher towards another Sunwing vacation, to be used within a year and only one voucher per booking- so couples flying together would have to book separately.

The first option doesn't sound so bad unless you have scheduled specific time off work, arranged babysitters, pet and house sitters for a vacation like it was in our case.

We opted for number 2, figuring better to get 5 days of vacation then none at all.

We finally flew out the next evening and got to Jamaica (on a Sunwing plane). At The Montego Bay Airport I asked a few of the employees if the airport had been closed at all the previous night and they literally laughed and told me they never close- not even the weather stops the airport from operating.

Yet on our travel vouchers we received it clearly says we were delayed all the time simply because of the Montego Bay Airport closure.

Why is it Sunwing insists on lying constantly to the people that pay them good money to get to where they want when they want? We couldn't even keep up with the countless stories they told us and were caught in!

The Captain even made it a point to say honesty was his best policy right before he blatantly lied to us all! It was over a day in an airport when we should have all been enjoying it on the beach. What really irks me is this whole time, we still don't even know what the hold up was. Why they wasted all that time, weather was fine, apparently the smell was normal, the airport was never closed, so what really happened that they refuse to tell us and why are they only offering $150 travel vouchers for another one of their vacations?

I for one wouldn't choose to book through Sunwing again and the same goes for a lot of people that were supposed to be on that plane, I'm sure.

This Sunwing staff lacked any training, any understanding of what was going on throughout the day, any compassion for the situation we were all in and were really there for show in my opinion.

The Customer Service was even less help, and in the end we all got a shortened vacation and vouchers we'll probably never use.

Thanks Sunwing!!

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Ice over the propeller ?????????

He lost me there. sad.gif

Still a crappy way to start a vacation though.

If this is all true, its why there will some day be a pax rights bill passed in Canada.

If this is all true Sunwing should be held accountable. Sadly these pax rights bills are written by people that believe the ice over the propeller crap.

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If the guy paid by credit card, Sunwing may never see the money. Their credit card processor (E-Clear) has filed for administration (bankruptcy) in the UK. It's the same company that forced Conquest Vacations and GlobeSpan in the UK to cease operations. I wonder how much money Sunwing have tied up with these folks?

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On top of the £35 million Globespan debt, sources said E-Clear also owed Canadian operator Sunwing Can$70 million (about £50 million), a sum Travel Weekly was told it tried unsuccessfully to recoup through the Canadian courts.

Sunwing, which put the final touches to a strategic alliance with TUI Travel last week, is thought to be chasing German Deutsche Bank, a 50% owner of Pago, for the money.

Serious Fraud Office 'very interested' in E-Clear

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All of the money was funnelled to one of BEANs shell companies so he could promulgate his conspiracy theories over the past several years. tongue.gif

On a serious note, thats a ton of cash which leads me to draw a few conclusions. It appears that SUNWING is very profitable given the fact its business as usual and that TUI was willing to climb onboard. If they recover a portion of the outstanding $70 million with the combined $100 million received from TUI, Sunwing is doing much better than alot of people on this forum gave them credit for (no pun intended).

So where on earth did all that money go and where is VISA and MASTERCARD in all of this? Interesting stuff indeed.

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Your guess is as good as mine, but there are other facts to consider. TUI lost $40 million in Canada last year and are losing money at a similar rate right now. Now their new partner has the potential to be out $70 million. Deep pockets not withstanding, that's a tough pill to swallow.

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Guest flywest

Sunwing severed its relationship with E-Clear quite some time ago. The info is just coming out now after Globspan's shutdown and the ensuing drama.

Sorry to disappoint CC, no repo's anytime soon.

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Interesting article on the man behind E-Clear.

Interestingly, nobody who spoke to The Times believes that Mr Elia has secretly pocketed any money. “You have to get one thing straight. People may be questioning where did the money go ... was he a crook, did he take the money and run, or hide it away? I can categorically tell you it was none of that because I know,” a former business associate said.

Others say the same. “If Elia had the money he would have brought the money to save the company. It was purely a mismanagement of the whole thing, incompetence.”

How E-Clear tycoon Elias Elia lost £100m – and where it went

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yul07,

I know you are frustrated about your trip but before you start calling people liars make sure you have your facts strait. I know for a fact that the runway was closed for maintenance that night of your flight. Both Skyservice and Sunwing were working very hard to arrange for the airport to be open when you arrived. The Skyservice pilot was assured he would be allowed to land. That is why he boarded everybody and went and got de-iced. It was only then that he was informed by his operations that the rwy would remain closed. I hope the rest of your trip was great.

CJET

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yul07,

I know you are frustrated about your trip but before you start calling people liars make sure you have your facts strait. I know for a fact that the runway was closed for maintenance that night of your flight. Both Skyservice and Sunwing were working very hard to arrange for the airport to be open when you arrived. The Skyservice pilot was assured he would be allowed to land. That is why he boarded everybody and went and got de-iced. It was only then that he was informed by his operations that the rwy would remain closed. I hope the rest of your trip was great.

CJET

It was clipped from the CARS forum, however of late there have been more of the same on there about Sunwing than compliments. Seems they have some issues telling people whats going on in a timely way when there is an irop. The other main complaint seems to be keeping people waiting for hours or a day when there is a mechanical, since the fleet is limited in size.

The tight seat pitch, and the usual complaints about LCC"s not living up to what they advertise in the passengers opinion are not news on this forum. For the record I have never flown them. The reasons why I prefer not to fly charter are many and are in no way a reflection of people or companies that serve this market. But being Star - Gold there is really no upside for me fly one.

Edited by yul07
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It was clipped from the CARS forum, however of late there have been more of the same on there about Sunwing than compliments. Seems they have some issues telling people whats going on in a timely way when there is an irop. The other main complaint seems to be keeping people waiting for hours or a day when there is a mechanical, since the fleet is limited in size.

The tight seat pitch, and the usual complaints about LCC"s not living up to what they advertise in the passengers opinion are not news on this forum. For the record I have never flown them. The reasons why I prefer not to fly charter are many and are in no way a reflection of people or companies that serve this market. But being Star - Gold there is really no upside for me fly one.

Sorry yul07. I didn't realise that you had clipped that article from somewhere else.

CJET

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can Yul07 please tell me why he would cut and paste a passenger complaint (a group notoriously uninformed, one sided and ignorant of operational aviation related issues) about a Canadian carrier he admittedly has never flown on?

I find this to be at best slanderous and at worst malicious. Just my opinion.

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Did you read the first sentence in his post?

I will let that person speak but perhaps it was just to start some discussion.

On this.... aviation discussion forum.

I did not take it as a personal comment by the poster or any kind of slander or malicious.

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I can't help but notice that there have been a slew of negative Sunwing reviews as of late.

http://www.carsurvey.org/air/airlineyear_Sunwing+Airlines_2010.html

A common theme appears to be that non - stop flights are being turned into one stop flights, likely in order to consolidate loads.

If that's the case, there's no doubt that flight scheds are going to be turned upside down.

Eventually, people will start to book away. With a market population of 32m with a number of other solid operations to choose from, this is not something Sunwing wants to have happen.

As for the folks flying from YVR to CUN, their first mistake was choosing Cancun as their destination. It's not much more than a reclaimed Mangrove swamp with very unsettled weather for a good chunk of the winter. Why people would want to save $50 each to spend their holiday wrapped up under a beach towel fending off the cool Jan afternoon breeze is beyond me.....

:cool:

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I can't help but notice that there have been a slew of negative Sunwing reviews as of late.

http://www.carsurvey.org/air/airlineyear_Sunwing+Airlines_2010.html

A common theme appears to be that non - stop flights are being turned into one stop flights, likely in order to consolidate loads.

If that's the case, there's no doubt that flight scheds are going to be turned upside down.

Eventually, people will start to book away. With a market population of 32m with a number of other solid operations to choose from, this is not something Sunwing wants to have happen.

As for the folks flying from YVR to CUN, their first mistake was choosing Cancun as their destination. It's not much more than a reclaimed Mangrove swamp with very unsettled weather for a good chunk of the winter. Why people would want to save $50 each to spend their holiday wrapped up under a beach towel fending off the cool Jan afternoon breeze is beyond me.....

:cool:

You know its pretty boring on the Aviation front when Bean is out looking for dirt again...

:rolleyes:

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You know its pretty boring on the Aviation front when Bean is out looking for dirt again...

:rolleyes:

What's equally interesting is that there have been virtually no negative reviews for any of the other Canadian - based airlines recently. That includes AC, Jazz, WJ, Porter, Transat, CanJet, Skyservice etc etc.

Just Sunwing.

:cool:

Edited by Thebean
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