Sunwing Left Us Stranded

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Mar 24, 2020
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While on vacation in Mexico, we were informed by Sunwing Airline, our charter flight provider, that due to the Covid19 pandemic, we were going to be brought home to Canada earlier than originally scheduled. Due to the constant media coverage, and literally everyone in our resort discussing it nonstop, this was not a surprise. Our resort Sunwing agent , Mike, was fantastic! He knew all the answers to our questions, and was calm and organized. He informed us that due to the virus, the Canadian Government wanted us home as soon as possible, and that the airline was doing everything possible to expedite that. He informed us that our original return date of Sunday, March 22nd was untenable, and that we would be put on a different flight, as space allowed. We were also informed that there were no direct flights to Winnipeg, our origin gateway, and that we would be able to choose between four other airports. We chose Regina airport, along with at least eight other pairs of passengers from Winnipeg, opting to stay away from larger populations, and to be as close to home as possible. We asked Mike, our ace representative, what would happen when we reached Regina. He said that although he was unable to give us precise instruction, he felt certain that due to the large number of displace passengers on the flight, there would certainly be a representative of Sunwing present to answer our questions and give us further instruction.

This was NOT the case! When were arrived in Regina, we discovered a dark, nearly closed airport. Other than Security and Customs agents, and one poor young lady working alone at Tim Hortons, the airport was shuttered up. There was no one from Sunwing there to help us, no employees at the information desk, literally no one to ask for help. We were standing in a dark hall with our luggage, and had no idea whether we were to wait for another flight to our original destination, try to rent a hotel room for the night, or just hang in the dark at a foreign airport indefinitely? I happened to notice one light on at one of a dozen or so car rental places, and saw a young lady stand and begin to put on her coat. I quickly ran over and begged her to stay open while I explained how we were in desperate need of some help. She obliged graciously, and asked how she could help. After along flight, and feeling abandoned, I just wanted to get home, and began the process or renting a vehicle for the six hour drive home. Almost immediately, several other couples became aware of what I was trying to undertake, and came running over. These were couples we had met at the resort, and had dined and drank with on occasion during our resort stay. Very nice people, who were also concerned about how to get home. We discussed briefly together, and decided to try to rent one, larger vehicle, rather than three small ones. We figured more drivers was better, and more economical. Our agent was able to find a passenger vehicle for six, and I secured it on my credit card, assuring the others that surely Sunwing would remunerate me for this expense.

Once home, however, I have had no success in reaching a Sunwing representative at all! I have been through the myriad listings on their various sites, sat on hold indefinitely on their customer care line, and have had no luck reaching anyone who can help. All the links on their "Sunwing cares" pages lead you back to the sites where you would book vacations. There is nowhere to go! The phone number listed leads to a menu that only allows you to purchase, alter or cancel a flight. No other choices at all!

I know the amount of money involved is smallish; only around $475CDN, but I do not feel I should be punished further for having my vacation cut short due to an international outbreak.
 

BittyBoo

Jul 30, 2018
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When you do write Sunwing may I suggest:

*Use a bullet point format to state the facts only, free of emotion and extraneous information. You narrative as written is way too long with too much extraneous information. The person who reads these letters does this all day and does not have time to comb through a long letter to determine what happened.
* Did the Sunwing agent inform you that the company would reimburse you the car rental fees?
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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San Francisco
Aaargh, what an experience. I can say with great confidence that the airline has thousands of fires burning trying to get people from one place to the other. everybody's in the same boat and you are very lucky to be back in Canada. It will take time for business to get back to normal ... and that process won't even start until the pandemic is over. I suggest you handle this in writing and be patient. Wish I could be more positive, but the reality is that every person working for a travel provider is stretched to the limit, trying to prioritize problems and seeing no end in sight.
 
Mar 24, 2020
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Aaargh, what an experience. I can say with great confidence that the airline has thousands of fires burning trying to get people from one place to the other. everybody's in the same boat and you are very lucky to be back in Canada. It will take time for business to get back to normal ... and that process won't even start until the pandemic is over. I suggest you handle this in writing and be patient. Wish I could be more positive, but the reality is that every person working for a travel provider is stretched to the limit, trying to prioritize problems and seeing no end in sight.
Thanks for your advice!