Leaving the province is proving to be a challenge with grounded flights in Regina and Saskatoon.
Last week, Sunwing announced that due to extenuating circumstances, flights from Saskatoon and Regina airports would be suspended until February 3.
The suspended flights created a scene of chaos and unanswered questions for those that found themselves at Regina airport on December 27, according to one southwest resident.
Herbert resident, Joyce Gammel, explained that she and her husband experienced quite an ordeal before finally receiving official word from Sunwing that their flights had been cancelled.
“We were supposed to fly out at 10:30, we got onto the plane at two,” she stated. “Then they had us sitting there for another hour, saying, ‘oh, we don't have paperwork done, we're having trouble with paperwork.’ So, in that time, while we were sitting there waiting for paperwork to get done, the freezing rain arrived.”
Gammel explained that after waiting on the plane for a total of three hours before it was announced that passengers on the flight were unloaded and told to come back later.
She added that although they received a message informing them to come back for their makeup flight at five, employees at Sunwing warned them that there was no crew, and they would not be getting on a plane that day.
Gammel and her husband booked a hotel room for the night where they received another alert informing them to be at the airport at 9:30 a.m.
Upon arriving at the airport, the couple was told that their flight was pushed back again for 8:00 a.m. the next day.
It was then that the couple decided to throw in the towel and make the trek back to Herbert.
The southwest resident added that she is most disappointed with the lack of information that was shared with passengers.
“We were getting breakfast and the lady with Air Canada was standing in front of us at seven-thirty in the morning, and she said none of her flights are leaving,” Gammel explained. “So, at seven-thirty in the morning, Air Canada was already cancelling their flights because everything was covered in ice, and then WestJet cancelled, but Sunwing had us sitting there longer, for another two hours.
“They just leave you sitting like cattle, just waiting for any kind of information.”
Aside from a voucher for breakfast, Gammel was not provided with any other assistance or compensation.
She was able to get through to an operator and received an invoice for a refund of the trip, which could take up to 30 days.
She added that she is eligible to make a claim for the hotel room and an excursion that had been prepaid for, however, when she tried to submit a claim, she was informed that Sunwing would not be accepting claims until December 18.
Gammel concluded that in the future, she won’t be placing the fate of her holidays in the hands of Sunwing.