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Passengers still waiting for compensation a year after Sunwing cancellations

More than 1,250 complaints were filed with the Canadian Transportation Agency during the 2022 holiday season. (Archive photo)

Radio-Canada

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More than a year after the Sunwing cancellations, passengers are still waiting for compensation for the turbulence experienced during their trip. This situation is a source of frustration for many.

Between December 15 and 31, 2022, Sunwing airline canceled 67 flights.

For some passengers, vacations have been canceled entirely. Other travelers were forced to stay at their destination longer than expected, resulting in significant costs.

A resident of Saskatoon, Michelle Johnston, impatiently awaits compensation for her trip which was ruined by Sunwing cancellations.

She had planned to go on vacation between December 14 and 21, 2022 to the Dominican Republic with her two daughters. This trip was planned in memory of her late husband and was intended to remind her family members of their winter vacation in the sun.

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< p class="Text-sc-2357a233-1 imohSo">What started out as a vacation to relax and bring back good memories turned into a nightmare.

A quote from Sunwing passenger Michelle Johnston

Their flight home was canceled, so Michelle Johnston and her two daughters had to stay an additional eight days, incurring additional expenses of $6,000.

Suffering from various health problems, Michelle Johnston no longer had any medication. The extra days forced her to get more on site.

Although blood pressure medication is a problem at the heart are free in Canada, their cost rises to nearly $4,000 in the Dominican Republic. Her first prescription received on December 21, 2022, cost $1,210.

Ms. Johnston is concerned that Sunwing may reject the drug claim because the medical receipts were handwritten.

Plus, she had to make remote arrangements to have her pet looked after for 10 more days.

For now, she has received basic compensation of $500 like many other passengers as well as $22 for a ride in an Uber vehicle.

In a press release, the airline indicated that the compensation claims had been covered for expenses deemed reasonable.

Their idea of ​​this who is reasonable and my idea of ​​what is reasonable are completely different. An apology would be very useful, because we felt abandoned, underlines Michelle Johnston.

She is not the only one to have experienced this type of situation. Families, also stuck in their place of stay for longer than expected, say they have had difficulty finding diapers and commercial infant formula.

Other travelers had to buy clothes and personal effects because their suitcases had not arrived at their destination. Some say they had to rent a car to drive home from Winnipeg to Saskatoon because their return flight changed destinations.

Wait times at the Canadian Transportation Agency contribute to delays in processing compensation claims, as explained by the coordinator of the aviation program of the Canadian Transportation Agency. McGill University, John Gradek.

Last October, the backlog affected more than 61,000 cases and passengers had to wait more than 18 months for a resolution. That number has surpassed the 63,000 mark, according to the Canadian Transportation Agency.

John Gradek says the other option for passengers is to turn to small claims court.

This procedure is faster, although it costs a few dollars to register the application. In most cases, judges generally recognize when a passenger has not been treated well, Mr. Gradek points out.

John Gradek advises passengers to properly prepare their files by keeping emails with the airline and expense receipts.

It specifies that airlines must normally compensate the related costs medication and taxi fares.

If the claim is deemed valid, the airline has 30 days to pay.

John Gradek adds that some airlines, like WestJet which bought Sunwing, are known for offering out-of-court settlements.

Based on information from Pratyush Dayal

By admin

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