Canadian Transportation Agency says Sunwing violated regulations in its treatment of passengers
Sunwing must pay a fine and compensate passengers following delays, lost baggage and other problems during flights last April. (Christopher Katsarov/Canadian Press)
The Canadian Transportation Agency (CTA) has fined Sunwing $694,500 and ordered the airline to compensate passengers for the travel chaos they endured last spring.
Between April 14-18, 2018, thousands of Sunwing passengers travelling on 96 flights to or from Toronto and Montreal endured a slew of problems, including long flight and tarmac delays, missing baggage and a lack of communication about what was going on.
the CTA acknowledged that a Toronto ice storm and the resulting staffing shortage triggered the chaos, however, it stated that the way Sunwing handled the situation “exacerbated the difficulties experienced by passengers.”
The agency said the airline violated regulations by not offering proper compensation for flight delays and for failing to adequately update passengers about their flight status or missing luggage.
The CTA also determined that Sunwing erred by not allowing passengers delayed on the tarmac to leave the aircraft after 90 minutesThe agency launched an investigation in April after receiving more than 570 complaints from Sunwing passengers.
Besides having to pay a large fine, Sunwing will also have to compensate passengers for out-of-pocket expenses incurred during the flight delays and for missing or damaged baggage.
The airline must also put a contingency plan in place to ensure it can better handle flight disruptions in the future.
“Passengers have rights and recourse when their air travel is disrupted,” said CTA chair and CEO Scott Streiner in a statement. “Even when problems stem from events such as bad weather, there is a minimum standard of treatment to which all passengers are entitled.