A March 23 article published in Travel Industry Today let readers know that Sunwing’s final customer repatriation flight will took place on Sunday, March 22, bringing home more than 60,000 people over the course of the last week, including over 3,300 stranded Canadian non-Sunwing customers for free.
During this time, Sunwing has operated over 400 repatriation flights to approximately 45 destinations across the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America and Florida at a cost of more than $26 million.
“We are extremely proud of our dedicated staff whose efforts have brought home thousands of Canadians from abroad during this time of crisis,” said Stephen Hunter, CEO of Sunwing Travel Group. “This was an unprecedented effort, but as a team we understood we needed to step up and do our part. It is the Canadian thing to do.”
While Sunwing remains in regular contact with Global Affairs Canada and is ready and willing to support any ongoing repatriation efforts, going forward, all Sunwing flights will be temporarily suspended.
For Canadians still at destinations…
- Contact Global Affairs Canada via email at email@example.com or complete the emergency contact form here: https://travel.gc.ca/assistance/emergency-assistance/emergency-contact-form
- Customers can also contact the nearest embassy or consulate https://travel.gc.ca/assistance/embassies-consulates
- or call +1 613 996 8885 (call collect where available)
- or use the following toll-free numbers: https://travel.gc.ca/assistance/emergency-assistance/toll-free-numbers
Sunwing’s offer of available seats on its repatriation flights from southern destinations to non-Sunwing customers free of charge got a response from grateful travellers – here are two:
“To open your airlines for stranded passengers is an extremely generous move. We found out our flight was canceled out of Mexico last minute and after trying to get a hold of the carrier both online and phone without success to clear the confusion of being canceled by email but showing on time through the app, we were not sure what to do. I noticed a post from you guys and was thinking there would be some kind of catch but we scrambled our belongings and headed to the airport to check it out anyway. Entering the airport I was ready to leave before we got through the doors I have never saw so many people trying to check in other carriers before in my life. We waited for maybe 10 mins when a Sunwing rep met is in the line and asked if we wanted to get on the next flight to Canada. 5 mins check in 10 minutes through security and we were on our way to the plane. Estimating wait times for the other carriers to be hours and hours, I was astonished.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts I honestly don’t believe we would be home yet if it wasn’t for your help. It truly is amazing to see a company there to help than just make money. I have had the pleasure to fly with you guys before and will praise you even more after your help. Our family vacation was cut short and with the worries from our family’s back home and wondering what we would do we had some unnecessary stress that kind of put a damper on the trip even though we tried to make the best of it. Getting on that plane and feeling secure because of your help I must say was the best part of the trip. Again Sunwing a very sincere thank you from my family to yours.”
“I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generosity flying me and my husband from Rio Hato Panama to Toronto and free of charge. I can’t express myself how much I appreciate the gesture that your company showed in this difficult times towards stranded Canadians in Panama. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”
— Travel Industry Today