Sunwing vacation ends in 20-hour travel ordeal for Halifax passengers
Passenger says some on board sobbing and vomiting during aborted landing, then faced long delay
A Sunwing flight from Cuba that was supposed to land at Halifax Stanfield International Airport became a 20-hour ordeal described by one passenger as a "gong show" that left some on board sobbing and vomiting.
Flight WG6735 was delayed leaving Cuba, and when it tried to land in Halifax during high winds Thursday afternoon, the plane felt like it was coming in sideways, according to Anne Giles, a passenger on board.
"We could see the ground," she said. "We thought we were going to land and at the last minute he pulled up and he came over and said, 'We've missed the runway.'"
Giles said many of the 136 passengers on board were stressed and scared as the plane attempted to land in Halifax.
"The woman beside me was sobbing," she said. "Her husband was holding her hand. The man across from me, you could see how white his knuckles were. There were children throwing up."
'They were hungry and stressed'
From there, Giles said, the trip got worse. The flight continued to Fredericton, where passengers waited on the tarmac for about four hours, before the plane took off again for Moncton, N.B.
By the time the flight landed in Moncton, Giles said, passengers had gone nearly 10 hours without food.
"They were hungry and stressed and people were yelling," Giles said.
She said passengers spent three hours waiting at the Greater Moncton International Airport before the airline decided to put them on five buses and send them to Halifax for the final leg of the journey.
"They did some things right and some things really, really wrong," Giles said.
'It was a gong show'
The airline said Friday that high winds were to blame and apologized to passengers.
"We regret the inconvenience this weather-related diversion has caused; however the safety of our customers remains our paramount concern," Rachel Goldrick, corporate communications manager for Sunwing Vacations, said in an email statement.
The airline said passengers will receive a $150 voucher for future travel with Sunwing, but Giles said she won't be using it.
"No," said Giles. "It was a gong show."