A family from Cape Breton, N.S., blamed for forcing a flight from Halifax to the Dominican Republic to land in Bermuda is denying anyone from their family smoked on the airplane.
A week ago, a flight loaded with 173 passengers and seven crew members bound for the Dominican landed in Bermuda after three passengers got into a confrontation with flight attendants over smoking.
David MacNeil Jr., 22, was charged with smoking in the plane's washroom. He pleaded not guilty in a Bermuda court and the charge against him was dismissed.
Darlene MacNeil, 52, pleaded guilty to disobeying orders from the crew and her husband David Sr., 54, pleaded guilty to using abusive and insulting language.
The MacNeils issued a statement through their lawyer saying, "at no point did any member of the MacNeil family smoke on the airplane."
"There has been misinformation regarding whether members of the MacNeil family were smoking on the airplane," read the statement.
Back in Halifax
The other passengers from the diverted flight arrived back in Canada on Friday looking relaxed despite a rough start to their vacations.
"For my first time on a plane, it was pretty nerve-racking," said Frisco Carrier.
"One of the stewardesses grabbed the seat and was like 'Where's the smoke? Where did you put the smoke? We know you were smoking.' Because he was the only one who went into the bathroom. He was denying it."
None of the passengers at the Halifax airport had any sympathy for the MacNeils, reported the CBC's Shaina Luck.
"This is absolutely terrible. Can you imagine losing two days of your vacation and getting no compensation?" asked Wayne Atwater.
"There were people down towards the bathroom who said they could smell smoke and stuff," said passenger Candace Gibson.
"It's kind of obvious in such a confined space — you can smell it. There's no way of hiding that."
The MacNeils said they intend to clarify what happened on the flight in the "proper forum," but didn't say what that forum would be.
The MacNeils have been banned from Sunwing, and the company has said it intends to pursue a $50,000 lawsuit against the family from Mabou to recover the costs of the unexpected landing.
The MacNeils were not reachable by phone on Friday.