Confusion abounds as stranded Canadians try to return from Cuba

Days after a deadly plane crash led to Cubana flights being grounded, more than 200 Canadian vacationers still aren't sure when they will be able to leave.

Some travellers set to fly home today now waiting til Wednesday, 200 Caribe sol clients still without flight

Corinne Sollows is stranded on Cayo Largo, a small island south of mainland Cuba, and is still not sure when she will be able to get on a flight to Montreal. (Submitted by Corinne Sollows)

A former Montrealer stuck in Cuba says her situation has gone from bad to worse as she awaits word on when she'll be able to fly back to Quebec after the deadly crash of a Cubana plane grounded flights.

"It's a roller-coaster of emotions," said Corinne Sollows, who has been stranded on Cayo Largo, a small island south of the main island, since her flight was cancelled last week.

"A lot of us are sharing rooms now. At least there's food here. People are running out of medications and things like that, as well."

Earlier today, Sollows said she was told last night that she'd be on a flight to Havana at 1 p.m., but with all the misinformation she has been given in the last few days, she was skeptical.

Sure enough, this afternoon she learned today's flight had been cancelled.

She said stranded travellers were told they now have a flight Wednesday morning, "but no one is holding their breath."

Meanwhile, Quebecer Isabelle Quintin said she was told this morning that she and other passengers stranded on Cayo Santa Maria, an island off Cuba's north-central coast, may have to take a six-hour boat ride to Havana then fly out tomorrow.

Cubana, Cuba's national airline, grounded its flights to Montreal and Toronto Friday, after one of its planes crashed in Havana right after takeoff, killing more than 100 people.

A spokesperson for travel agency Caribe Sol said the agency had 600 Canadian customers stuck in Cuba over the weekend.

The company bought all the available seats on Air Transat and Sunwing flights in order to get people home.

About 346 Caribe Sol customers are still in Cuba. Of those, 98 are supposed to be flying into Toronto today from Holguin.

In a news release, Cubana said it hopes to be able to resume its operations Wednesday.

Non-existent flight

On Monday, Sollows and others from her resort were told they would be on a flight leaving that day.

She boarded a bus with her brother and his friends and set off for the airport.

"We checked in; they took our luggage; they gave us boarding passes. We went through security," she said.

"We get all the way through, and we're told the flight number doesn't exist, the flight never existed, and this was their way to get us to vacate their resort."

Corinne Sollows was on vacation with her brother, Adam Jones, left, and two of his friends. She said the experience trying to get home has been a 'roller-coaster.' (Submitted by Corinne Sollows)

Eventually, they were loaded back on to buses.

"We told them to take us back to our resort. They literally laughed at us and brought us to a different resort," she said.

Now, she and the other 61 people left on Cayo Largo are all at the same resort, waiting for tomorrow's flight.

With files from CBC Montreal's Daybreak