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article imageCalgary-bound passengers furious over 8-hour wait on tarmac

By Bryan W. Alaspa     Dec 31, 2015 in Travel
Hamilton - Sunwing airline passengers trying to get home to Calgary are furious over the plane's stopover in Hamilton, Ontario where they were forced to endure an eight-hour wait on the tarmac.
It was a very long flight home for passengers bound from the Dominican Republic to Calgary, Canada on Monday. The passengers on the Sunwing flight ended up spending eight hours waiting while the plane made a stopover in Hamilton, Ontario, for a crew change and to refuel.
According to the CBC, passengers reported that the weather was a factor, as well. A massive storm was hitting most of North America with snow, ice, wind, rain and even tornadoes in some areas. However, the passengers are most upset over the fact that, instead of letting them off the plane and into the airport, passengers were left inside the plane.
Sunwing says that the high winds made attaching the ramp nearly impossible. Passengers claim that there was little ventilation, little food offered and no services on the plane, including toilets that could not be flushed. Some had panic attacks and demanded to be let off.
The plane left Punta Cana, according to CTV reports, around dinnertime, but ended up landing at Hamilton about 9 p.m. That was when the ordeal really began. The plane sat there on the tarmac for eight hours, with passengers finally allowed to disembark about 5 a.m.
The flight did not take off for the final leg of the journey until about 9 a.m. the following morning.
Sunwing has apologized to the passengers and offered them a $150 discount off future travel with the airline. The airline has also said that the weather was a factor in the delays. That the first 90 minutes was due to runway clearing, then as the weather deteriorated it was necessary to de-ice the plane, but problems with the de-icing truck delayed that even further. They also claim that weather conditions were unsafe for passengers to de-plane during the storm.
Passengers were taken to a hotel, paid for by the airline.
Some passengers have questions why the plan chose to make a stop in Ontario where the storm was strongest. Calgary is west of Hamilton and many felt that it was smarter to head that way than into the storm.
Sunwing says that snacks, food and beverages were offered and that everything was done that could be done to accommodate passengers and keep them safe.
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