Family loses thousands rebooking after Sunwing confusion

Family loses thousands rebooking after Sunwing confusion
Family loses thousands rebooking after Sunwing confusion

Adrienne Stone (left) with her family in Ixtapa, Mexico in 2022. (Submitted)

A Saskatoon family was told their winter trip was off due to Sunwing’s mass cancellations, but a month later they learned that wasn’t true.

The confusion is costing them about $5,000.

Adrienne Stone, along with her husband and three children, did a lot of research and planning for their winter getaway. The family of five was supposed to be bound for Puerto Vallarta on Friday. They’d booked their trip with Sunwing Vacations back in August, and Stone said they got a good price.

“Then, December 30th hit,” she said.

As December and January flights were being cancelled and disrupted, Stone said she saw her family’s flight information disappear from Sunwing’s app. She said she called the airline to ask why.

Stone said the company confirmed that their trip was among the hundreds that were cancelled. Sunwing, she said, suggested they fly out of Vancouver or Edmonton at their own cost to keep their vacation dates. Stone declined, and said her family decided to cancel the trip.

Stone said she received a refund from Sunwing a month later, after hours of phone calls and many emails. Then, she said, she got a call from the company informing her that they could still rebook for their original flight out of Saskatoon.

To find out their trip had not, in fact, been cancelled, was hard for Stone to hear.

“It’s very overwhelming and very disheartening,” she said.

“We will not be on the Sunwing flight flying out on Friday, even though we booked it in August.”

Stone said her family have already booked a new trip with WestJet, and they’ll be flying out Sunday. It isn’t the same resort they were excited to visit, however, and Stone said the trip is now costing about $5,000 more than she first expected.

It’s exceptionally upsetting, Stone added, because her family has flown with Sunwing seven or eight times in the past without any issues.

“Now we can’t trust them,” Stone said.

“Even if the flight was free, I probably wouldn’t take a Sunwing trip.”

Stone said she’s still feeling anxiety over the possibility of more issues, and won’t be able to feel totally relaxed until they reach Mexico.

“Right now, you never know what’s going to happen,” she said.

While her own experience has been a frustrating one, Stone said there were many other families bound for tropical destinations that had to deal with greater disappointment, including postponing weddings and other events.

“I feel really bad for anyone that’s dealing with anything Sunwing,” she said.

Stone said it was a rollercoaster telling her kids — who were learning Spanish for their vacation — that the trip was off and then back on again.

All she can do now, she said, is laugh about how unbelievable the whole situation is. It’s either that or cry, she joked.