LONDON, ONT. — A London family says they were left to their own devices in a foreign country after Swoop Airlines cancelled their return flight to Hamilton, Ont.
Dana and Russ Graves are home now after they took their three children on what was a dream vacation at a resort in Cancun, Mexico. But it’s been a stressful ordeal.
Things went sour on Tuesday when they tried to get home. After waiting all day at the airport in Cancun, they finally learned through other passengers that their flight, which was scheduled to depart in the early afternoon, had been cancelled.
“We didn’t get anything,” says Russ. “And we still have not received anything from Swoop. Nothing!”
They had booked their $5,600 Sunwing vacation through Sell-Off Vacations, and say their travel representatives couldn’t be reached.
“We weren’t getting any emails,” says Russ. “This was from other people that were in line at immigration…One gentleman was like ‘Oh I’ve got a list of hotels from Swoop that we’re eligible to stay at.’ I think there was five of them. One of them was a hostel hotel in downtown Cancun. Like, are you serious right now?”
The family scrambled to find another flight home on their own. Their additional out-of-pocket travel expenses totaled about $2,500. They would eventually learn that Swoop booked them on a flight home Jan. 23 – nine days after they were originally supposed to depart Mexico.
In a statement to CTV News Swoop said a flight attendant was injured, “and industry regulations stipulate that we cannot operate a flight without a full complement of flight attendants. All impacted travellers were offered several re-accommodation options.”
The couple says Swoop doesn’t even realize they are home because their attempts to communicate with the airline have been unsuccessful.
“They gave us two nights’ accommodation covered in a flea-bitten hotel in downtown Cancun and said ‘You can deal with it on your own until the 23rd.’ And that’s when they booked us our flight home. So if we wouldn’t have done our own due diligence and picked up the flight through Westjet the next day, we would be stuck in that little crap hotel.”
The Graves say their next step is to seek compensation through the new passenger bill of rights.