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'We're all tired': Winnipeggers stranded in Cuba after Sunwing delays


Winnipeggers stuck in Cuba are calling on their travel company to bring them home immediately after multiple return flights were cancelled.

Coleen Smidke left for her Cuban vacation on Dec. 17.

She was booked to come home on Christmas Day, but Smidke is still there.

She said Sunwing, which her vacation is booked through, keeps cancelling her flight to Winnipeg.

"Be in the lobby, we'll pick you up at 10:00. Be in the lobby, we'll pick you up at 10:30. Be in the lobby and nothing," she said. 

Smidke said communication with Sunwing has been lacking, with most details coming from handwritten notes from the company's rep at their resort. 

"They aren't texting us anymore. They aren't emailing us anymore. They have got us completely in the dark," said Smidke. 

It's an issue other Winnipeggers stuck on the same trip are also experiencing.

"They never let us know until way later from when we are supposed to be leaving, that the flight was delayed, or they say it is cancelled," said Paige Henwood, another Winnipeg resident on vacation. 

"We are not here enjoying ourselves. We're sitting in the lobby for 9-12 hours waiting to hear something, whether it is yes or no, but it's nothing instead," said Jennifer, who didn't want to use her last name.

The stranded travellers have been staying at their original resort, noting Cuban hospitality has been helpful amid the situation.

Even with accommodation and food, the group says they need to get home as they only intended to be away for a short while.

"I have to work, so I'm going to have to miss work and lose wages," said Jennifer. "Of course, I want to get back to my family and responsibilities, and I have pets at home as well." 

In a Twitter thread, Sunwing said delays are a result of severe winter weather in recent days across key Canadian gateways.

 "Our teams continue to proactively work around the clock with several airline partners to subservice aircraft and return customers home," said the company in a tweet on Tuesday.

"We have completed two recovery flights so far this week, planned another eight recovery flights which are scheduled to depart up to and including Dec. 30, and are currently finalizing recovery plans for our remaining passengers in destination."

In a Twitter thread, Sunwing said delays are a result of severe winter weather in recent days across key Canadian gateways. (Source: Twitter)

A flight that can't come soon enough for those stuck waiting.

"We're all tired," said Henwood. "We all kind of want to be home with our families. We're disappointed we missed Christmas." 

"I want to come home. I'm sick, and I'm missing my grandkids. I'm missing my dog. We had family Christmas that we missed. I never would have booked this trip had I known," said Smidke. 

CTV News reached out to Sunwing but has not heard back. Top Stories

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