The organizer of a Sunwing Airlines flight to Cancun, Mexico, which gained notoriety as a ‘party flight’ during the middle of the pandemic, is now planning to sue the airline for breach of contract.
Speaking at a Montreal press conference, James William Awad said that airlines “abandoned” 154 Canadians “without knowing if they could afford another night in a hotel, without knowing if they could afford food the next day, without any option to return to Canada”.
“Right now we’re working on taking legal action against Sunwing,” Awad said.
Video footage of the ill-fated December 30, 2021 charter flight from Montreal to Cancun circulated online showing Awad’s group, which was comprised of influencers and reality television personalities, show unmasked passengers in close proximity singing and dancing in the aisle and on seats as some clutch bottles of liquor, snap selfies and vape.
Sunwing then canceled the group’s return, citing an ongoing investigation and the passengers’ refusal to accept all terms of the charter flight. According to Awad’s official statement, the group accepted all but one condition: that Sunwing did not offer any in-flight meals for their return trip.
“It’s a five-hour flight, they don’t want to feed my group. It poses no concerns for flight safety,” Awad said.
All other major Canadian airlines, including Air Canada (ADH2) and Air Transat refused to fly the group from Cancun back to Mexico.
Awad claims that the Sunwing, and all other Canadian airlines, had no right to leave the group stranded in Mexico for days past their intended return to Quebec.
Awad told media that in the end, some of the group were forced to find long and winding routes back home to Canada through the United States and Panama.
“We’re working on taking legal action against Sunwing and we may be proceeding against Air Canada (ADH2) as well,” he said.
Awad did not specify on what grounds the group intended to sue Air Canada (ADH2).