Smokers Diversion ‘Very Expensive’ For Sunwing

February 4, 2013

The recent flight diversion to Bermuda was a “very expensive exercise” for Sunwing who had to put up 170 passengers and crew in a hotel in Bermuda for the night, Sunwing VP of Media Relations Daryl McWilliams told CBC Canada.

The flight — which left Canada heading to the Dominican Republic — diverted to Bermuda at approximately 9.00pm on Friday night [Feb 1].

The passengers, who unofficial reports suggest may have been smoking on the flight, were taken off and into the Airport Police Station where they remained until 2.30am.

“I cannot believe that passengers did this,” said Mr McWilliams. “I’ll bet you it’s been 20 years since smoking was allowed on an aircraft. I couldn’t believe it when I heard it. I said, ‘No, no, what did you say?”

Video report courtesy of CBC:

Mr McWilliams said under Canadian transport regulations the plane needed to land at the nearest available airport, which happened to be Bermuda.

The plane’s 170 passengers and crew were put up for the night in a Bermuda hotel at Sunwing’s expense. Mr McWilliams couldn’t tell CBC how much the diversion cost but said “this was a very expensive exercise for Sunwing.”

“Those people will never get on a Sunwing aircraft again,” he told CBC. “There’s no hope. We would have a record of what happened and we wouldn’t carry them again.”

The Bermuda Police confirmed that the three passengers — a 54 year old man, a 52 year old woman and a 22 year old man — were subsequently arrested, and released on police bail pending further inquiries.

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Comments (14)

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  1. Triangle Drifter says:

    These people should be liable for expenses incurred by Sunwing. Not only will they never fly Sunwing again, they will spend the rest of their lives paying for those smokes.

    • Amsterdamned says:

      exactly

      they should get a bill for the hotel, the fuel, and the airport fees

      selfish pricks

  2. RME says:

    Well Sunwing should sue the passengers to recoup their losses.

  3. Ann says:

    THEY WALK AMONG US!!

    IDIOTS

    • @ Ann,I do not understand your message and who you are calling idiots,so please clarify if you are talking about the people commenting above or the idiots smoking on the plane.

      Either way,most travellers regardless of frequent travellers or not,will know and do know that there is no smoking on aircrafts and that is one of the major announcements always made on all flights before departure.

      This family should be made to pay the airlines the full cost of the diversion and having to put everyone up in a hotel and transportation to and from the hotel,including meals.if these people have any assetts,they should be frozen and seized as part payment and the rest if not recouped,they should be made to do time in prison.

      There are far to many people who think they are above the law and need to be made an example of for their stupidity.not to mention the damage that second hand smoke can cost,if this plane had been flying over the U.S.and was a U.S.carrier,I am sure you would have law suits up the ying yang from the passengers that had to endure the second hand smoke,they would have every right and the airline would be slapped with major law suits which in the end they would be made to pay each passenger,so this may just be the case here also and the airline may have to fork out a hell a lot more then wht they did for the diversion.

      So that ia nother spin and level altogether,so might be worth being on that flight after all,if each passenger comes out with more then they expected to.either way the smokers were wrong

  4. Legal Eagle says:

    Something rather curious about this! It’s hard to imagine THREE people fitting into the size of an airplane washroom to do anything!! While anyone ‘caught’(not simply ‘suspected’of) smoking on an aircraft should be penalised–strange, and certainly overkill that the entire aircraft + all passengers ‘must’then land a/o remain in an unshedualed destination!

    • Nuffin but de Truth! says:

      you need to re read what the Canadian Regs are before you run ya mouth…ya should change ya nic too!

      • Nuffin but de Truth! says:

        Mr McWilliams said under Canadian transport regulations the plane needed to land at the nearest available airport, which happened to be Bermuda.

    • Cape Bretoner says:

      Agreed. There has got to be more to the story. The airline staff ought to grow some balls or hire in-flight security.
      Smoking is addictive, yet I don’t see anyone being upset with the tobacco industry.
      I would sue the airline if I were on the flight, they failed to have a system in place – like a smoke alarm, and put every passenger in jeapordy, both by failing to provide security, and by having passengers taken to a foreign country without consent and forcing them to remain overnight. What if someone had have gotten lost, robbed or hurt in anyway?
      Very poor judgement.
      There was no perceived threat, no weapon; i dont want to excuse their rude behaviour but it did show very poor ability to manage a plane loaded with passengers.
      How many people have done this and not been caught, probably more than we know, in the absence of smoke alarms.

  5. Bermudian Abroad says:

    Actually, I agree with Legal Eagle. How can all three smoke if it is common knowledge that smoking is banned from aircrafts? They said suspected so was there any hardcore proof and i understand that they had to land in Bermuda but they could have checked the plane and then boarded the other passengers and crew to continue their journey. Strange that they chose to put all those pp in an expensive island hotel rather than a later journey over 3 suspected criminals who had been removed from the plane.

  6. Jeff says:

    Do they sell nicotine patches in Canada?

  7. Bonnie says:

    So let me get this straight, your leaving a cold and wintery Halifax and headed for a beautiful sunny destination with your family for fun in the sun. Then en route, decide to intentionally light up in the lavatory and bad mouth the staff on board the airlines, causing such a scene, that the plane is forced to land because of the familiy’s ignorance, belligerent behaviour and putting not only others safety at risk, but your own familiy too???…SHAME ON THEM!…Who are these people?? What happened to being grateful and appreciative? To be able to travel as a family to a sunny warm climate and escape our Canadian cold winter, would be a dream come true for most people! Instead of walking along the beach today, the McNeil family is walking into a Bermuda Court room facing serious charges that they brought on all on their own! I truly feel bad for the other passengers, but especially the crew on board who were badly bullied.
    I hope the only hot heat the McNeil family incounter is, from the police, Sunwing and all the passengers that they inconvenienced….REALLY!??????

    • Cape Bretoner says:

      ed. There has got to be more to the story. The airline staff ought to grow some balls or hire in-flight security. Smoking is addictive, yet I don’t see anyone being upset with the tobacco industry. I would sue the airline if I were on the flight, they failed to have a system in place – like a smoke alarm, and put every passenger in jeapordy, both by failing to provide security, and by having passengers taken to a foreign country without consent and forcing them to remain overnight. What if someone had have gotten lost, robbed or hurt in anyway? Very poor judgement. There was no perceived threat, no weapon; i dont want to excuse their rude behaviour but it did show very poor ability to manage a plane loaded with passengers. How many people have done this and not been caught, probably more than we know, in the absence of smoke alarms.

  8. Carl says:

    The McNeils are a bunch of redneck morons that make the rest of us Maritimers look bad. And the two kids… You can tell the apple didn’t fall far from the tree!!