MONTREAL (AP) – Passengers filming themselves partying without masks on a chartered flight from Montreal to Mexico were left stranded after three airlines refused to fly to Canada.
Sunwing Airlines canceled a return charter flight from Cancun scheduled for Wednesday, and both Air Transat and Air Canada also said they would refuse to take passengers.
Adding insult to injury, he was dubbed an “idiot” on Wednesday by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Videos from the December 30 flight shared on social media showed unmasked passengers singing and dancing in the aisle and in the seats. In one video, a large bottle of vodka is seen passing between passengers and a woman is seen smoking an electronic cigarette.
Air Transat said on Twitter that “disruptive passengers” of Sunwing’s flight were trying to return home on their flights, but were denied boarding based on the company’s obligation to ensure the safety of passengers and crew. .
Air Canada issued a statement on Wednesday that “to the extent that we can identify the passengers who were part of the group, Air Canada is denying boarding to ensure the safety of other passengers and its crew.” “
Among those looking for a way home was Rebecca Saint-Pierre, a 19-year-old student from Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, who said she felt abandoned, not knowing how she would pay for her hotel room because her stay would be indefinite. has been extended to. ,
She said she tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday and was in isolation in Tulum, south of Cancun. She estimated that around 30 others on the flight have tested positive.
“The organizer left everyone. I don’t know who is still here. All flights have been cancelled,” an emotional Saint-Pierre told The Canadian Press.
Saint-Pierre said he won the free tour in a contest on Instagram and had never heard of the organizer before, who identified himself on social media as James William Awhad. “I was looking forward to a rest week where I was going to be careful,” she said. “But it turns out to be an expensive trip for something that was considered free.”
Saint-Pierre acknowledged that the videos give an accurate picture of what happened during the five-hour flight to Cancun.
Saint-Pierre said that before the scheduled return trip, some people were applying Vaseline in an attempt to thwart the COVID-19 test.
Awhad wrote on Twitter on Wednesday that an “ordinary party” in an aircraft was behind the controversy. “I’ll take a moment to sit down and reconsider everything,” he said. “Especially how I can do things better next time.”
Oudh, which operates 111 private clubs, organized the tour, including social media “influencers” and a group of reality TV stars, such as Carl Saborin and Sandrine Seguin and Anna-Male from the popular Quebec show “Occupation Double”. Laprise, who both appeared on the province’s version of “Love Island”.
Federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabara, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos and Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino issued a joint statement late Tuesday, saying they had directed their departments to investigate.
Passengers who violate Department of Transportation rules could face fines (US$3,930) of up to $5,000 per violation, the statement said.
Trudeau called the conduct of the passengers irresponsible and a “slap” to everyone adhering to public health restrictions. In French, he called the travelers “idiots” and “barbarians”.