The swoop trip nightmare keeps sisters from coming to PEI for the family reunion
Sisters who traveled from Toronto to Charlottetown on Swoop airline last weekend to attend a family reunion said they experienced a “nightmare” when traveling, complete with panic, confusion and “rude, beyond rude” customer service.
Edna and Christine Chaisson were excited to fly to Prince Edward Island on Friday night to attend their brother’s 65th birthday party the following night. It was to be a big surprise as only one other family member knew about the plan.
The plane attempted to land in Charlottetown on what was the coldest night of 2023 so far, but high winds diverted it to Quebec City for refueling. Then they were flown back to Toronto.
During the flight, the sisters told CBC News that Swoop staff reassured passengers that they would be well looked after and “accommodated” on the ground.
“Everyone is starting to panic”
“They started promising things. ‘Don’t worry, we won’t let you down.’ Because at that point everyone is panicking because we haven’t eaten and we haven’t eaten,” said Edna Chaisson. “The restrooms were totally gross because we’ve been on the plane for so long.”
She said that over the course of the 12-hour ordeal, they each drank about an inch of water and were given a small bag of pretzels.
Once in Toronto, Edna Chaisson said, they were told they couldn’t exit the plane because the doors were frozen shut.
“At this point we are tired. Everyone is tired. There are babies on board. There are people who need medication that are in their suitcase.”
They eventually got out but said passengers were left to their own devices at the airport and Swoop staff were no help at all.
“The worst customer experience”
“I feel like we were treated more like animals,” said Edna Chaisson.
“Like animals … they didn’t care what we went through,” her sister added, calling it “the worst customer experience I’ve ever faced.”
The women ended up sleeping on the floor of a hotel room that fellow travelers could book on Friday night and were given their own hotel room the next day.
Swoop arranged for an emergency flight to take them to Charlottetown Sunday morning.
“That was just for us passengers [were] in this nightmare,” said Edna Chaisson.
They arrived 36 hours after their scheduled arrival and the day after their brother’s birthday party.
No claim for compensation, says Swoop
The Chaisson sisters believe they and their fellow travelers should be compensated.
“At least compensate us for the money we spent and apologize to all these people for being so rude — they were just rude, beyond rude,” Christine Chaisson said.
Swoop told CBC News in an email that those on the plane are not eligible for compensation because it was a weather diversion for safety reasons.
“Travellers may be able to contact their travel insurance provider to discuss uncovered cost coverage,” the email reads.
The women said passengers on board the flight had set up a Facebook group and were considering legal action against the airline.