Maybe trains are the way to go

If you get the chance to escape the winter next season for a warm clime and Sunwing is in charge, I suggest you forego the opportunity.
My daughter returned from a Sunwing Vacation some 15 days ago (while I am writing this) with her husband and two small children. Their expensive stroller and luggage vanished somewhere between Cuba and Toronto–jettisoned, perhaps, over the Atlantic to save on fuel.
As misery loves company, there is a very long list of sun-seeking travellers in the same boat, so to speak, though a boat might have been the better option for mode of travel.
Travellers entrust their personal belongings to air carriers when we climb on board. We are limited to what we can carry into the cabin with us and I am one of those who complains bitterly about passengers dragging everything they can, including the kitchen sink if they thought they could disguise it as a coat, so as not to have to check their luggage.
We leave our strollers and mobility aids at the door to the aircraft with the promise that it will follow us on to the aircraft, safely stowed below. So where is my daughter’s stroller?
I read a CBC column written by Sophia Harris detailing complaints of Sunwing flights; 89 of them to be precise filed with the Canadian Transportation Agency. The column reports of passengers waiting 10 days for luggage, not to mention the hours spent on board the aircraft on a ramp at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.
It took a 9-1-1 call for one flight to be allowed to disembark after six hours.
I’m well aware that things can go wrong at airports. The old adage “time to spare, go by air” seems to be true, more now than ever before. Airlines try to cram every morsel of paying customer on their flights and squeeze in as many flights within a given day to turn a profit.
Remember when air travel was a luxury? No, neither do I.
Sunwing isn’t the only culprit in this game of misery, but they certainly haven’t stacked up with the best of them. For the 89 complaints filed, you can bet there is triple that, or more, of passengers who feel that nothing would come of their complaints so they keep quiet.
I’m not exactly a world traveller, but I seem to do my fair share of jetting back and forth across this country to visit my children. I only travel with WestJet because I have witnessed the difference in service at airports and on board when flights have had to be cancelled and/or delayed.
And I only have had my luggage lost once and it was returned to me within 48 hours, delivered to me at my door. But I’m not sure their standard of quality of service is carved in stone.
The logistics of getting passengers to where they are going, and with their luggage arriving at the same time and place, I’m sure is a daunting task. But we aren’t new to air travel in this country and it would seem to me that rules and procedures would become a well-oiled machine after all the years we’ve been at this game.
Doesn’t seem to be the case.
Maybe the train is the way to go because air travel seems to be a very expensive form of hitch-hiking; you just never know what’s going to happen or if you’ll get to where you are going alive.
wendistewart@live.ca

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail