Canada’s Sunwing Airlines: an adventure

When this is your destination, can you really complain?

When this is your destination and it’s cheap, can you really complain?

Sunwing was offering the best priced travel package I’d ever bought. My own room for one week in an all-inclusive 5 star hotel in Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba, airfare with an upgrade to a better seat and transfers for about $800 Canadian. Including tax.

So, what was the catch?

  • I went in August 2012, which is hurricane season. We were hit by a tropical storm. Crap weather for a day and a half.
  • Sunwing has its issues.

First off, the flight was delayed three hours leaving Vancouver. Considering we were facing a 90 minute bus ride from the airport in Santa Clara to the resort, it was going to make for a long day. Sunwing gave us our room keys and packaged info before we got on the bus. This way we avoided the check-in crunch.

The flight service was terrific. Especially the sparkling wine, which they bill as ‘champagne’. The bus ride to the resort was also terrific. Brand new vehicle from China. Tour guide. Air conditioned. Very comfortable. Wasn’t even irritated by the guy sitting next to me who talked about his dead wife’s funeral expenses.

The resort was huge, which meant a lot of walking to the buffet. No problem here.

Room was lovely. Fridge. Bottle of rum. The baby iguana in the bathroom gave me a fright, but was removed quickly. Amazing beach. Lots of beach chairs.

Food wasn’t bad. You hear horror stories about food in Cuba. My resort had fresh seafood, grilled to order, a pizza oven and scrumptious desserts.

But …

  • The return flight was delayed several hours.
  • We were stuck in a boiling hot airport, getting no information.
  • When the plane finally arrived, we were told it would be diverted to Calgary for refueling.
  • I had to work the next day. This made me VERY unhappy.

In the end, there was no diversion. The pilot got on the radio and said something about ‘having enough fuel to get to Vancouver’.

I’ve since learned Sunwing has issues with delays. Still, a year has passed since that trip. Perhaps things are better now.

I will book another package with Sunwing just for the price. This time prepared for delays and other hitches.  6/10

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