‘Unscheduled maintenance’ strands Vegas-bound Swoop passengers in Hamilton airport

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Samantha Craggs · CBC News · Posted: July 05, 2019

A Swoop flight from Hamilton to Las Vegas – and by extension, from Las Vegas to Hamilton – was cancelled yesterday because of “unscheduled maintenance.” (Andrew Collins/CBC)

Disgruntled passengers who thought they were going to Las Vegas are stranded in Hamilton because of the “unscheduled maintenance” of a Swoop jet.

A Swoop flight headed from Hamilton to Las Vegas on Thursday was cancelled, the carrier says, because the airline has to do maintenance to one of its twin-jet Boeing 737s. It’s also impacted the flight from Las Vegas to Hamilton.

The plane was “involved in an incident requiring a maintenance inspection,” Swoop said on its website. “We sincerely apologize to our travellers for the interruption in their plans however safety will always be at the forefront of our decision making.”

“We are working on re-accommodations and will send emails to the travellers once everything is finalized.”

Swoop said it’s arranged a “recovery flight” from Hamilton to Vegas for 6:30 p.m. today. It will run a flight from Las Vegas to Hamilton at 9 p.m. 

“Affected travellers will be provided accommodation, meal and transportation vouchers, as needed and those that wish to cancel can do so for a full refund,” it said.

Jaimie Singleton of Toronto was on the 7:30 p.m. flight Thursday. She and her friend hoped to make it to Las Vegas to join friends for fourth of July fireworks, but it didn’t happen.

Singleton said they sat on a sweltering plane for about 40 minutes and saw a flight attendant require medical attention for what looked like heat stroke. Then they were shuffled off the plane and spent the evening trying to get more information. At one point, the departure screen showed that their flight had already left, which “obviously had not happened.” 

Around 11 p.m., the carrier paid for a room at the Sheraton in downtown Hamilton, she said, and gave them meal vouchers worth $10 each.

Singleton said she and her friend will only be in Las Vegas until Sunday, and now they’re losing a whole day of that trip. 

It’s “disappointing,” said Singleton. But “it’s not the end of the world. We’ll have fun regardless.”

Hamilton police were called to the airport just after 10 p.m. Thursday to help Swoop manage passengers, said Const. Lorraine Edwards.

There were allegations a crew member heard a metal object enter the airplane engine, she said, but there’s “no evidence to suggest this happened.”

“As of last night, there was nothing criminal in nature brought forward to us.”