Category: Hamilton YHM

Hamilton mother in ‘shock’ after her and son with disabilities kicked off Swoop airlines flight

News provided by Global News – link to full story, updates & video

BY KAMIL KARAMALI GLOBAL NEWS Posted November 6, 2019

 A Hamilton woman said she was booted from a Swoop airlines flight because her son with autism had an outburst. Kamil Karamali reports.

WATCH: Link to Video

A Hamilton mother says she’s still in shock after she and her 21-year-old son with disabilities were booted off a Swoop flight on Friday because on-board staff claimed her son was too “violent.”

“He’s 21 but he’s mentally like a small child,” said Nicco Iavarone’s mother, Andrea Iavarone.

“So if a small child were on an airplane and had a little temper tantrum and hit and pulled their mother’s hair, would they kick that mother off the airplane? Because it was exactly like that.”

Andrea said Nicco is autistic and has a rare disorder called chromosome 12Q deletion.

The mother-son duo and one of Andrea’s friends were on a morning flight on Nov. 1 from Hamilton to Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Andrea said she had booked a hotel room for that night in the Sunshine State, so she was eager to make it there that same day.

She told Global News that Swoop staff were aware that Nicco was special needs because they let them pre-board under those circumstances.

Andrea said Nicco had taken the window seat, she took the middle seat and her friend settled into the aisle seat — before the flight took off.

That’s when Nicco started acting out, Andrea said, hitting and pulling her hair, while yelling.

“He’s special needs. He’s non-verbal, so he doesn’t really have a way to voice what frustrates him —  so sometimes you get moments of agitation where he gets a little bit frustrated,” said Andrea.

She said she and Nicco have flown dozens of times, including with Swoop, and staff are usually very accommodating to the outbursts that sometimes take place.

“Sometimes my son hits himself on the head, but he’s not like that continuously,” she said.

One of the flight attendants saw the outburst, she said, and went to speak to another attendant.

The two staff members then approached her and told her that “Nicco’s not going to be flying with them today,” Andrea continued.

“I said, ‘Are you kidding me?’”

“They said, ‘He’s violent’ and ‘We’re worried for the safety of our passengers.’ I said, ‘How can you be that worried about the safety of other passengers?’” added Iavarone, who said she was in disbelief.

She said she tried to explain to the staff that the unruly behaviour was temporary, that he would only harm her and was not a threat to anyone around them.

“Then [the flight attendant] said, ‘We’re worried about your safety’ and I said, ‘I deal with this everyday and he’s fine once he gets up in the air. We’re going to be just fine,’” said Andrea.

She said she asked to speak to a supervisor to which the attendant replied, “Not, it’s already been decided.”

Andrea said they were then handed their luggage and were escorted off the plane, where she was only then able to speak to someone she was told was a manager.

She said they were only offered a Swoop credit for her flight but not for the cost of Nicco’s ticket.

She said she refused the offer and demanded a full refund and a flight that same day to Florida. However, she said her request was denied.

In a statement to Global News, Swoop said it “… Is entrusted to ensure the safety and security of all its travellers and employees, and has established policies to meet this obligation.”

Global News followed up with multiple questions regarding the circumstances around the incident and asked for more details regarding Swoop’s policy on traveller safety, but did not receive a response from the airline company.

“At best, from the airlines, this was a misunderstanding. At worst, this was a discrimination of a person with disabilities,” said Gabor Lukacs with Air Passenger Rights.

“The least they should’ve done once it was clear that this is not an unruly passenger but someone with mental disabilities, is make it as good as possible by putting them on the next available flight on whatever airline is available,” he added.

Andrea said she posted her story to social media with a video of Nicco at the airport. The post has since been viewed thousands of times.

She added that Swoop has now refunded both tickets, but she’s hoping the airline company will also be able to pay for the last minute tickets she had to book with Air Canada at an exorbitant cost.

Andrea said she also hopes that this sparks change within the airline industry.

“He’s special needs. He doesn’t have a voice so I need to speak up and make people aware how they’re being treated,” she said. “Instead of making accommodations or trying to find ways to try and make the flight easier, they’re just deciding that they would rather not deal with him and have him off the plane.”

“They made a very snap decision which I feel was unfair,” she continued.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

DHL to invest $100M in Hamilton airport facility expansion

News provided by Global News – link to full story and updates

BY DON MITCHELL GLOBAL NEWS Posted October 29, 2019

German-based logistics giant DHL will expand its gateway into Canada with a new $100-million facility at the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport.

A DHL Boeing 767 cargo airplane at the Hamilton airport on Oct. 17, 2014.
A DHL Boeing 767 cargo airplane at the Hamilton airport on Oct. 17, 2014. 
THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Larry MacDougal

The international courier plans to replace its existing depot at John C. Munro with a bigger, more modern facility.

“Hamilton International Airport offers us the benefits that we need to meet our growing demands in handling capacity,” said Andrew Williams, CEO of DHL Express Canada, said in a statement on Tuesday.

“With 24-hour landing capability, dedicated onsite Canada Border Services Agency representation and the ability to grow in the future with a partner positioned to become the cargo hub of Ontario, we know this is the best decision to continue leading the market.”

The new facility — expected to be completed in 2021 — will be about four times the size of DHL’s current 200,000-square-foot facility and will feature a fully automated sorting system with a capacity for processing 15,000 packages per hour.

The company is also expected to add more front-line workers to its existing complement of 225 employees to meet higher demand.

Currently, DHL has two daily flights from Hamilton to its international network in Cincinnati, Ohio.

The news was welcomed by both provincial and municipal governments on Tuesday, with Premier Doug Ford using the announcement as an opportunity to promote his Progressive Conservative slogan that “government doesn’t create jobs, businesses do.”

Meanwhile, Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger — who made a trip to Germany two years ago to make a pitch for DHL’s expansion — said the move is “further evidence that our airport is an economic driver.”

DHL moved to its current Hamilton International Airport facility in 2008 and made it the largest gateway for the express company in Canada. Other DHL gateways are located in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Brampton, Montreal and Mirabel, Que.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Sunwing partners with Swoop to offer customers even more travel options this winter

Provided by Swoop/CNW

TORONTO, Sept. 27, 2019 /CNW/ – Canadians looking for a tropical escape that’s easily accessible from their local airport have even more options to choose from this coming winter thanks to a new agreement between leading tour operator, Sunwing, and ultra-low-cost airline, Swoop.

Sunseekers departing from Hamilton, London, Abbotsford, Edmonton and Winnipeg can now book vacation packages with the tour operator that include a Swoop flight.  

Cancun, Mexico Aerial Photo (CNW Group/Swoop)
Cancun, Mexico Aerial Photo (CNW Group/Swoop)
Sunwing Logo | Learn more about Sunwing at Sunwing.ca (CNW Group/Swoop)

Andrew Dawson, President of Tour Operations for Sunwing, commented on the news, “Saving our customers time and money by providing convenient, direct flight services from their local airport has always been a key priority for us. Sunwing Airlines already offers flights to over 45 of the most popular sun destinations from over 30 departure airports coast to coast. With this new agreement, even more Canadians will be able to experience our top-rated resorts (including leading chains such as Royalton Luxury Resorts, RIU Hotels & Resorts, Planet Hollywood Hotels & Resorts) as part of a valued-added vacation package departing from their local airport.”

All Sunwing vacation packages with Swoop flights include one complimentary item of checked luggage, round-trip airport to hotel transfers, assistance from Sunwing Experiences representatives throughout, the option to benefit from savings by pre-purchasing Sunwing Experiences excursions at the time of booking and more.

“It’s a privilege to be entrusted with carrying Sunwing travellers onboard Swoop flights to our extensive network in Mexico,” said Steven Greenway, President, Swoop. “Partnering with a well-respected tour operator who shares our vision of making travel affordable and more accessible is a welcome opportunity for Canadians who want to travel more.”

Sunwing customers that take advantage of Swoop’s extensive network of flight services can now benefit from even greater access to some of Mexico’s most popular vacation destinations. A new departure airport now available as part of this agreement is Abbotsford, where travellers can take advantage of twice-weekly flights to Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta. The popular vacation destination of Cancun is now within easy reach for Sunwing customers in London if they choose to take advantage of the twice-weekly Swoop flight service as part of their vacation package.
Vacationers departing from Hamilton can now select from both Sunwing’s and Swoop’s regular flight services to Cancun – giving them the choice of four different departure days each week (including both Saturday and Sunday). Vacationers from Edmonton will enjoy additional weekend departure options to reach Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta. Finally, the addition of Swoop flight services from Winnipeg to Los Cabos has tripled the choice of departure days for customers travelling from the region, with new flights options departing Sundays and Wednesdays. 

For more information on Sunwing packages or to book, visit www.sunwing.ca or contact your travel agent.

Swoop Airlines Review – is it really cheaper?

News provided by Travel Off Path – link to full story

Swoop Airlines Review

KASHLEE KUCHERAN SEPTEMBER 26, 2019

Canadian’s have always gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to cheap air fare, but that finally might be changing!

Swoop Airlines is a new discount airline that has launched in selected (smaller) airports throughout Canada, and they are offering some sweet ticket prices.

Living in Kelowna, I don’t have a lot of choices when it comes to direct flights. I’ll be honest, YLW airport sucks in its offering of non-stop destinations. When I first moved to Kelowna we at least had a direct to San Francisco and Los Angeles, but they slowly fizzled out and left us with just a few direct options.

However, Swoop Airlines just moved in and they are offering a few direct flights that caught my eye! Winnipeg for $79 and Las Vegas for $99. Those are some INCREDIBLY low prices for direct flights out of Kelowna.

Swoop Kelowna

My brother Cody lives in Winnipeg, but I can’t say I’m regularly tempted to fly over to visit him. (Sorry bro!) A one-way flight on WestJet or Air Canada is usually $250-$450 and all flights have at least one stop-over. The moment I saw I could get to Winnipeg for $79, I booked the flight instantly! $450 is a hard sell for me, but $79 I can do!

Now here is where people get concerned with a low-cost airline. They start to worry about the maintenance of the planes, how uncomfortable it might be in-flight, or how many extra fees will get tacked on for bags, water, or even breathing.

I’ve got you covered. Here is everything I experienced during my recent flight on Swoop from Kelowna to Winnipeg on September 18th 2019.

Swoop Airlines Review

Swoop review canada

Is Swoop’s website easy to use?

The site is super easy to use and very straight forward. It looks like any other major airline website and wasn’t sneaky or hard to understand in anyway.

They allow you to choose a seat (paid) add carry-on or checked baggage (paid) or you can hold off to do that at check-in or at the airport. Just know, if you buy baggage or seats DURING your initial booking, it will be cheaper. But more on that later.

Does Swoop have hidden fees in the fare pricing?

Surprisingly, no.

The price advertised was $79 and that’s what it was at the end of the day. The airfare was actually only $48, then after taxes and fees, came out to a total of $79. Great! No surprises there! I was half expecting it to double in price by the time I had just run through taxes, fees, and weird hidden surcharges – but thankfully that never happened.

Booking flights on Swoop

Can you bring ANY type of luggage on Swoop for Free?

YES! They allow a free ‘personal item’ on board.

They classify this as something that can fit under the seat in front of you, like a small backpack, purse, laptop bag, or briefcase.

If you can pack a super smart bag, you could likely get away with just using this personal item allowance for a short trip.

Here are the official dimensions they allow for your personal item:
16” x 6” x 13” (41cm x 15cm x 33cm)

How much is CARRY-ON BAGGAGE with Swoop?

Now here is where you can start to rack up a bill with Swoop, but truth be told, it’s STILL cheaper than flying with Canada’s other two carriers, even if you buy all the add-ons. 

Carry-on baggage starts at $35.

I was visiting my brother in Winnipeg on my way down south for the winter. Since I had to carry everything I needed for 6 months with me on this trip, I had no choice but to purchase BOTH the carry-on bag and the checked bag through Swoop. If I was just flying there for a weekend to see him, I could make it work with just the free personal item.

My carry-on bag from Kelowna to Winnipeg was $35 CAD.

Carry-on Baggage weight and size restrictions:

If you are considering buying a carry-on bag for a Swoop flight, know that it MUST fit within these dimensions: 21” x 9” x 15” (52cm x 23cm x 38cm).

But here is a fun tip – 
Swoop does NOT limit how much your carry-on bag can weigh.

Fees for carry-on bags on Swoop:

How much is a carry-on with swoop
Swoop Fees for carry-on bags

The cost for carry-on baggage will vary depending on two things:

  • If your flight is within Canada, or going to the states
  • If you purchase it at booking, or later on at check in or at the airport

You can buy a carry-on bag for as low as $35 as long as you do it at the time of booking.

Each moment that your flight draws closer it goes up in price. If 30 seconds after you book your flight you decide you want to buy a carry-on bag, it’s now $40. When you go to check-in for your flight 24 hours before departure, it’s now $45. If you wait until you reach the check-in counter at the airport, it’s now gone up to $50. The worst price is definitely if you wait until last minute until the gate, about to board your flight – here they will charge you a whopping $70 for your carry-on bag.

How much is CHECKED BAGGAGE with Swoop?

Checked baggage is around the same cost as carry-on baggage.
It starts at $35.

Checked Baggage weight and size restrictions:

Your checked baggage with Swoop can weigh 50lbs MAX

Maximum dimensions: 157 cm (62 in.) total combined dimension (length + width + height)

You obviously get a bigger dimension allowance, but be warned, they are STRICT about their 50lb maximum weight policy.

As I was in line at the check-in counter I saw them make a girl who was only 2lbs over take items out of her luggage.

I was sweating with nerves because I knew my checked bag was shoved full of stuff for the next 6 months of travel. I don’t have a scale at home, so I crossed my fingers and prayed I would be okay.

When I put my bag up on the scale at the counter it weighed 55.3lbs. DANG!

She gave me two options: I could either find 5.3 lbs of stuff to take out of my checked bag OR I could pay the $106 overweight fee. There was NO way I was paying $106 for 5lbs, so I dug out 2 sweaters and my leather jacket and put them on over my t-shirt. Yep, I felt like Chandler from friends. I was still 1.5 lbs overweight, so I had to take out some items and shove them into my already brimming carry-on.

I put my checked luggage back on the scale and low and behold it came in at EXACTLY 50.0lbs. Success! The check-in attendant told me it’s better to buy a 2nd checked bag for $50 at time of booking instead of the $106 over-weight charge for next time.

Fees for Checked Bags on Swoop:

How much are baggage fees with swoop
Checked baggage fees with Swoop

The cost for checked baggage will vary depending on two things:

  • If your flight is within Canada, or going to the states (states is $5 more)
  • If you purchase it at booking, or later on at check in or at the airport

Just like the carry-on baggage, the checked baggage is also on a sliding tier scale. You will get the lowest price ($35) for your checked bag at time of booking, and it will go up to $70 by the time you reach the gate.

How does Seat Selection work on Swoop?

Seat selection on swoop

FREE:
You will be automatically assigned a random seat upon check-in. This random selection is free, so if you are budget conscious, just roll the dice.

PAY:
To pick ANY seat on the plane ahead of time, even the worst one, it will cost you. Prices for seat selection at time of booking range from $10-$50, and if you wait until check in you will pay anywhere from $20-$70. (approx $10 more per seat if you wait.)

Since my TOTAL bill for a direct flight to Winnipeg was only $150, even after buying both a checked bag and a carry-on bag, I decided to really go all out and buy a seat in the emergency row. Of course, I waited until check-in so I could give Swoop some extra money.

emergency row on Swoop

The emergency row seat cost me $40 at check-in, 24 hours before the flight. The best part of buying this seat was that no one else on my flight decided it was worth the extra $40. I had the entire row to myself, including the row across the aisle. Most of the regular seats on the flight were full, which made it extra luxurious to have the entire area to myself.

Here is the pricing tier for seat selections on Swoop:

How much does it cost to select a seat on Swoop
Seat selection fees on Swoop

Are the seats really crowded on Swoop?

are seats crowded on swoop

Swoop says their normal seats give 74-76 cm of leg room (that’s 29-30 inches).

If we compare that to other flights heading to Winnipeg, WestJet has one flight with 76 cm and one with 79 cmAir Canada also ranges from 76 cm up to 81 cm depending on the type of aircraft.

So, if you’re on a Swoop flight with 76 cm in their ‘base’ seat, you might find the exact same leg room on certain WestJet and Air Canada flights also providing 76 cm. (Usually a Bombardier Dash-8).

If you fly a 737 or an a320 on WestJet or Air Canada, you’ll likely have 79 cm to 81cm, making them much roomier than Swoop.

Swoop seat

Now, I did fly in the emergency row which gave me lots of extra room. Swoop’s website says their ‘extra-pitch’ seats give 86 cm to 96 cm of legroom (34-38 inches). While I didn’t whip out my measuring tape to see exactly what mine was, it felt extremely spacious.

By the way, seats have a USB plug and 110v plug, which makes any small seat a little more comfortable.

plus on Swoop

Does Swoop charge for water?

You bet! And I’m cool with that. I would rather score a ticket for $79 and have to pay for my own water than pay $450 for the same flight that offers free water or pop. In reality, we should all be bringing empty re-usable bottles through security and filling them up for free at the many water fountains.

Does Swoop serve food and drinks?

Yes they do, of course for a fee. The prices are pretty decent considering they are on a flight.   

Drinks

  • Soft Drinks $1.99
  • Juice $2.49
  • Tea $2.99
  • Alkaline Water $3.29
  • Coffee $3.49
  • Spirits $5.99
  • Beer $6.99
  • Wine $7.99

Food/Snacks

  • Gummies $1.99
  • Biscotti $2.49
  • Brownies $2.99
  • Chocolate Bars $2.99
  • Pringles $2.99
  • Hummus and Lentil Crackers $4.49
  • Beef Jerky $4.49
  • Oatmeal $3.49
  • Mr. Noodles $3.49
  • Instant Pho $5.49
  • Snack Plate $6.99

You are allowed to bring your own water, pop, coffee and food on-board to consume if you don’t want to by airplane food. Most food you can bring through security but remember all drinks will have to be purchased post-security.

Swoop menu food
Swoop menu drinks

Is there Wi-Fi on Swoop?

YES!

There is Wi-Fi on Swoop flights, for a fee.

They don’t have the prices listed on their website and some forums say it’s based on the type/length of flight. Rates should be around $6.49/1 hour and $8.99/3 hours.

wifi on Swoop

My Personal Swoop Experience

Everything was really equal to flying with any other Canadian airline. Booking, checking in, etc was all pretty similar. If anything, the below observations are because I am looking at Swoop with a very critical “I’m going to write a review about you” eye.

Here are the small differences I noticed flying with Swoop:

• They are hardcore about the 50-pound maximum for checked baggage. Don’t expect to get any leniency with Swoop.

• Post security, at the gate, they seemed a little behind schedule and disoriented. They called for families and anyone needing additional time/assistance to come up first and then held them there for a good 15 minutes without processing any of them through. The plane was there, and it was empty, so I am not sure what caused the delay.

• The flight did depart slightly late, but just a few minutes

•I guess it was a different experience to be nickeled and dimed with each tiny detail of the trip, but I still enjoyed a much lower fare than I would have with the full-service competitors.

• Service levels were not as hands on because the flight attendants don’t come through offering free drinks and pretzels to everyone. You really only see them for the safety demo and if you elect to buy something.

• Were the seats less padded? I couldn’t help but notice my butt didn’t feel as cushioned, but that might be me imagining things. Also, I am kind of a high maintenance flyer and I am usually doing everything I can to find a lay-flat business class seat, so I might just be extremely spoiled and biased. Sorry I have no data to confirm my suspicions on this one.

Once on board I didn’t notice anything different about the actual flight itself. The plane looked and felt like every other 737 I’ve ever been on.
Sometimes I think people suspect flying with a budget airline means flying on a lower end plane, but they are really all the same metal tube in the sky. We took off and landed without any events, which is always a blessing. Once we touched down in Winnipeg the plane went right to the gangway and we departed within a few minutes. Baggage came quickly. The entire experience went well!

Where does Swoop Airlines Fly

Swoop is able to keep their prices super low by only flying out of secondary and smaller airports in Canada. The fees and taxes are lower, which helps keep ticket prices down.

However, they still fly to some major airports and top destinations!

International Swoop Destinations:

  • Las Vegas
  • Phoenix
  • Tampa
  • Orlando
  • Fort Lauderdale
  • Los Cabos
  • Mazatlan
  • Puerto Vallarta
  • Cancun
  • Montego Bay

Domestic Swoop Destinations:

  • Abbotsford
  • Kelowna
  • Edmonton
  • Winnipeg
  • London
  • Hamilton
  • Halifax
Where Swoop airlines flies

My Rating of Swoop Airlines

I would give my experience with Swoop an 8/10. (taking into consideration it’s a budget economy flight!)

I really didn’t have any kind of a negative experience at all, but of course the main reason for such a high score really boils down to price. I love a good deal, and when I can pair that with cutting my flight down from a 1-stop to a direct flight, even better!

Now that Swoop has a $99 flight from Kelowna direct to Las Vegas, I think that is a great way to get down to the US for cheap, even if Vegas isn’t my final destination. I’m looking forward to trying that service and seeing what it’s like.

Would I recommend Swoop?

I actually did today! My friends are looking to come and visit me in Mazatlan this winter and they can fly DIRECT from Abbotsford to Mazatlan for next to nothing. On WestJet their total cost for 2 round-trip tickets was going to be $1900 and with Swoop it will only be $800. 50% off!

‘We’re very disappointed’: Swoop flight from Hamilton to B.C. cancelled

News provided by CBC News – link to full story and updates

The airline cancelled 30 flights during the first 10 days of July alone

CBC News · Posted: Aug 15, 2019

Yet another Swoop flight out of Hamilton has been cancelled, stranding passengers planning to travel to British Columbia. (Chris Squires)

Yet another Swoop flight out of Hamilton has been cancelled, this time stranding a plane-full of people destined for British Columbia.

Flight 109 scheduled to take off at 6:50 p.m. on Wednesday and land in Abbotsford, B.C. at 8:39 p.m. was cancelled, according to the airline’s website. It does not provide an explanation of why.

News of this latest cancellation follows frustration and confusion sparked by a rash of 30 cancellations the airline made during the first 10 days in July that left some customers paying out-of-pocket to salvage travel plans. 

Chris Squires says it meant a rocky start to vacation for him and his family, who were supposed to take their first trip back to B.C. in four years on Wednesday.

They live in Kingston, but booked a flight out of Hamilton way back in March.

Squires, along with his wife and two kids, was dropped off by friends at the John C. Munro International Airport. They had made it through customs when he says they received an email saying the flight had been cancelled due to a “mechanical” issue.

Chris Squires says the cancellation left his family very disappointed. (Chris Squires)

After months of planning and a three-hour drive from Kingston, Squires says notice of the cancellation came just two hours before their plane was supposed to take off, leaving little time to come up with a contingency plan.

“We’re going back because my mother-in-law had surgery,” he explained. “We chose Swoop because it seemed to be a great deal. We’re very disappointed.”

The airline did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Squires says he was initially told he and his family were being moved to another flight that wasn’t scheduled to take off for another three days.

That left his kids feeling “pretty torn apart.”

But, following some negotiation with Swoop staff at the airport, he says the airline agreed to put his family in a hotel overnight and get them on a flight out Thursday.

Still, he says others weren’t as lucky and he’s left unimpressed by the whole experience.

“In a customer service business you take care of your customers,” he said. “They should have concessions [and] policies in place for when things go wrong.”

CBC News with files from Sophia Harris

Norwegian Air ends trans-Atlantic flights from Hamilton over 737 Max grounding

News provided by CBC News – link to full story and updates

Its last flight between Hamilton and Ireland will depart on Sept. 13. 

CBC News/The Associated Press · Posted: Aug 13, 2019

Norwegian bought the 737 Max specifically to support service between Europe and smaller airports across the Atlantic. The Boeing 737-800 aircrafts, pictured above, were used for their other routes. (Johan Nilsson/Associated Press)

Norwegian Air is discontinuing its trans-Atlantic service out of Hamilton. 

The airline says that the grounding of Boeing 737 Max aircrafts have made the routes between Ireland and Hamilton, as well as two other United States airports, “no longer commercially viable.” 

Its last flight to Ireland from Hamilton’s John C. Munro airport will depart on Sept 13. The Oslo-based carrier began offering daily year-round service between Hamilton and Dublin in March. It attracted travellers with its low fares, and was the only airline at Hamilton airport that offered direct flights to Europe. 

Before the airline started its Hamilton service, Anders Lindstrom, director of communications for Norwegian’s North America branch, told CBC that the flights would encourage Canadians to fly out of Canada instead of crossing the border to U.S. airports.

Norwegian Air will also end its Ireland flights from Stewart Airport in New York’s Hudson Valley and T.F. Green Airport in Providence, Rhode Island on Sept. 14. 

The airline says the decision reflects uncertainty about when or whether the troubled Boeing 737 Max will return to the air. Aviation authorities around the world grounded the plane in March after two fatal crashes. Norwegian bought the 737 Max specifically to support service between Europe and smaller airports across the Atlantic.

Sunwing to operate more direct flights from Hamilton than ever before

Provided by Sunwing Vacations Inc/Globe Newswire

TORONTO, July 22, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sunwing is offering travellers in the Hamilton and the Greater Golden Horseshoe area more tropical destination options than ever, with a total of six flight services available this coming winter. New destinations include: Cayo CocoCayo Santa Maria and Cancun. The travel company is also bringing back perennial favourites Montego Bay and Punta Cana, along with Varadero which will benefit from  twice-weekly flights on Wednesdays and Saturdays for the first time.

Playa Paraiso in Cancun – Sunwing Vacations Inc.

Travellers looking to head to Cuba can take advantage of convenient Sunday flights to Cayo Coco between December 15, 2019 and April 12, 2020. A weekly flight service to Cayo Santa Maria will operate on Fridays from December 13, 2019 until April 10, 2020. Those looking to visit Mexico can take advantage of weekly flights to Cancun departing on Sundays from December 15, 2019 until April 12, 2020. Returning favourite Punta Cana is available on Fridays from November 8, 2019 until April 10, 2020 and Montego Bay on Saturdays from December 14, 2019 to April 11, 2020.

“We are excited to be expanding our operations from John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport,” said Andrew Dawson, President of Tour Operations for Sunwing. “Since we commenced operations in the Hamilton region in 2013, our flight services have been well-received and extremely popular with residents of Hamilton and the Greater Golden Horseshoe area. With the addition of these three new destinations, we will now be offering travellers access to more of our popular vacation hotspots than ever before.”

Director, Marketing & Communications for John C Munro Hamilton International Airport, Dina Carlucci, also commented on the news, “As an airport that is growing its leisure travel options for Hamilton and the surrounding market, Hamilton International Airport is very happy to continue its invaluable partnership with Sunwing over the forthcoming winter season. Sunwing’s 2019/2020 winter program has more than doubled its flights from Hamilton, with flights to destinations in Mexico, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Cuba including new Sunwing flights from Hamilton to Cancun, Cayo Coco and Cayo Santa Maria.”

Vacationers who take advantage of the new Cayo Coco flight service could choose to stay at Memories Flamenco Beach Resort. Located on a pristine white-sand beach, this Sunwing favourite property offers activities and amenities for guests of all ages, from the kids club featuring characters Toopy and Binoo to non-motorized water sports like windsurfing and catamaran rides. Travellers headed to Cayo Santa Maria could opt for Grand Memories Santa Maria offering a wide range of activities for all ages including a kids club.

With the newly-introduced weekly flight service to Cancun, vacationers can visit top-rated family resort, Riu Dunamar. Situated on the shores of Playa Mujeres, it is home to its very own Splash Water World water park and offers accommodation options for families of five or more. Plus, vacationers who book with Sunwing can look forward to exclusive RIU-topia inclusions like unlimited reservation-free dining, free Wi-Fi, spa credits and more.

All Sunwing vacation packages include return flights on Sunwing Airlines where passengers can sit back and relax while on board, with award-winning inflight service, complimentary non-alcoholic beverage service and buy on board selection of snacks and light meals including the brand-new Tex Mex Grilled Chicken Wrap inspired by Food Network Canada Celebrity Chef, Lynn Crawford. Passengers also benefit from a generous complimentary 23kg checked luggage allowance. For additional perks, including priority check-in and security line access*, customers can upgrade to Elite Plus from just $50 per sector.

For more information or to book, visit www.sunwing.ca or contact your travel agent.

*Available at select Canadian airports.

Swoop points to Boeing 737 Max ripple effect after wave of flight cancellations

News provided by CTVNews.ca – link to full story

A Swoop Airlines Boeing 737-800
A Swoop Airlines Boeing 737-800 is on display during a media event, June 19, 2018 at John C. Munro International Airport in Hamilton, Ont. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tara Walton)

Christopher Reynolds, The Canadian Press  – Published Monday, July 8, 2019

Swoop airline is facing a backlog of flights after engine trouble on an aircraft touched off a four-day wave of flight disruptions that has left passengers stranded and angry.

Passengers who had booked flights with the ultra-low-cost airline were left scrambling after it cancelled 23 flights between July 5 and July 10 due to “unscheduled maintenance” on a defective engine.

Swoop policy requires the low-cost subsidiary of WestJet Airlines Inc. to reroute passengers on other airlines if it cannot rebook them on its own flights “within a reasonable amount of time.”

The policy applies to events “within Swoop’s control,” which the maintenance issues were, according to spokeswoman Karen McIsaac.

She said the vast majority of passengers were rescheduled on Swoop flights and that it would deal with requests for rebooking on another airline “on a case-by-base basis.”

The company partly blamed the Boeing 737 Max aircraft grounding for preventing it from chartering other aircraft to accommodate stranded travellers.

“We are exploring options to charter aircraft to assist with the relief, however there are few options to do so as availability is limited in light of the MAX grounding,” McIsaac said in an email.

Authorities across the globe banned the Boeing aircraft from their skies last spring after two crashes — in Indonesia in October and Ethiopia in March — killed all 346 passengers aboard, including 18 Canadians.

Frustrated travellers took to social media, complaining that the carrier rebooked them on Swoop flights up to five days later and that its customer care centre was closed over the weekend.

The Canadian Transportation Agency, asked whether it would launch an investigation, said it “is monitoring the situation.”

The transportation watchdog said it has received two complaints so far, but noted that “what constitutes ‘a reasonable amount of time’ might depend on the situation, and this may have to be determined by the agency.”

McIsaac said Swoop is providing affected passengers with accommodation, meals and transportation “as needed.”

“Those that wish to cancel can do so for a full refund,” she added.

The maintenance problem affected one of Swoop’s seven aircraft, requiring an engine replacement due to a leaky oil seal on a Boeing 737-800 jetliner, McIsaac said. “This requires a significant amount of work and disassembly in order to fully repair the issue.”

The aircraft has a capacity of 189, meaning more than 4,300 passengers would be affected if all 23 flights were booked up.

The disruption is affecting flights from Edmonton, Halifax, Hamilton, Orlando, Fla., and other cities.

Gabor Lukacs, head of the Air Passenger Rights advocacy group, said that under federal rules intended to beef up air traveller protections and set to take effect this year, Swoop passengers would receive no compensation due to a regulatory “loophole.”

The rules impose no obligation on airlines to pay customers for delays or cancellations if they were caused by mechanical problems discovered in a pre-flight check — walking around the aircraft before takeoff looking for defects — rather than during scheduled maintenance required after 100 hours cumulatively in the air.

“They’re saying the aircraft broke down, basically, that this is a maintenance issue,” Lukacs said, referring to Swoop.

“This is exactly why the new aircraft rules are a failure. In this case, under the new rules, passengers would not get compensation. They would not see a dime.”

The past week hasn’t gone smoothly for Swoop. On Thursday night, local police were called to Hamilton airport — “just to keep the peace,” said spokeswoman Const. Lorraine Edwards — after a flight bound for Las Vegas was cancelled and rescheduled for Friday evening.

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

News provided by CBC News – link to full article

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.”

Air Transat is synonymous with Sun to travellers in Ontario

Provided by Transat A.T. Inc/CNW

The airline is strengthening its position as a leader in holiday travel this winter with new Sun destinations in the South and Europe

MONTREAL, July 4, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ – Air Transat is pleased to present travellers in Ontario with its winter 2019-2020 program for Sun destinations in South and Central AmericaMexicoFlorida, the Caribbean and Europe. The addition of new Airbus A321neoLRs to its fleet next winter will allow the carrier greater flexibility to offer a broader choice of destinations to travellers. Named the 2019 World’s Best Leisure Airline by Skytrax, Air Transat will offer 36 destinations in the South and Europe from Toronto. The most scenic beaches in the South will be accessible to passengers flying out of Ottawa, London and Hamilton as well.

More flights to the most popular Sun destinations  
Toronto region beachgoers will be spoilt for choice between 25 favourite Sun destinations in 10 different countries. From London, Ontario, Air Transat will add a new direct flight to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic. And from Hamilton, there will be a new direct flight to Santa Clara, Cuba, as well as a second weekly direct fight to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Europe in winterFrom Toronto, along with its daily flight to London, United Kingdom, Air Transat will offer two direct flights a week all year long to Glasgow and Manchester, UK, respectively. Plus, the airline will extend to mid-January its flights to Barcelona, Spain, and Rome, Italy, with two direct flights a week to each city. Travellers will be able to fly to Portugalfrom Toronto, with two weekly direct flights to Lisbon, and one direct flight to Porto. It is also good to know that Air Transat is the only airline offering a direct flight from Toronto to Faro, in the Algarve, during the winter (one flight a week).

Discovering Canada and Europe with domestic and connecting flights 
Air Transat’s domestic flights, which link some major Canadian cities, will allow Ontarians to explore other regions in Canada as well as transatlantic destinations accessible via connecting flights. The airline will continue its daily flights between Toronto and Montreal, in addition to its five weekly direct flights between Toronto and Vancouver.

From Toronto: 36 South and Europe destinations

SouthNumber of flights (during peak season)
Caribbean
Montego Bay, Jamaica4 direct flights a week
St. Maarten1 direct flight a week
Cuba
Cayo Coco4 direct flights a week
Cayo Largo1 direct flight a week
Cayo Santa Maria4 direct flights a week
Holguin4 direct flights a week
Santiago de Cuba                  1 direct flight a week
Varadero6 direct flights a week
Dominican Republic
La Romana1 direct flight a week
Puerto Plata4 direct flights a week
Punta CanaDaily direct flights
Samana1 direct flight a week
Santo Domingo1 direct flight a week
Mexico
Cancun-Riviera MayaDaily direct flights
Cozumel1 direct flight a week
Huatulco1 direct flight a week
Puerto Vallarta2 direct flights a week
South and Central America
Cartagena, Colombia1 direct flight a week
Liberia, Costa Rica2 direct flights a week
San Jose, Costa Rica2 direct flights a week
Roatan, Honduras2 direct flights a week
Rio Hato, Panama2 direct flights a week
United States
Fort Lauderdale, Florida5 direct flights a week
Orlando, Florida3 direct flights a week
San Juan, Puerto Rico1 direct flight a week
EuropeNumber of flights (during peak season)
France
ParisDaily flights via Montreal
Italy
Rome2 direct flights a week (until mid-January)
Portugal
Faro1 direct flight a week
Lisbon2 direct flights a week and 2 flights a week via Montreal
Porto1 direct flight a week
Spain
Barcelona2 direct flights a week (until mid-January)
Madrid3 flights a week via Montreal
Malaga3 flights a week via Montreal
United Kingdom
Glasgow2 direct flights a week
LondonDaily direct flights
Manchester2 direct flights a week

From Toronto: domestic flights

Canada
Vancouver5 direct flights a week
MontrealDaily direct flights

From London: 3 South destinations

Dominican RepublicNumber of flights (during peak season)
Puerto Plata1 direct flight a week
Punta Cana1 direct flight a week
Mexico
Cancun-Riviera Maya1 direct flight a week

From Hamilton: 6 South destinations

SouthNumber of weekly flights (during peak season)
Cuba
Cayo Coco1 direct flight a week
Cayo Santa Maria1 direct flight a week
Varadero1 direct flight a week
Dominican Republic
Puerto Plata1 direct flight a week
Punta Cana2 direct flights a week
Mexico
Cancun-Riviera Maya2 direct flights a week

From Ottawa: 7 South destinations 

SouthNumber of weekly flights (during peak season)
Cuba
Cayo Coco1 direct flight a week
Cayo Santa Maria1 direct flight a week
Varadero1 direct flight a week
Dominican Republic
Puerto Plata1 direct flight a week
Punta Cana3 direct flights a week
Samana1 direct flight a week
Mexico
Cancun-Riviera Maya2 direct flights a week