Passengers who threw a party on board a plane from Canada to Mexico in defiance of all coronavirus precautions were stranded in Cancun on Thursday after three airlines refused to fly them home.
Sunwing Airlines canceled Wednesday’s flight, while Air Transat and Air Canada also refused to carry them to ensure the safety of passengers and crew.
To make matters worse, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called them “idiots” on Wednesday.
Videos of the December 30 flight shared on social media show masked passengers singing and dancing in the aisle and on the seats. In one video, revelers hand each other a large bottle of vodka and a woman appears to be smoking an e-cigarette.
Air Transat said on Twitter that passengers on the Sunwing flight were denied boarding due to the company’s obligation to ensure the safety of passengers and crew.
One of the passengers, Rebecca St-Pierre, a 19-year-old college student from Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, said she feels abandoned not knowing how to pay for her accommodation as her stay will be extended indefinitely. .
The young woman told The Canadian Press that she tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday and was in isolation in Tulum, south of Cancun. He said he estimates another 30 people on the flight have tested positive.
St-Pierre said he won the trip in a contest on Instagram and had never heard of the organiser, identified on social media as James William Awad.
“I was hoping for a relaxing week where I would be careful, but it turned out to be an expensive trip for something that should be free,” she said.
The woman accepted that the videos provide an accurate picture of what happened during the five-hour flight to Cancun. He went on to say that before the return trip, some people put petroleum jelly in their noses to thwart COVID-19 testing.
Awad wrote on Twitter on Wednesday that a “simple party” on an airplane was behind the controversy. “I’m going to take a moment to sit down and reconsider everything,” he said. “Especially how I can do better next time,” he added.
Awad, who operates 111 Private Club, arranged the trip with a group of social media “influencers” and reality TV stars, including Karl Sabourin of the popular Quebec show “Occupation Double” and Sandrine Seguin and Anna-Maelle Laprise, on who they appeared. the provincial version of ‘Love Island’.
Federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos and Public Security Minister Marco Mendicino issued a joint statement on Tuesday saying they have ordered their departments to investigate.
The statement said passengers who violate Department of Transportation regulations could face fines of up to C$5,000 per violation ($3,930).
Trudeau called the passengers’ behavior irresponsible and a “slap in the face” to anyone who has adhered to public health restrictions for the good of all. Speaking in French, he called the passengers “idiots” and “barbarians.”