Some members of a rowdy group shown dancing, drinking and vaping maskless aboard a flight to Cancun find themselves stranded in Mexico after their return flight to Canada was scrubbed and other airlines have declined to fly them home.
The group flew to Cancun from Montreal on December 30 aboard a Sunwing Airlines charter flight for a trip organized by “exclusive private group” 111 Private Club.
Video of the party on board, which shows passengers dancing and drinking in the aisles, has sparked outrage in Canada. An investigation by Transport Canada is underway, and passengers could face hefty fines or worse.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday he was “extremely frustrated” with the incident.
“It’s a slap in the face to see people putting themselves, putting their fellow citizens, putting airline workers at risk by being completely irresponsible,” Trudeau said at a briefing.
Sunwing canceled their return flight, which was scheduled for January 5, because the group did not agree to terms it outlined, the airline said.
Air Canada and Air Transat have both said they will not fly the travelers home, citing the safety of other passengers and crew.
Sunwing said in a statement that its decision to cancel the group’s flight back to Canada was “based on the group’s refusal to accept all terms and our security team’s assessment that non-compliance would be likely based on their previous disruptive onboard behavior.”
Sunwing said it could not provide specific details due to active investigations but said it had “developed a robust risk mitigation plan to return the passengers to Montreal while ensuring the health, safety and security of the crew and passengers.”
The airline launched its own investigation after the initial flight and notified Transport Canada, Sunwing said.