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Sunwing to fully reimburse B.C. woman, 94, who was abandoned at airport

After hearing Rachele Jamieson’s ‘horror’ story, Sunwing has agreed to pay her back
Rachele Jamieson of Chilliwack said Sunwing had left her all alone in YVR after returning home on a flight from Cuba at 3 a.m. on March 1, 2022. She found out on March 14 that Sunwing will be reimbursing her the full amount of her trip. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

A 94-year-old Chilliwack woman who was abandoned at an airport in the early morning hours by Sunwing Airlines will be getting her money back following a recent and very unpleasant trip to Cuba.

Rachele Jamieson got a call from a Sunwing representative on Monday, March 14 with the good news.

“She said ‘I’m phoning to tell you we are refunding all the money you paid for your trip,’” Jamieson told The Chilliwack Progress on Tuesday, March 15.

Sunwing confirmed the reimbursement in an email to The Progress on March 15.

“As a result of the miscommunication and due to the extraordinary circumstances surrounding this incident, we are providing a refund for her vacation, and are committed to enhancing our internal processes and training to prevent similar occurrences from happening in the future,” a Sunwing spokesperson stated.

The entire experience with the airline was upsetting, Jamieson said on March 4, three days after arriving home. But it was being left alone in a darkened YVR airport at 3 a.m. on Tuesday, March 1 on her return journey that really upset her.

She called it a “horror” story.

READ MORE: ‘I yelled and screamed’: Chilliwack woman, 94, abandoned at airport following Sunwing flight

Following the incident, Sunwing said they received a “post-travel inquiry from the affected customer which prompted an immediate internal review.

“Based on our initial findings, we determined that a miscommunication with our ground handler resulted in the passenger being left unattended for a period of time at the airport and we deeply regret this error.”

Jamieson said she was still having nightmares about the whole experience two weeks after returning home.

Sunwing initially called Jamieson on March 11 to hear what happened during her trip from Feb. 8 to March 1. They then phoned her again on March 14 with an update.

She paid $4,500 for the trip through a travel agency and said she was happy to hear she’ll be getting all of her money back from Sunwing.

“While we provide significant customer service training to Sunwing Airlines employees and third-party suppliers, mistakes do happen on rare occasions and that appears to be the case in this instance.”


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Jenna Hauck

About the Author: Jenna Hauck

I started my career at The Chilliwack Progress in 2000 as a photojournalist.
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