Sunwing 'apologetic' for 'trip from hell'

Sunwing is apologizing  for how power outages affected some customers in the Dominican Republic.

In an interview Friday, New Brunswicker Tammy Wright said she was angry the travel company let her family board a plane and travel to a resort that had lost power three days earlier.

"I'm too far away to do anything," said the Perth-Andover resident, who didn't join her mother, uncle and three daughters on the doomed vacation. 

She said her family boarded the flight last Tuesday but the power at the resort had been out since Saturday.

Rachel Goldrick, a spokesperson for the company, said "while intermittent power interruptions are not completely uncommon in the Caribbean, we can confirm that we were made aware of a power outage at the Playa Dorada Beach Resort between the hours of 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. local time on Saturday, February 25th."

She said destination representatives for Sunwing brought this to the attention of the hotel management who advised they were rectifying the problem.  

She said, "in the coming days, there were several additional intermittent disruptions to power and water supply impacting some room blocks."

"We are extremely apologetic for how this has affected our customer's vacation experience and have been negotiating compensation for the impacted customers directly with the hotel," wrote Goldrick in an email Monday evening.

Phone service wasn't strong enough for CBC News to make contact with the affected vacationers Friday but in texts to her mother, 16-year-old Claire Wright wrote, "Hopefully they don't send anyone else here," and, "They won't move us to another resort."

Seeking answers

Tammy Wright said generators periodically allowed for some power and for her daughters to charge their phones. But it was inconsistent.

"I don't know what's going on," the mother said Friday.

She could not be reached for a follow up interview Monday.

"The thing I dislike the most is that we love to travel and we never complain, even in cases where we lost luggage as things happen," she said. "It's the fact that no power three days before they got there, and yet they still dropped them off not worrying about safety in the dark, overheated and food safety."

The family hadn'tbeen able to ask for a refund because when they contacted the company they were asked more questions in a follow up email.

Wright said, as she understood it, Sunwing was under the impression they had power.

"But that Sunwing [representative], he's there. He should (have) see(n) what's happening."

Sunwing destination representatives have desk hours in the hotel lobby seven days per week, wrote Goldrick. 

Hotels sold out

"Unfortunately the hotel and surrounding area were sold out and there were no alternative hotel accommodations in the area where affected customers could be moved to," she wrote. " We understand the issue was resolved last week."

On top of power issues, Wright said Friday a pipe had broken in her mother's room, flooding the floor, and her vacationing family was having a hard time contacting their Sunwing travel agent.

"My mother doesn't swear, but my mother woke up this morning and her comments were, 'this is the trip from hell.'"

"Our local management is reviewing the current situation to ensure that this resort is committed to delivering the standard of quality our customer's expect in a consistent manner and will take further actions if necessary," Goldrick wrote. "In the meantime, our local representatives are on-site to swiftly deal with any additional issues which may arise."