The Crick family (Contributed photo)

The Crick family (Contributed photo)

‘Holiday from Hell’: Wetaskiwin family spends Christmas stranded in Mexico

Wetaskiwin family finally home after a ‘nightmare’ six days of cancelled flights

When they dreamed of having fun and enjoying time in the sun, and saving through the years of a pandemic, a Wetaskiwin family could have never imagined that their vacation to Mexico would become a “holiday from hell.”

The Crick family were excited as they flew to the warmth of a holiday in Mexico Dec. 8, to enjoy their first family vacation in two years. However, the relaxing didn’t extend to their travel home as their getaway ended in disaster.

Scheduled to fly home on Sunwing Dec. 22, the Cricks quickly discovered after packing up their bags, their two young kids in tow, ages five and seven, and checking out that they would not fly home that day. They were told their flight had been delayed until Dec. 23, and had to check into a new room at the hotel and wait.

Carol Crick says that they even received a phone call to their room the evening of Dec.22, stating their flight was still on for the next day. However, in the lobby the next morning the Cricks found eight other travellers waiting for the Sunwing bus when everyone received the message that there would be no flight.

“The other couple told us our flight was gone it’s not there, there is no flight for us,” she said.

They had officially joined the ranks of thousands of passengers stranded in Mexico after the winter storms disrupted Sunwing’s operations.

Crick says that they were in the dark as to what was happening, with zero communication from Sunwing about their flights and with no confirmation on when they would be able to go back home.

After spending another night at the resort on Christmas Eve they were told a flight was available, however they still had no confirmation from Sunwing. Crick says that all information about flights was second and third hand information coming from other travellers or hotel operations.

On Dec. 24, the family was told they would be transferred to a different hotel at 9 p.m.

At nearly 10 p.m. the Cricks were still waiting for their transfer and watched other people they knew who were to be on their flights organize their own transportation to the airport in attempt to get home.

With two little kids, Crick says they decided not to go to the airport and took the transfer bus an hour and 20 minutes away where they had to sleep on the hotel floor as no rooms were available.

Christmas morning they were still stuck.

By Dec. 26, the family was told there would be no flights until Dec. 28. All of this with little to no communication from the airline, Crick says.

“We paid for a package and the company should be responsible for getting us on new flights,” says Crick.

“It is mentally exhausting trying to parent small children, worrying about their safety and your own.”

In addition to mental stress Crick says she suffers from Crohns disease, and while she brought extra medication on vacation she did not bring enough for an extra six unplanned days.

By Dec. 28, the Cricks were fed up and booked a flight to Calgary on WestJet, spending nearly an extra $5,000 on flights to return to Alberta.

After finally making it home on Thursday Dec. 29 — thousands of dollars out of their pockets for extra days in Mexico and flights later — Crick looks back on the delays as a stressful nightmare that never ended.

“This was an emotional rollercoaster that we were on.”

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