Sunwing, which has been struggling with problems related to its computer network since Monday morning, has to manually register all of its passengers, causing huge delays for the various destinations served by the airline.
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“If the check-in book and the boarding do not match, the plane is not authorized to fly, it is not insured and no company will take off in this situation,” said Mehram Ebrahimi, director of the International Observatory of Aeronautics and Civil Aviation in an interview LCN.
According to the expert, the main problem in the Sunwing case is not the breakdown, which could also be a computer attack, but the “unacceptable” handling of the passengers.
“The computer problem, the bug, the cyber attack, it happened in the biggest companies. The Deltas, Air Frances, Lufthansas of this world. The question is how to go about it,” explains the aviation expert.
He believes that a company should quickly be transparent with the public and keep passengers informed of the situation.
“We don’t take care of that, we focus entirely on passengers. Even in the most laconic messages there is no compassion. There are families who are left to their own devices. 2022! We have all these people’s phones, we could text them, we could tell them how long to wait!” Mr. Ebrahimi gives as an example.
Passengers at Montreal-Trudeau were stuck in an airlock for more than two hours yesterday, some panicking, including children.
“Managers know that they have to inform. I find that unacceptable,” regrets the specialist.
If Mehram Ebrahimi determines that Sunwing customers may be entitled to a remedy, the burden of proof lies with the passengers.
“We have to show and prove that this error was foreseeable and that the company was negligent when the error occurred. Legally, it’s a bit complicated. That is the greatest weakness of our system, our charter,” laments Mr. Ebrahimi.
“That means we can go to a class action lawsuit and if we manage to show Sunwing failed [à ses obligations] we can hope for compensation,” he concludes.
The company said Tuesday morning that it is doing everything in its power to get its customers to their destinations.
“Our check-in system provider continues to have a system issue affecting our flight operations. We sincerely apologize to all of our customers whose travel plans have been affected.
Listen to Geneviève Pettersen’s interview with Mehran Ebrahimi, Director of the Aeronautics and Civil Aviation Observatory, on QUB radio:
Our team works day and night to find alternative ways to get customers to their destinations or on return flights. We have successfully processed over 15 flights since yesterday and intend to manually process as many as possible today, subject to airport restrictions, curfews and necessary crew relocations.
Our third-party systems provider, Airline Choice, is continuing to work with the relevant authorities to find a solution to the system issue as quickly as possible. In the meantime, as we continue to process flights manually, additional delays are to be expected and we encourage our customers to sign up for flight alerts on Sunwing.ca.”