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Charter passengers from Canada who flouted Covid rules could be stranded in Mexico | Canada

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A group of passengers who filmed themselves partying without masks aboard a Montreal-Mexico charter flight are at risk of being stranded after three airlines refused to bring them back to Canada.

Sunwing Airlines canceled the charter flight back from Cancun that was scheduled for Wednesday and Air Transat and Air Canada also said they would refuse to carry passengers.

Adding insult to injury, they were called “idiots” Wednesday by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Videos from the December 30 flight shared on social media show passengers unmasked nearby while singing and dancing in the aisle and on the seats. In one video, a large bottle of vodka appears to pass among the passengers and a woman appears to be smoking an electronic cigarette.

Air Transat said on Twitter that the “disruptive passengers” on the Sunwing flight had attempted to return home on its flights, but were denied boarding based on the company’s obligation to ensure the safety of passengers and crew.

Air Canada issued a statement on Wednesday that “to the extent that we can identify the passengers who were part of the group, Air Canada is denying boarding to ensure the safety of other passengers and its crew.”

Among those looking for a way home was Rebecca St-Pierre, a 19-year-old student from Trois-Rivières, Que., Who said she felt abandoned, not knowing how she would pay for her room. hotel while his stay is extended indefinitely.

She said she tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday and was in isolation in Tulum, south of Cancun. She estimated that around 30 other people on the flight tested positive.

“The organizer has just left everyone. I don’t know who’s still there. All flights have been canceled, ”an emotional St-Pierre told the Canadian Press.

St-Pierre said she won the free trip in an Instagram contest and had never heard of the organizer, who identified himself on social media as James William Awad. “I was expecting a relaxed week, where I was going to be careful,” she said. “But it turns out to be an expensive trip for something that was supposed to be free.”

St-Pierre acknowledged that the videos give an accurate picture of what happened on the five-hour flight to Cancun.

St-Pierre said that before the planned return trip, some people put petroleum jelly in their noses in an attempt to thwart the Covid-19 tests.

Awad wrote on Twitter on Wednesday that a “simple party” on a plane was the source of the controversy. “I’m going to take a moment to sit down and rethink everything,” he said. “Especially how I can do it better next time.”

Awad, who operates 111 Private Club, organized the trip with a group of social media ‘influencers’ and reality TV stars, such as Karl Sabourin of the popular Quebec show Occupation Double and Sandrine Séguin and Anna- Maëlle Laprise, who both appeared on the provincial version of Love Island.

Federal Transport Minister Omar Alghabra, Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos and Public Safety Minister Marco Mendicino released a joint statement on Tuesday saying they had asked their departments to investigate.

The statement said passengers who violated Department of Transportation regulations could be fined up to C $ 5,000 (US $ 3,900) per violation.

Trudeau called the conduct of the passengers irresponsible and a “slap in the face” for anyone who followed the public health restrictions. In French, he called the passengers “idiots” and “barbarians”.

Local News Local news Charter passengers from Canada who flouted Covid rules could be stranded in Mexico | Canada

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