“Influencers” who partied on a plane to Cancun and now face an investigation in Canada.
A group of influencers partying on a Mexico-bound plane caused outrage in Canada, where they face an investigation that could lead to severe punishment.
A video shows the influencers on their charter flight on December 30 without masks. Some were passing bottles and smoking e-cigarettes.
Their behavior caused the airlines to refuse to fly them back home, so they were stranded in Cancun, reported BBC.
Sunwing Airlines canceled a return trip on January 5 for a group of about 130 people from Cancun, and airlines Air Transat and Air Canada also said they would refuse to take them.
Canadian authorities reported Friday that 27 of the 130 passengers on the flight had already returned.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the group’s behavior a “slap in the face” for citizens who have been following proper social distancing measures, as well as for airline workers.
In French, Trudeau referred to them as “idiots” and “barbarians.”
The 27 returnees were tested for the virus and “checked to see if they had obeyed and followed all the health rules they were supposed to follow during their trip.”
They had to present proof of covid-19 vaccination, negative PCR test and a quarantine plan.
“We know that this issue of Sunwing travelers behaving irresponsibly, inexcusably and unacceptably on a flight to Mexico has raised a lot of anger and frustration,” Canada’s Health Minister Jean-Yves Duclos said at a briefing on Friday.
Duclos added that the Quebec police department was investigating the group.
Transport Canada is also investigating the travelers, who could be fined up to US$4,000 per violation.
Rebecca St Pierre, a 19-year-old student from Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, told Canadian Press she had won the trip on Instagram.
She said she had tested positive for covid on Wednesday and was unsure how to pay for her hotel stay. She is isolating herself in Tulum, south of Cancun, Canadian Press reported.
“I was expecting a relaxing week, where I was going to be careful,” he said. “But it turned out to be an expensive trip for something that was supposed to be free.”
St Pierre estimated that about 30 people on the plane had tested positive, adding that some travelers had planned to put Vaseline on their noses for their return trip in an effort to thwart covid tests.
Other stranded passengers include local reality TV actors.
The trip organizer, identified as James William Awad, said in a statement Thursday that Sunwing was being unreasonable about a “simple party.”
“I will take a moment to sit down and rethink everything,” he said on Twitter. “Especially how I can do things better next time.”
Photo: Eddie Heisterkamp/Wikimedia
Plataforma Informativa de Aviación Comercial líder en América Latina.