Hundreds of vacationers stuck on tarmac for almost 6 hours in N.B.
Published Monday, January 6, 2014 6:36PM EST
Hundreds of Canadians on two Montreal-bound flights from Cuba spent almost six hours waiting on the tarmac on Monday after freezing rain in Eastern Canada diverted their flights to Fredericton, N.B.
Passengers on board the flights were not allowed to exit their plane until customs staff arrived because the Fredericton International airport doesn’t handle international flights regularly.
Those stuck on board the stranded planes said while flight crews were courteous, they provided little details on why they were stuck.
"We are tired. We don’t have food. It's hot. Everybody was complaining and the assistants didn’t know anything," Catherine Levac told CTV Atlantic. "The pilots, they didn’t know anything also, so we had no information."
Levac was among nearly 800 people who were stranded in New Brunswick on Monday. Most of the flights, including up to two CanJet planes, were headed to Montreal. Many of the passengers were returning from vacations in the Caribbean.
"The hostesses were pretty good on the plane but it was hard to manage,” Jean-Marc Caron told CTV Atlantic. "After a while, we almost ran out of toilet paper and water. I mean the inventory was running low."
By late Monday morning, the stranded passengers were bussed to a Fredericton hotel. David Innes, the president of the Fredericton International Airport Authority, said while the N.B. airport is used to handling diverted flights, the additional 800 passengers put a strain on the small terminal.
"We used up all the space in the terminal," Innes told The Canadian Press. "We used up every square foot of it but we were able to do it."
Most of the flights had left Fredericton by late Monday afternoon.
A CanJet spokesperson told CTV News their flight crews required a break before resuming the trip to Montreal.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Andy Campbell and The Canadian Press