Canadian influencers who partied maskless on a plane are stranded in Mexico because airlines won't fly them home

·3 min read
Boeing 737s belonging to Canadian Vacation air carrier Sunwing sit on the tarmac at Waterloo International Airport in Waterloo, Ontario on March 24, 2020.
Canadian airline companies have refused to take the partygoers home.GEOFF ROBINS/AFP via Getty Images
  • About 100 partygoers who threw a rowdy New Year's party on a plane now can't find a flight home.

  • Airlines are refusing to accommodate them after videos of their maskless celebration surfaced.

  • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the partygoers "idiots" and said an investigation was underway.

A group of passengers who partied, drank, and vaped while maskless on a Canadian charter flight are now stuck in Cancun, Mexico, after multiple airlines denied them flights home, the party's organizer said.

Authorities were shocked this week by videos of the partygoers dancing in the aisle, downing vodka, and blowing e-cigarette smoke into the camera on a December 30 flight from Montreal. The clips were shared on Thursday by Le Journal de Montréal's Francis Pilon.

Pilon reported the 100 passengers — several of whom are reality-TV stars or social-media influencers — became so rowdy that flight attendants tried to avoid the cabin as much as possible.

The event's organizer, James William Awad, said the return trip was canceled by Sunwing, the airline that flew them to Cancun.

Other airlines, such as Air Canada and Air Transat, also declined to take them back to Montreal, citing safety issues for their crew and other passengers, CNN reported.

Awad said in a statement on Thursday that he spoke with Sunwing but that they "couldn't conclude on an agreement" because the airline wouldn't serve the passengers meals on their five-hour flight home.

Sunwing listed conditions for the partygoers' return flight, requiring them to be sober while on board, to remain seated unless using the bathroom, and to allow security staff to fly with them at Awad's expense, he said.

The organizer said he agreed to these conditions, except for the lack of meals on the flight. Sunwing and Awad did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.

The trip by his organization, 111 Private Club, a self-described "exclusive private group (by invitation only)," was Awad's first travel event, he said. According to him, everyone on the plane had been tested for COVID-19 before boarding the plane to Cancun.

"I have significantly learned, and I am still learning from this experience. Learning from them is what makes the difference," he said.

But the party plane's disregard for Montreal's pandemic rules has already summoned the fury of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who called the partygoers "idiots" and said the videos were "a slap in the face," The Associated Press reported. He pledged a full investigation into the event by Transport Canada.

Transport Canada said those found in violation of its rules could be fined up to $3,938 for every infraction, The AP reported.

One passenger, a real-estate broker, was suspended from his job after he was filmed with a loudspeaker in his hand while partying in the skies, Pilon reported.

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