Newlyweds Jessica Baldwin and Patrick Hanley just got married in Dorval, in Montreal’s West Island, but the last few days have been anything but blissful.
They’re recovering from a whirlwind, short-lived honeymoon that saw them facing the ire of Hurricane Irma.
“We are a little tired, but it’s better than if we were in the hurricane,” Baldwin told Global News.
When they were planning their honeymoon, the couple initially wanted to go to an inn in Ayer’s Cliff in Quebec’s Eastern Townships.
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They saw the forecast for this week predicted rain, so they changed their plans.
On Friday, they booked a last minute, Air Transat vacation to a resort in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
It cost almost $3,000.
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When they booked, they were told Hurricane Irma would miss them, but one day later, as it gained steam, they actually tried cancelling their trip.
“It was, ‘no, no you are going,’” Baldwin said.
“They were assuring us they do not send anyone to a dangerous situation.”
The couple got to the resort in Punta Canada Monday afternoon as tourists were trying to get out.
“We tried contacting Air Transat to no avail. There was no information, nothing was available,” Baldwin said.
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After no news from the airline, the resort told them late Tuesday night to pack quickly as they were being evacuated within the next few hours.
“It was really chaotic and people were really anxious and chippy and we did not know what was going on,” Baldwin told Global News.
They got to the airport just as the storm started to hit.
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Like hundreds of other evacuated Quebecers, the couple arrived at Montreal’s Pierre-Elliott Trudeau Airport Wednesday night.
With their honeymoon ruined, they say they’re disappointed with how Air Transat handled the situation.
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“To me, it’s like, why would you put your customers in a potentially dangerous situation?” Hanley asked.
“They did not advice us: by the way there is a hurricane that could hit, they just let us go. The reality is they dropped the ball big time on this.”
The couple is hoping for a partial refund from their aborted trip and say they will be spending the rest of their honeymoon in Montreal, thankful that they’re dealing with just a little rain, and not a hurricane.
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Air Transat told Global News it has representatives explaining its hurricane policy to affected travelers.
The company explained clients who are repatriated because of a hurricane 48 hours after they arrive at their destination will get a credit voucher for unused days on the trip, but flights will not be refunded.
If travellers are forced to return within the first 48 hours, the entire trip will be credited.
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