Getting to know the Smokin' MacNeils, of Sunwing passenger fame

One friend of the MacNeils, the family who were booted off a Sunwing vacation flight en route to Dominican Republic, has told the CBC that the smoking, belligerent MacNeils don’t sound at all like the family she’s known and worked for the last seven years. According to Debra Wilson, she was shocked to hear of the MacNeils’ behaviour, describing it as uncharacteristic.

The MacNeils—father David, mother Darlene and their son David Jr.—were accused of smoking and acting disorderly, and were thrown off the plane during an unscheduled stop in Bermuda. There, they went before a judge and pleaded guilty to various charges. Although, only the son was convicted of smoking—and he claims he wasn’t.

David MacNeil owns Mabou Mining in Ontario. And the family resides in Mabou, N.S., a hamlet in Cape Breton—home to other famous Canadians, including the Rankin Family. Neighbours have expressed embarrassment at the story of the MacNeils’ flight, some surprised and others not.

Darlene told the CBC yesterday that the family has their own version of the story to tell and will do so as soon as they fly home from Bermuda.

Looking for more?

Get the best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.