BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (KARE) Amid a flurry of canceled and delayed flights due to this weekend's severe weather, Sun Country is taking some heat for failing to rebook customers.
Several travelers have contacted KARE 11 complaining of being stranded by the airline after the late-season blizzard virtually shut down MSP overnight.In a message one traveler shared, Sun Country wrote, "These were our last flights for the season, so we do not have another flight to re-accommodate passengers on. You will receive a full refund. Flights will need to be purchased on another carrier."
One Duluth resident, Billye Coenen, is stuck in Cancun now. "As soon as they can possibly get us out is Thursday," she told KARE 11 on Sunday. "I have to get back to a doctor, no one will even respond. It will constantly say all circuits are busy and cut you off."
Coenen acknowledged that Cancun is a beautiful place to be stranded, but she said the "limbo" is the difficult part. "We have a son at home, we have work," she said. "Every morning we have to get up and go to the airport, to check on our flight status and it’s $50 round trip taxi to the airport."
Ann Berglund, of Woodbury, tells KARE 11 she is stranded in Mazatlan and estimates she has called Sun Country customer service 800 times and still has not gotten through, getting an "all circuits are busy" recording.
"We are their customers, we are their responsibility to get out of a foreign country, we’ve paid the. Bottom line, even if the season is over, they have a responsibility to us, we paid them, we trusted them and they just abandoned us. That is ridiculous," said Berglund.
Sun Country's Vice President of Marketing Kelsey Dodson-Smith says the airline had 25 cancellations Saturday and 15 Sunday, plus five diversions and "extensive delays" due to the severe weather.
MSP tells KARE 11 that they had 467 cancellations Saturday and more than 200 Sunday.
"Our agents are working around the clock, some of whom stayed past their shifts to work overnight in the call center, to provide the best service possible to our passengers impacted by all this," Dodson-Smith told KARE 11 in an email. "The two most challenging recovery situations are definitely our Los Cabos and Mazatlan flights. As soon as we realized we would be unable to re-accommodate these passengers we let them know of the situation and gave them a full airfare refund to make alternative arrangements."
She said for other flights, they are re-booking passengers as soon as possible. "An April snowstorm is an awful way to start or end a getaway and we apologize to everyone inconvenienced by the severe weather," she said.
For Sara Chancellor, of Brooklyn Park, the inconvenience comes with a nearly $4,000 price tag to rebook a flight with her parents and fiance back home. With the help of a travel agent, they booked two new airline flights from Mazatlan to Los Angeles to Minneapolis.
Chancellor said the company has only communicated her via Facebook message. "Saying it's their last flight of the season , you have to book with somebody else, good luck," said Chancellor. "Bring your fellow Minnesotans back. This is a Minnesota based company, where is the Minnesota Nice?"