MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The 22-hour road trip across half the country wasn’t part of Nancy Dolter’s family travel itinerary, but it was how they left Florida after being stranded in Tampa on their Sun Country flight. they get canceled within hours of departure.
Dolter said they received a 5:30 a.m. cancellation email for an 11 a.m. flight on Monday, and that she was unable to contact customer service as they struggled to find a solution. Flights on other airlines did not have enough room for her family of four.
So they decided to drive from Florida to Faribault instead.
“After you spend a lot of money on vacations, which we did, having to spend another $2,000 to get home — and just hours and hours on hold, on the phone, don’t know, you know, Dolter said.
One-way car rental: $1,500, plus $700 for hotel, gas, and meals.
WCCO has heard of similar stories from frustrated passengers when flights were also canceled shortly and were unable to locate the airline after travel plans changed.
A local community college baseball team was almost stop participating in a tournament in Arizona this week because the Sun Country Airline flight they were scheduled to take was suddenly canceled.
In a statement to WCCO, Sun Country apologized and cited severe storms in Florida over the weekend that affected personnel. The airline said bad weather had affected flights across the system, and flight delays and cancellations caused a “ripple effect” on rescheduling.
“We are deeply sorry to our guests. Wendy Burt, a spokeswoman for the company, said by email. “Our customer service agents are doing their best to help each guest affected by these cancellations.”
However, Dolter said she expected more from the Minnesota-based company, which she said did not call back after asking a Sun Country representative to call back. She wants the airline to refund her car rental and other travel expenses due to the canceled flight.
Sun Country said it is working to rebook, refund or offer coupons to customers whose flights have been cancelled.
“Because of the busy spring break and holiday season, our flights are very full, making rebooking difficult,” a spokeswoman said. “We see a high volume of calls, so we encourage our guests to use the callback feature so they don’t have to wait. We are working to make it right.”
When asked if additional travel costs would be covered, Sun Country said it would only reimburse the cost of the flights.
Dolter, a longtime Sun Country customer, says she won’t be flying with them again.
“I just feel like Sun Country will take care of us. I’ve always flown Sun Country without fear of anything, and I mean, I’m just terrified,” she said. “I think we could still be there in Tampa if we waited for them to call us back.”