BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (FOX 9) - A trip that was supposed to last just a few hours turned into quite the lengthy nightmare for some passengers on a Sun Country flight.
It's led to some harsh criticism from one passenger. This is the second time this week that Sun Country's customer service has come under scrutiny.
“It was a very, very long day,” said Lyle Henderson.
Disappointing - that’s how Lyle Henderson describes his most recent experience with Sun Country Airlines. The metro area native detailed how bad weather led to a rough ride for the 180 passengers on board.
“We weren’t allowed to depart the plane,” said Henderson. “We had to stay on the plane for roughly 11 hours.”
The chartered flight departed from Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport early Thursday morning and made a stop in Colorado Springs to pick up additional passengers. Bound for Laughlin, Nevada, the plane was diverted to Phoenix twice due to the weather. The wait ended up being so long, Henderson said the crew ran out of food and water.
“I think some people were definitely getting very tired, very sick of it,” said Henderson.
Forced to stay the night in Phoenix, Henderson, who is traveling with his wife shot cellphone video of people waiting on ground transportation.
“It was really hard seeing people, elderly that either had canes or were in wheelchairs, basically out in that area, in the rain waiting for that shuttle,” said Henderson.
After the hotel where the airline was booking passengers ran out of rooms, Henderson says that he paid for his own accommodations. The following morning, the Hendersons saw further delays.
“I thought that it was a poor sign that people weren’t even there to check people in,” said Henderson. “Beyond that, the plane wasn’t fueled, so we actually ended up being delayed.”
Sun Country released a statement Friday on the matter, saying the airline provided guests with a number to call with info on hotels and transportation.
In the meantime, what began as a day trip spanned more than 24 hours and tested some passengers' patience.
“I hope that everyone can learn from this experience and make some improvements so that maybe people don’t have to suffer through things like this in the future,” said Henderson.
Sun Country says that passengers should contact customer service for questions about reimbursements. As for Henderson, he says that he'll continue to fly Sun Country, but there's room for improvement.