Passengers stuck in Mexico as Sun Country Airlines cancels flights to MSP

Hundreds of Sun Country passengers were left stranded in Mexico Sunday after the airline canceled a number of flights back to Minnesota over the weekend, giving a full refund but ultimately telling those people to find their own way home.

A potentially record-setting April blizzard rocked the Twin Cities metro area over the weekend, frustrating travelers with hundreds of canceled or delayed flights in and out of MSP International Airport.

Among the canceled trips were Sun Country return flights scheduled to depart from Mazatlan, Cancun and San Jose del Cabo--though because those planes were the company's last out of the area for the season, most of those passengers found themselves stuck for hours, even days, trying to find another airline with service to MSP. 

"We've been trying--still trying--to get a hold of Sun Country but since about 8 a.m. yesterday morning it says all circuits are busy and hangs up on you,” said Sara Chancellor, whose family’s flight home from Mazatlan was canceled Saturday. "All of the travel websites are crashing, nobody can even search flights right now. Flights are well over $1,000."

In an email to passengers, Sun Country wrote that "Because this cancellation is due to weather, and our seasonal service has ended, you will need to make arrangements on another airline for your return flight."

Passengers were notified they will receive a full refund, though they’ve been told they’re on their own to find a new flight home.

"Our entire trip which included airfare, hotel for five days, transportation was roughly $3,000," said Brandon Larson, who found a flight home through another airline. "Our flight home since our cancellation yesterday has cost us an additional $2,000.”

In a statement, Sun Country said the April snow stormed “slammed” the airline’s Minneapolis operations, calling the Los Cabos and Mazatlan flights the “most challenging recovery situations.” 

In the meantime, passengers have taken to social media, furious with the situation. 

Anne Berglund of Woodbury says she called Sun Country customer service Friday, knowing a snow storm was on the way.

“The customer service representative told me he was confident our flight wouldn’t be canceled because the plane was already here,” she said. “He said if it gets canceled we would get a discounted hotel room until they could get us out of here.”

Berglund tried calling back Saturday but has yet to get through. 

“Weather happens, we get that,” Larson said. “Their response to it is totally unforgivable.”