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Sun Country Passengers Stranded in Mexico Paying High Prices to Return

Some stranded passengers have reported paying up to $2,000 for a one-way ticket home

April 16, 2018 - 7:44 pm

Minnesota Sun Country Airline passengers who ended up stranded in Mexico after this weekend’s historic snowstorm forced the airline to cancel their flight may be getting a refund, but they’re still having to spend more money to get back.

Some stranded passengers have reported paying up to $2,000 for a one-way ticket home. Alice Gruska, 23, from Virginia, Minnesota paid $302 for a round trip ticket to Mazatlán and is now paying $650 for a one-way flight home, a week later.

“My dad had to go put a check in my bank account,” said Gruska.

She also had called Sun Country’s toll free number to inquirer about the refund the airline promised passengers whose flights were cancelled, but hadn’t been able to get through.

“Every time you call you get the ‘I’m so sorry circuits are busy, please attempt calling later’, and then they hang up,” said Gruska.

Sun Country’s Vice President of Marketing, Kelsey Dobson-Smith, told WCCO Radio that the company was aware of the problem and is working to fix it.

“We understand that it has been difficult to call through to our reservations call center based on the significant increase of call volume and recognize the hold times are unacceptable,” she said.

This weekend’s storm dumped anywhere from 10 to 22 inches of snow in the metro. The Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport closed service down on Saturday for nine hours causing Sun Country to cancel 35 flights over the weekend.

Dobson-Smith said that while agents had stayed pass their shifts to handle calls, it was still a challenge to help passengers in Los Cabos and Mazatlán because seasonal service to those Mexico locations ended over the weekend, leaving passengers like Gruska no option but to find their own way home.

She said Sun Country would refund passengers a “full refund of their airfare” — if the passengers booked their tickets directly with them, the refund should be automatically credited back to their account. If they booked through a travel agency or online travel provider, it could take 7 to 14 days to reflect in their accounts, depending on the passengers’ bank process, Dobson-Smith said.

However frustrating, Gruska says the support she is getting from family is helping. She’s staying in her parents condo in Mexico, her family is giving monetary support, and she parked her car at a friend’s home, and not a pay lot.

“It’s a good place to get stuck,” said Gruska. “The beer is cheap and it’s sunny.”