Sun Country - poor (no) customer service

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Jan 12, 2019
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#1
On Friday, January 4th, our party of 9, experienced a missed connection at PDX as a result of a two hour delayed plane arrival at HNL due to a load rebalancing issue with that plane. The consequence for our party was an inability to connect at PDX to MSP. While I understand that travel issues occur, I want to share our Sun Country experience.

Upon arrival at HNL check in, service agents informed me of the missed connection situation (a Sun Country agent left a message on our home phone rather than cell phone). I believe the service agents are contractors (no name tags or Sun Country identification). The service agents called a Sun Country representative who ultimately rebooked our party on an Alaska Airlines flight departing at 7:00 a.m. on 1.4.19 arriving 12:30 p.m.. Originally, we would have arrived at MSP ~5:00 a.m.. The Sun Country phone agent declined to speak with me directly while at the Sun Country HNL ticket gate. When I asked about compensation for the delay, I was told via the gate agent, they were not authorized to offer ticket, hotel or meal vouchers for what turned out to be a 7+ hour arrival delay at MSP. I was informed I could speak with the gate agent at PDX regarding remediation.

Upon arrival at PDX (~1:00 am), I approached the gate agent to enlist their assistance as directed. The gate agent (no name tag or Sun Country identification) indicated they didn't work for Sun Country & weren't authorized to provide any remediation. Fortunately, this individual did demonstrate compassion for our situation which was a first (commented that a 2 hour delay for load rebalancing seemed excessive & indicated our treatment thus far would anger anyone & we should definitely complain to the airline but she couldn't help us).

We spent 6 hours at PDX (1:00 a.m. - 7:00 a.m.) arriving with only one store open to grab less than nutritious food at our expense. We were required to retrieve & recheck our bags from Sun Country & go through security again.

Upon our return to MSP on 1.4.19, I sent an email to Sun Country customer care requesting a phone call so I could share my experience & hopefully reach a satisfactory resolution. To date (1.13.19), I have received no acknowledgment of any kind. I also sent a note to Jude Bricker, CEO of Sun Country.

I am most disturbed by the lack of compassion on the part of any individual at Sun Country airlines to our situation. In fact to date, I have yet to speak with a Sun Country employee. Having someone acknowledge & care goes a long way to making a difficult situation better. To offer nothing to us to make the situation a bit better is wholly unacceptable.
 
Jun 30, 2017
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Maui Hawaii
#2
On Friday, January 4th, our party of 9, experienced a missed connection at PDX as a result of a two hour delayed plane arrival at HNL due to a load rebalancing issue with that plane. The consequence for our party was an inability to connect at PDX to MSP. While I understand that travel issues occur, I want to share our Sun Country experience.

Upon arrival at HNL check in, service agents informed me of the missed connection situation (a Sun Country agent left a message on our home phone rather than cell phone). I believe the service agents are contractors (no name tags or Sun Country identification). The service agents called a Sun Country representative who ultimately rebooked our party on an Alaska Airlines flight departing at 7:00 a.m. on 1.4.19 arriving 12:30 p.m.. Originally, we would have arrived at MSP ~5:00 a.m.. The Sun Country phone agent declined to speak with me directly while at the Sun Country HNL ticket gate. When I asked about compensation for the delay, I was told via the gate agent, they were not authorized to offer ticket, hotel or meal vouchers for what turned out to be a 7+ hour arrival delay at MSP. I was informed I could speak with the gate agent at PDX regarding remediation.

Upon arrival at PDX (~1:00 am), I approached the gate agent to enlist their assistance as directed. The gate agent (no name tag or Sun Country identification) indicated they didn't work for Sun Country & weren't authorized to provide any remediation. Fortunately, this individual did demonstrate compassion for our situation which was a first (commented that a 2 hour delay for load rebalancing seemed excessive & indicated our treatment thus far would anger anyone & we should definitely complain to the airline but she couldn't help us).

We spent 6 hours at PDX (1:00 a.m. - 7:00 a.m.) arriving with only one store open to grab less than nutritious food at our expense. We were required to retrieve & recheck our bags from Sun Country & go through security again.

Upon our return to MSP on 1.4.19, I sent an email to Sun Country customer care requesting a phone call so I could share my experience & hopefully reach a satisfactory resolution. To date (1.13.19), I have received no acknowledgment of any kind. I also sent a note to Jude Bricker, CEO of Sun Country.

I am most disturbed by the lack of compassion on the part of any individual at Sun Country airlines to our situation. In fact to date, I have yet to speak with a Sun Country employee. Having someone acknowledge & care goes a long way to making a difficult situation better. To offer nothing to us to make the situation a bit better is wholly unacceptable.
What was your original itinerary and what was your final routing?

What resolution are you looking for?
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#3
It's sad but true ... an airline (hopefully) does its best to get you from Point A to Point B, at a given time. But if it doesn't, they just move on to get you re-booked to Point B at a later time. When a major delay occurs, there is a whole planeload of pax to take care of. Their goal is to get the pax to their destination ASAP. An airline doesn't have the luxury of a concierge kind of person to soothe the pax while they wait for a flight home at an airport all night. The loyalty members with status are usually rebooked immediately and sent on their way ... or they can call on agents in the airport lounge for help. It's not pretty, but it's reality.

What kind of resolution are you looking for from SunCountry? While it would have been nice to get some food vouchers at PDX, it doesn't look like anything was open. Just like you, I spent the night at the Toronto Airport when a huge electrical storm cancelled hundreds of flights. It was no fun, but it is part of the travel game, I'm afraid.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#4
I do not quite understand. It is not easy to follow the narrative.

Arrive at HNL airport and told that there was a problem? After arriving late at PDX there and missing the flight to MSP you were rebooked on an Alaska airlines flight to MSP?

Sun Country is a low cost airline and actually I am surprised that they put you on an Alaska Airlines flight. And as a low cost carrier there are subcontractors at the out stations -- as the airlines have limited presence at those airports, as the flights are limited.

A weight and balance issue is a very serious recalculation to have to do -- if there is weather or wind problems, and if the flight path changes, and this is a serious issue especially flying a 737 to Hawaii -- as in needing to have enough fuel and things like that. Weights and balance issues are of utmost importance -- ever see the video of the 747 that crashed at Bagram Air Force Base? That was a weight and balance issue on a cargo flight. And there have been numerous crashes with fatalities that occurred because of weight and balance issues. Weight and balance issue are crucial in flight safety, so it is discouraging to hear that people dismiss it. Changes in weather can mean a change in flight path which can mean a change in fuel load -- considering that Hawaii is in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and there are few places to divert an airplane, I am surprised that people are so blase about safety.

You were scheduled on an overnight flight, where you would not have been given food anyway, as Sun Country is strictly buy on board -- and it is what, snack food and not the healthiest. What were you planning on eating on the flight? Some places open at PDX around 4 am, others at 5 am, so that was what, three to four hours without food?

What is it that you want from the airline? Keep in mind that this is a low cost airline and it is impressive that they got 9 people on another airline; they did not strand you on Portland.

You took a low cost airline with fewer flights; I imagine that it was a lot cheaper than Delta; with Delta there are more options in case of a problem. Low cost cuts costs in various areas and one way to do it is to have contract employees.

What sort of compensation is it that you want?
 
Jan 12, 2019
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#5
After a few follow ups, I had the opportunity to speak with a Sun Country employee. They acknowledged that how an irregular travel experience is handled can make a difference. In this case, processes that are in place to assist travelers weren't put into action. Sun Country offered $200 travel vouchers to each member of our party. They also refunded seat fees paid for that leg of the trip. I appreciate their acknowledgment & response.