Following is an account of my flight from LAX to MPS on July 5, 2016 on Sun Country Airline flight SY 424. I have filed a formal complaint with the Department of Transportation, and I would join in any class action lawsuit based upon what I consider to be the gross incompetence shown by employees of the airline, their lack of a cogent plan to handle weather related issues, and their apparent violations of laws and or rules concerning passenger safety and comfort.
• Flight SY424 left LAX on schedule.
• With about an hour left in the flight, we were informed that the MSP airport was closed due to extremely bad weather. We were informed that Rockford Illinois would be our new destination.
• About ten minutes later we were informed that we were being diverted to Rochester Minnesota and we would be landing in about 30 minutes.
• We landed at Rochester. [I was concerned about the length of the runway because I have never been on an aircraft that braked that hard.]
• We were told that the Rochester Airport could not accommodate an aircraft of our size and we stopped somewhere on the tarmac. [Why would Sun Country take us to an airport were we could not deplane?]
• At some point we were told that they were sending busses for us to take us from Rochester to MSP, but the busses were an hour away. [Later I discovered the busses were from a Rochester bus company. Weren't we in Rochester?]
• Until the busses arrived, we were given water and I believe some coffee was served. A flight attendant announced they would not be doing a service. [By which I assumed she meant we could not have any food; even if we were willing to pay for it.]
• Two busses arrived and since I was seated near the front of the plane, I was directed to go down the stairs and get on the bus. I got off the plane in the rain. [Evidently the storm that we had landed to avoid was now here.]
• I believe the second bus was filled about the same time as mine.
• We did not leave the airport. We sat on the tarmac. The driver of my bus was absent from the bus most of the time I was on the bus. Where he went, no one said. [I don't believe anyone knew.]
• We sat on the bus until a man who said he was an employee of Delta Airlines stuck his head in and told us we were not leaving because the third bus necessary to transport the remaining passengers could not get onto the property because the airport had lost power [Later he said that there was a way to manually open the gate, though it seemed to me as though it took a very long time to do it manually. Why couldn't we leave? There was a severe storm approaching -- one that I learned later spawned tornadoes.]
• Finally the third bus arrived, but now the storm that had closed MSP had arrived. It rained like *** and the wind buffeted the bus for some ten to twenty minutes. [It occurred to me then that I was in a bus on the tarmac at an unfamiliar airport with no driver and no information. I've lived in Minnesota all my life and am familiar with the kind of storms that produce tornados. I know the safety rules: Go in the basement and seek shelter. WE HAD NO SHELTER, NOR DID WE HAVE ANYONE AVAILABLE TO DIRECT US TO SHELTER SHOULD THE TORNADO SIRENS GO OFF. AND THERE WAS A REAL POSSIBILITY THAT THE SIRENS WOULDN'T SOUND SINCE THE POWER OUTAGE SEEMED ALL ENCOMPASSING.
• When the storm passed our driver reappeared with the guy from Delta. He informed us that although the remaining passengers had boarded the third bus, that he was not going to separate us from our luggage and that we would have to stay at the airport until baggage handlers could unload the plane and put the luggage on the busses. He said union rules prevented them from working on the tarmac until lighting was 5 miles away. [We, of course, had no union rules. Can you say 'mooo.']
• Eventually, the baggage was transferred from the plane to the busses.
• Our driver (who popped in and out like a 'Wack-a-Mole' stuck his head in and said they (whoever 'they' were) were working on getting us water. One of the passengers on my bus shouted 'Is it gonna take 20 minutes!' The driver darted out. He returned without water or explanation and closed the door and we took off. [I would have liked water. No one asked me.]
• At no time on the drive from Rochester Airport to MSP did the driver inform us of the safety features of the bus. [I thought that odd because that very morning I had taken a bus from Santa Barbara to LAX and I recall that the driver said it was a Federal regulation that he inform us of the safety features of the bus and then proceeded to point them out. Perhaps Federal regulation are different in Minnesota than in California, though I doubt it.]
• We arrived approx. an 1 1/2 hours later at the Humphrey terminal at MSP. When I left the bus I noted the complete absence of anyone from Sun Country Airlines. ["Minnesota's Home Airline"][I guess it was their bedtime.] [Actually I did run into one of the flight attendants and gave her a piece of my mind. But she was busy telling anyone that complained to her that since it was weather related blah blah blah. I don't think she was a moonlighting attorney.]
• Our luggage was thrown unceremoniously onto the curb and we scurried about like the cattle we were and tried to find what belonged to us. [I suspect those who lost bags had no one to help them.
• We were not fully informed at anytime of decisions being made.
• We were left ON THE TARMAC for MORE THAN 4 HOURS without water or food.
• We were exposed to grave bodily injury or death as we sat on the tarmac through a storm that had shut down a major airline hub and had produced tornadoes. Let me repeat that: We were exposed to grave bodily injury or death as we sat on the tarmac through a storm that had shut down a major airline hub and had produced tornadoes.
• No one from Sun Country Airline has contacted me to ask what I felt of the situation nor have they contacted me to ask me what I think they might have done differently.
• As you can see from the attached Appendix, we were without water for about 4 and 1/2 hours from at least 7:19 until approx. 11:48. [In actuality it was until I got home about 12:15 on the 6th].
• As you can see from the attached Appendix, we were without food for at least 5 and 1/2 hours from the time of the last service by Sun Country Airlines until approx. 11:48. [In actuality it was until I got home at about 12:15 on the 6th.]
• It is my impression that Sun Country Airlines has no -- I repeat NO -- coherent plan to deal with weather related issues and acted in complete disregard for the safety and comfort of passengers on flight SY 424 on July 5, 2016.
• Further, I believe the employee of Delta Airlines who acted as if he was some sort of troubleshooter for weather related issues and was acting on behalf of Sun Country Airlines is incompetent in his job and should be fired.
• Finally, I believe the Rochester bus line should be fined for the failure of the driver to inform the passengers on my bus of any safety features that were available to us as required by Federal laws or DOT rules.
• I BELIEVE THAT EVERY DECISION MADE BY EMPLOYEES AND OR AGENTS OR SUN COUNTRY AIRLINES WERE FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE STOCKHOLDERS OR OWNERS OF THE AIRLINE AND THAT NONE OF THE DECISIONS MADE WERE IN THE INTEREST OF THE PASSENGERS.
• I WILL NEVER FLY SUN COUNTRY AIRLINES AGAIN.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.
Preferred solution: Let the company propose a solution.
I didn't like: Being treated like a cow.