We may complain about airline delays, but at least we usually know about them. Passengers on three full flights on Sun Country were not even given that luxury.
Minneapolis-based Sun Country, an airline I once loved that has gone in a low-cost direction, recently upgraded its back-end computer systems. That’s hardly a minor upgrade and many parts must fall into place, usually all at once when the switch is flipped.
While the system transition was relatively smooth for Sun Country, someone forgot to turn on the notification to passengers for cancelled flights. Consequently, last weekend passengers for three flights from Minneapolis showed up, only to find out that their flights were canceled.
The cancellations themselves had nothing to do wtih the new system. One flight to Newark was cancelled after the emergency landing of a United A320 from La Guardia. Another flight suffered a maintenance issue. A third flight encountered a crew overtime issue.
Sun Country apologized to passnegers, offered them hotel and meal accomodations, and presented each passegner with a $200 voucher toward future travel. A spokesman told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
We sincerely apologize to all the passengers on the six flights canceled. This is not the customer experience we strive to offer or that our guests should expect. We are hopeful they will give us another chance to provide an exceptional flight experience in the future.
I think people are willing to give up a lot to save money. A smaller seat? Ok. Less legroom? Fine. Pay to check bags and for drinks? Sure. But on-time performance and proper communication is so critical. That’s where Spirit has dramatically improved and that’s what Sun Country needs to focus on as it sheds its former shell and attempts to profitably grow.
image: Sun Country