Sun Country Airlines is apologizing after 40 passengers were left stranded in Vancouver after the airline announced multiple delays and cancellations for the flight’s return to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
The flight was originally scheduled to return from Vancouver to MSP on Saturday. The flight was canceled and rescheduled for Sunday, only to be canceled again before finally flying back on Monday.
Wendy Burt, a spokesperson with Sun Country, said all 40 passengers were back in the Twin Cities as of Monday. She said the airline was short of crew members for “several” flights over the weekend, resulting in numerous delays and cancellations. A mechanical issue also factored into the delay for some.
“Those passengers affected were given hotel [accommodations] and reimbursed for food and ground transportation to the airport,” Burt said.
“We sincerely apologize to our customers for the disruption.”
Burt also mentioned the “unprecedented demand for travel” from the public recently. According to the US Department of Transportation, air travel is up 33% in comparison to last year. The industry is still rebounding from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Staff shortages continue to be an issue for many airlines, for both pilots and flight attendants. The Regional Airline Association said the country is expected to lose half its pilots in 15 years.
ABC News reports that this past week alone, nearly 3,000 flights were canceled along the East Coast due to a number of reasons. Those include severe weather, a busy summer travel season and FAA Air Traffic Control restrictions.
The new Sun Country route to the Canadian city was announced last year.