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Sun Country strands 250 travelers in Mexico, agrees to cover additional costs

EAGAN, Minn. --Sun Country Airlines says it will cover some additional costs for travelers stranded in Mexico after the airline canceled flights due to a weekend snowstorm battering Minnesota.

An estimated 250 people were stuck when Eagan-based Sun Country couldn’t provide planes because the airline was ending seasonal service on Saturday. Passengers who managed to rebook on other airlines complained of spending hundreds or thousands of dollars more to get home from Los Cabos and Mazatlan.

President and chief executive Jude Bricker wrote in a note to employees Tuesday that the airline would refund original round-trip tickets, plus any additional reasonable transportation costs to get passengers home.

Bricker’s note made no mention of covering lodging for travelers forced to stay overnight, and a spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to an email.

U.S. Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn.,  is asking the federal Department of Transportation to review the situation.

“As many travelers are already financially squeezed by the airline industry, it is troublesome to see a domestic carrier abandoning its passengers in a foreign country, forcing them to find their own way home and incur further expense of time and money,” Smith wrote in a letter to the assistant general counsel of the DOT’s Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings.

Smith went on to ask the general counsel’s office to “ensure that cancellation policies affecting airline travelers, especially those stranded in foreign countries, appropriately protect consumers.”

Smith posted a copy of her letter on Twitter, which has been abuzz with outrage over the cancellations since the weekend.

Sun Country has been sold by the Davis family of Minnesota to a New York-based investment firm, Apollo Global Management. The airline earlier unveiled plans to become a ”no-frills” carrier.

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