Why did Sun Country charge me to fix its agent’s mistake?

Susan Morin books a trip to Las Vegas through Sun Country Vacations for herself and her husband, but the agent has them departing on the wrong day. Can we help her get reimbursement for the ticket change fees?

Question: We would like a full refund of the change fees we paid because of an error by a Sun Country Vacations’ travel agent in booking our recent travel to Las Vegas.

In February, we went to the Sun Country website to book a Sun Country vacation package to Las Vegas, but the website was not working. We made several attempts to book our travel and received several error messages that prevented us from booking our trip.

Because of this, we booked our trip (including hotel and airfare) by phone with a Sun Country Vacations travel agent. We were to arrive in Las Vegas on May 1 and depart on May 5. The agent incorrectly booked our return flight to leave Las Vegas on May 6 rather than May 5, but the hotel arrival and departure dates were correct.

We were charged $100 in flight change fees and $340 for the difference in the airfare when we traveled home on May 5. Sun Country refunded the change fee but has ignored our request for a refund of the difference in airfare.

After several phone conversations with Sun Country Vacations, I was advised to send a written refund request to a Sun Country executive, Eric Curry, who ignored my correspondence.

We are hoping you can help us get a refund for the $340 additional airfare we had to pay because of an error made by a Sun Country Vacations employee. — Susan Morin, Forest Lake, Minn.

Answer: I’m sorry that Sun Country not only made a mistake in booking your return flights but also did not respond to your request for refund. I understand that the hotel nights were booked accurately, but your flight was booked to depart a day later than you wanted, and you learned of this issue when you arrived at the airport on your intended departure day.

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Since the Sun Country website would not allow you to book the trip, you spoke to a booking agent, who sent you travel documents via email. You confirmed the departing flight information and hotel arrival and departure dates on the first page, but did not review the return flight information.

While it is reasonable to assume that a booking agent will accurately reserve the hotel and flights correctly, mistakes or misunderstandings can happen. You became aware of the error when you arrived at the airport to head home on May 5.

After a series of messages and phone calls with Sun Country customer service, the company agreed to reimburse the flight change fees but still refused to refund the additional cost incurred of the new flight. The customer service representative stated that the error was your fault because you didn’t review the tickets and recommended that you contact a Sun Country executive, Eric Curry. Although you sent a polite and detailed email regarding the situation, he never responded.

Mistakes and misunderstandings can happen. It is imperative that the consumer carefully review the details of all travel documents upon receipt, including arrival and departure dates and times, arrival and departure airports (and connecting airports when necessary), spelling of names, cancellation policies and the like. Passengers have 24 hours to correct any mistakes on their tickets. This is specified in Sun Country’s “Payment, Cancellation, and Change Policies”:

Sun Country Airlines will allow a customer to cancel a flight-only reservation made directly with Sun Country Airlines reservations staff or on our website without penalty for up to 24 hours from the time of making the initial reservation provided the reservation is made seven or more days prior to a flight’s departure.

(Note: Our website contains executive contacts for Sun Country Airlines.)

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But this story has a happy ending. You contacted our advocates for help, and we were able to get the refund that you requested.

Laurie Mankin

Laurie is a government contractor by day and frequent traveler. She can also be found rooting for the Nats and playing with neighborhood dogs.

  • sirwired

    Read. The. Confirmation. How does she know she did not mis-speak when making the reservation? (Any recordings will be long-lost, unless she made one herself.)

  • Mel65

    Exactly! I could totally see a conversation going where they say “what day would you like to return?” and the customer says “I need to be home on the sixth or by the sixth” or something like that.

  • Bill___A

    “The customer service representative stated that the error was your fault because you didn’t review the tickets” That is absolutely correct. They lucked out, but should pay more attention in the future.

  • LDVinVA

    But the hotel departure date was correct so it was clearly Sun Country’s error, not mis-speaking on her part. I do agree she should have checked the tickets, though.

  • sirwired

    Whoops. I totally missed that part. I’ll edit my comment.


    I don’t think it is clearly Sun Country’s error. I occasionally take one or two days past the date of a hotel package and go somewhere not too distant and book the air for a day or two later. It is not uncommon for people to do this to take advantage of a good package price—one that will let you extend the air. And it is always the exception for me if I do not extend air from a cruise line a number of days past the end of the cruise. Many travelers do this so it would not have been unusual in this instance.

  • LDVinVA

    Well, yes, we do that sometimes too. But the OP says the date was wrong so that means to me that she did not say anything about extending beyond the end of the hotel stay. I still hold Sun Country in error.

  • Lindabator

    not always true – some folks may book only a partial stay (like staying at a family’s home for the last night because of an event). ALWAYS read and affirm that confirmation is correct

  • Lindabator

    I have clients who only stay a part of the time, as they have someplace else covered, so NOT necessarily a red flag

  • Lindabator

    but had she bothered to READ the confirmation, it COULD have been rectified immediately. Waiting till the last minute, no one can go back and see if this was her original intent, as she had no issue all along until departure

  • LeeAnneClark

    There’s no doubt here that the error was Sun Country’s. The simple fact that the return flight was the day after the check-out date of the hotel makes it clear. This was not some complicated multi-city trip – it was a simple fly in, stay at a hotel, fly home package. No reasonable person could believe that the customer might have asked Sun Country to fly them home the day AFTER they checked out of their hotel.

    That being said…COME ON! To repeat sirwired:


    Read the tickets. Read the itinerary. Check online to make sure you actually have flights. Confirm confirm confirm.

    It just boggles the mind that anyone in this day and age, with the ability to easily see everything online, that someone would not even bother to confirm the trip they booked was correct. Especially given they did this over the phone, which introduces the potential for human error.

    Anyway, clearly this WAS Sun Country’s error, and the right thing happened. But still…hope it was a lesson learned.

  • jsn55

    Relying on a telephone agent to do things perfectly and never reviewing what they did … recipe for disaster. Even if I make a booking online, I review it twice before purchase. Then I review the confirm the minute it arrives. If the confirm doesn’t arrive immediately, I follow up with the company. I cannot imagine just ‘assuming’ that everything’s been done correctly.

  • AJPeabody

    No, Sun Country’s agent made the mistake. The OP’s error was not in making the error but in recognizing and correcting it in within the 24 hour free change window. An error of omission, not of creation.,

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