'Mother Nature had other ideas': Blizzard over, but travel headaches aren't
Updated: 12:19 p.m. | Posted: 7:36 a.m.
The blizzard’s over but the problems aren’t for anyone trying to get around town — or in or out of town through Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
On Monday, Metro Transit reported on Twitter that at various times, between 21 percent and 40 percent of transit buses were facing delays in service.
Heavy snow is causing delays for our bus and rail system. We’ll keep you updated throughout the morning rush hour on how conditions are impacting our service.
— Metro Transit (@MetroTransitMN) April 16, 2018
Flights from the airport were suspended starting around 2:15 p.m. Saturday. About 750 flights were canceled over the weekend.
Some vacationers in Mexico are slowly making their way back to Minnesota after being stranded when Sun Country Airlines ended service for certain destinations for the season.
Abby and Troy Pettit from Detroit Lakes have been vacationing in Cabo San Lucas for more than a dozen years. They took their 12-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son to Mexico this year, paying paid $1,500 for round-trip tickets for all four, only to be told Saturday that Sun Country wasn’t going to fly them back.
Abby Pettit says the one-way return ticket will cost them several thousand dollars and the only single-day travel option will return them to Fargo, N.D., Monday.
“Cancelling flights and all that due to the weather. We saw what was happening, so we get that,” she said. “But the fact that they just thought it was OK to say, ‘Oh, find your own way home,’ that’s not OK.”
She said her husband will still have to take another day of travel to get their car back from the Twin Cities airport.
Rebecca Slater, a professional photographer, had to be in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic to photograph a wedding. She and her husband Mitch also planned to combine the work trip with their own honeymoon after she was done shooting photos at the wedding.
They planned to fly out Sunday but tried to get on an earlier flight before the bad weather hit. No luck.
Yep! We drove to Chicago so we could get out of Minneapolis. There was no other option for us! We have a destination wedding to shoot! pic.twitter.com/6xBCTzHwPB
— Rebecca Slater (@rebeccazenefski) April 16, 2018
“Then we were set to leave Monday morning, but we found out our flight was delayed and it would be delayed from two hours from Minneapolis to Chicago, which would then put us an hour late to our connecting flight from Chicago to Punta Cana,” Slater said.
Even when she makes it there, her return trip is up in the air, since the airline can’t provide a flight back on Sunday. So, the couple will either leave earlier in their honeymoon or stay an extra day, resulting in Mitch missing a day of work.
“I’m just trying to stay positive that we’ll have good things for our trip home,” Slater said.
For Peter Majerle and his partner Audrey Hendrickson, a weekend travel plan back from Udaipur, India, to Frogtown has drawn out to a multi-day ordeal that will last until Tuesday.
Our journey started 51 hours ago in India. We’re currently in Newark, scheduled to leave for Chicago and then MSP on Tuesday.
— Pistil Peat (@MontanaGrp) April 16, 2018
“I knew it would be a long journey,” Majerle said. “Fifteen relatively uneventful hours later we landed in Newark — it was 4:50 a.m. ET — and felt good. We’d be back in Frogtown by noon. Of course, Mother Nature had other ideas.”
Their flight to the Twin Cities was canceled, and they tried to travel on standby with no luck. Their baggage kept moving without them, and Majerle said that a company representative from United tried hard to get them home.
They’ll fly instead to Chicago and if all goes well, get home on Tuesday.
“I’m frazzled, raw. My brain is rattling around in my skull like a shaken can of spray paint. But I’m not mad at anybody. United didn’t order the snow,” Majerle said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.