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'Minnesota Nice' helps get 5 strangers home on surprise road trip

After their JetBlue flight was canceled in New York, four women and one 12-year-old boy had to get creative to find a way home.

MINNEAPOLIS — Your flight is cancelled and you're stuck at the airport hundreds of miles away from home. What do you do?

Why not hop into a car with a bunch of complete strangers? 

This actually happened to five Minnesotans who decided to rent a car in New York and make the more than 1,200 mile trek back home together. 

Cheryl Pendleton from Shakopee, Megan Farrand and her 12-year-old son Cayden from Robbinsdale, Grace Emma from Minneapolis, and Shannon Croston from St. Francis were all stuck at New York's JFK International Airport after their JetBlue flight from NYC to Minneapolis was cancelled.

They had been sitting in the terminal for hours when they heard the announcement that there wouldn't be another flight to Minneapolis for a few days. 

The women said they only got a $150 voucher for their trouble.

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"We're all sitting there, and I am just sitting with Grace and Shannon and I was like 'Man, I think we should rent a car and drive home,'" Pendleton said. "Megan overheard me and she was like 'Are you serious about driving home and renting a car?' and I was like 'Absolutely.' and she was like 'I have a 12-year-old' and I was like 'That's fine, I've got kids, let's go."

That's exactly what these complete strangers did.

"I think I said in the car I'm really eating my words telling my son not to get into cars with strangers," Farrand said. 

With hotels close to $700-$800 dollars a night, and flights on different airlines costing an arm and a leg, they all decided to rent a car together and drive back home. 

They took a leap of faith, and put a lot of trust into what we call "Minnesota Nice."

"We kept joking on the way home that even if one of us was a serial killer we were too tired to murder anyone," Emma laughed. 

Eighteen hours later, after taking turns behind the wheel these strangers -- now friends -- finally stopped for one last snap at the "Welcome Minnesota" sign. Besides getting them from point A to point B, the road trip did a bit of restoration in the humanity department. 

"It's nice to know there are still actually good people out there, for sure, but I don't condone anyone getting in a car with a bunch of strangers on the daily, you know?" Croston laughed. 

"I'm hoping I can have everlasting friendships with these girls," added Pendleton, "and hopefully we can meet up some time outside of this whole thing." 

So how much did the surprise road trip end up costing them? The rental car was about $500, and they stopped to fill up with fuel four times, so the trip ended up being $200 per person. 

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