Sun Country - thoughts/comments?

Old Oct 25, 15, 2:52 pm
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Sun Country - thoughts/comments?

We're looking at Christmas tickets at the moment, and we're seeing Sun Country as the lowest fare by $50-60 for SEA-MSP. We've never flown it before, and I'm not finding much on the Internet for reviews (other than sites which will be 90% complaints no matter what airline).

Never the less, what's the collective FlyerTalk wisdom? Worth a try, or spend the money and fly Alaska/Delta?

TIA!
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Old Oct 25, 15, 3:23 pm
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Flew them once and never again, I really struggled with the seat pitch at 6'2". Customer service seemed decent enough though.
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Old Oct 25, 15, 4:21 pm
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Welcome to Flyertalk David J
I am moving your thread to the Other North and South America Airlines forum.
Please follow there.
Thanks...
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Old Oct 25, 15, 5:33 pm
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RE: Sun Country

Originally Posted by David J View Post
We're looking at Christmas tickets at the moment, and we're seeing Sun Country as the lowest fare by $50-60 for SEA-MSP. We've never flown it before, and I'm not finding much on the Internet for reviews (other than sites which will be 90% complaints no matter what airline).

Never the less, what's the collective FlyerTalk wisdom? Worth a try, or spend the money and fly Alaska/Delta?

TIA!
My wife and I have flown Sun Country a number of times. Sun Country flies out of Terminal 2 at MSP which is much less busy than Terminal 1. We also often are able to purchase first class upgrades 24 hours prior to the flight. When you are able to book a cheap flight, you can afford the first class upgrade which gives you priority security, free bags, food and drink. Here's a chart to the first class upgrade cost:

https://www.suncountry.com/page/1/FirstClassService.jsp


Merle
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Old Oct 26, 15, 3:32 pm
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I discovered their first class upgrades one day when I had just arrived at LAX on a bumpy, sleepless overnight flight from NRT. I had flown out to LAX from MSP on Sun Country to catch an NH flight to Tokyo, and I thought it was just a normal coach flight.

But on that day in Los Angeles, I was really too grumpy for coach, having had no sleep whatsoever and reeling form jet lag, so when I walked up to the check-in desk and saw a sign that said, "Ask about our first class upgrades," I asked. It turned out that the price was $119. How could I resist?

And it was a real first class: not only the comfy chair and the pre-flight beverage, but a full meal served on china plates with real silverware.

There is no IFE, just entertainment consoles that first class pax get for free, but since I always travel with an iPad loaded with books, games, and TV shows, I don't care.

Since then, Sun Country has been my airline of choice for domestic flights, and the first class upgrades are almost always available, due to the majority of pax who think, "I just want something cheap!"

This past spring, I jumped onto a fare sale and got an MSP<>JFK flight for $400 for first class.
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Old Oct 26, 15, 11:24 pm
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The bad news is that WN also uses Terminal 2 at MSP so that it can be a real zoo around holiday periods. OTOH, it's easier to park over there and it's also on the light rail line if you prefer public transport.
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Old Oct 27, 15, 1:03 am
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I think your hidden costs are the seat selection fee in Y (which seems really gimmicky and Spirit-esque - I more or less avoid things like that on principle), and the fact that you won't be earning miles on a major international alliance (depending on how you value RDM that's 5-12% of your ticket, which isn't small - but maybe less of a devalue if you're MSP based and can find decent redemptions). I've only flown SY in F which, as others have noted in the thread, is an excellent deal at times. I've seen SFO-MSP as low as $450 r/t. I think it feels unavoidably like a family vacation airline (amusing SFO check-in agent advising me to hurry on a Saturday when I have pre and flight doesn't leave for another hour and 15 minutes), but it's perfectly acceptable. They'll keep my business whenever they price 10% or more below UA/DL.
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Old Oct 27, 15, 8:26 am
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Thanks all for the good feedback!
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Old Oct 27, 15, 2:54 pm
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I've been flying Sun Country MSP-BOS-MSP pretty much exclusively for a little over a year now, and I really like them for the most part. They do have a reward program (UFly Rewards) but are not part of an alliance, nor do they have any interlining/IROPS agreements with domestic carriers. I get upgraded to F about 60-70% of the time as a UFly Elite, so definitely no complaints there compared to legacy carriers.

I haven't had any significant delay issues myself (a couple hours a couple different times) but have heard a few horror stories from folks whose planes went mechanical when they weren't at MSP; pretty hard to get another plane when there are very few spares and extras are at MSP.

I'm not sure I agree with the poster who said that seat selection is "Spirit-esque" - most seats on SY are free, except the first 5-6 rows of economy, and even then the charge is a pittance. It's no different than UA/AA/DL charging for their premium economy seats and is actually much cheaper. Seat pitch is hit or miss for me at 6'1" - some planes I feel like I have a ton of room, whereas some I feel like a sardine. I think there are definite design/layout consistency issues with the different planes that SY has purchased from other airlines over the years. If you happen to get one of the two new NG aircraft that Sun Country has had delivered from Boeing in the last year, though, they are quite nice!

Technology is where SY is lacking the most, IMO. No mobile boarding passes, no wi-fi, no IFE, no seat plug-ins (USB or AC) except for a USB port on the Dig-E-Player. Feel free to ask more questions if you have them, but overall I definitely recommend Sun Country.
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Old Oct 27, 15, 4:09 pm
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Originally Posted by Carpboy823 View Post
I'm not sure I agree with the poster who said that seat selection is "Spirit-esque" - most seats on SY are free, except the first 5-6 rows of economy, and even then the charge is a pittance. It's no different than UA/AA/DL charging for their premium economy seats and is actually much cheaper.
Ah, my mistake. I skipped over the "...in front of the exit row..." small print. Yeah, in that case it's more like domestic E+ on the legacies as you can still put your family together in Y without paying extra. I guess VX is similar with its "express" seats. Too many other LCCs going the no assigned seat route, though.
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Old Apr 13, 16, 7:29 am
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anyone know how many miles it is to upgrade?
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Old May 13, 16, 12:19 pm
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I almost died on a sun country flight when all the lights went out in the air. People started praying that we would make it home alive.
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Old Aug 27, 16, 9:19 am
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How do people think of them now?
Considering SFO/msp and their F is currently cheaper than Y.
Definitely half the price of delta. Less than United, who I really prefer to NOT fly.
I know that there's no free lunch, so what is the catch about Sun Country? Or do I just pay double on delta?
Thanks
Michael
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Old Aug 29, 16, 4:00 pm
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I wrote a trip report on SY F a while back, and I would still stand by it. Their prices continue to be so low that I take almost all my MSP O&D business to SY. One thing to note is that they recently "upgraded" their website, and the new one has a lot of problems. On a recent purchase, it took 3.5 hrs to get a confirmation email, and they no longer send the standard e-ticket (you'll get your PNR but no ticket number and missing some of the other usual information like class of service and booking code). Because of this, reservations has been a >30m hold every time I've had to call. I need my ticket numbers for accounting reasons, so I've been taking to getting my next trip's record as a paper ticket when I check in at the counter.

Despite that, SY is pretty good. The beer selection is outstanding for an airline, and although there is only one meal choice I've usually found it decent. For obvious reasons, they struggle to market and capture anything other than MSP-based travelers, primarily leisure. Their clientele seems strongly averse to paying for something as fancy as "First Class" - my typical flights see something like 3/12 paid, 3 upgraded elites, 3 people who bit on the upgrade offers sold at the gate, and 3 empty. Honestly I'm worried they'll eventually get rid of the F cabin altogether. If you can save substantial money over UA/DL, go for it!
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Old Aug 29, 16, 10:37 pm
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Thanks! I loved the TR, esp how the TR included other TRs.
I'm definitely intrigued. Interesting that F isn't popular with leisure travelers.
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