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Sun Country remodels plane interiors, eliminating first class / adding slimmer seats

Sun Country remodels plane interiors, eliminating first class / adding slimmer seats

Old May 23, 18, 12:35 pm
  #1  
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Sun Country remodels plane interiors, eliminating first class / adding slimmer seats

Sun Country Airlines is remodeling the interior of all its airplanes, a capacity-boosting step and a highly-visible change in the airline’s broader revolution.

First class will disappear, seats will become slimmer in profile and updated power outlets will be added.

The entire fleet, expected to reach 30 planes by the end of the year, will undergo the makeover in November and December, the company announced Wednesday. Sun Country’s chief executive Jude Bricker outlined what to expect in an e-mail to customers and employees.

More at link: Sun Country remodels planes, eliminating first class, adding slimmer seats - StarTribune.com
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Old May 23, 18, 2:51 pm
  #2  
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Looks like a 183Y config on the 738 which matches Ryanair behind the wing and has one fewer row in front - possibly to accommodate a more "premium" offering up front. Also matches the US majors and is one more row in the back than before slimlines. Interesting to note that their major competition now (F9, NK, and G4) all fly Airbus fleets, which are not affected by the egress restriction on the 738 (max. of 189 pax - Ryanair actually commissioned the 737 MAX 200 with an extra aft exit just to get around this). I wonder if this impacted the decision to offer the extra legroom products, although they are still one row under the FAA maximum.

A sad end to what had been a wonderful, quaint little airline. With their stage length, I thought it would have been an interesting decision to continue to offer a full service European-style premium class with their extra legroom seats, but it seems like that's beyond the creativity of new management.

Alas, I've burned my stash of SY miles by now and once F is gone I don't have any cause to fly them.

Full text of the referenced e-mail:

Dear Sun Country® Family of Flyers,

I want to thank you for flying with Sun Country over the years — we are always delighted to have you onboard, and we are committed to ensuring that you always enjoy a safe, comfortable ride with us to your favorite places, people, and memories.

These are exciting times at Sun Country with lots of runway ahead. We are hard at work creating a new Sun Country with customer experience, comfort, and value at the forefront of our plans. There will be many changes over the next year, but we are taking care to ensure that each decision keeps you and your family’s travel needs top-of-mind.

As part of that effort to ensure we offer you an unbeatable value, we are excited to announce that we are investing in your Sun Country experience with a complete refresh of the interior of all of our aircraft to be completed by the end of this year. This is a huge undertaking — the largest investment in our passengers’ in-flight experience in the history of the company.

We are still finalizing the full details of the new seat options, but we are very excited to share that every seat in the new cabin will include free in-seat power and streaming entertainment to your personal device, as well a full tray table, comfortable leg room, and recline. We will also offer three seat options: the option to choose an advanced seat assignment in a new standard seat, an extra leg room seat, or an elevated travel experience in a premium seat.



On Friday, we will extend the schedule of flights for sale on our website to include November and December. If you are shopping for this travel period, you will see a change in our seat map and cabin class offerings. During these two months, we will offer a transitional premium seat product where our First Class cabin is today.

During the transition to the new interiors, customers who purchase a premium seat will still have additional leg room, more recline and comfort — all at a lower fare than our previous First Class option. We will continue to offer our complimentary soft drink service, and an expanded buy-on-board food option for all passengers. However, we will no longer offer the complimentary meal service that has been part of our First Class product.

Please be patient with us as we work through the transition. When we are done, the result will be a great flight at a great price for every passenger.

There is more to come, so stay-tuned — we will continue to update you as we finalize the details. Sun Country has a bright future, and we look forward to you joining us on our journey!

Jude Bricker
President & CEO
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Old May 23, 18, 8:21 pm
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I admit that I haven't flown Sun Country in years. Almost all of my flying is with Delta. When I flew Sun Country I enjoyed the level of service, friendly attendants and competitive pricing (particularly in first class). But once I began traveling enough to reach Platinum status or more with Delta, I spent over 90% of my travel dollars there. Oh well. I hope it works out but so far every reaction I've seen from customers has been negative. I'm pretty sure I'd feel the same way.
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Old May 24, 18, 2:06 am
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It's hard to say. I'm in a similar boat, where I am a multi-year UA 1K so I have some loyalty there, but SY would steal my dollars on price and schedule to MSP (was a DCA/MSP regular for a while as they were cheaper than DL, excellently timed, and UA doesn't fly the route). On the other hand, they're not wrong about a lack of profitability up front - because of elite upgrades I was often price comparing SY F against UA Y (plus free upgrade), and still getting good prices when the cabin would fill at the last minute with their elites, op-ups, and honestly just fly empty.

In a lot of ways, SY was too good to be true. I loved it for that, but this was a long while in the making.
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Old May 24, 18, 12:35 pm
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This is pretty much the same story as Frontier. There were a lot of people who loved the old Frontier and they complained about the changes but there were not enough of them to make money on.

Sun Country is the same pattern, some people love them but not enough to keep them in business. We'll probably see a bunch of stories soon about how bad they are because some people didn't get the memo. Then it will go away and hopefully Sun Country will keep flying.

Last edited by rsteinmetz70112; May 25, 18 at 6:48 am
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Old May 24, 18, 4:18 pm
  #6  
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The print edition of today's Star Tribune has a cute quote from a "travel industry analyst":

"Clearly, this is the Allegiantization of Sun Country."

It's repeated as a large-font headline in the continuation of the article on page D4 of the business section:

"Analyst: 'Allegiantization of Sun Country"

Personally, I would have called it Allegiantification.
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Old May 25, 18, 9:56 am
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Originally Posted by rsteinmetz70112 View Post
This is pretty much the same story as Frontier. There were a lot of people who loved the old Frontier and they complained about the changes but there were not enough of them to make money on.
The only thing I liked about the old Frontier was that they flew nonstop between DCA and GRR for $120 round trip, when we lived in DC and my in-laws lived in West Michigan. The flight times were horribly inconvenient, but at least I didn't have to truck it up to BWI to fly AirTran. Other than the lack of satellite TV, I'm not sure what the difference is between the old Frontier and the new Frontier.
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Old May 27, 18, 9:56 pm
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Originally Posted by TribalistMeathead View Post
The only thing I liked about the old Frontier was that they flew nonstop between DCA and GRR for $120 round trip, when we lived in DC and my in-laws lived in West Michigan. The flight times were horribly inconvenient, but at least I didn't have to truck it up to BWI to fly AirTran. Other than the lack of satellite TV, I'm not sure what the difference is between the old Frontier and the new Frontier.
ULCC model vs. LCC model. Vastly different. Seats were very comfortable on the old Frontier flights and you didn't have to pay for carry ons, etc. I've only flown them when they were ULCC and they had those slim seats installed. Still tolerable but not like the old Frontier.
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Old May 28, 18, 12:23 pm
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The old Frontier lost money. It would have been liquidated without changes.
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