Sun Country Introduces New Bag Fees

Sun Country Removing Surly

 

Last month, Sun Country announced they would be unbundling their fares and transitioning to a more a la carte model, where passengers choose which amenities they want. Today, Sun Country Airlines announced new baggage pricing options which will be available on October 25th for travel on or after January 19, 2018.

Thrifty Tip: Already booked a Sun Country flight? Reservations that are booked prior to October 25, 2017, will retain baggage features effective when tickets were purchased, unless customers choose to make changes to their bookings.

 

 

The new Bundle & Go product offering consists of the following three options:

 

Carry-on Baggage: Store & Go™ Bundle

  • One carry-on bag (OR option to check a bag) and one personal item smaller than 17x13x9 inches (must fit under seat)
  • Seat selection purchase in advance (at a reduced price), or opt for available seating at airport check-in counter at no charge
  • Priority boarding after First Class travelers and Ufly® Rewards ELITE members
  • Advanced purchase fee (each way):
    • $30 (within U.S. 48)
    • $35 (all other destinations)
    • Carry-on bag fee purchased at the airport will be $40 effective January 19, 2018

 

Checked Baggage: Check & Go™ Bundle

  • One checked bag and one personal item smaller than 17x13x9 inches (must fit under seat)
  • Seat selection purchase in advance (at a reduced price), or opt for available seating at airport check-in counter at no charge
  • Preferred boarding after Store & Go travelers
  • Advanced purchase fee (each way):
    • $20 (within U.S. 48)
    • $25 (all other destinations)
    • Checked bag fee purchased at the airport remains $25 for first bag (all destinations)
    • Checked bag fee for each additional bag lowered to $25, effective January 19, 2018 (all destinations)

 

Personal Item: Grab & Go™ Bundle

  • One personal item smaller than 17x13x9 inches (purse or small backpack), which must fit under the seat
  • Seat selection purchase in advance for a fee, or opt for available seating at airport check-in counter at no charge
  • Grab & Go travelers will board last
    • Fee: $0

 

Additional benefits apply for credit card/ELITE customers:

  • Ufly Rewards members who are Sun Country Airlines Visa Signature Card cardholders, or members who purchase a flight and hotel package to any Sun Country destination, will receive Check & Go option at no charge or the Store & Go option for a reduced price.
  • ELITE members can select any of the Bundle & Go options at no charge, and will continue to receive two free bags for themselves and anyone on the reservations. The ELITE member, and all passengers on the reservation, receives seat assignments at no charge. Other ELITE member benefits remain the same.

 

Seat Assignment

There was no seat assignment pricing provided today. I emailed Sun Country this morning and this was their response:

Seat selection is a separate fee, or can be assigned for free at airport check-in. Seat selection is as low as $2 and up to $35, pending the location of seat, time of year, and length of flight. However, if you do purchase a Check & Go or Store & Go Bundle, you and all travelers booked on that reservation will receive discounted seat pricing of $5 off each seat ($5 off starts Jan 19). When the seat map is viewed in the purchase flow, through my trips or online check-in it will show the applicable prices of the seats based on the length of haul and time of year.  This will not be seen until October 25th, when Bundle & Go goes into effect.

While I hoped they would roll seat assignment into the new bundles, it comes as no surprise that they are truly unbundling the fares and letting passengers pick and choose which amenities they want.

 

Breakdown

Sun Country is encouraging passengers to check their bags with the cheaper $20 Check & Go Bundle (saving $10 over carry-on). They expect this will improve boarding times and increase efficiencies in the cabin. If you plan to carry-on or check your bag, make sure to pre-purchase it at booking as pricing is higher at the airport. Travelers do not have to purchase any of the upgrades and can still go with the free Grab & Go Bundle, but you won’t be able to bring a carry-on bag (other than a small personal item) or expect seat assignment until check-in.

 

Bottom Line 

We’ve only seen one side of the equation so far. We will have to wait until Wednesday to see if Sun Country’s new fares are actually cheaper than before. The new fares are more complicated, especially with seat assignment being a separate variable charge. This is how unbundled fares work with other low cost airlines, but I miss the simple days of booking an economy ticket without having to references several charts.

 

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