Over the Frill: Sun Country Will Add Fees and Seats, Reduce Legroom

Written by on August 16, 2017 in Travel News

Sun Country Airlines is going the way of Frontier, Allegiant, and Spirit and becoming a no-frills carrier.

Kristen Leigh Painter writes in the Star Tribune that Sun Country’s new CEO, Jude Bricker, issued a memo Tuesday that outlines his plan for the airline.

According to Ms. Painter, “Bricker’s formula mirrors the model of ultralow cost carriers like Frontier and Spirit airlines which charge passengers for things like carry-on luggage and in-flight beverages.

“Under his plan, Sun Country will cut costs in a variety of ways and put more seats on airplanes, which provides more revenue opportunity but leaves less legroom for passengers.”

I’ve never flown Sun Country but know people who have. They’ve been impressed with the planes and service. I imagine that will become a thing of the past. Why? They hate excessive fees (more on that in a minute) and loved Sun Country’s employees.

But the employees are staying put — right? Not so fast.

Some Sun Country staff who don’t like the changes are actively being encouraged to leave Sun Country.

The company is offering buyouts to senior employees, particularly flight attendants or nonunion full-time employees with more than ten years experience. The buyouts were framed as a way to give “long-tenured employees an opportunity to leave Sun Country if those individuals were not on board with the new vision,” according to a memo sent to employees Tuesday night by Dee Powers, the airline’s human resources director.

From: Sun Country CEO outlines no-frills strategy for MSP airline by Kristen Leigh Painter

New Sun Country CEO: Former Allegiant COO and EVP

The changes may seem rather sudden and extreme — but  make sense when one realizes new Sun Country CEO Bricker ran Allegiant until early this summer.

Allegiant (“buyer beware” warns Tulsa’s NewsOn6) charges passengers to print boarding passes, select seats, make reservations (by phone or online), for onboard snacks, has baggage charges that vary from city to city, and much more. No word on exactly which fees Sun Country will implement but I imagine many of the Allegiant-ish money grabs will find their way into Mr. Bricker’s new strategy.

Let’s all hope that he manages to keep a safer fleet than he did at Allegiant.

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About the Author

About the Author: Chris Carley is a writer, media consultant, voice over artist, dog owner, husband, and recently became a dad! He loves talking all things points and miles. You'll likely find him in an airport lounge while on a trip that involves the most circuitous route possible leading to his ultimate destination. .

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  1. CarolK says:

    Sad that they are going to cut legroom when Sun Country metal is used for many of the Honor Flights.

  2. D says:

    Sad that Sun Country finds the need to get greedy as the so called low cost carriers already have….I have been a faithful customer of Sun Country….Their comfort, fairly priced and home town service from their employees. I guess I understand fully why employees are looking to move on…and so may I…Their perks with their u-fly program and credit card points will mostly likely begin to follow as well…”Down Hill to brown ground instead of up to beautiful blue skies…”sad”

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