Please note: this is not a paid or sponsored post. I just really like the airline!
When I moved to Minneapolis last summer, I suddenly had several new airline choices. Having spent the past 5 years in Boston, I primarily had been loyal to United Airlines, as they had a well-timed nonstop flight to Los Angeles where my parents live.
Minneapolis, however, is not a major hub for United. While they do still have 2x daily nonstop service to LAX, the legs are operated by tiny ERJ-175s, which aren’t exactly the nicest rides for 3-4 hour flights. Along with a decline in service and upgrades on United in recent years, I realized it was time to look for a new airline.
Enter Sun Country. Commencing operations in 1983, the airline pride themselves as ‘Minnesota’s Hometown Airline’. This is a pretty accurate description for how you feel when you board one of their flights. Friendly service, really good cheeseburgers (just $5 in economy), and affordable upgrades (between $120 and $150 on most routes) have made them my new favorite way to fly.
I was lucky enough to attain Ufly Elite status last year, which comes with a slew of perks that you can read about on their website. Here are a few of my favorite ones:
Upgrades, Upgrades, Upgrades
The #1 perk of elite status with Sun Country is unlimited complimentary upgrades on all flights. This is something that most airlines offer their elites, but due to the small number of elites on Sun Country, the rate of a successful upgrade is much higher on SY than the mainline carriers. Since attaining status, I have only missed out on an upgrade once! The only downside to upgrading is you have to ask for it at the gate, vs. being confirmed prior to getting to the airport. It keeps things interesting while you wait to board, but the benefit is well worth it!
Exit Rows for my Long Legs
Elites also have access to exit row seats at the time of booking when flying economy. This is a big deal for me, as at 6’4″, I can use all the legroom I can get! Its also a great alternative for when your upgrade doesn’t clear.
Free Food and Drinks
You also get one free food and beverage item in economy. Sun Country carries some really tasty snack items in economy, but my favorite has to be their cheeseburgers. They are served warm with ketchup and mustard, and I normally finish mine before the cart has moved to the next row. They also carry several local beers, including those from the awesome Surly Brewery just across the river from where I live!
All in all, I’m happy to have found a new airline for the bulk of my travels around the US. Sun Country operate direct flights to LA (where my parents are), Boston (where my girlfriend is), and NYC. They also have numerous routes to other US cities and several international destinations in the Caribbean and Central America. I’d highly recommend them!