Bricker, who had spent more than a decade at Allegiant Air, would add more economy seats, cut first class, institute fees for carry-on bags, retire smaller, less cost-effective jets, change the loyalty program, switch from employees to contractors for ground operations and buy airplanes, rather than pay the astronomical lease rates previous management negotiated. Paul community for their quartz countertop and dairy businesses. The focus on revenue is why Sun Country isn’t emulating all the moves ultra-low-cost-carriers usually make. Photo Credit: Sun Country Airlines introduced a new livery for its Boeing 737 fleet recently. Not even seat pockets. Going forward Sun Country will cut the number of first class seats in half, and will adopt a Spirit “Big Front Seat” approach. Since 2011, the Davis family of Minnesota has owned Sun Country Airlines to maintai… Every cabin crew I talked to, I am a retired airline pilot, cannot wait to get out of Sun Country–retire or leave!!! Sun Country has one major advantage over European operators: Unlike European short-haul carriers, which struggle in winter — because a 737 doesn’t have range to fly from London or Paris to warm-weather destinations, many leisure airlines park their planes or lease them away — Sun Country has viable opportunities year-round. Picking up the used 738s to backfill the fleet cuts is easy. “We would go and do what Spirit and Frontier have already done, but they are already doing it. I understand business and the need for profit, but what about the customer…in my opinion Sun Country is one of the better and most comfortable airlines to fly and they serve many vacation locations in Mexico and the Carribean…by making these changes they will not be as effective, they’re not American, Delta, Southwest or any of the other larger airlines…if they want to be more competitive with the other airlines offer more domestic flights and leave the service and seating as it is…A loyal Sun Country customer! It’s a very dangerous place to be.”. Sun Country chose the easy, greedy, unimaginative way out by joining the “race to the bottom”. Note: Please see my Advertiser Disclosure. Private equity firms generally don’t retain assets for long, and Bricker said he knows Apollo has an exit strategy. The answer to that question is a calculated formula that dollar stores have devised, that starts with the physical location and size of their stores and trickles all the way … I’d rather just buy the more comfortable seat & cater my own food and entertainment. It also doesn’t have agreements with other airlines, so it couldn’t put passengers on, say, Delta. Many small droplets reflect more light than fewer big ones. Summer travel is so robust that Sun Country’s larger competitors don’t have enough airplanes to shuttle cost-conscious passengers to the most popular destinations, like Las Vegas, Florida, Hawaii and Alaska. Before selling Sun Country to private equity firm Apollo Global Management in 2017, the Davis Brothers ran it like a mom-and-pop operation, naming planes after local lakes, keeping first class because they liked owning a premium airline, and operating a frequent flyer program in which they could dole out elite status to friends. Especially since the last thing the marketplace needs is yet another crappy, fee-laden, “we don’t give a lick about anything except picking your pockets” airline, when we’ve got three of them, and three more copying the worst of these three awful airlines’ worst elements, too. Good luck Sun Country! The problem is that the airline isn’t able to command a revenue premium for what’s ultimately a superior product. Sun Country Airlines was founded in 1982 by a small group of former Braniff International pilots and flight attendants. Similar to Allegiant, Frontier, Spirit, and United (Basic Economy), Sun Country Airlines charges a fee for any bag larger than a 17” x 13” x 9” personal item. It’s not like they have 100 737-800s and just a few 737-700s. If you want to get away ASAP, check out the latest Sun Country Airlines deals. Do foreigners make So Much More Income than usa people or are usa people taxed so high so much that foreigners can buy our country and usa people can barely survive. Check out these cheap items at Trader Joe’s. Unfortunately I suspect their upcoming transformation was inevitable, though, as they haven’t been able to command a revenue premium for their extra services that are included. He was leading a quixotic, perennially underperforming airline owned by two brothers — pillars of the Minneapolis/St. And more, Cameron Sperance and Matthew Parsons, Skift, By selling off one of its assets, Royal Caribbean is trying to shore up cash. Please check your email to confirm your subscription. 1) Incredible nature. I’ve never been on Sun Country or heard much about it until these couple of posts. They had bought Sun Country 2011, after its second bankruptcy in eight y… While Sun Country has a flight attendant base in Dallas and plans to open another in Portland, it only one pilot base, in Minneapolis. In any event, the name stuck, and for the last 1400 years or so, the world has referred to Japan as Nippon, the land of the rising sun. According to the words of the Japanese envoy himself, that name was chosen because the country was so close to where the sun rises. Meanwhile American’s 737-800 MAX with terrible legroom will feature 172 seats, though 16 of those are first class seats. “That’s one of the reasons for taking first class out,” Bricker said. The first company Sun Country hired couldn’t deliver the service it promised in Minneapolis, and workers from headquarters, including Bricker, went to the airport to help. In Minneapolis, some phone agents couldn’t get to work because of the snow, so Sun Country was having trouble responding to calls, which jumped from about 1,000 on a typical day to about 20,000. Simply put, my travels have shown me that the higher the minimum wage in a country, the higher the costs of everything in that country. The big question concerning the food at dollar stores is how they are able to sell it for so cheap and still turn a profit — especially when the cost of everything else these days seems to only be going up.. As of Jan 1 2018 in Business Class, it was never First Class, more perks gone… No leg room. So the seats will be significantly tighter than they are now. Last month Sun Country appointed a new CEO, who happens to be a former Allegiant executive, which tells you the direction the airline is headed. If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. As a point of comparison, Southwest’s 737-800s are in a one class configuration and feature 175 seats, though feature good legroom. Sun Country canceled about 40 flights in two days, including some of the last departures to and from Mazatlan and Los Cabos. So the seats will be significantly tighter than they are now. What a shame. They plan to grow their fleet by acquiring secondhand planes. the cluster of European airlines owned by a major tour operator. So, please, can we all stop believing the lie that “the market has spoken” and ONLY crappy, fee-laden, kneecap bashing, teeny-tiny seats, with generous helpings of nothing EXCEPT excuses, lies, and abuses rationalizing a shamelessly greedy business/pricing model by thieves pretending to be honest businesspeople is what people “want”. We would do what Allegiant has done, but they are already doing it. Not sure I’m buying the “we offered more but it didn’t work, so we’re joining the race to the bottom business model…” bs. At the time I noted how we should expect the following changes at Sun Country, per a StarTribune article: Well, Wandering Aramean has some clues about what we can expect from Sun Country, based on a presentation yesterday afternoon by their CEO at a conference in Las Vegas. Those perks are what make frequent travel palatable. They did not provide timely hotel accommodations. For example, while it is retrofitting its Boeing 737-800s to add more seats, from 162 to 183, the new seats will be more comfortable and 30 percent more expensive than the barebones Acro Aircraft Seating model Spirit has installed, Bricker said. The other operating costs are very, very similar. The first company, Business Travel and Future of Work Summit, pillars of the Minneapolis/St. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to enhance his first class experiences. Minnesota-based Sun Country Airlines (IATA: SY; ICAO: SCX) is a leader in leisure travel flying nonstop to more than 50 destinations across the United States, Caribbean, Mexico and Central America. This really blows! As we can afford it we travel 5-6 months a year, half overseas, in business class for a more comfortable flight. Flight Attendants In China Told To Wear Diapers, Alaska Mileage Plan Changes How Status Is Earned, Cathay Pacific’s A321neo Business Class Revealed, Thai Airways Selling Boeing 747, Airbus A380 Fleet, Best Airline Credit Cards for Miles & Points, Sun Country will be transforming into an ultra low cost carrier, it seems to be an all around solid product, I recently reviewed Spirit’s Big Front Seat, Is Hyatt’s Globalist Fast Track Promotion “Fair?”, All American Widebody Aircraft Will Offer Lie Flat Business Class Seats By October, IAG Slashes Air Europa Purchase Price In Half, Will Pay In Six Years. When Bricker arrived, Sun Country was tiny, carrying about two million passengers annually, fewer than Delta flies during three days during July. When these programs are copied and/or sold separately from the hardware, it is a violation of the license with the software publisher, and therefore illegal. That way your loyal customers will stay loyal. Sun country cares not for the comfort or needs of their customers. other than get money, and get more money–what was their narrative? Its customers were stranded in Mexico, but Sun Country needed its airplanes elsewhere, so it could not send rescue flights to pick them up. Sad to see another first class product being cut back. DzooBaby 24 Feb 2012. So standardizing on the lower-CASM fleet means (theoretically) better profits in the end. It’s one of the biggest lies, and yet, the more the industry and its armies of highly paid consultants, lobbyists, and slick PR professionals (all of whom, by the way, seldom, if ever, fly these crappy ULCC airlines or sit in the 29-30″ pitch middle seats on the Big 3 Oligopolists but laugh all the way to the bank when the next few hundreds/billions of fliers dollars fund the next round of obscenely large stock buybacks) tell this lie, the more people seem to be willing to believe such utter untruths. In other words, they plan on cutting back on first class amenities, meaning that you’ll just be paying for a larger seat. The airline was not prepared. Putting more seats on planes, which probably means removing legroom from seats, and possibly also eliminating first class (that isn’t stated explicitly, but given how low their first class fares are, I have to imagine this will happen), Offering buyouts to senior employees, especially flight attendants and non-union employees with more than 10 years of experience; this was framed as an opportunity to give “long-tenured employees an opportunity to leave Sun Country if those individuals were not on board with the new vision”, Being less focused on their Minneapolis hub given the competition they have there, and instead trying to offer more point-to-point flights. Maybe they just don’t think they can consistently sell that many seats without hurting their yields even more. Reminder: OMAAT comments are changing soon. Exclusive column Charge more for their charter flights. Required fields are marked *. Most people would say the answer is obvious - - lower wages in China compared to the United States. In warmer months, Bricker is positioning the airline as what he calls a nationwide “spill” carrier, flying passengers bigger airlines don’t want to carry on popular routes. Even as it grows, Sun Country likely will remain the most unusual large-jet-flying airline in the United States. One extra FA is required but you get ~60 more seats on board. We’re not sure, but we’ll be watching. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. “Five years is kind of up in the air.”. The state is beautiful, safe, cheap and kind. This was due to receiving a call to tell her that her mother was dying and that there was not much time left if she wanted to be there. Below is a summary of the fees charged by Sun Country for most within the United States. Presently Sun Country has 12 first class seats on their 737s, which are often a great deal. Today, renewable energy is so cheap that the handouts they once needed are disappearing. The strategy has had some hiccups, though, as Bricker’s strategy has introduced more complexity. The most notable event happened in mid-April, just before Sun Country switched from its winter/early spring, Minneapolis-based schedule, to its more nationwide operation. Sun Country Airlines operates as an ultra-low-cost carrier and sells tickets at competitive prices. It wasn’t until she arrived at the airport that she learned that her Sun Country flight to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport had been canceled without any notificat… As it looks now with press reports number of Business seats will be cut in half from 12 in 2018 or maybe gone altogether. “We are going after a market that no one else is really pursuing — really seasonal demand,” Bricker said. There’s no value-add to the market in what they are proposing… May Sun Country die a slow and painful death as they descend toward the bottom of hell. Have we all become so conditioned to these lies by our Oligopolistic abusers, that we’re suffering from denial and “Stockholm Syndrome” that we’re so willing to accept their bs excuses that WE’RE to blame for what passes for (appallingly bad) “service”? Your email address will not be published. Please view our advertising policy page for additional details about our partners. Sun Country if you see this, Please listen to the consumers & don’t change a thing! Book by February 4, 2019, 11:59 (CST). One of the main reasons my spouse and I fly (flew) Sun Country was the affordable business class experience – which includes being treated like you’re paying for business class (hot meal, even a towel, etc.). I suspect most people given the choice between a little airline they’ve never heard of and a crappy major that they have experience with will pick the devil they know. There are no doubt benefits to having a consistent fleet, in terms of scheduling, staffing, etc. Minnesotans ask for more, and we need to deliver.”. But by incurring an impairment charge… https://t.co/NdDcwhaVw0. It’s very cheap because once you book with them it’s a lost cause. Sun Country 737-800s will feature 180 seats. Sun Country is making a play to carry those travelers in peak times, adding routes like Los Angeles to Honolulu, Seattle to Anchorage, Dallas/Fort Worth to Las Vegas and Portland, Oregon to Orlando. My flight was delayed and then cancelled in MSP (My flight was from ORD-PDX). Sun Country now operates like an ultra-low-cost carrier in some ways and more like a traditional carrier in other aspects. They could’ve chosen a different flight path more like jetBlue, which has an award winning coach product, and is also very, very, very profitable. Michele Nash-Hoff. Sun Country Airlines offers affordable flights and vacation packages to destinations across the U.S. and in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. You can get decent food and a coffee for $10 in the airport. Why? “We need to differentiate the product,” Bricker said. Sun Country is Minneapolis based, and at the moment has a bit of a unique position in the US airline industry. 2 – Turkey (outside of Istanbul) is weirdly cheap. “There’s a reason ULCCs have had a really slow growth profile here in Minnesota. He’d also expand beyond Minneapolis, sending aircraft on any routes he thought could make money. If Sun Country cannot afford to complete with the majors in Business Class service they should eliminate it and become a cattle car type carrier. Most of it was from from a classic playbook, successfully implemented by low-cost airlines worldwide, including Spirit Airlines, Frontier Airlines, and Ryanair. This is unfortunate. As of now it seems we have three major hints about upcoming changes: Sun Country presently has a fleet of six 737-700 aircraft, and 16 737-800 aircraft. “They’re not going to be here in 10 years,” Bricker said. In an interview, Bricker said the closest comparisons are probably Jet2.com, in the United Kingdom, and Tui, the cluster of European airlines owned by a major tour operator. Too bad…because if there’s one region of the country that JetBlue has yet to spread its wings in, its the heartland, where Sun Country could’ve instead harnessed/leveraged its highly motivated, well trained, and exceptional employees who already believe in the airline, instead of telling them they’re no longer wanted. It’s hard for such a small airline to gain much traction. Sun Country hardly has to advertise, as customers who don’t want to pay high fares see it on a third-party site and book because it’s the only affordable option. Earn 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points | Terms Apply. If you have to cancel for any reason, you will not get your refund back. Sun Country also has struggled with ground handling. The actual Sun Country baggage fees you will pay may vary based on fare class, frequent flier status, and specific route flown. Perhaps worse, customers complained they couldn’t reach the airline. The owner of this site is not an investment advisor, financial planner, nor legal or tax professional and articles here are of an opinion and general nature and should not be relied upon for individual circumstances. As several readers noted, outside of Minneapolis/St. But the cheapst country I visited was Ukraine, Kiev is very beautiful and cheap. The question is: How can foreigners buy so much real estate in our cheap country, when usa people cant. Let the Big boys be the big boys & just stick to what you know. But not this time, at least not yet. Paul, hardly anyone even knew Sun Country existed, and that problem/responsibility of getting the word out to create brand awareness rests entirely on the shoulders of the company’s executives, and NOT necessarily or completely on the general public as often claimed by lazy and unimaginative executives seeking to take the easy way out to maximize profits by exploiting people outside of the industry who lack the knowledge about the despicable, deceitful, dishonest and predatory “bait and switch” pricing strategies that lure travelers with lowball headline, or base/basic, airfares, then put the hard squeeze on them to purchase an ever expanding and increasingly expensive array of “add-ons” that in the end, are as much, or even more, than they would’ve paid had they simply taken the time out to calculate the total amount they will pay between the time they purchase their seats, and the time the final bill arrives after their trip, and all of the other fees paid at the airport and/or onboard, are added up. To me it’s customers that are left behind by Delta’s fares here in this market that Delta doesn’t really care about.”. They promised reimbursement for per diem and transportation to and from accommodations. Intuitively, it make sense. Advertiser Disclosure: Some links to credit cards and other products on this website will earn an affiliate commission. They’re not perfect comparisons, because Sun Country focuses less on vacation packages than the others, but the idea similar. Sriwijaya Air 737 Goes Missing In Indonesia, Jordan Aviation Wants To Launch US Flights, FLY CORALway: Intriguing South Pacific Airline Startup, Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, American Airlines’ Intriguing “AAdvantage Tailwind” Promotion, Southwest Airlines Performance Business Card Review (Huge 100K Bonus), United Airlines Wants To Make Vaccine Mandatory For Employees, Chase Ink Bonus Categories: How They Work. 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