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When SkyTrax unveiled the World Airline Awards this year, it came as no surprise that highly lauded Singapore Airlines walked away with the trophy for the number one spot.
What was surprising is the winner not only from the best low-cost airline in the US, but also all north america.
If you hear an airplane engine roar and look up at the sky and see a blue and orange plane, you might instantly think it’s Southwest. But you could be wrong.
There is another lesser known airline that might confuse you. That would be Sunland Airlinesa budget airline headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Have you heard of them? Maybe not. But even if so, this airline has stayed under the radar for quite some time, having been in service for decades.
Not only that, they have survived a wild history with multiple owners, suspended operations, and bankruptcies.
Sun Country is obviously proud to be honored with this latest achievement, but are they really the best low-cost airline in the US?
“We are honored to be recognized for the value and inflight experience we provide to our customers,” said Dave Davis, Sun Country Airlines president and chief financial officer.
Mr. Davis went on to say: “Our focus on the leisure traveler allows us to offer flights when demand is strongest and our business model keeps fares affordable. We look forward to continuing to grow when and where our customers need us most.”
Where does Sun Country fly to?
Based at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) with an additional focus on the Dallas and Las Vegas markets, unsurprisingly, Sun Country flies to many sunny destinations.
His route map it is actually quite expansive, with very popular destinations including Los Cabos and Punta Cana.
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According to their official website, as of May 2023 they have a total of 118 routes in the US (including Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. Sounds great, right?
The problem with traveling with Sun Country might be where you fly from as they only have 3 main airports (MSP, LAS, DFW).
They are affordable, but is it worth the hassle?
Let’s face it, « low cost airlines » usually don’t have the best reputation. Whether it’s their « gotcha » policies, poor customer service, or cramped seats, travelers don’t always know what to expect.
@travelbymarla My honest review of flying Sun Country Airlines to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico! #suncountryairlines #Vallarta Port #travel budget #Mexico #all inclusive #destinationwedding ♬ original sound – Marla’s Travels
In the age of social media, TikTok is full of complaints about low-cost airlines across the board. Of course, the main draw to taking an airline like Spirit, Allegiant, or Frontier is the low cost of the airfare.
Other than that, there isn’t much appeal except for the fact that they have more direct routes. In fact, Allegiant and Breeze are proud to have only direct routes.
So while it may be tight, at least it’s a straight shot! Sun Country, on the other hand, mainly offers direct flights from MSP, DFW, and LAS.
For example, if you were to fly from Charlotte to Cozumel, you would have to go back all the way to Minneapolis before heading south of the border to paradise.
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In that case, it might be better to check other airlines, even if you have to spend a little more. Time is money, right?
On board experience
Sun Country has modern conveniences on board, which is ironic considering the airline hasn’t had an app for 6 years!
Travelers who book a ticket with Sun Country can expect:
- “Comfortable” reclining seats
- Power outlets in most seats
- Complimentary non-alcoholic drinks
- Complimentary entertainment streamed to your personal electronic device via AirFi
- 3 different seat classes: Better, exit row and Standard
There are additional benefits to Best Row and Exit Row seats, such as:
- One complimentary alcoholic drink (Best only)
- More legroom (Best and Exit Row)
- Expedited boarding (Best and Exit Row).
Travelers can order a variety of snacks and drinks to purchase, including local beer from a Minnesota brewery. The airline does not accept cash payments.
Sun Country seems more comfortable compared to the common complaint of being packed like sardines on budget airlines, except for Breeze’s cushy chairs.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com