Sun Country trots out carry-on baggage fee

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Sun Country flight headed to Phoenix
A Sun Country Boeing 737-800 caught the fading rays of the Minnesota sun as it headed to Phoenix, Arizona from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in January, 2015.
Courtesy Emmanuel Canaan 2015

Sun Country customers will have to start reconsidering how they pack for flights.

The airline will begin charging customers a fee for carry-on bags starting with bookings made Wednesday, Oct. 25.

The fee will be $30 on most flights taken on or after Jan. 19. Meanwhile, the airline is dropping the typical charge for a checked bag to $20, down from $25.

Fees are higher for flights outside the lower 48 states.

Travelers are still allowed to bring one personal item free of charge and Sun Country is waiving the charges for certain customers in loyalty programs.

Sun Country is also adding to its fees for pre-assigned seats. Advance seat selection prices will run from $2 to $35, depending on seat location, time of year and length of flight. Discounts apply to travelers who opt for two of the three baggage pricing options. Seat assignment is free at airport check-in.

Like most airlines, Sun Country has long charged for checked baggage, which created an incentive for travelers to limit themselves to carry-on bags — a choice that consistently slowed down the boarding process.

The airline hopes that by encouraging checked bags, passengers will be able to get on and off planes faster.

Last month, airline executives said they would be making baggage policy and other changes at the airline.

In the first half of this year, Sun Country collected about $11 million in bag fees — with U.S. airlines collecting $2.2 billion in bag fees industry-wide.

In 2016 Sun Country had a net income of $16.3 million and revenue of $519 million, according to regulatory reports, and the airline carried 2.1 million passengers.

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