My job is to analyze airlines, but sometimes I encounter things I cannot explain. Upgrades on Sun Country Airlines are one of them.
Yesterday I flew from Los Angeles to Minneapolis on Sun Country. It was my first time flying on the MSP-based airline and I did not quite know what to expect. One thing I did notice, which is almost unheard of on any other domestic airline in the USA, was that first class was only booked 4/12 when I checked in three hours before the flight.
I also noticed an “ask about our affordable first class upgrades” sign on the counter and asked how much an upgrade would be for today’s flight. This was just for curiosity as I had booked directly into first class last week.
That’s a reasonable cost for 3.5 hour flight, even though Sun Country First Class is sort of like domestic first class was a decade ago on other carriers.
But I only paid $99…at least my first class ticket was only $99 more than an economy class ticket on the same flight.
Typically when airlines want to sell last-minute upgrades, they discount them…not increase their price by 50%.
While I cannot say for sure, the flight was still F7 upon boarding and it appeared that four employee standby passengers were cleared into first class. The flight still went out with three empty seats, including the one next to me.
When I saw that first class was only booked 4/12 just a few hours before the flight, I thought I was an idiot to pay extra for first class. But if Sun Country is going to charge $149 for an upgrade at the airport, I actually made a good deal by paying “full price” in advance…