Minnesota Airline Now Charging Customers a New Hidden Fee
Nobody likes paying more in fees, but that's exactly what customers of this Minnesota airline have quietly been doing now for over a year!
If you've flown out of the Land of 10,000 Lakes since April of 2022, there's a chance you might have paid a new fee assessed by one of Minnesota's own airlines-- but you likely didn't even know you were paying it.
Sun Country Airlines is based right here in the Bold North and has been for over 40 years. Simple Flying says Sun Country first took to the skies above the North Star State back in 1983, and after several different owners (and a bout with bankruptcy), started operating as one of the 'low-cost' carriers back in 2017.
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'Low-cost,' by the way, is an industry term to describe an airline that 'does not offer traditional services that are normally included as part of the fare,' according to TravelPerk. And while Sun Country might indeed be a 'low-cost' carrier these days, they just added a new cost that you and I have to pay, at least according to a new post from Kyle Potter at Thrifty Traveler.
Potter notes that Sun Country has quietly tacked on a new $22 fee-- one way, mind you-- that has been sneakily added to your fare but isn't explicitly listed when you buy your ticket.
The Minnesota-based budget carrier now lists a “passenger interface charge” of $22 per segment, per passenger – an extra $44 on every roundtrip ticket. The airline never directly informed passengers about its newest fee, but investor documents show the airline began charging it back in April 2022.
Now, as Potter also notes, while the major airlines like Delta, United or American don't charge extra fees such as this one, Sun County certainly isn't the only low-cost carrier to add this type of fee. Spirit, Allegiant, and Frontier charge similar fees, though they're usually listed on your ticket as a somewhat less mysterious Passenger Usage Charge, Carrier Interface Charge, or even a Technology Development Charge.
But those other carriers list the fee right there, on your ticket order. Not the case with Sun Country, Potter says, who rolls it into the section of your bill where its listed in the section regarding 'all applicable air taxes, fees, and carrier-imposed charges.'
Sun Country, though, notes that this is an *optional* fee. And it IS. It's assessed if you buy Sun Country ticket online, over the phone, or from a third-party site like Expedia or Kayak. So how do you avoid paying this new fee? It's easy, Potter says: Buy your tickets at the Sun Country counter AT THE AIRPORT.
Who does that? Pretty much nobody, right? And if you're flying with a family of four, that not-so-new fee now adds an extra $176 to your total costs! You can read more about this fee and why low-cost carriers charge it, HERE.
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Gallery Credit: Michelle Heart