MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Sun Country Airlines has announced a big change to its baggage policy.
Carry-on baggage that passengers are accustomed to storing in the overhead compartment is no longer free.
If you decide to fly with a small roller suitcase or duffel bag, you’ll have to pay a $30 fee, each way, on a Sun Country flight.
But if you decide to check your bag, you’ll find the checked baggage fee has dropped from $25 to $20 each way.
The airline says it is trying to encourage more people to check their bags rather than carry them on the plane with them.
The change goes into effect this Wednesday for people booking reservations, but for travelers it goes into effect Jan. 19.
Sun Country says its “Bundle and Go” program is all about speeding up boarding and deplaning so that passengers can get to their destinations sooner.
Travelers admit the process of waiting for fellow fliers to get settled and seated can be a drag.
“When you travel for business, everybody carries it on. And it gets crazy, so it’s probably a good idea,” said Sun Country passenger Pam Dannelli.
Tony Jimenez and Karen Keelen, who were on their way to California on Monday, say they aren’t bothered by the news of a carry-on fee.
“I think anything to speed up the process, it’s a good thing.” Jimenez said. “Anything to get us to our flight and destination quicker, we are all for it.”
Others think the new fees are too high.
“Cost is a big thing,” Sun Country passenger Ese Scott said. “So if you know you are going to be paying more, you may be tempted to look elsewhere.”
In a written statement, the airline said that it has noticed that the boarding process has slowed due to “an influx of carry-on baggage.”
“The new product offering will speed up the boarding and deplaning processes by encouraging checked baggage, thus reducing time taken to store and remove bags from the cabin and ultimately help get customers to their destinations sooner,” the statement said.
Sun Country says it will still be free to carry purses and small backpacks that fit under the seat.
Also on Monday, the airline announced a new structure for selecting seat assignments.