© Photo: Getty Images. Refinery29 JetBlue, Spirit, and Southwest Airlines may be the biggest names in budget-friendly air travel, but the three carriers could be facing some new competition. According to Travel + Leisure, Sun Country Airlines, a regional carrier with a hub in Minneapolis, is considering the implementation of a new plan that puts it alongside other low-cost carriers. The airline is setting out to expand its reach, add a slew of seats to its planes, and tack on fees for baggage and in-flight amenities.
Last month, Sun Country appointed Jude Brickner as CEO. Coming from Allegiant Air, another low-cost airline, he set to pivot Sun Country and expand it. As it stands, the airline flies on a mostly seasonal schedule, adding and nixing destinations depending on the Minneapolis weather. With the new plan, Brickner says that the airline will start to move away from its hub and offer more routes as well as adding room for more passengers (and less legroom) per flight.
"Our customers are leisure travelers who are generally paying for their trip with their own money," Bricker wrote in a memo explaining the new strategy. "While they value product and service, their behavior tells us that they care most about affordable airfare when making their travel decisions."
The Star Tribune adds that the strategies are part of an overall cost-cutting initiative at Sun Country. By doing away with extras like snacks and charging for baggage (even going as far as charging for using a plane's overhead bins), the airline can lower the initial cost of the ticket, attracting customers looking for low prices. Though there's no news on where Sun Country will be expanding, fliers looking for no-nonsense travel and rock-bottom prices should keep an eye out for any announcements.