Sun Country Airlines is giving its customers something to celebrate: a reduction in the cost to change flights after booking.
The Eagan-based airline announced Thursday it will waive the change or cancellation fees on all reservations 60 or more days before departure.
For travel that is less than 60 days away, the airline will significantly reduce the change fees.
It’s a policy change made possible by the airline’s new technology system, which gives customers greater control over managing their reservations online.
“We are excited to offer this flexibility to our guests as they start thinking about their holiday and spring break travel,” Jude Bricker, Sun Country’s chief executive, said in a news release.
“At Sun Country, we’re continuously focused on improving the customer experience, and we hope these changes will provide peace of mind to our guests that they have options if plans change.”
The new change fees apply to each passenger on each flight direction:
• Free if made 60 or more days before travel
• $50 if made 14 to 59 days before travel
• $100 if made less than 14 days before travel
Most airlines charge fees for changing flight reservations. Delta Air Lines, the dominant carrier at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, charges between $200 and $500 to change a nonrefundable ticket. It charges no fee on its more expensive refundable tickets.
American, United and others have their own change-fee matrices. Southwest Airlines is a notable exception, never charging a change fee.
Sun Country passengers will only be able to change their reservations online if they booked directly through Sun Country rather than a third-party aggregator, like Expedia, which takes control over the bookings away from the airlines.
Before this change, the airline charged $60 on changes made more than 60 days in advance and $120 per person, per direction on changes made closer to the date of travel.
The airline has upset some passengers in the last two years over changes to its business model that has put a strain on its customer-service relations. Last month, it changed to a new technology system aimed at modernizing the services it can provide customers, but it hit a few glitches that resulted in poor communication with customers after flight cancellations. Sun Country executives have asked its customers to stick with the airline as it works through implementation of the system.
Kristen Leigh Painter • 612-673-4767