Sun Country Airlines Baggage Fees: How to Avoid Paying Them [2021]

If you’re taking more than a personal item, you’ll likely pay baggage fees on Sun Country Airlines — here’s what you can do to save on these fees.
Last updated May 26, 2021 | By Sarah Li Cain
Two suitcases at the airport

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Although not as well known as other major airline carriers, you’ve likely come across Sun Country Airlines if you live in the Midwest — the company is based in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul and flies to more than 50 popular destinations, including the sunny Caribbean.

If you’re wondering what Sun Country Airlines baggage fees are, look no further. We’ll explain what Sun Country’s baggage policy is and how you may be able to avoid or lower your fees with various strategies including credit cards.

In this article

What is Sun Country’s baggage policy?

The good news is that Sun Country’s baggage policy is relatively straightforward compared to other airlines. Fees are applied for each bag, per person, and are priced each way. Here’s what you can expect:

Sun Country carry-on luggage fee

All Sun Country flights allow passengers to take a personal item that can fit under a seat for free. According to the Sun Country Airlines carry-on policy, this item cannot be larger than 17 inches x 13 inches x 9 inches.

Other items that can be carried on for free include certain medical equipment (such as portable oxygen concentrators approved by the Federal Aviation Administration) and mobility items (like wheelchairs and walking canes). FAA-approved car seats can be carried on free of charge as long as the child has a ticket. Car seats and strollers may also be checked at the gate free of charge. One diaper bag per infant is also allowed in addition to the passenger's personal item.

Carry-on bags stowed in overhead bins do incur fees — the exact cost depends on when you add a bag option. If you indicate you want to bring an overhead bag at the time of booking on, you’ll pay no more than $30 each way. However, if you call reservations or check in online and pay for your bag at that point, you'll pay $38. And if pay for an overhead bag while checking in at the airport, you’ll pay $45.

Carry-on items intended for the overhead bin cannot be larger than 24 inches x 16 inches x 11 inches and no more than 35 pounds. Basically, it must fit inside the sizer box, which you will find at the ticket counter or the gate. If it’s larger than these measurements, then the check-in agent has the right to check your bag, and you’ll face additional charges of up to $45.

Sun Country checked baggage fee

Sun Country Airlines charges for all checked bags. According to their baggage allowance, checked luggage should be no more than 50 pounds and 62 linear inches. Your first and second checked bag will cost you $30 each if you select that bag option during booking or when checking in online; you’ll pay $40 if you check a bag at the airport. A third checked bag will be $60, regardless of whether you pay before or at the airport.

Bags that weigh more than 50 pounds will face extra charges on top of the checked-bag fee. Overweight bag charges vary:

  • 51 to 60 pounds: +$20
  • 61 to 100 pounds: +$60

If your bag is more than 70 pounds, you won’t be able to check it on flights to and from Jamaica and Puerto Rico. Sun Country will not accept any checked luggage weighing more than 100 pounds.

Oversize bags are also subject to additional charges. Bags larger than 63 linear inches will set passengers back an additional $100. Sporting equipment will cost you $100 to check.

Some sporting equipment may be able to count as one of your checked bags, but it depends on what you’re bringing. For example, a surfboard cannot be longer than five feet and cannot be counted as a normal checked bag, but one hockey bag with five bundled sticks can. Musical instruments may count as an overhead item or as a checked bag. Call Sun Country Reservations at 651-905-2737 to find out what fees you might pay when transporting special items.

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How to lower or avoid Sun Country baggage fees

Just because you have checked or overhead bags doesn’t mean you have to pay those fees. There are ways to receive a discount on bag fees — or avoid them altogether — when you're on a Sun Country Airlines flight.

1. Only pack a personal item

Sun Country doesn’t charge you for a bag you can stow under your seat. For short trips, limiting your luggage to one personal item could save you $60 or more round trip compared to what it would cost if you brought additional bags.

2. Pay for baggage during booking

Paying for Sun Country Airline baggage fees before you head to the airport could save you money on fees — $20 or more round trip. Also, weigh your bags before checking in to make sure you’re not above the weight restrictions for both overhead and checked bags, otherwise you could be slapped with additional fees.

3. Join Sun Country Rewards

Sun Country Rewards is the airlines’ loyalty program — with it, you can earn points that can be redeemed for things like bag options. One hundred points can be redeemed for $1 worth of Sun Country purchases.

Once you join the program, you can start earning points each time you book a Sun Country flight through the Sun Country website or book a Sun Country flight through a third-party service.

4. Bring your military documentation

Active U.S. military personnel get one overhead and two checked bags for free. In addition, they get their oversized bag fees waived for their first two checked bags. To qualify, you need to present your valid Common Access Card with “Uniformed Services” affiliation when checking in at the airport.

P.S. There are also other ways members of the military can save big by using credit cards.

5. Consider the Sun Country Visa Signature Card

While the Sun Country Visa Signature Card doesn't make our list of the best airline credit cards, it could still be a good option if you're a frequent Sun County flyer. It helps you earn points toward Sun Country trips and as a cardholder, you’ll receive 50% off your first bag if you pay for it online or by calling Sun Country Reservations.

Other perks include 10,000 anniversary bonus points, one free premium drink on flights, and priority boarding on Sun Country flights. There are also no foreign transaction fees, and points don’t expire as long as you’re a cardmember.

6. Use a general travel card

A more flexible travel credit card not associated with one brand could help nab you free checked bags on Sun Country Airlines if you take advantage of annual travel credits. 

For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers a $300 annual travel credit, which means you could be reimbursed for Sun Country costs. The Citi Prestige offers a $250 credit that can be applied toward things like baggage fees. And the Capital One Venture lets you earn rewards that you can use to "erase" your travel-related purchases, including luggage fees.

You'll want to compare offers to find the best travel credit card for your needs.

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FAQs about Sun Country baggage fees

Do you get a free checked bag with Sun Country?

Checked bags are not included with your Sun Country ticket purchase. Only items that fit under the seat are free of charge. If you need to bring a checked bag, you should purchase the option at the time of booking, since you’ll pay more if you wait until you check in online or when you get to the airport.

How much does Sun Country charge for bags?

When you fly with Sun Country, you can bring one under seat item free of charge. If you need to bring more luggage, prices vary depending on when you pay. You can bring a carry-on for $30 or less if you purchase the option at the time of booking, and your first checked bag will be $30 or less as well. Your second and third checked bag will cost $40 at the time of booking.

If you wait until you do online check-in to choose your bag option, then you’ll pay $38 for a carry-on or first checked bag. If you wait until you get to the airport, you’ll pay $45. Additional baggage can cost up to $60 when you pay at the airport, so if you need to bring extra bags, be sure to purchase the appropriate bag option when you book your ticket.

In addition, oversize baggage can cost up to $100 extra, so pay attention to both the weight and size limitations for the different bag options. In order to avoid additional fees, ensure your checked bag weighs 50 pounds or less.

Does Sun Country charge you for a carry-on bag?

Only personal items that fit under the seat can be brought onboard free of charge. A carry-on bag that you put in the overhead compartment will cost you up to $30 at the time of booking and as much as $45 if you wait until you get to the airport to pay.

If you forget to pay for carry-on baggage when you book your ticket, it’s best to pay on the website by going to My Trips, during online check-in, or by calling Reservations at the time of booking, since you’ll only pay $38 for these options. You can call Reservations at 651-905-2737, Monday through Sunday from 6am-11pm (Central Time). Please note: If you call Reservations after your booking, you will be charged a higher rate.

Does a backpack count as a personal item with Sun Country?

Yes, but your backpack must fit under the seat in front of you. That means it should be no more than 17 inches high x 13 inches wide x 9 inches deep.

How early can I check my bags with Sun Country?

You can check bags with Sun Country at the time of booking. You’ll pay more for checked bags the longer you wait, so it’s a good idea to pay for your bags when you book.

How strict is Sun Country with personal items?

Your personal item needs to fit under the seat in front of you. That means it should be no more than 17 inches high x 13 inches long x 9 inches deep.

Bottom line

Saving money on flights involves more than just the airline ticket itself. Extra costs like baggage fees can add up quickly and contribute to the cost of your trip. If you know you’ll need to take more than just a personal item, make sure to budget for overhead or checked bags. Afterward, all you’ll need to worry about is checking in and enjoying your flight.

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Author Details

Sarah Li Cain Sarah Li Cain is an experienced content marketing writer specializing in FinTech, credit, loans, personal finance, alternative investments, real estate, banking, international business and travel. Her work has appeared in Fortune 500 companies, publications and startups such as Transferwise, Wordpress, Pearson Teachability and KeyBank.