The Seat: Remember the old Barcalounger or La-Z-Boy recliner your parents had in the basement? That’s what these seats aboard the Sun Country Airlines 737-800 remind me of in a way. Sure they don’t have a lever on the side that puts them into a full recline (and no, there’s no bumper pool table in first) but these are big, well padded and comfortable seats. The wooden lever in this case is just a typical silver button, but for a domestic first class seat provides a pretty healthy recline. Normally it might be a little annoying if the person in front of you is reclined this far, but these seats provide a few extra inches of space (compared to similar first class cabins) so it’s not much of a bother. Those few extra inches are good news for your knees too.
Service: From the gate to goodbye, I’ve come to expect pretty outstanding service from Sun Country. It helps that I’m originally from Minnesota, so I tend to be friendly with flight attendants and gate agents while catching up on hometown news and gossip.
Food: Getting hot food on a ride from New York to Minneapolis seems like a special treat. Last time I flew Delta in first (from LaGuardia) it was a bagel and cheerios. Last time I flew American (also from LaGuardia) I got coffee and a cup of warmed nuts. A relatively decent meal adds to the experience and value and while trucking to JFK isn’t quite as convenient for me, the little things add to keep Sun Country in the mix when booking.
Notes: Sun Country has been a pretty good choice for vacation travelers in the Twin Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul) for years. With the airline expanding it’s year round service to New York and a few other domestic spots, I see them as a great alternative with affordable options for upgrades and some increasingly good on-board options for both first and economy classes.
Summary: 2D is a typical first class seat aboard this aircraft. If it looks like you’ll be without a bulkhead in front of seats 1A or 1C, You might want to grab one or both of them as there’s a ton of room to stretch out. Regardless I found the typical seat in first to be roomy and comfortable.
Rating: 4 hops (of 5).
Strategy: Sun Country allows for you to upgrade (space available) to first during check-in, at the gate or even on-board. Prices vary, but are very competitive compared to upgrade prices aboard other carriers.
How I got it: This was a last minute booking in coach, so I upgraded the moment I got to the gate. Right around $100 got me up front on this Minneapolis – New York hop. Book at Sun Country’s website.