01. Introduction: San Diego to Minneapolis on Sun Country and Delta Airlines
02. Sun Country 737-700 first class San Diego to Minneapolis
03. Delta Airlines 737-800 first class Minneapolis to Salt Lake City
04. Delta Airlines 737-800 first class Salt Lake City to San Diego
It’s that time of year again. Time to put everything on hold for a couple weeks and get the family together to enjoy the Christmas and New Year holidays! I grew up in a family that always went overboard with Christmas and everything that came with it (decorations, family gatherings, holiday music, food), and that experience has certainly rubbed off on me – I still tend to go overboard these days, and I always look forward to this time of year with fond memories from my own childhood.
Now that my sister and I are adults living away from home, we usually converge on my parent’s place in West Palm Beach Florida for Christmas – and as a matter of fact, it’s been a tradition since they first moved there from Michigan in 2001. Sure it’s kind of weird celebrating Christmas in a warm weather climate, but I certainly never complained all that much because cold weather was never really my thing. Unfortunately, my sister’s family had a schedule conflict this year and we had to move our annual get-together to her place in Minnesota instead. Yikes! We normally go to her house in November every year for Thanksgiving, and it’s always brutally cold by then. December is usually worse…
No matter though. I’m happy to travel nearly anywhere in any kind of weather, so I don’t have any problem dealing with a few cold days in Minnesota. And besides, I’ve been wanting to give Sun Country Airlines a try and their convenient nonstop flights to MSP from SAN are nearly perfect for this sort of trip. I say “nearly” because their schedule isn’t as robust as Delta’s is, and there’s no picking and choosing the best flights at the best times. There’s one Sun Country flight between San Diego and Minneapolis a day, so you gotta take it or leave it.
The outbound flight was actually very convenient, departing San Diego at mid day and arriving in Minneapolis in the early evening. The return to San Diego wasn’t as nice. That flight departs MSP just before 9am, which is too early considering that my sister lives two hours from the airport. The weather could be bad, and I’d have a rental car to return, so I really didn’t want to deal with it. Good thing MSP is a Delta hub – they have plenty of flights to San Diego at all times of the day so the choice was obvious: SAN-MSP on Sun Country, and MSP-SAN on Delta. Problem solved.
Here’s the itinerary I ended up with:
12/28/15 SY402 first class San Diego to Minneapolis – 737-700
12/31/15 DL2379 first class Minneapolis to Salt Lake City – 737-800
12/31/15 DL2429 first class Salt Lake City to San Diego – 737-800
As you can see, I didn’t go for one of the many available nonstop Delta MSP-SAN flights. Yeah, it would have been nice to go nonstop, but I had to choose a layover in Salt Lake City in order to get the departure time out of MSP I wanted. Oh well. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to SLC, so I didn’t mind the thought of a brief visit.
No, this isn’t the most exotic of trips, but at least I got to add Sun Country to my flight log! Not only that, this trip was a perfect opportunity to try and figure out what kind of airline Sun Country really is. Do they consider themselves to be a low cost carrier? Or are they trying to compete with the major legacy airlines? I honestly had no idea before this trip began, so let me show you what I found…