Sun Country 737-700 economy class San Diego to Minneapolis

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01. Introduction: My 90-year-old grandfather’s first flight in 48 years
02. Sun Country 737-700 economy class San Diego to Minneapolis
03. Sun Country 737-700 economy class Minneapolis to San Diego

Today was one of those days. You know, the kind that just flows by minute-by-minute and hour-to-hour as smooth as hot melted chocolate and you just can’t help but to feel good inside. I haven’t had a travel day that went this smoothly in a long time, and it was so nice to travel with absolutely no pressure and nary a hiccup the entire way. Seriously – everything went great today, and I wish I could always be like this. Let me tell you all about it…

SY402
San Diego, CA (SAN) – Minneapolis, MN (MSP)
Sunday, July 2, 2017
Aircraft: 737-752
Registration: N715SY
Duration: 3 hours, 15 minutes
Seat: 22A (economy class)

Sun country 737-700 side view

Sun Country 737-700 (N715SY) side view illustration by norebbo.com.

Sun country 737-700 seat map

Seat map (courtesy of seatguru.com) showing my seat for this flight to Minneapolis.

san diego to minneapolis route map

Our route from SAN to MSP this afternoon: ZZOOO1 IPL J18 PXR J44 RSK KD54W ONL SSWAN TORGY3

Here’s the video I created to document this flight:

This flight to Minneapolis wasn’t scheduled to depart until 12:55pm, which gave me ample time to be lazy a bit in the morning. I say “a bit” since my idea of being lazy usually involves exercise of some kind (bike rides or running), but I did sleep in a little so I guess that qualifies as proper laziness! Anyway, being able to start a busy travel day with some exercise usually puts me in a pretty good mood so I was already feeling like the king of the hill even before I got to the airport.

SAN terminal 2 entrance

If you’ve read any of my prior trip reports, this view of the entrance to terminal 2 west here at SAN should look familiar. Perhaps I should write the airport authority a note to see if they wouldn’t mind making some changes that would add some variety to my trip reports…

San Diego airport arrivals level

Yup. This looks the same as well.

Sun country Airlines check in San Diego

The Sun Country check in counters are at the far (west) end of terminal 2 west.

The goodness continued in very large doses once I arrived. The security line took all of 5 minutes to get through, and there wasn’t even a line at my favorite food spot here at SAN. I swear Camden Food Co. isn’t paying me to say this, but starting any trip with a Heathwhich panini swimming around in my belly is the perfect amount of fuel I need to keep me going throughout the day. Well, for a few hours at least.

SANspotter airport selfie SAN

Breakfast has been devoured. Now what?

I had a bit of extra time to kill after breakfast, but doing a lot of plane spotting all over terminal 2 west is a great way to stay busy. I remember back in my aviation photography days spending all day here walking the entire terminal back and forth taking pics of anything that moved, and I specifically remember thinking that the time just flew by. I guess that means that you can put an airplane in front of my face and I’ll be mesmerized for hours. Or something like that…

Sun country gate San Diego airport

Everything looking good and on time. So far so good!

N715sy sun country San Diego airport

The subject of today’s trip report: N715SY sporting what I consider to be one of the best airline liveries – ever.

Sun country Airlines San Diego airport

Looks like it’s gonna be a full flight this afternoon.

Sun country Airlines gate terminal 2 west SAN

If it were January, this scene would look entirely different. You don’t dress this lightly flying to Minnesota in the dead of winter!

Boarding was called right on time, which was completely expected based on how my day had been going so far. It seemed as if nothing could go wrong today, and I didn’t want to jinx it, but I just knew that the rest of the day was going to be just as good. Let’s not get ahead of myself though. Here are some pics of the boarding process.

Boarding sun country flight San Diego airport

I know I’ve used “mmoooo!” as a caption for this kind of boarding pic before, so I’ll refrain from doing it again. But it’s just so appropriate…

San Diego airport terminal 2 jet bridge

Keep your eye on the guy in orange. You’ll see him a lot from here on out (we ended up being in the same row).

Sun country 737 livery

That livery!

Sun country 737 boarding door

By now I was thinking that perhaps I should have worn a Sun Country orange shirt to match the livery as well.

The interior of these Sun Country 737-700s isn’t much to rave about, but it did hurt me a little inside as I walked past the first class seats and shuffled my way back to the bowels of economy class. My last and only flight on Sun Country thus far was in first class, which was actually a really good experience that I would love to try again sometime. I wasn’t as lucky today, but no worries – the way this day was going, you could have strapped me to the roof and I would’ve been just as happy.

Sun Country 737-700 economy class

Sun Country 737-700 cabin showing the first two rows of first class, and then economy. There are no dividers separating the two sections.

Sun Country 737-700 economy class seats

Sun Country 737-700 economy class seats.

Sun Country 737-700 leg room

Sun Country 737-700 seat pitch. Not that bad actually.

Boarding process sun country 737-700

I had a pretty good view of the boarding process from way back here.

It was completely full load today, but luckily there were no screaming kids or annoying seatmates anywhere to be found. At least in my row. Pushback and take off was as beautiful as ever as it is here in San Diego.

Sun country 737-700 safety card

Hold on a sec. Before we get out of here, we need to peruse the safety card.

Sun country 737-700 safety card back

This is the back side. Got it? Ok then, it’s time to fly!

Sun country pushback San Diego airport

Pushback. That Air Canada Rouge A321 will play a minor role in my next trip report…

taxiing to runway 27 at SAN

The typical scenery when taxiing to runway 27 at SAN.

Sun country takeoff SAN

Actually, this is more typical of the ground scenery here at SAN. Southwest dominates this place! Starting our takeoff roll now…

Departing San Diego airport

One, two, three, fou….hey, wait! I didn’t get a chance to count them all!

Flying over Point Loma San Diego

If you’re looking for a “must see” thing to do on your next trip to San Diego, Cabrillo National Monument at the tip of Point Loma is it.

San Diego airport departure

A nice look back as we make the big left hand turn towards the east.

San Diego from the air

So long San Diego – I’ll see you again later in the week!

 Flying over Salton Sea

Passing just south of the Salton Sea on our way out of Southern California.

Cabin service started roughly 20 minutes after departure, but with me being all the way back here in row 22, it was a bit of a wait before the flight attendants reached our row with that snack and beverage cart. But I was perfectly content to wait – after all, I still had that awesome Healthwhich churning inside of me keeping me happy and feeling not at all anxious for a cup of water and a cheap economy class snack.

 Sun country flight attendants

Anxiously watching the flight attendants make their way to us way back here.

 Sun country airlines in-flight menu

While I’m waiting, I might as well check out the in-flight menu. That sandwich does not look appetizing at all.

Sun country airlines drink menu

The drinks menu on the left, and the movie listing on the right (for those who rented the portable movie players / tablets).

Sun country airlines snack service

Ok, well, that’ll do. No fancy in-flight dining for me today!

 Flying over western US Sun country airlines

Enjoying a nice view with my cup of water.

 Sleeping airline passengers

My seatmates were a bit less enthusiastic about that view, however.

SANspotter airplane selfie Sun country airlines

They don’t know what they were missing. It sure was pretty down there!

The flyover states rolled beneath us one by one as we pushed east, but there was a bit of weather out there which blocked much of the view along the way. No worries though. I mean, how often do we get to look down on clouds, right? I find it kind of sad that flying is the equivalent of an annoying bus ride to most people, and somewhere along the way the miracle of flight has been lost. What the heck happened? Not too many passengers seem interested in looking out the window these days. Weird I tell ya.

Fly over states Jason Aldean

I’m not a country music fan at all, but I always get the urge to listen to Fly Over States whenever flying over…fly over states.

 Sun country 737-700 interior

The view from 22A.

 Flying over clouds Sun country winglet

Although it was cloudy for much of the way across the country, I still thought it looked pretty amazing out there.

 Flying around storms

Dodging some gnarly storms.

It had been a very long time since I was last in Minnesota during the summer, and I completely forgot how green and beautiful it can be way up here. And those lakes! They weren’t kidding when they said that Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, and I could almost hear the buzzing of mosquitoes flying about as we made our approach into to MSP. Make no mistake about it folks – this is mosquito country, and you don’t dare going outside unprotected this time of year.

 Minnesota land of 10,000 lakes

Go ahead and try to count all those lakes. I dare you!

 Minnesota green summer

For a San Diegan like me, greenery like this is a sight to see. Reminds me of my time growing up in Michigan!

Flying over MSP airport

Nice view of MSP down there as we make our downwind approach.

 Landing at MSP airport

I wonder how many mosquitoes we sucked up and cooked during this approach?

 Touchdown at MSP airport

Welcome to Minneapolis St. Paul!

It was a beautifully hot and sunny summer afternoon here at MSP when we touched down, and as we were taxiing into the terminal I turned on my phone and I saw that my mother had texted me a photo of my grandfather enjoying a drink on the flight from Atlanta to Minneapolis. They were about an hour behind me, and all along I was curious as to how he was doing on the trip so far. I wasn’t worried though. As I said in the introduction to this trip report, this guy plays golf and bowls twice a week, so a two and a half hour plane ride should’ve been easy for him. And it was.

 Sun country airlines MSP airport

Such a beautiful afternoon here at MSP!

Apparently we were the first plane to arrive for this early evening bank of flights, because the terminal was completely empty when we docked – but one by one the rest of those gates filled with other bright blue and orange Sun Country 737s coming in from all over the place. They run a pretty good operation here at MSP, and their terminal almost feels like a small regional airport rather than the huge monstrosity that it is over on the Delta side. It’s kind of refreshing actually.

 Sun country airlines 737-800

Yup. That Sun Country livery is definitely one of the best.

 Sun country 737-700 economy interior

Waiting.

Sun country 737-700 full interior

Making a break for it!

So what are my thoughts on Sun Country economy class? Remember when I said that I thought Sun Country first class is better than Delta first class? Well, I can almost say the same for economy. I found a flight attendants to be generally happier (subjective I know), but the seats and the snacks were exactly the same. The only real advantage that Delta has over Sun Country in economy is the in-flight entertainment product. With Delta, you get a big video screen in the seat back in front of you, and most content is free. If you want to watch a video on Sun Country, you have to pay to rent a digital video player. That’s not a big deal to me, but it may be for some. I’d still choose sun country over Delta when flying to Minneapolis – in any class.

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