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Happy Birthday to Us: 35 Years of Flying, 35 Reasons We Love What We Do

  • January 17, 2018
  • By Brittany, Communications Team
Happy Birthday to Us: 35 Years of Flying, 35 Reasons We Love What We Do

We can’t believe we’ve been flying for 35 years. To put that in perspective, when we started flying, a postage stamp was 20 cents. A bag of cheese puffs was only 89 cents. Cost of a gallon of gas? 91 cents(!). Michael Jackson released his groundbreaking album Thriller and the first issue of USA Today was published. Braided belts and orchid jewelry were in style for women. Plaid pants and boat shoes were in style for men. Children played with tape recorders and Matchbox cars, arcade tabletop games, and pinball.

We can’t believe it’s been 35 years since a small group of pilots and flight attendants in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, started Sun Country Airlines®. The small group, one that once flew for Braniff International Airways, were joined by a few area businessmen and MLT Vacations when the Sun Country colors lifted off, quite literally in 1983, with a maiden flight between Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Las Vegas, Nevada.

Throughout our 35 years lifting spirits and hearts across the United States, in an industry that’s seen its share of changes, Sun Country® has adapted throughout the years, opening new routes and taking fellow vacationers and Minnesotans alike to the beaches of Mexico, Costa Rica, and the Caribbean.

As Minnesota’s Hometown Airline™, we’re so elated to count each year, one by one, with all we love about flying:

#1. Our employee love.

Our employees make us who we are today. We have mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and all family alike that work with us every day.

#2. The support of our hometown.

Many of our travelers are from Minnesota and the hometown love is always strong.

#3. The passion of our hometown.

We created our Hometown Lakes Project based on this passion. People here spend summers cherishing Minnesota and supporting local is a daily practice. We were so excited to reflect that through the campaign.

#4. We visit more than 40 destinations a year.

As our destinations list grows, we always get excited to spread our wings to new places. The most recent new destinations are already making us smile from wing tip to wing tip.

#5. Four words: from snow to beach. Okay, three more words: all winter long.

Since our hub is Minneapolis/St. Paul, pointing our nose toward the beaches of Mexico, Costa Rica, and the Caribbean never gets old. One minute we’re deicing our wings, the next they’re bathing in sunshine!

#6. The history in our wear.

Something you may not know about us is the fun history in our aprons. Joan, Sun Country’s number one flight attendant (and also part of the Braniff group that started the airline), designed the aprons our flight attendants still wear during our in-flight service.

#7. All the stories.

Whenever we travel, while we meet the coolest people, we also discover the most amazing stories. From Rosie the Riveter flying with us, to one of our flight attendants surprising his dad on an Honor Flight, every day holds a new tale to tell. And if we’re being honest, happy tears are usually paired with them.

#8. Meeting our Sun Country Explorers.

After launching our Sun Country Explorers campaign a few years ago, we’ve been able to follow the travels of local influencers. We’ve flown several Minnesota influencers to international shores and coast to coast. They discovered fresh lunch stops in Fort Myers, admired the peaceful beaches of Los Cabos, and strolled through the snow-speckled mountains in Denver. All in the name of travel.

#9. Watching Minneapolis/St. Paul, Terminal 2 grow.

We remember with nostalgia the days of Humphrey Terminal. Now, as Terminal 2, we love occupying the gates with our blue and orange tails. The terminal has expanded so much over the years and has grown into a buzzing local favorite. With tasty local restaurants and shops and beautiful art installations, we’re happy to call it home.

#10. We still fly to our first destination.

Our maiden flight out of Sioux Falls was indeed to Las Vegas. And, we still fly there today! In fact, it’s one of our most popular destinations.

#11. We love our Flight to the North Pole.

This special flight warms our heart every single year. Even more charmingly so, our crew gets into the festivities! Here’s why.

#12. Our team has always been passionate about the community.

We’re always looking for ways to give back. This year, Ufly® Rewards members were able to donate to the American Red Cross disaster relief. We also sent more than 16,000 diapers and wipes south for hurricane relief to the Texas Diaper Bank. We’re always happy to give our community the chance to give back. It’s why we do what we do.

#13. Wing It!™ Tuesday. Because everyone loves it with us.

We have to admit, one of our favorite things to do is post Wing It!™ Tuesday deals. We know the community anticipates it every week and (well) it encourages travel. What’s better than that!? Curious? We post it every Tuesday on our website and all social channels.

#14. All the #SCASkyView photos.

Thank goodness for cell phone cameras. We love watching a new #SCASkyView pop up on our feed. From snow-covered Minnesota to open-ocean Aruba, they’re always beautiful.

#15. Inaugural flight celebrations.

Whenever we take off to a new destination, we have to celebrate! That’s half the fun, anyway. Besides, we are known for celebrating with donuts or cupcakes, even if it’s super early in the morning. It’s never too early for frosting.

#16. That one time we saw the total solar eclipse.

The beauty of what we do can take us wherever we need to be to witness history. So, we flew to Nebraska in 2017 to do just that. And it was incredible.

#17. Spotting Sun Country planes all these years taking off/landing in Minneapolis.

We must say, we’re tickled every time we see our orange tail descending towards the runway. Seeing our planes taking off gives us goosebumps, too.

#18. Flying charters to support our troops across the world.

Always. We love what we do every day because of the brave men and women who serve our country. Thank you.

 #19. We always have an excuse to travel.

This is kind of an easy one, but our office window is plane-window shaped and always has a view above the clouds. And time literally flies when we’re up in the skies. We’re grateful for that every day. Besides, when in doubt – vacation!

#20. That one time we walked around the airport and gave flowers to all the moms on Mother’s Day.

Because, flowers make people happy. And our traveling moms deserve a smile.

#21. Remembering when our flight attendant uniforms were pink.

It’s true! They were!

#22. We love our compass.

As you may know, our logo is in the shape of a compass. Why? Because we travel every point of the compass every day and love to do so.

#23. Remembering our Boeing 727-200 (our very first plane).

The aircraft had the latest 727 interiors with the new wide-body look and 170 seats. When service began, travelers were served either a continental breakfast or a deluxe wine basket: deli sandwiches, fruit, crackers, miniature mints, and a bottle of Chenin Blanc or Burgundy. Our 1982 brochure read: We hope you’ll soon be enamored with our warm and personal service, and that you capture the “Sun Country Feeling” soon after take-off.

 #24. Speaking of plane, we’ll always love that blimp.

What’s orange and blue, very round, and floating around Minnesota Gopher hockey games and Minnesota Timberwolves games? That Sun Country blimp. We love that guy.

 #25. Watching new classes of pilots and flight attendants graduate.

It never gets old to watch our new hires get their wings. The training part is pretty fun, too.

#26. The benefits and ease of our Ufly Rewards program.

We love our frequent flyer program and know you will love it, too. You can earn points on all your Sun Country travel purchases: flights, vacation packages, and more. Psst … subtle plug, you can learn more about joining here.

#27. We are always finding ways to make travel easier.

With the Sun Country Airlines® Visa Signature® Card, we think there are almost as many ways to earn Ufly Rewards points as there are Sun Country destinations. According to this article, we do love a good list (wink, wink). Apply here.

#28. Creating our Sun Country Connections™ in-flight brochure.

We love to see our brochure peeking out of our seatback pockets month by month. It holds all things travel tips and sunny destinations, a practice we fondly live by every day.

#29. Appreciating our crew during those winter months.

Without all the deicing men and women working hard throughout the entire Minnesota winter, we wouldn’t be able to get anyone somewhere warm. Everyone yell a virtual “thank you!” through the computer. Okay, don’t do that if you’re at work. Either way, we appreciate them.

 #30. First-time flyers.

We have certificates and wings we hand out to our first-time flyers and it’s one of the most favorite things we do. That, next to watching them take a seat next to the captain in the cockpit. The smiles on those dreamers! Worth every second.

#31. Veteran flyers.

Our Honor Flights are some of our favorites and we love working with Honor Flight Twin Cities. When we take veterans to see their monuments in Washington, DC, there’s nothing better than seeing the smiles and good graces from these heroes.

#32. When our pilots give us a sky tour above the clouds.

We always love when we’re flying over the Grand Canyon and the pilot can point it out to us. It makes the flight that much more special, no matter our age.

#33. If you ever need an excuse to travel, we’ll help!

We’re pretty good about coming up with reasons to jet set somewhere. Let’s see if we can think of five reasons right now (deep breath): body needs Vitamin D, the sound of ocean waves are good for you, cloud surfing is cool, packing a bag isn’t that hard, and everybody deserves a vacation! See? Ready for your trip yet? Oh, also, we’re pretty sure we have a great sale going on.

#34. The simple notation that Sun Country feels like home.

The people, the stories, and the incredible tales of travel, all make us feel closer to what we love. That always makes us feel right at home.

#35. Last but, not least, celebrating our birthday every year!

Every single year as we get older, we remember why we truly do what we do. It’s the people and the family. You keep us happy and flying every single day.

For all of these reasons, we thank you!

By Brittany, Communications Team, January 17, 2018 Brittany is a member of the Communications Team at Sun Country Airlines. Her favorite things about Sun Country are the close-knit family vibe and the passion behind the people, as if the employees and customers grew up loving the “airline next door.” Her favorite destination? The whimsical forests and rain of Seattle’s coast.
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Brittany, Communications Team

Brittany is a member of the Communications Team at Sun Country Airlines. Her favorite things about Sun Country are the close-knit family vibe and the passion behind the people, as if the employees and customers grew up loving the “airline next door.” Her favorite destination? The whimsical forests and rain of Seattle’s coast.

  • LaVern Swisher
    January 20, 2018

    I personally know one of your pilots and his family.They are such a great family and you’re lucky to have them.They give Sun Country a good name.

  • Annie
    May 25, 2018

    How do I become a Sun Country Explorer!!?

  • Taylor, Social Media
    May 29, 2018

    Hi Annie! Feel free to send an email to Brittany on our Marketing Team for more info. Her email address is, thanks!

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