Budget airlines routinely charge such fees to avoid taxes and thus boost profit
Minneapolis-based Sun Country Airlines charges a $44, round-trip booking fee online, something the carrier has done for a year and a half but customers only recently discovered this week.
Some passengers thought this was a lack of transparency from the airline, though it's the same fee other low-cost carriers had already implemented. What's more, the company said it's also baked into the advertised price - no surprise add-ons at checkout - but Sun Country just doesn't explicitly break out the applicable taxes and fees from the base fare during the booking process, as other carriers do.
Kyle Potter, editor of Thrifty Traveler, discovered and wrote about Sun Country's "passenger interchange fee" - charged since April 2022 - after a recent reader tip. Sun Country Airlines Chief Marketing Officer Brian Davis maintained the leisure carrier's listed fare hadn't change because of the fee.