Our flight to Santa Clara, Cuba on Sunwing was scheduled for 6:15am. While I am no stranger to surviving early flights with baby, this would be a REALLY early flight and Sunwing with baby and pre-schooler experience. Luckily my pre-schooler was so excited that she bounded out of bed at 3am. The baby had already inexplicably been up since 1:30am (and so had Mama!), so this would officially be my first travel day since the olden days where I would be operating on 1 hour of sleep. In the olden days I’d stay up all night by choice!
Our very first trip with baby was with a charter, Skyservice – which went out of business last year. While we found that experience surprisingly pleasant, their seat pitch + my 6’7″ husband + a lap baby = a VERY uncomfortable flight. My husband literally did not fit in the seats and our daughter was almost whacked in the head in the head several times by an inconsiderate passenger in a seat that technically reclined, even though there was no room to do so.
So the first thing I did when I realized we’d be flying Sunwing with baby, is fork over an additional $100 each for their Elite Premium Package – an additional 6 inches of legroom (from 29″ seat pitch to 35″) plus various pre-boarding advantages, check in privileges, and extra baggage weight. When we arrived at the airport at 4am and faced a line-up down the terminal, my husband said it was worth the 300 bucks right there not to have to wait in that line.
The service on Sunwing there and back was excellent – very friendly – and I appreciated (although probably didn’t need) the free glass of champagne. On the flight back, there was a change table in the washroom at the front of the plane (even the flight attendant was surprised), and they had milk for Bub’s bottle. When we flew home from Jamaica on WestJet a few months back, Bub drained his bottle and could’ve used more. WestJet did not have plain milk and I was sorely tempted to use the little ones meant for coffee to make up a bottle! (Although, I must add that WestJet with baby is a very good!) There is no seat-back entertainment on Sunwing, but with the extra legroom Bub was able to play on the floor for a bit.
It feels unusual to be served meals on a flight these days, but charters still do so we had breakfast on the way down, and lunch on the way back. The distraction of food always helps kill time on flights, and I must say the penne with roasted vegetables was pretty good! Free wine with lunch!
When travelling with a lap infant on Sunwing, you are not alloted any additional baggage allowance, but you are allowed to check two pieces per person so you can include your travel crib and additional baby gear with that. There was no issue gate-checking our stroller. Each fare paying passenger is allowed a free combined baggage allowance (checked and carry–on combined) of 25kg per passenger. Elite Plus passengers are allowed a free combined baggage allowance of 35kg per fare paying passenger. All paying passengers may travel with up to 2 pieces of checked baggage and one carry on bag. We had an additional diaper bag with us, but no one seemed to notice or mind.
So I am happy to say that our experience on Sunwing with a baby was a positive one! Do keep in mind that the additional $300 for the upgrade to Elite Plus added more than 15% to the cost of our trip, but we thought it was well worth it. The only thing that bugs me about Sunwing is that if you search prices for flights or packages on their site, they do not include the taxes until you are ready to check out, so the low prices feel deceptively deflated. That will soon change with the updated mandate by the govenment to publish full prices.