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I Did the Spirit Airlines Bare Fare… For Science!

I paid a mere $16.11 for a one-way Spirit Airlines Bare Fare flight from Kansas City to Dallas. Crazy, right? It gets crazier… $14.24 of that ticket went to the “Government’s Cut,” (Spirit’s words, not mine) that is, various government-imposed fees and taxes. Of the remainder, a single penny went towards the base fare, with the final $1.86 going to what Spirit refers to as “Unintended Consequences of DOT Regulations.” Depending on where you sit on the regulatory fence, the actual revenue from my… ( More...

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Larry Bassett 3
I fly CLE >< MCO on Frontier quite frequently, since I have a business in Ohio and my residence in Florida. I have never had a bad experience with them, and like this article points out...I have done it for as little as $30 ROUND Trip! The average is $29 one way, and it's about a 1,000 mile trip. Yet, I hear people complaining that they don't like Frontier!
I book on line, so my only interaction is the person scanning my boarding pass, which takes a split second, and then saying goodbye when I deplane... The equipment seems much better than the regional jets on UAL, so what is there to be unhappy with?
jdmenlo 2
Worst airline I have ever flown...... Walked off a flight in FLL and drove to TPA. It seemed safer.
rdlink 2
Here's the problem. One of two things is true. Either for every story like this there are 20 where people get the "cheap" fair only to end up paying as much if not more than they would with a fare that is less stripped down. Or this model is completely unsustainable financially for the airline. The former is a form of deceptive advertising IMO, unless you're a "geek" who has hours to spend "gaming" their system. The latter will eventually level itself, but not before some corners are cut.

I understand that this model allows people to choose what they want to pay for, and is supposed to be empowering by unbundling services. But I also believe that it's taking it a bit far, and the end result is that far more travelers are frustrated by the whole thing than are pleased by it.

I just wish that we, as a traveling public would just understand that it takes money to keep these big heavy things in the air, and be willing to pay a fair price for what is still the most cost effective and amazing way to travel long distance.
Stefan Sobol 2
I used to fly Frontier MIA to IAD nonstop regularly. It was cheaper than anyone else and included 1 bag, a carry-on, and economy plus seating. The flight was also a decent time. Usually the flight was mostly full. However, they have discontinued this route, so I have to resort to a legacy airline :(.
SmokedChops 1
just flew DSM to LAS on Allegiant. Similar model, not quite as spend-less as Sprit. Pilot with salt and pepper hair at the front, pair of Pratt's at the rear = very routine flight (even in a 30 year old MD-82) bring your own munchies, beverage, enjoy the no frills flight. Vanguard Airlines did something similar when they first started up in DSM, round trip to ORD was $9.00 with a few stipulations - no checked bags, flight between 8:00 and 8:15 PM on the second Tuesday of next week, pay in cash at counter (this was 1993 if I recall)
We have Fares that low ALL the time on Domestic Flights in the Philippines. Some have been as low as P25 ($0.60). Flew TOTAL COST from NAIA (Manila) to Palawan Island, about 40 minutes. In a A320. For P50 ($1.10) TOTAL COST on a Promo two years ago, ROUND TRIP.
Doug Zalud 1
True. But what was your waiting time?

A year ago, my wife, father-in-law, and I flew Air Asia/Zest from NAIA to Cebu. The flight was delayed for three hours. It was an okay flight, but really? Three hours in clear weather?

Cebu Pacific is notorious for their poor on-time rating, also. Never had any trouble with PAL, though.

And with the exchange rate helps, as well with the price.
David Stark 1
It took me a minute to figure out "NAIA" for RPLL. I got it. :)
Ivo Janssen 1
This mirrors my experience with RyanAir in Europe. For GBP20 I flew from MST (EHBK) to Stansted (EGSS), leaving my bed in mainland Europe at 5am CEST, and ready for my morning meeting in Central London at 9am BST. The only reasonable return flight was with KLM tho, so traveling from Heathrow to Amsterdam Schiphol for EUR150 or so, and then a 3 hour train ride back to my house would take almost all day. Go RyanAir!
Mitchel Bass 1
i wouldn't fly Spirit for free. The worst customer friendly airline out there.
CaptBmckay 1
That is very interesting in deed

[This poster has been suspended.]

pirahna432 17
Actually Spirit pilots are pretty well compensated. Much, much better than the regional pilots you fly with when you buy a ticket from Delta or American.
Larry Bassett 3
I have never felt that a better paid person was better than anybody else. While not flying the plane, the stewards/stewardesses on UAL's flights were the best paid and provided some of the worst service of all the airlines (Trans-Atlantic flights). I was told that those were the preferred routes and the SENIOR employees always staffed them. While I am not knocking their professionalism, the other airlines with younger, less experienced, lower paid people were always more pleasant to deal with... And it did not matter what the ticket price was!
Ken Moskowitz 1
The difference is that when you are young and inexperienced you have something to write about in Flying Magazine's "I learned about flying from that" column. An older more seasoned professional is worth more money flying a larger aircraft, i.e. A320, B737 vs a Bombardier CRJ200. Btw steward/stewardess is an outdated. They are called Flight Attendants now. My experience with United both as a passenger recently as another pilot jumpseating was always a good experience.

SmokedChops 4
agreed - pay the front seat occupants very well. My dad used to tell me "If you don't want circus personnel, don't pay peanuts"


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