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BUSINESS
May 6, 2012 | By Hugo Martin
Florida-based Spirit Airline has come under harsh criticism in the last month for its penny-pinching ways, but the carrier continues to expand its network and post sizable profits. Passenger rights groups cried foul last week when Spirit announced that starting Nov. 6 the cost to bring a carry-on bag on a flight will be $100 when paid at the gate - more than double the current $45 fee. Spirit also raised the fees for passengers who pay for carry-on bags online or at airport kiosks.
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NEWS
February 7, 2014 | By Mary Forgione, Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
TripAdvisor this week rolled out a handy new feature to its flight search website that allows consumers to compare amenities such as legroom, Wi-Fi, power outlets and in-flight entertainment before buying a ticket. It also features traveler-generated photos of the airplane inside and out. Here's how it works: Enter your destination search on the Cheap Flights search page. Then filter on what amenities you want -- onboard Wi-Fi, television, power -- or just do a general airfare search and the information will pop up with the list of flights.
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BUSINESS
January 27, 2012 | By Hugo Martin
The U.S. Department of Transportation fined Florida-based Spirit Airlines $100,000 Friday for failing to appropriately keep track of and respond to complaints about its treatment of passengers with disabilities. Under federal rules, airlines must sort, categorize and respond in writing to all complaints regarding the treatment of passengers with disabilities. “Our rules on how airlines handle disability-related complaints are designed to help us ensure that passengers with disabilities are treated fairly when they fly,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
BUSINESS
October 1, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
If you like ultra-low airfares combined with dozens of passenger fees, get ready for the new Frontier Airlines. Republic Airways Holdings Inc. has agreed to sell the Denver-based carrier to Indigo Partners, the investors who helped finance the super-cheap carrier Spirit Airlines. Under the agreement announced Tuesday, Indigo will pay Republic $36 million in cash and take on $109 million in debt, according to a statement released by Republic Airway Holdings. Frontier, already considered a low-cost airline, is expected to adopt a business plan that will charge passengers a myriad of fees to compensate for the ultra-low fares.
BUSINESS
June 5, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
Spirit Airlines Chief Executive Ben Baldanza recently compared his Florida-based airline to a fast-food restaurant--cheap, with no frills. So it's no surprise that Spirit announced Wednesday that passengers can now relax on a flight with cheap, no-frills wine--in a can. Spirit Airlines has teamed up with another Florida company, Friends Beverage Group, makers of Friends Wine in a Can, to offer what the airline calls "delectable wine products in...
BUSINESS
May 7, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
Spirit Airlines, the Florida-based no-frills carrier that introduced fees for carry-on bags, has found another way to pass on its costs to its passengers. The airline quietly replaced its toll-free customer help numbers with regular toll-charge number. "Our new numbers are allowing us to keep our costs low, which we in turn continue to pass along to our customers by way of the ultra-low fares they have come to know and love," said airline spokeswoman Misty Pinson. Quiz: Test your knowledge about airport security The Spirit phone numbers all have 801 area codes, which corresponds to an area near Salt Lake City.
BUSINESS
July 28, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
No one ever accused Spirit Airlines of being classy. After all, the Florida-based airline sells wine in a can for $7 and has installed coach seats that don't adjust. Spirit is fortifying its brazen image with new ads that play off the birth of Britain's royal baby as well as the latest misadventures of New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner. One ad proclaims, “The Weiner rises again,” alongside an image of a hot dog wearing a mask and suggestive hat. Another shows a baby in a crown getting dropped out of a window.
BUSINESS
April 19, 2010 | By Hugo Martín
Ever since Spirit Airlines Inc. announced this month that it would add a fee of up to $45 per carry-on bag, the airline's chief executive, Ben Baldanza, has been trying to quell the resulting outrage. He went so far as to cram himself into an overhead compartment to argue that with fewer carry-on bags, the boarding process would move faster and the overhead bins would be less cluttered. The result, he said in the video of his stunt: "Everybody wins." It didn't work. Seven U.S. senators have backed proposed legislation concerning the Florida-based airline's carry-on fee. "We are going from the sublime to the ridiculous with airlines," Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D-N.
BUSINESS
May 3, 2012 | By Tiffany Hsu
Have an unexpected carry-on you need to bring on your flight? If you're traveling with Spirit Airlines Inc., it'll cost you $100. On Thursday, visitors to company's website found that fees for baggage and other consumer services are going to jump on Nov. 6 -- nearly across the board . Carry-on bag fees at the gate will cost travelers $100 -- more than double the $45 they pay now. Carry-ons noted during an online reservation will cost $35,...
NEWS
May 3, 2012 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
Spirit Airlines , the first carrier to impose fees for carry-on bags, starting in November will charge as much as $100 per bag for passengers who bring luggage to stow in the overhead bin.  It currently costs $45 if you show up at the gate with a carry-on bag. That figure will rise to $100 on Nov. 6, according to baggage fees listed on the airline's website.  Spirit has a dizzying menu of bag fees that are tied to the...
BUSINESS
August 11, 2013 | By Hugo Martín
Get ready for the takeoff of another super-cheap airline offering ultra-low fares with loads of passenger fees. Industry insiders say the new super discount airline may soon be launched with the help of Indigo Partners, the Phoenix private equity firm that invested in Spirit Airlines in 2006 and helped convince the Florida airline's chief executive, Ben Baldanza, to adopt dirt-cheap fares and abundant fees. Indigo is reportedly negotiating to buy Frontier Airlines from the Denver carrier's parent company, Republic Airways Holdings Inc. Meanwhile, Indigo has started to divest itself from Spirit, with Indigo owner William Franke and Indigo principal John Wilson resigning from the Spirit board of directors Wednesday.
BUSINESS
August 4, 2013 | By Hugo Martín
MIRAMAR, Fla. - At the headquarters for low-cost Spirit Airlines Inc., the word "cheap" is not an insult. It's a business philosophy championed by the airline's chief executive, Ben Baldanza. He demonstrates his frugal ways by switching on the lights to his office. Only a third of the light tubes are screwed into the fixtures to save on electricity. Baldanza then pulls a vacuum out of his office closet, which he uses to help save on janitorial costs. "We don't over-spend on that kind of stuff," the 51-year-old executive said with a chuckle.
BUSINESS
August 2, 2013 | By Hugo Martín
MIRAMAR, Fla. - At the headquarters for low-cost Spirit Airlines Inc., the word "cheap" is not an insult. It's a business philosophy championed by the airline's chief executive, Ben Baldanza. He demonstrates his frugal ways by switching on the lights to his office. Only a third of the light tubes are screwed into the fixtures to save on electricity. Baldanza then pulls a vacuum out of his office closet, which he uses to help save on janitorial costs. "We don't over-spend on that kind of stuff," the 51-year-old executive said with a chuckle.
BUSINESS
July 28, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
No one ever accused Spirit Airlines of being classy. After all, the Florida-based airline sells wine in a can for $7 and has installed coach seats that don't adjust. Spirit is fortifying its brazen image with new ads that play off the birth of Britain's royal baby as well as the latest misadventures of New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner. One ad proclaims, “The Weiner rises again,” alongside an image of a hot dog wearing a mask and suggestive hat. Another shows a baby in a crown getting dropped out of a window.
BUSINESS
June 5, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
Spirit Airlines Chief Executive Ben Baldanza recently compared his Florida-based airline to a fast-food restaurant--cheap, with no frills. So it's no surprise that Spirit announced Wednesday that passengers can now relax on a flight with cheap, no-frills wine--in a can. Spirit Airlines has teamed up with another Florida company, Friends Beverage Group, makers of Friends Wine in a Can, to offer what the airline calls "delectable wine products in...
BUSINESS
May 26, 2013 | By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times
The cost of flying might be going up, but this time it's not the airlines raising prices. The Obama administration has proposed raising the taxes on air travel by about $14 per flight, a move airlines strongly oppose. Higher taxes are needed to help reduce the deficit, pay for improvements at the nation's airports and add thousands of new immigration and customs officers to reduce wait times to process foreign visitors, the administration says. Airlines say higher taxes will backfire and hurt the economy.
BUSINESS
May 26, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
Life is not always smooth flying for airline executives, even with relatively stable profits and growing demand. Take Ben Baldanza, chief executive of Spirit Airlines, the no-frills carrier based in Florida. He had been scheduled to appear on CBS' “This Morning” show Wednesday. By coincidence the latest Consumer Reports airline ratings were released that same day. The survey ranked Spirit dead last by consumers and Baldanza was suddenly in the hot seat, forced to defend an airline that got a 50-point rating on a 100-point scale.
BUSINESS
April 7, 2010 | By Hugo Martin
Spirit Airlines Inc., the low-cost carrier based in Miramar, Fla., announced Tuesday that it would charge passengers as much as $45 for each piece of carry-on luggage. The move is a departure from other airlines that have added or increased fees to check luggage into the cargo bay. Most airlines have added such fees in the last two years to help make up for declining demand. Airline watchdog groups wonder whether the move by Spirit will prompt other airlines to do the same. "The real question is will other airlines follow, and will this actually be good for air travel?"
BUSINESS
May 26, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
Life is not always smooth flying for airline executives, even with relatively stable profits and growing demand. Take Ben Baldanza, chief executive of Spirit Airlines, the no-frills carrier based in Florida. He had been scheduled to appear on CBS' “This Morning” show Wednesday. By coincidence the latest Consumer Reports airline ratings were released that same day. The survey ranked Spirit dead last by consumers and Baldanza was suddenly in the hot seat, forced to defend an airline that got a 50-point rating on a 100-point scale.
BUSINESS
May 8, 2013 | By Hugo Martin
Budget cuts won't force the closure of air traffic control towers during overnight shifts, the Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday. But the federal agency said it is still uncertain whether it will be forced this summer to close towers operated by contractors at 149 small and medium-size airports, including several in Southern California. Budget cuts called for by the federal sequestration forced the FAA in April to furlough air traffic controllers for one day every two weeks.
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