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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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BUSINESS
April 27, 2014 | By Hugo Martín
Airline mergers have put more than 70% of the nation's domestic traffic in the hands of four major carriers. But low-cost airlines still have some influence over airfares. A new study shows that when airlines such as JetBlue, Spirit, Frontier, Alaska and Southwest launch service on an existing domestic route, the average price from all carriers drops as much as 67%. It's good news for travelers, but aviation experts say most popular routes are still dominated by the four biggest carriers: United, Delta, Southwest and the soon-to-be-merged American and US Airways.
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BUSINESS
April 27, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
Florida-based Spirit Airlines has topped another unflattering ranking. A few weeks ago the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund analyzed complaint rates among passengers over the last five years. The ultra-low-cost carrier came out on top of that list. Spirit now ranks at the top again - for the rudest flight attendants. A survey of 3,400 people by the travel website Airfarewatchdog found that 26% said Spirit has the rudest flight attendants. Air Canada came in second with 14%, followed by Frontier Airlines with 11% and Virgin America with 9%. Southwest Airlines was at the bottom of the list, with only 1%. The service given by flight attendants may reflect how they are treated by airlines, according to a flight attendants union.
BUSINESS
April 27, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
Florida-based Spirit Airlines has topped another unflattering ranking. A few weeks ago the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund analyzed complaint rates among passengers over the last five years. The ultra-low-cost carrier came out on top of that list. Spirit now ranks at the top again - for the rudest flight attendants. A survey of 3,400 people by the travel website Airfarewatchdog found that 26% said Spirit has the rudest flight attendants. Air Canada came in second with 14%, followed by Frontier Airlines with 11% and Virgin America with 9%. Southwest Airlines was at the bottom of the list, with only 1%. The service given by flight attendants may reflect how they are treated by airlines, according to a flight attendants union.
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
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
April 20, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
It may be no surprise that the U.S.-based airline that has drawn the most complaints per passenger over the last five years is Spirit Airlines. After all, the Florida-based carrier is known for super-tight seating and dozens of fees, including charges for soft drinks and carry-on bags. But the executives at the ultra-low-cost carrier are probably not sweating the study results because another report released last week said that Spirit also had the highest profit margin of any U.S. carrier in 2013.
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 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
April 24, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
Americans are split on whether airport screening lines make air travel safer. But at the same time, a majority of American adults worry that faster screening lines for travelers who submit background information might jeopardize airline safety. The latest measure of the public's attitute on airport security came from a poll of 2,234 adults in the U.S. by the Harris Poll. It comes only days after a teenage boy slipped undetected onto a Maui-bound jet at Mineta San Jose International Airport.
BUSINESS
April 23, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
A South Bay woman who sued the Transportation Security Administration over the way agents treated her for trying to bring breast milk on a plane said she won a settlement. The woman, Stacey Armato, said the TSA agreed to pay her $75,000 to settle the suit, as well as retraining all screeners to better treat travelers carrying breast milk. "That's a big deal," she said in an interview. "I expect a lot of changes. " TSA officials declined to comment, saying the settlement has not been finalized and the agency still has 30 days to request a dismissal.
BUSINESS
April 22, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
Pilots for JetBlue Airlines, the nation's sixth largest carrier, voted Tuesday to unionize after rejecting two previous union votes. The more than 2,600 pilots, with a vote of about 71%, agreed to join the Air Line Pilots Assn. International, which already represents more than 50,000 pilots at 31 carriers in the U.S. and Canada. Until the vote, JetBlue was the last major airline without union representation. The New York-based airline was founded in 1999. Best airlines, worst airlines: JetBlue tops survey as scores slide “ALPA welcomes the JetBlue pilots,” said Capt.
BUSINESS
April 22, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
A national study on customer satisfaction suggests that passenger satisfaction ratings slump after airlines undergo a merger with another carrier. The nation's top airlines received a combined score of 69 on a 1-to-100 scale, below the average scores for banks, insurance companies, gas stations, hotels and the U.S. Postal Service, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, an annual study released Tuesday. The airlines' score remained the same from last year's customer satisfaction score.
BUSINESS
April 20, 2014 | By Hugo Martin
It may be no surprise that the U.S.-based airline that has drawn the most complaints per passenger over the last five years is Spirit Airlines. After all, the Florida-based carrier is known for super-tight seating and dozens of fees, including charges for soft drinks and carry-on bags. But the executives at the ultra-low-cost carrier are probably not sweating the study results because another report released last week said that Spirit also had the highest profit margin of any U.S. carrier in 2013.
BUSINESS
April 20, 2014 | By Hugo Marti­n
If you thought airlines could find no new ways to squeeze more passengers into each plane, you are underestimating the resolve of the airline industry. At this month's Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany, many of the 500 exhibitors were promoting new ideas to cut down on weight - to save fuel - and innovative layouts to fit more seats per cabin. Among the concepts offered at the expo was a set of seats that put passengers face to face; seats that are installed in a staggered, diagonal layout, and lavatories designed to wedge in a few extra passengers in the back of the cabin.
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...
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.
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.
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