Low Cost Airlines vs Ultra Low Cost Airlines

A recently completed project involved comparing Spirit Airlines with competitors Southwest and Jet Blue. I looked at a number of features and characteristics: # of Destinations, Hubs, Fleet Size, Aircraft Types, Fares/Fees/Surcharges, Frequent Flyer Programs, Domestic Market Share, and Skytrax Rank. In the low cost airline market, Spirit has only one advantage and that is ultra low fares. In all other areas Spirit ranks below both Southwest and Jet Blue. The flying public is becoming accustomed to unbundled services and new fees seem to pop up on every flight. Spirit charges for all “extras” and cites their ultra low fares as justification. Ultra low fares means that Spirit must be aggressive in controlling costs. This can lead to service issues and customer complaints reflected in Skytrax ratings. Southwest and Jet Blue are low cost airlines which project perceived value for relatively low fares. This is crucial in attracting business flyers. If Spirit wishes to expand beyond their current vacation traveler clientele they may need to adjust their business model.


Spirit Airlines Comparison