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Leaked Documents Suggest JetBlue Could Drive Spirit Prices 40% Higher

Documents reportedly redacted incorrectly in a class-action lawsuit suggest once the JetBlue-Spirit Airlines merger is complete, prices could significantly increase.
Flyers accustomed to lower, “unbundled” fares aboard Spirit Airlines may be forced to pay much more for their tickets if the merger with JetBlue is completed.


Law360 reports the plan to hike airfares was revealed in documents incorrectly redacted and submitted by the class action plaintiffs in a class action against JetBlue.


Leaked Information Reveal Flight Prices Could Jump Between 25% to 40%

After winning over Spirit Airlines’ board in a competition against fellow ultra-low-cost-carrier Frontier Airlines, the New York-based carrier has been quiet about their plans. Once the merger was announced, a group of flyers took JetBlue to federal court in Massachusetts, arguing that the merger may result in violations of antitrust laws. The case is still being litigated, and no decision has been made for either party.


While nothing has been formally announced, a purported document erroneously redacted by the plaintiffs’ attorneys and submitted to the court arguing against the carrier’s motion for summary judgement could project what JetBlue has in mind for Spirit. The document is no longer available in the public docket.


If the new all-Airbus airline were to form, the plaintiff’s document alleges former Spirit aircraft would not only receive a new coat of paint, but also see 24 seats removed from each aircraft. With 200 airframes in the Spirit fleet, that would reduce the airline’s capacity by 4,800.


The number “24” would also play into how much fares could rise compared to where they are today. The leaked document reportedly argued “JetBlue plans to increase fares on aircraft it acquires from Spirit by at least 24%.” The document reportedly further argues that they have “direct evidence” that the price hikes could be as much as 40%.


One of JetBlue’s core arguments for the merger was creating a larger airline with Spirit, providing a nationwide low-cost network operating in underserved communities. The leaked document suggests that if the current Spirit routes were to get cut – as JetBlue has promised in some situations – it could result in a market-wide price hike of 30%.


The plaintiffs in the case, JetBlue, or Spirit Airlines have not commented on the allegations from the purportedly leaked document. FlyerTalk could not retrieve an independent copy of the document from the court’s docket to independently verify the information.


Keep up with all things JetBlue and Spirit Airlines on the FlyerTalk Forums.


Feature image courtesy: JTOcchialini/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

DeltaFlyer123 September 5, 2023

Mergers are all about reducing competition solely to enable prices to increase. At this point, mergers have progressed to the point where it doesn't make much difference anyway. 

AADFW August 26, 2023

The DOJ has utterly failed the American consumer by failing to draw a line in the sand to stop consolidation in this industry. At a certain point, re-regulation is going to be not only more attractive, but the only sensible antidote to the lack of competitive tension caused by this antitrust failure. I cannot imagine a more ironic, full-circle antithesis. 

djplong August 25, 2023

So a group of flyers write up letters that make claims that include the words "plan to" (with no evidence, just claiming they have evidence, and shouldn't that be in the documents?) and "could" and none of this can be verified...This is just filler...

rylan August 25, 2023

Not surprising... nothing good will come of this merger.  Fares will of course increase significantly, and nothing will get better with the service or experience.  JetBlue has already demonstrated their own system and infrastructure can't handle their own business.  Add Spirit into the mix?  Recipie for a total disaster.

ijgordon August 25, 2023

Well what's the problem if it's a 40% better experience?