Prices when Spirit Comes to Town

Old Dec 18, 15, 11:38 am
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Prices when Spirit Comes to Town

I just got an alert for one of my watched routes BOS-BWI with for $71 RT on Spirit. I've never seen a fare that low on JetBlue or Southwest before. Any chance that Southwest will match the new Spirit fares once they officially start up BOS-BWI?
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Old Dec 18, 15, 12:22 pm
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In April Frontier began service between ATL and MSY, their fares were consistently lower that Southwest, even if you added bag fees and seat selection fees.

They even had fare sales as low as $12.00. As far as I could ever find Southwest made no move to match their fares, even allowing for bag fees.
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Old Dec 18, 15, 4:49 pm
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The Spirit Effect

While it varies somewhat, the Spirit Effect is generally alive and well. When Spirit opens up a route, high fare airlines like Southwest will often dramatically lower their prices in order to compete. So, even if you never step foot on a Spirit plane, you will often benefit when Spirit opens service on a Southwest route. Would not be surprised to see some dramatically reduced fares on at least some SW flights from BWI-BOS, and probably to PVD and MAN as well.
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Old Dec 18, 15, 5:55 pm
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Spirit is also adding DTW-BWI. Whats interesting about that is the SY has just pulled out of LAN - BWI and WN has pulled FNT-BWI.
WN flies DTW-BWI so I wonder if the flights cost will go down.

People of Michigan need to go to Baltimore I guess....
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Old Dec 18, 15, 6:02 pm
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Fares from LA and SF to Las Vegas definitely show the effects of Spirit's presence. I wish Spirit would fly SF area to LAX, but I think they realize that Southwest would defend that market to the death.
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Old Dec 18, 15, 8:36 pm
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Originally Posted by nsx View Post
Fares from LA and SF to Las Vegas definitely show the effects of Spirit's presence. I wish Spirit would fly SF area to LAX, but I think they realize that Southwest would defend that market to the death.
Southwest will occasionally match NK and F9 on HOU-MDW/PHX although there doesn't seem to be a lot of rhyme or reason to when they do. One day I'll look and the WN fare will be around $37 then then next day it's back up then two days later it's down to $39.
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Old Dec 18, 15, 10:30 pm
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Originally Posted by rsteinmetz70112 View Post
In April Frontier began service between ATL and MSY, their fares were consistently lower that Southwest, even if you added bag fees and seat selection fees.

They even had fare sales as low as $12.00. As far as I could ever find Southwest made no move to match their fares, even allowing for bag fees.
Tou forgot the extra cost for oxygen in your calculations.....
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Old Dec 19, 15, 9:59 am
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Seeing it in CLE from WN and AA. You can routinely find round trips to DAL/DFW for anywhere between $60 and $80 during the week thanks to Spirit.
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Old Dec 19, 15, 10:22 am
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Originally Posted by nsx View Post
Fares from LA and SF to Las Vegas definitely show the effects of Spirit's presence. I wish Spirit would fly SF area to LAX, but I think they realize that Southwest would defend that market to the death.
I am not sure I agree. I belive that NK has cut their OAK -LAS flights from 3x daily to 2x, and the flight times are pretty poor. From OAK at 6am and 1400, from LAS at 11:45am and 22:00.

WN has 7x non-stops from OAK to LAS. I didn't bother counting SFO and SJC.

I did a mock booking for 8-jan. I can get a seat on NK for $35, where WN is $104, but I like WN, and if I were to *really* fly NK it would cost me $79 (carry on and seat assignment). Notice how the price doubled there.
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Old Dec 20, 15, 9:38 am
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Originally Posted by rsteinmetz70112 View Post
In April Frontier began service between ATL and MSY, their fares were consistently lower that Southwest, even if you added bag fees and seat selection fees.

They even had fare sales as low as $12.00. As far as I could ever find Southwest made no move to match their fares, even allowing for bag fees.
My observation is that Southwest is less aggressive on fare matching when it's just competing against Spirit or Frontier (at a low frequency) and maybe Delta. To an AA hub is totally different as AA is fare matching ULCCs more.

BWI-BOS has JetBlue and Spirit is going 2x daily. I think for advance fares that Southwest and JetBlue will be aggressive against Spirit. JetBlue is far more competitive on pricing nonstops than Delta would be.

However, I think Spirit will make money and rely more on bookings within 2-3 weeks of travel. In the summer, the BOS-WAS market swells. JetBlue and Southwest likely won't sell dirt cheap tickets 2-3 days ahead of travel.

For last minute booked tickets, Spirit will charge a fare that's competitive to the leisure traveler, when Southwest and JetBlue are just selling fares tolerable for the business traveler.

Southwest charges even higher on BWI-PVD/MHT for non advance bookings.

Just look at tomorrow (which will have higher than normal travel because of the holidays) for example
BWI-BOS $169 WGA fare
BWI-MHT/PVD $214 WGA fare
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Old Dec 20, 15, 9:50 am
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Originally Posted by returnoftheyeti View Post
Spirit is also adding DTW-BWI. Whats interesting about that is the SY has just pulled out of LAN - BWI and WN has pulled FNT-BWI.
WN flies DTW-BWI so I wonder if the flights cost will go down.

People of Michigan need to go to Baltimore I guess....
SY ended LAN-DCA.

Remember BWI can be a gateway for the entire DC region.

Even though Southwest has opened in DCA, I believe even on long routes like SAT-BWI and OKC-BWI, O/D is probably working with people going into/out of beyond Baltimore's metropolitan region and into DC's. For NK, since they don't operate at DCA, BWI is their DC airport as well and people flying on low fares will be receptive to land at BWI, or maybe originate from there

I believe it's not too bad with the MARC, low cost parking at BWI, and even public transit bus (ICC bus) from the MD suburbs of DC to BWI.

Last edited by beyondhere; Dec 20, 15 at 9:59 am
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Old Dec 20, 15, 10:55 am
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Originally Posted by nsx View Post
Fares from LA and SF to Las Vegas definitely show the effects of Spirit's presence. I wish Spirit would fly SF area to LAX, but I think they realize that Southwest would defend that market to the death.
Spirit recently started OAK-LAX. Looks like 2x
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Old Dec 22, 15, 9:18 pm
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My experience has shown that WN takes Spirit as serious competition.

MSP/CHI can regularly be had for $41 on SWA T/W/Sat with a few weeks lead time and DAL also drops below $50 though with a connection. Interestingly there is not much of a price match with Frontier on DEN.
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Old Dec 22, 15, 9:40 pm
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Originally Posted by Exiled in Express View Post
My experience has shown that WN takes Spirit as serious competition.

MSP/CHI can regularly be had for $41 on SWA T/W/Sat with a few weeks lead time and DAL also drops below $50 though with a connection. Interestingly there is not much of a price match with Frontier on DEN.
I've seem similar on the MSP/CHI market. In my opinion it winds up being a pretty good "cheap" redemption at about 1700 points on WN (I just did this a couple weeks ago.) However, I'll still find myself taking NK MSP - ORD if I'm just doing a day trip or am trying to make the trip as cheap as possible...nothing seems to beat the $32.22 RT fares on NK when purchasing at the airport (the $34.10 one-way online!)
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Old Dec 24, 15, 3:08 pm
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How times have changed

Kind of interesting how times have changed. Back in the old day, I always looked forward to southwest's announcement of new routes, as a new route gave me the opportunity to save lots of $$ compared to the majors.

Now, I look forward to announcement from Spirit--hoping they will compete on a SW route--not because I ever fly Spirit, but because the competition will give some relief from the high SW fares.
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