'King of the Cheapskates' Spirit Airlines May Face New Competition

Spirit Airlines is known for a lot of things. On the one hand, it’s loaded with fees and has lots of detractors. On the other hand, fares are cheap and it makes lots of money. Others have noticed too, and the Wall Street Journal reports Spirit may soon get some new competition from an old name: Frontier.

Spirit – crazy little airline that breaks all the rules

Frontier – New Ultra Low-Cost Carrier?

The Republic-owned Frontier has been on the block for some time now but things have heated up recently and the WSJ now reports that Spirit’s outgoing chairman Bill Franke is in exclusive talks to buy Frontier and, according to sources, he’ll turn it into another ‘ultra low-cost’ carrier – just like Spirit.

Frontier Already Pushing Fee Envelop

The groundwork has already been laid. Earlier this year, Frontier announced that it too would start charging many of its passengers carry-on bag fees and this summer it began charging for soft drinks like Cokes and coffee – and even water. As airfare analyst Rick Seaney says, the fee era is here and not going away although he thinks most carriers will add fewer new fees in favor of increasing existing ones.

Warm Cookie Era Gone for Good

Not so long ago, Frontier was better known for serving fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies onboard its flights (a legacy from its merger with Midwest). In today’s cheapskate atmosphere, such luxuries for coach passengers are now only dim memories.

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Published: August 1, 2013