Spirit Airlines

Will Tiff Ditch Spirit Airlines Thanks to the End of the Wright Amendment?

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Yesterday there was much rejoicing in the DFW area with the end of the Wright Amendment. Southwest can fly non-stop flights outside of Texas. But for those of us who don’t normally fly Southwest Airlines; will it change our minds on whether or not we’ll fly them? Or will it change my mind at least?

With the change I decided to look up and compare the prices on a flight to Florida we were (at one time) considering.

Flying from DFW to FLL (Ft Lauderdale), leaving the morning of Sunday, Nov 9th, and returning anytime on Monday, November 17th.

Spirit’s prices:

One-way non-stop DFW to FLL = $88.09 per person
One-way non-stop FLL to DFW = $63.09 per person

Since there are four of us flying, it’ll make more sense for me to buy these tickets at the airport. So, subtracting the $16.99 online surcharge that comes to $71.10 to fly there and $46.10 to return. Adding those together that’s $117.20 round-trip. For four people that’s $468.80. Assuming we check one bag each way, and taking into consideration I’m a $9 fare club member, I will add $52 ($26 for the bag each way) and that total comes to $520.80 for the four of us to fly roundtrip from Dallas to Fort Lauderdale in November.

Now let’s look at Southwest’s prices for similar flights.

One-way non-stop DAL to FLL = $118 per person
One-way one-stop FLL to DAL (stop in MSY) = $158 per person

That’s $276 per person for us to fly on Southwest. That would come to $1,104 for the four of us vs the $520.80 for us to fly on Spirit. Even with paying for a checked bag the price still is less than half of what it is on Southwest. There is no way I can justify paying that much more for Southwest.

Even if I bought the tickets online and wasn’t a $9 fare club member, the total cost of the flights would come to $674.72 (151.18 per person round-trip and $70 for the checked bag round-trip). That still comes to over a $400 savings if we fly on Spirit instead of Southwest.

When we’re searching for flights, best price is the first thing we look for. That being equal, the next thing we look at is the flight schedule. In this scenario Spirit comes in first on their price by being less than half the price of Southwest even with the additional fees. The flight out on both airlines are morning non-stop flights; but Spirit gets the edge for having the best price for a non-stop on the return home.

If Southwest starts making their prices more competitive with Spirit’s I will consider giving them another look, but as of today I have not seen anything that competitive out of Dallas that would convince me to switch.


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Tiff's first big vacation was a Caribbean cruise when she was six. She first started getting interested in deals when her husband showed her the tricks to getting bought off your flights back in the late 90s. She started flying nonrev when they got married; the first unusual nonrev she did was in '05 when her family flew through San Juan to get to Dallas from Philly. They have two boys, ages 11 and 7, who she usually drags along on their travels and hopes they will grow up to love traveling as much as she does.


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