Spirit Is Bringing Its No-Frills Flights To SeaTac
A seat: That's all you get when you buy a ticket with low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines. If you want more than that, you pay for it.
Spirit is bringing its bare-bones business model to the Seattle Tacoma International Airport, beginning service there in March.
That model includes low fares and no frills. Customers pay for carry-on baggage, printing boarding passes at the airport, even water.
Mark Kopczak, vice president of network planning for Spirit, said that means customers only pay for what they want.
“We don't think it's fair for them to pay a higher all-inclusive price and then not use some of the things that they've paid for,” Kopczak said at a news conference announcing Spirit's service to Sea-Tac.
“We want them to save that money and so we have what we call an unbundled product that allows them to pick and choose only those services that they want.”
Kopczak says, on average, Spirit's prices are 40 percent lower than other airlines.
He says Spirit wanted to expand here because of the rapid growth in this region. Spirit will begin service with nonstop flights to Los Angeles in March. Flights to Las Vegas will be added in April.
Last year Sea-Tac was the fastest-growing airport in the country, according to the Port of Seattle. Kopczak says there's still room in the market for ultra-low cost carriers.
But no-frills airlines aren't for everyone.
“Legroom is already pretty tight as it is and luggage space is already tight as it is,” said Sea-Tac traveler Mike Anderson.
“I don’t really see where I’m going to pay a little bit less just to get a little bit less legroom.”
Still, some people say they’d give up just about everything for a lower-priced ticket.
Sea-Tac traveler Solomon Ward said he’d even give up his seat.
“Standing room only. Like on the bus they have the little handle. OK, maybe you can't do that, but an extra carry on, legroom, the peanuts.”