Spirit is known around the world as a budget airline that gives you the bare necessities: a seat on an airplane heading to your destination of choice. And they aren't trying to hide that fact.
Just to drive that point home, Spirit CEO Robert Fornaro shared a few words with the Associated Press on Wednesday about the potential price competition from other airlines offering their own “bare fares” and basic economy classes.
“These pricing schemes are not new,” Fornaro said. “Delta has been doing this for several years. We do fine competing with Delta, and I think we'll do fine competing with these guys.” His reference is pointed in the direction of American Airlines and United, both of which just began offering basic economy fares.
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Basic fares lack amenities and services like choosing your seat ahead of your flight. United, Delta, and American all offer a level of ticketing that mimics this budget-friendly idea. Considering this is the main thing that budget airlines like Spirit and Ryanair offer—and what fliers expect from the brands—it's easy to see where the tension lies.
Fornaro reiterated that travelers know what they're getting with a Spirit fare, but they don't necessarily expect the extra fees that are going to come with these new levels of ticket options. “They're not kind of being honest about what they're trying to do,” he said.