Budget carrier Spirit Airlines will challenge Delta Air Lines in Delta’s fortress Salt Lake City hub.
Spirit Airlines Adds Salt Lake City Flights
Later this spring, Spirit Airlines will launch new service from Salt Lake City (SLC), an airport that is dominated by Delta. In 2021, 11,181,940 flew through SLC. 6,213,734 of those were on Delta, a whopping 56%. Spirit hopes to find a niche in SLC with three initial new destinations:
- Las Vegas (LAS) – 2x daily service – begins May 26, 2022
- Los Angeles (LAX) – 1x daily service – begins May 26, 2022
- Orlando (MCO) – 1x daily service – begins May 26, 2022
With Delta’s dominance in Salt Lake City, fares tend to be higher. Spirit’s entrance to the market will be a force for good, provided the carrier clearly discloses its fee structure to potential customers.
Unlike Delta (even with basic economy fares), you pay extra for just about everything on Spirit. I applaud that business model, provided that consumers (who are used to bringing on larger carry-on items or not paying for a drink) are clear about the bargain.
While the limited service may not work for business travelers, leisure travelers may be enticed to choose Spirit over Delta if it results in substantial cost savings.
The even better news for consumers, though, is that Delta will likely respond by matching Spirit’s fares in an effort to push the carrier out (United Airlines did this to Frontier Airlines in Newark and Washington Dulles).
While Spirit’s operational reliability has improved after its summer meltdown and the carrier offers an attractive upsell to its “Big Front Seat“, if Delta matches Spirit you will be able to enjoy budget airline pricing on a full-service carrier.
Keep an eye on the fares of both Spirit and Delta.
Spirit Airlines will challenge Delta Air Lines in its own backyard, Salt Lake City. But Delta will certainly fight back. While neither carrier wins a fare war, consumers do. Look for attractive pricing between SLC and LAX, LAS, and MCO in the days ahead.
image: Tomás Del Coro