Spirit Airlines Launches $1 LA-Vegas Fare

Posted Mar 9th 2011 04:00 PMUpdated Mar 9th 2011 08:51 PM

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spirit airlines $1 airfare

Phillip C, flickr

While airfares have been rising across the country, a good old-fashioned fare war has broken out in Las Vegas, where Spirit Airlines said it plans to launch service from Los Angeles with $1 fares.

Miramar, Fla.-based Spirit said on Tuesday it would begin five daily nonstop flights between Vegas and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) starting May 5, with introductory fares of $9 each way. The carrier then dropped fares to $1 after several rival carriers slashed their own fares in response.

Analysts say this kind of fare war is typical in the European leisure travel, where Ryanair and EasyJet often undercut traditional rivals. Fare wars like this are a little less frequent in the U.S., but Spirit is trying to make a splash in a big destination for gamblers and conventioneers.

"It's hard to break into a new market," Rick Seaney, chief executive and co-founder of FareCompare.com told AOL Travel News. "There's a lot of competition from Vegas to LA."

Spirit said it would offer its cheapest fares for travel on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between May 10 and June 15th.

Rival Southwest Airlines, the dominant airline between LA and Las Vegas responded immediately by dropping fares to $29 each way and Allegiant Air, which is based in Las Vegas and flies to Long Beach, Calif., cut fares to $10, according to the Las Vegas Sun.

JetBlue later matched the airfare with its own discounted seats from Las Vegas to Long Beach. American Airlines and US Airways matched that fare sale with $58 round-trip fares.

The low fares do not include taxes and fees.

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Christine M Barber

Nice! I wish it was a great deal from Molilne, IL, to Vegas! Right now it's around $355!!! No way will I pay that price.

March 10 2011 at 8:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
66 GTO

The catch is ... You must pay extra to fly INSIDE the plane.

March 10 2011 at 3:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kent

Why are fares from LA to Las Vegas so low and fares to Vegas from the East are so high?

A. Vegas is much closer to LA, so people might decide to get away for a weekend, at the last minute. It might be compared to living in Boston and then driving to Portland, Maine to a great restaurant for lobster, or living in Dallas and deciding to spend a weekend in San Antonio at one of the golf resorts.

B. The airlines are competing with the automobile. I-15 is a straight shot from downtown LA to the Strip. Flights between Portland and Seattle compete with driving I-5. Flying between Chicago and St. Louis competes with driving I-55.

Generally, people in the East or Midwest don't decide to pack and bag and hop on a plane for Vegas.

Also, between LAX, Ontario, Burbank, and Orange County, Southwest has almost 40 daily departures. By the time you add American, US Air, Jet Blue, etc., that is a lot of seats, and the airlines don't like empty seats.

March 10 2011 at 2:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
michael

In the east, where there's more $$$ than anywhere in the U.S., they never give us good deals to Vegas.
Have to believe it's because they know we'll pay to get there regardless. Can't wait for someone with a brain in Jersey to wake up and legalize sports betting in A.C. When this happens, airlines won't be able to give us prices cheap enough to get us to leave the east coast. It's coming and we on the right coast, will not forget the years of being "jobbed".

March 10 2011 at 1:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
enough

The bad thing about these types of fares is the rest of us have to pay the losses they incur by upping the fares to other destinations. It sucks in plain english.

March 10 2011 at 12:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bpante

Spirit is the worst airlines in existance.

March 10 2011 at 11:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bpante's comment
Magda

Yes .....I will not fly spirit !!!! Even IF THEY PAY ME !!!!!!!

March 10 2011 at 3:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dean

We have virtually nothing from Palm Springs to Las Vega and can't understand that...all we have is 2 United flights a day in like a prop plane for about $450 round trip..don't know why Southwest or others airlines don't come in here..there is so much car traffic between us!

March 10 2011 at 11:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Angiebaby

To any sap who really thinks they are going to fly anywhere for $1 buck, I have some oceanfront property in Tennessee I'd like to sell you.

March 10 2011 at 9:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Angiebaby's comment
mary

Clever , I'll bet some a$#%*^e will take you up on it . Is that view the Indian ocean ?LMAO

March 10 2011 at 2:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bigang22274

love how the left coast gets all the deals give us some deals here on the east coast i wanna go to vegas too

March 10 2011 at 7:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sandy24

When the heck is someone going to lower the airfares from the East Coast to Las Vegas? It doesn't have to be $1, but East Coast travelers deserve a break too.

March 10 2011 at 7:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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