Are you part of the majority of travelers who assume that any airline that describes itself as "low-cost" will actually fulfill that promise when you buy an airline ticket from them? Let's take a look at what you might actually pay to fly a "low-cost" carrier.
We used the same parameters while researching prices between the low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines and a full-service carrier, in this case, Delta Airlines. The prices listed are round-trip from Detroit. Here's what we looked for when researching prices:
* non-stop flights from Detroit
* same travel dates in Feb 2013 for both airlines
* all prices are the least expensive offered for these travel dates
* all prices include taxes
* all prices are based on ROUND-TRIP travel (although many airlines advertise prices that are one-way, for comparison we are listing round-trip prices as most travelers require this)
Spirit Airlines Delta
$ 70.00 carry-on(online) Free
$ 60.00 1st checked bag
(online/40 lbs max) $ 50.00 1st checked bag (online or at counter/50 lbs max)
$20-50 seat assignment Free
$ 10.00 boarding pass Free
(if issued by agent)
$100.00 carry-on checked at counter
$200.00 carry-on checked at gate
$ 90.00 1st checked bag at counter
Adding the roundtrip airfare, one carry-on bag paid online in advance, and the first checked bag paid online in advance, printing your boarding pass online in advance with Spirit Airlines the total per person would be $337.00.
Adding the round trip airfare, one carry-on bag and the first checked bag (not having to prepay either) and having a counter person check you in at Delta, the total per person price is $321.60.
In this scenario flying Spirit would cost an extra $15.40 IF you prepaid carry-on and checked luggage in advance, and printed your own boarding pass. You would also pay for additional extras onboard, such as soda's. Also, don't forget that there are no "fringe" benefits such as frequent flyer miles.
$ 70.00 carry-on(online) FREE
$ 60.00 1st checked bag FREE
Buyer beware! A few startling facts:
* Spirit Airlines has 4 pages of prices for "Optional Fees"
* for every $3 collected from passengers by Spirit $1 is for fees of some type
If you need to get from point A to point B, without carry-on luggage (unless you can squeeze it under your seat) and don't need a seat assignment, then sometimes a low-cost airline is the way to go.
If, however, you need to take luggage with you, and you need to go somewhere other than the limited 50 destinations that Spirit flies to, then perhaps another airline is a better value for you.
My suggestion: talk with your local professional travel agent who can advise you on all the options, and give you the value for your travel dollars!
President, Travel By Gagnon
(616) 942-6630 Local
(800) 452-2547 Toll Free