US_Central at a Glance
Fleet Size Total Passengers
(BIG FRONT SEAT/Deluxe Leather)
Airbus A319-100 26
(30 orders)
145 (10/135) Short-medium haul
Airbus A321-200 2 218 (4/214) Short-medium haul
fleet_size=8 |

destinations=20| frequent_flyer_program=FLYI| founded=2009 headquarters=Kansas City, Missouri, Florida| company_slogan =We dont expect anything from you, Why do you expect so much from us? |


Spirit Airlines is a United States ultra-low-cost airline operating scheduled flights throughout the Americas. The airline is headquartered in Miramar, Florida in the Miami metropolitan area. The airline currently maintains bases in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and Detroit, Michigan, as well as a focus city in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Over half of the airline's flights are to destinations in the Caribbean, Bahamas, and Latin America.

History Edit

Spirit Airlines was founded in 1980 in Macomb County, Michigan as Charter One[1], a Detroit-based charter tour operator providing travel packages to entertainment destinations such as Atlantic City, Las Vegas and the Bahamas. In 1990, Charter One began scheduled service from Boston and Providence, R.I. to Atlantic City. On May 29, 1992 Charter One brought jet equipment into the fleet, changed its name to Spirit Airlines and inaugurated service from Detroit to Atlantic City.

In April 1993, Spirit Airlines began scheduled service to destinations in Florida. During the next five years, Spirit expanded rapidly, increasing service from Detroit and adding service in new markets such as Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Los Angeles and New York.

Spirit relocated its headquarters in December 1999, moving from Eastpointe, Michigan to Miramar, Florida. Expansion continued with the addition of the Chicago market as well as coast-to-coast service to Los Angeles.

In November 2001, Spirit inaugurated service to San Juan, Puerto Rico and implemented a fully integrated Spanish-language customer service plan including a website and dedicated reservation line.

On June 24, 2002, Spirit launched Spirit Vacations in conjunction with GOGO Worldwide Vacations[2]. The service offers air, hotel, and activities similar to many other vacations sites. The service is offered to many destinations in the United States and several of the most popular in the Caribbean and Latin America [3]. The vacation brand is now operated solely by the Mark Travel Corporation [4].

In 2002, Spirit started new service to Denver, Colo. and Las Vegas, Nevada and expanded service to many of its existing markets. The airline has since discontinued service to Denver.

In the Fall of 2003, Spirit resumed flights to Washington, D.C’s Reagan National Airport, which had been suspended after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and began service to Cancún, Mexico.

Although Spirit is no longer headquartered in Michigan the airline's operating certificate continues to reflect its registration in the city of Eastpointe.

In 2004, the airline added Santo Domingo and Providence to its network. In 2005, Spirit Airlines launched its biggest expansion effort yet, adding numerous destinations in the Caribbean and Bahamas. By February 2006, Spirit's portfolio of destinations in the region totaled ten. Spirit also began service to Grand Cayman, San Francisco, and Boston in 2006, and in 2007 filed DOT applications to offer service to Costa Rica, Haiti, the Netherlands Antilles, and Venezuela.

In 2006 Spirit announced it will exercise options and order 30 more Airbus A319-100 aircraft for further expansion. [1] The aircraft will have a scheduled delivery of 2009 to 2013.

On March 6, 2007, Spirit announced their transition to become the first Ultra- Low Cost carrier in the United States. Their initial plan is to begin charging $10 per checked bag for the first two bags ($5 if bags are pre-reserved online prior to the flight), in addition to charging $1 for drinks which are currently complimentary. Starting June 20, Spirit Plus, was rebranded as BIG FRONT SEAT will no longer provide business class service. For an additional fee, a person can choose BIG FRONT SEAT, or upgrade at the airport. The airline models its business plan and operating style to that of ultra low-cost carriers Ryanair and Air Asia yet has added numerous innovations to further the "ala carte" pricing option. As of October 1, 2007, Spirit is charging $2 for all drinks and $2 for bottled water.[5] In 2007, Spirit became the largest air traffic carrier at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.[6]

On September 26, 2007, Spirit announced a new branding image for the airline that updates the look of its aircraft. Spirit stated that this new image will save money by being lighter weight and thus burning less fuel in flight. The new image is white background with accents in colors most represented in Caribbean and Latin American countries, consistent with Spirit's route network. This new image will affect the carrier's aircraft, uniforms, airports, and website.

On June 3 2008, Spirit Airlines made a WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining notice) application to potentially relocate or lay off hundreds of pilots and flight attendants, and the closure of its San Juan crew base and LaGuardia crew base, with no change of flying at those stations. [7] [8]

Starting in September, Spirit aircraft will become "air billboards". Plans for advertising on the overhead bins, tray tables, seatback inserts and bulkheads is being rolled out at present.

Destinations Edit

Main article: Spirit Airlines destinations

Spirit Airlines currently flies to 44 destinations throughout Central America, the Caribbean, South America, and the United States.

Currently, Spirit maintains bases at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport.

New RoutesEdit

  • Atlantic City (ACY) to Boston, MA (BOS) Begins May 1, 2009
  • Ft. Lauderdale (FLL) to Santiago de los Caballeros (STI) Begins June 18, 2009

New routes are subject of schedule changes and/or government approval. The airline is also waiting foreign government approval to fly to Caracas, Venezuela. Also, Spirit Airlines has received approval to begin service to Chiclayo, Peru, but has not set a start date yet.

Discontinued RoutesEdit

  • Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to Columbia, South Carolina Ends March 6, 2009
  • Fort Lauderdale (FLL) to Ponce ,(PR) (PSE) Ends October 31, 2009

Spirit charges passengers a fee starting at $19 per bag checked for the first bag per passenger when paid ahead of time, or $25 per bag when paid at the airport. For additional bags, the fee is higher. Spirit also charges a fee to customers who wish to pre-assign seats. Spirit Airlines charges for all on board beverages and snacks.




The Spirit Airlines all-Airbus fleet consists of the following 28 aircraft (as of March 2009) [2]:

Spirit Airlines fleet
Aircraft Total Passengers
(BIG FRONT SEAT/Deluxe Leather)
Airbus A319-100 26
(30 orders)
145 (10/135) Short-medium haul
Airbus A321-200 2 218 (4/214) Short-medium haul

As of March 2009, Spirit's average fleet age was 2.5 years old.[3] Spirit has the youngest Airbus fleet in the Americas [9].


The following planes no longer operate in the Spirit Airlines fleet:

Spirit Airlines retired fleet
Aircraft Total Year retired Replacement
Airbus A321-200 4 2008 Airbus A320 Family
McDonnell Douglas MD-81 1 2006 Airbus A320 Family
McDonnell Douglas MD-82 8 2006 Airbus A320 Family
McDonnell Douglas MD-83 5 2006 Airbus A320 Family


In 2006, Spirit launched a frequent flyer program called "FREE SPIRIT". The five "status levels" for members are Somebody, Elite, VIP, A-List, Celebrity, and "#1", offering progressively increasing benefits including the name on a plane for a year to the #1 flyer. IN common with many frequent flyer programs, the level of membership increases as the member accumulates additional frequent flyer miles. [4]

$9 Fare ClubEdit

The $9 Fare Club is a Spirit Airlines program, unified with FREE SPIRIT, that offers members exclusive access to Spirit Airlines' low fares. Members also receive $9 off every flight booked on Spirit. An annual membership fee is $39.95.[10]

Service onboardEdit

Spirit has a buy on board program offering drinks and snacks for purchase.[11]

Controversial advertisements Edit

2002 Edit

In 2002, the airlines offered free tickets on September 11, 2002. [12]

2006 Edit

In 2006, the airline released a "Hunt for Hoffa" advertising campaign with the tagline "Help us find Hoffa with our Hunt for Hoffa game and enjoy fares from just $39 each way." The point of the game was to dig for Jimmy Hoffa's body by clicking grids on the airline's website, and "winners" were taken to another webpage, saying "You found Hoffa!," thanking them for assisting the National Spirit Sale Center find the union leader's body.[13] Within hours after the promotion debuted, the airline received many complaints, and the promotion was taken down immediately and changed to another promotion, simply titled "Happy Sale." This promotion was later listed as #8 on CNN Money's 101 Dumbest Moments in Business.[14]

2007 Edit

In December 2007, the airline released a sale with the acronym MILF, standing for "Many Islands, Low Fares". Online and TV media picked up on this and noted that M.I.L.F. was popularized in the movie American Pie as an acronym for "Mom I'd Like to Fuck" This controversy was covered on CBS and ABC News, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, and The O'Reilly Factor.[15]

2008 Edit

In April 2008, the airline sent an email to its marketing subscription list announcing "We're having a threesome. Join us in the fun." Offering "three sales in one," the email repeatedly proposes the "threesome."[16]

2009 Edit

On January 8, 2009 the airline announced the return of the MILF Special.[17]

References Edit


External linksEdit

Cite error: <ref> tags exist, but no <references/> tag was found