Business

Spirit Airlines to begin flying out of Sea-Tac

By Coral Garnick

The Seattle Times

A Spirit Airlines plane approaches Chicago O'Hare International Airport in June. The airline is adding flights to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
A Spirit Airlines plane approaches Chicago O'Hare International Airport in June. The airline is adding flights to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Associated Press file, 2015

Ultra-low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines is adding flights out of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport as the first new carrier at the airport in more than three years.

Florida-based Spirit is known for its no-frills flights at low prices. For a fee, passengers can pick and choose services such as a big front seat, carry-on and checked bags, assigned seats and in-flight drinks (even water) and snacks.

The cost of most services varies depending on dates of travel, route and when the traveler chooses to pay. A carry-on bag paid for during booking, for example, may be $35, but paid for at the gate it would be $100. To print a boarding pass at the airport kiosk costs $2, or $10 for the agent to print it.

The company does offer a membership plan, the $9 Fare Club, for $60 for the first year. It gives members access to exclusive travel deals and special bag prices, and the company says members save an average of $75 per booking.

Spirit has an all-Airbus fleet operating more than 375 daily flights to 57 destinations in the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean. It competes with other low-cost carriers such as SouthWest, JetBlue and Frontier. Its other West Coast destinations are Portland, Oakland, Los Angeles and San Diego.

Spirit is tiny compared with the airline giants, but it has gained their attention by growing rapidly at major hub airports, such as Dallas, Atlanta and Chicago. Last month, American Airlines executives said it will soon introduce a cheaper, no-frills type of ticket to compete with Spirit and another low-cost carrier, Frontier.

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