Spirit Airlines leaps into airfare war


Spirit Airlines jumped into South Florida’s airline brawl Wednesday afternoon with a $9 each-way fare sale on its nonstop flights between Fort Lauderdale and Los Angeles.

The sale ends Thursday just before midnight and is only applicable to members of Spirit’s $9 fare club on select travel dates. The annual cost for the company’s fare club is $39.95. Spirit currently offers one daily nonstop flight between the two cities.

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The Miramar-based carrier’s offer comes on the heels of new competitor Virgin America’s announcement Tuesday that it will start offering nonstop service from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International airport to L.A. and San Francisco Nov. 18.

Also on Tuesday, JetBlue Airways said it will match the Virgin’s San Francisco service. Spirit acknowledged the growing competition for South Florida travelers in a new slogan promoting the offer: “We’re No Virgin – We’ve Been Cheap and Easy For Years.”

Spirit spokeswoman Misty Pinson said the airline welcomes its new rival and is “confident that no one can match our low cost structure.” The carrier also competes against giant Delta Air Lines on the West Coast route.