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Does Spirit Have The Perfect Business Plan?  
User currently offlinedtwpilot225 From United States of America, joined Dec 2011, 115 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 8508 times:
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Spirit is not one of my favorite airlines becuase I am still a person that believes in the legacy of airlines like Pan Am. But you have to be real and today is much different. Watching Spirit grow it is becoming apparent that they have found their nich and it is going to be hard for any competitor to stop them. They have a very simple strategy and it works becuase that is what the public wants right now. Each time they open up a new city, they can add the following routes right away FLL, DFW, LAS and ORD. FLL takes you to all the vacation hotspots in the caribbean. and DFW and LAS can take you everywhere West.
Their planes have 178 seats but they only fly enough routes to make each flight profitable.
Here is a list of US cities that starting in 2013 I expect them to serve to DFW and FLL
MEM, STL, CVG, SLC, SEA, GRR, PIT, RDU, MCI

I can't believe that they still have Pilot base in DTW and ACY and not DFW but it probably has a lot to do with where their crews live and as the airline continues to grow DFW will probably come.

They haven't even tapped the South American market and when they get the NEO's all these cities will have low cost acess to the Americas

I am a legacy guy, I want Delta, America, United, and USAIR to do good but its hard not to notice what Spirit is doing.

59 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFlyingFan18 From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 86 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 8396 times:

What works for one airline may not work for all airlines. Spirit does have a good thing going for them but so do other airlines like B6 and WN. I think it depends on the airline but, don’t take my word for it.
- FlyingFan18


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24834 posts, RR: 46
Reply 2, posted (2 years 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 8390 times:

Well in many ways they have the wind at their backs.

Demographically they have a huge and growing ripe market in front of them, that seemingly the legacies and even other LCCs have ignored.

So if the ULCC experience in Europe and Asia are any indication there should be a lots of opportunities in America for this model as well.

Anyhow, kudos to them for being brave enough to push the envelope, and earn good profits doing it.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineYNGguins From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 511 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (2 years 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 8160 times:

Quoting dtwpilot225 (Thread starter):
Their planes have 178 seats but they only fly enough routes to make each flight profitable.
Here is a list of US cities that starting in 2013 I expect them to serve to DFW and FLL
MEM, STL, CVG, SLC, SEA, GRR, PIT, RDU, MCI

You do realize they are already service LBE, one county east of PIT? They will not be serving PIT next year as they are expanding rapidly in Latrobe.



I am PROUD to live in the greatest country on earth: The United States of America!
User currently offlineLHCVG From United States of America, joined May 2009, 1542 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (2 years 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 8136 times:

Quoting YNGguins (Reply 3):
Quoting dtwpilot225 (Thread starter):Their planes have 178 seats but they only fly enough routes to make each flight profitable.
Here is a list of US cities that starting in 2013 I expect them to serve to DFW and FLL
MEM, STL, CVG, SLC, SEA, GRR, PIT, RDU, MCI
You do realize they are already service LBE, one county east of PIT? They will not be serving PIT next year as they are expanding rapidly in Latrobe.

I would imagine there will be more ACY's and LBE's in the future, similar to how FL and F9 have gone with CAK vs. CLE. It's always important to have a core of major destinations as focus cities--DTW, DFW, ORD, FLL--but they may find more/better opportunity taking on underserved and/or unique markets rather than being the umpteenth carrier flying ORD or DFW to xxx.


User currently offlineCIDFlyer From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 2272 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (2 years 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 7952 times:

I hope they can tap into some G4 markets, like F9 is doing now, smaller to mid sized cities that WN ignores to connect to larger destinations.

User currently offlineKcrwflyer From United States of America, joined May 2004, 3795 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (2 years 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 7913 times:

Quoting CIDFlyer (Reply 5):

I hope they can tap into some G4 markets, like F9 is doing now, smaller to mid sized cities that WN ignores to connect to larger destinations.

It will be interesting to see if they give that a try. They're doing it in LBE, but lets be honest... that's PIT. I'm interested to see what the next moves are at IAG, PBG and CRW of course.


User currently offlinepoint2point From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 2740 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (2 years 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 7906 times:

NK does seem that have developed this uncanny ability to shift with the wind as it needs to, and found this to be its way to prosperity. I think that it's really the only U.S. carrier that really doesn't rely on customer loyalty, although with the fares that it has, NK seems to fill its seats very quickly. And it somehow fills its seats with enough yield so that at the end of each quarter, there is good amount of positive $$$$$.

If it works, why fix it, eh?



 


User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8193 posts, RR: 24
Reply 8, posted (2 years 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 7832 times:

In a country full of idiots, I suppose the most idiotic airline's business plan may be considered to be a good one. I think that any business plan, however, that is insulting to its customers cannot be considered to be "perfect."


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User currently offlineEricR From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 1900 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (2 years 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 7623 times:

Quoting N766UA (Reply 8):

  

I think NK is pushing things to the limit. They are cheap and very affordable. However, they create a very unpleasant traveling experience. They have the smallest seat pitch and an extremely poor customer service record.

Companies that survive long term usually have one item in common which is creating a great customer experience. NK provides a poor customer experience and I think this will limit their ability to grow in the longer term. There will always be a segment of the population that wants the cheapest option out there regardless of how poor the experience is, but this tends to be a small minority of the total population.


User currently offlinecedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8052 posts, RR: 54
Reply 10, posted (2 years 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 7491 times:

Quoting EricR (Reply 9):
smallest seat pitch

Never really understood this. I am 6' tall and never find airlines too cramped. Not if I'm paying a low price and the flight is less than 7 hours. Who cares? There's always a comfortable position to be found. When I read reports of people being uncomfortable, or worse, in pain even after the ride is over, are they making it up? How is this possible?

Quoting EricR (Reply 9):
extremely poor customer service record

OK this I get - and I don't know why airlines like Spirit and Ryanair treat people so badly. It's one thing to educate people - no you're not getting on this plane that you turned up for after check-in closed, and no if you paid $52 for your ticket you're not getting a four star hotel if it's late or cancelled. But they picked all the low hanging fruit and now it's about entrapment - €50 for a boarding pass, €135 for a checked bag, that's not fair. Some families might not know the rules and they aren't well travelled and turn up excited to take their first holiday and it's €200 just for boarding passes, that's their holiday fund blown. Caveat emptor and all that, sure, but it's still mean and unnecessary. I personally won't fly Ryanair cos I don't want to have to worry about being tricked.



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8193 posts, RR: 24
Reply 11, posted (2 years 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 7490 times:

Quoting EricR (Reply 9):
They have the smallest seat pitch and an extremely poor customer service record.

Tortuously tight seats, fees on everything, utterly classless advertising, poor customer service, and honestly, 4 "big seats" to upgrade to? Just 4?! If that's not insulting I don't know what is. If Spirit were a person, the cops would be showing up at its trailer on domestic calls pretty regularly.

But if they can consistently make money, their business plan is sound, regardless of my opinion of it.



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User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8193 posts, RR: 24
Reply 12, posted (2 years 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 7467 times:

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 10):
When I read reports of people being uncomfortable, or worse, in pain even after the ride is over, are they making it up? How is this possible?

You must be one blessed human being to not be in pain after hours in a rigid, cramped coach seat. Have you flown Spirit? It's 28'' with zero recline. I'm 6'0'' too and that hurts.



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User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24834 posts, RR: 46
Reply 13, posted (2 years 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 7408 times:

For insight as to how Spirit thinks, check out recent post regarding an interview with their CEO.

Interview: Spirit Airlines CEO - Contrarian's View (by LAXintl May 7 2012 in Civil Aviation)

=

As far as comments about them being classless, as the CEO points out, the Dollar Store does not care about Nordstrom, as each has their own market. Consumers at the end have ultimate choice, and can vote with their pocket books.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineEricR From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 1900 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (2 years 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 7385 times:

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 10):

Regarding pitch, I am 5 foot 10 and 180 pounds and I feel cramped on traditional airline seats. There is barely enough room to access the bag stowed under the seat in front of you on most airlines. On NK, it is darn near impossible to get anything out the bag in front of you. A few extra inches in very tight surroundings means a lot.


User currently offlineflaps30 From United States of America, joined May 2009, 283 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 6729 times:

Quoting dtwpilot225 (Thread starter):
They haven't even tapped the South American market

At last check, they currently serve 5 destinations in South America. 4 cities in Columbia and 1 in Peru.



every day is a good day to fly
User currently offlineFlytravel From United States of America, joined Dec 2009, 873 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 6643 times:

Quoting N766UA (Reply 11):
, and honestly, 4 "big seats" to upgrade to? Just 4?!

On some flights, NK has up to 10 big front seats. Atleast I know on ACY-BOS and the other ones that I went on last year and prior, NK offers or offered that. But, from their site, I see some with only 4.

Is 4 to be the new standard? if 4 is more the norm, then maybe NK is phasing the big front seat out or reducing that type anyways.

Quoting LHCVG (Reply 4):
I would imagine there will be more ACY's and LBE's in the future, similar to how FL and F9 have gone with CAK vs. CLE.

NK decided to go into PHL though, while still at ACY. Maybe NK figured that ACY-DFW would be too long and thin of a route, but PHL would better be able to get the support of the Dallas pax into Philly. NK did decide to go with LBE-DFW which is also long and using an alternate airport for Pittsburgh. I'm not sure about LBE but I think it offers free parking which might mean some will use NK more for the airport convenience than the carrier. With ACY, the airport convenience (although no free parking) is a part of the reason people fly NK at ACY.

Perhaps part of the DFW strategy is that NK will use DFW as a focus city to serve east/west bound traffic flow and will price their connection itineries via DFW competitively and fill a void that AirTran did via ATL/MKE. So that NK will come up as the lowest/cheapest option (for example to go from BWI to PDX) on the search engines.


User currently offlineAWACSooner From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 1882 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (2 years 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 6578 times:

Quoting N766UA (Reply 8):
In a country full of idiots, I suppose the most idiotic airline's business plan may be considered to be a good one. I think that any business plan, however, that is insulting to its customers cannot be considered to be "perfect."

Exactly...if by screwing with your pax by charging them outrageous fees and then pulling out of random markets after only a few months, then yah, they're the "perfect" business model.


User currently offlinethegreatRDU From United States of America, joined Mar 2006, 2310 posts, RR: 4
Reply 18, posted (2 years 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 6428 times:

What's the fuss if they get you from A to B safely and on time? You get what you pay for....

Quoting flaps30 (Reply 15):
They haven't even tapped the South American market

At last check, they currently serve 5 destinations in South America. 4 cities in Columbia and 1 in Peru.

He meant from DFW

Quoting AWACSooner (Reply 17):
Exactly...if by screwing with your pax by charging them outrageous fees and then pulling out of random markets after only a few months, then yah, they're the "perfect" business model.

No....consistent and ever growing profits make it the "perfect" business model..



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User currently offlineN766UA From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 8193 posts, RR: 24
Reply 19, posted (2 years 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 5999 times:

Quoting Flytravel (Reply 16):
On some flights, NK has up to 10 big front seats.

It must not be many. Once I looked at flying Spirit, but only if I could buy a "big front seat." They didn't even offer that outright, you have to buy coach and upgrade to them, and with only 4 options the chances of actually being able to score that upgrade is so low that it's absolutely not worth it at all.



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User currently offlineJAAlbert From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1552 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (2 years 4 days ago) and read 5649 times:

It may be great for some folks, but I wouldn't consider flying them. With everything else I have to worry about, I do not want to worry whether the airline I choose is going to hit with me with another fee that I wasn't expecting. Maybe Spirit isn't so bad, but its reputation arrives well before its planes do - and frankly, with that reputation am not interested in even investigating whether the airline is offering a steal - or perpetrating a scam.

That ridiculous (and short lived) ad campaign it had awhile back suggesting that the government was forcing airlines to hide fees by requiring airlines to include taxes in the fare quote is just one example of Spirit's behavior that really turned me off.


User currently onlineridgid727 From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 1110 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 4 days ago) and read 5508 times:

Quoting EricR (Reply 9):
However, they create a very unpleasant traveling experience. They have the smallest seat pitch and an extremely poor customer service record.

If comparing it to say DL, UA, AA etc, but compare their offerings to a Greyhound Bus, and the experience is probably better, and that is their market. As to Carribean, their customer would more than likely be the guy who would vacation in Laughlin Bullhead City this year, and next year the Carribean via NK.


User currently offlineIndianicWorld From Australia, joined Jun 2001, 2916 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (2 years 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 5282 times:

Cheap and cheerful travel certainly resonates with people during harder financial times. NK have tapped into that vein and are doing well currently from it.

When things are better, people often expect more for their $$. that's the test for them.

Their route network and offering seem to be coming together well though.


User currently offlineeastalt From United States of America, joined Aug 2009, 29 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 5014 times:

Quoting JAAlbert (Reply 20):
W
Quoting JAAlbert (Reply 20):
W
Quoting JAAlbert (Reply 20):
With everything else I have to worry about, I do not want to worry whether the airline I choose is going to hit with me with another fee that I wasn't expecting. Maybe Spirit isn't so bad, but its reputation arrives well before its planes do - and frankly, with that reputation am not interested in even investigating whether the airline is offering a steal - or perpetrating a scam.

Could you please explain how its possible this day in time, you do not know all the fees? If you read the web-site, the rules of travel are posted. Further, there is no scam, If so the DOT would put a stop to it. I find it interesting that the flying public trivialize thier travel plans then, blame the airline(s) for thier lack knowlege which is accessable online as required by law. I was one of those people. I flew with the same arrogance until a customer service agent showed it to me on the document I shoved in his face. I learned from that experince and I can assure you there is nothing hidden about fees and there is no scam you can claim once you click the purchase button.


User currently offlineWN787 From United States of America, joined May 2011, 55 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (2 years 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 4517 times:

If Spirit has the "Perfect" business plan, they would be #1 on all fronts and win every $$ or pound and whatever else the world had to offer. UMMMM NO one is perfect!!!


ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
25 Post contains images beechtobus : I'm very curious AWACs, can you even name one city pair or market that Spirit has started in the past, hell, I'll give you 2 years, that they have su
26 Mark2fly1034 : Well if you look at it overall base ticket price than all the extra charges it still comes out cheaper overall if you do it right.
27 bobloblaw : Unfortunately NK may have a good business plan that other carriers will copy over the next few years. Get ready to be nickled and dimed for everything
28 JHCRJ700 : While I would have worded it a little differently I agree 100% with what you said. On a personal note I doubt I will ever fly Spirit. I'd rather pay
29 EXMEMWIDGET : I wouldn't mind seeing Spirit move into the DFW-MEM market. I fly this market frequently and the fares have been quite high for awhile. The fares for
30 nkops : All the 319's have 10 big front seats... the A321's and 320's have 4.... most likely the 319's will stay with 10 as they cannot go above 150 seats wi
31 flaps30 : What do you mean get ready! We are already being nickeled and dimed to death by almost every airline for every thing possible. I am just waiting for
32 flyguy89 : The perfect business plan...is there such a thing? NK is doing well now but I'm not sure perfect would be the word to describe it. I've heard on good
33 GSPSPOT : Same here! I wasn't a fan of the a la carte pricing at first, but now it's making more sense to me. You only pay for what you want/use. If all you wa
34 Post contains images LAXintl : Not according to NK itself. Earlier this year they said they had over 1-million active $9 Club members, plus high takeup of their Master Card tie-in.
35 GSPSPOT : Nor do I..... Now.... And as long as the airfare by itself is really low. I don't think this is necessarily a problem for NK, as I would imagine a gr
36 September11 : Does Spirit have the perfect business plan? To me, yes and no. I'm starting to note that Spirit excels in nickeling-and-diming business.
37 Post contains images OB1504 : With the addition of stations such as CRW (which I understand to be performing poorly), IAG, and PBG, it's clear that NK is taking a page from G4's p
38 Kcrwflyer : FLL performed poorly and that route is gone. MYR is an entirely different story; but nobody on here ever brings that up. Imagine that. Everytime I've
39 CIDFlyer : Is FL gone from CRW yet? I wonder if NK would have better success with a flight from CRW-MCO? Or perhaps try CRW-DFW down the line? South Florida seem
40 Squid : I remember reading over an airline management text book from the late 80's about 5 or 6 years ago. The introduction was a story about a passenger that
41 Kcrwflyer : Yes, last flight was June 2nd. Hands down. Are you familiar with Secretariat? That's how much better of a market MCO is, not just from CRW but from t
42 N766UA : Like what, fuel? If you aren't checking a bag on a legacy carrier, you aren't paying. If you aren't upgrading your seat, you aren't paying. If you ar
43 ASFlyer : How is charging for the services you use "nickel and diming"? I guess I can see why there is that perception because these services were always inclu
44 Post contains images AlnessW : Hit the nail on the head. I agree. Because they have bad business models. It is very insulting indeed. Like I said earlier, NK definitely has a bad b
45 Post contains images mandala499 : Yeaps, nothing wrong with that on the consumer end... However... Well, yeah, even premium classes in non-LCCs are beginning to be nickeled and dimed
46 ASFlyer : What world do you live in? That's the model airlines have gone to. Pay for the services you use. The poster illustrated that perfectly - what's the q
47 eastalt : To answer the original question, "Does Spirit Have the Perfect Buisness Plan?" The short answer is no. However, they have found the perfect formula fo
48 Pe@rson : Absolutely. Likewise any business. Why? Because everything can be improved, in theory anyway, to better achieve whatever objectives - financial and o
49 DarkSnowyNight : That would be great if it were actually true. But the reason that it's a total lie to classify it this way is that you are still paying for all those
50 beechtobus : Right, just everyone else's fares who includes these items "for free" Has gone way up.[Edited 2012-07-24 19:41:31]
51 Kcrwflyer : The airbus cockpit is more spacious than any airlines economy seats. Because I'm 6'3 and have yet to die on an aircraft due to the seat pitch. I know
52 DarkSnowyNight : Southwest and JetBlue are usually the same or less, especially where walk up fares (which no legacy carrier waives any fees for) are concerned. The o
53 ASFlyer : Actually, over the years (say, the last 20 years or more), fares haven't risen enough to cover the costs of these services. SO, while these services
54 Post contains images AlnessW : The question is why someone would come to believe that NK's business model "makes sense." What about charging people for overhead bin space, printing
55 Wingtips56 : Not quite right ... the airline is paying income tax on the revenue, but some fees still are not charged the Federal Excise Tax (7.5%) on top of the
56 AlnessW : Thanks for sharing that info.
57 DarkSnowyNight : I'll vouch for that one. Even at my height, I can stand fully up in the spot where the jumpseat is. It's a great workspace. And tolerable seat pitch
58 Flytravel : If one by luck gets, or purchases extra the choice of an aisle seat assignment, it's possible have the legs be extended towards the aisle with one le
59 stlgph : I think of Spirit as eating out in a restaurant. You go there - you have a menu of what you want or don't want. Pay for what you want - don't pay for
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