After an eight-year hiatus, Spirit Airlines has resumed flights to Denver this week. The budget carrier is launching four nonstop services, which commenced on May 3:
Denver (DEN) – Chicago O’Hare (ORD)
Denver (DEN) – Dallas/Ft Worth (DFW)
Denver (DEN) – Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
Denver (DEN) – Las Vegas (LAS)
These new routes mark the first time Spirit has flown to Denver since 2004. Much about the airline has changed since then, and Colorado residents probably won’t recognize the Spirit they once knew. In 2007, Spirit reinvented itself as “America’s first ultra-low-cost carrier”, and has since become famous for its low fares, add-on fees, and slightly outrageous marketing campaigns.
This latest move ups the competition with rival carrier Frontier Airlines, which is based in Colorado and flies many of the same routes, including the four that Spirit is introducing this week. We can expect some aggressive sales tactics from both sides in the months ahead.
The new Denver services are part of a wider expansion of Spirit’s network. According to the airline’s website, the following routes are scheduled to commence throughout May and June:
Latrobe/Pittsburgh (LBE) – Orlando (MCO)
Minneapolis/St.Paul (MSP) – Chicago (ORD)
Minneapolis/St.Paul (MSP) – Las Vegas (LAS)
Dallas/Ft Worth (DFW) – Detroit (DTW)
Dallas/Ft Worth (DFW) – San Diego (SAN)
Dallas/Ft Worth (DFW) – Toluca/Mexico City (TLC)
Dallas/Ft Worth (DFW) – Portland, Oregon (PDX)
Spirit’s expansion is generally a good thing for travelers because they very often have lower fares than other airlines who fly the same routes. But when booking Spirit, it’s important to consider that they charge extra for certain things that other airlines don’t, the most significant being carry on bags which don’t fit under your seat — they charge $30 each way for those, and even more if you don’t pay in advance on Spirit.com. On the other hand, if you plan to check your bags, their fees (which start at $28) are pretty comparable to most other airlines.