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Speedy1
03-29-2015, 09:01 AM
I've been watching this situation closely for a few months...

Spirit Airlines will most likely start its Houston (IAH) to SJO service in about 2 months.

I am no big fan of Spirit, and I don't use Spirit in my business, but this is certainly a significant new option available for air travel to SJO.

The first day of service, subject to government approval, is May 28.

Speedy1
03-31-2015, 05:54 AM
I should have mentioned previously... This new service by Spirit from Houston to SJO is actually part of a major attack on the Houston market, and actually, a major attack on United's presence in the Central and South American markets.

I'm surprised that Spirit got there first. I thought it would have been Southwest.

At any rate, Southwest has its route from Baltimore to SJO running smoothly, and Spirit will be flying from Houston to 7 Central and South American destinations out of Houston by the end of May.

Jaco Hank
03-31-2015, 09:51 PM
was curious so based on the above post I looked at a coach fare from both United and Spirit (IAH-SJO)coming down in mid june and see at face value a fare difference of around 300 dollars (of course by the time Spirit charges you for the a carry on and such it is probably a $222-$250 dollar difference) $650 versus $300, personally I avoid discount carriers (except Southwest) like the plague but $300 bucks will get you a couple of fun nights on the town for sure!

Speedy1
04-01-2015, 12:22 AM
Spirit is what it is. I can't stand them personally, but they're not doing anything wrong. I just don't like 'em. I travel a lot, and time and legacy-style service are important to me.

Southwest is not really my speed either, but I do like their philosophy a little better. Southwest should be flying from Houston to SJO non-stop soon, but they can't do it until the Hobby airport can accept international airline arrivals.

Spirit will probably always be significantly cheaper than United on the same route. Spirit keeps their costs much lower and doesn't offer what United offers. Spirit uses a much simpler cost-structure. I don't blame people for using Spirit. Saving $300 on a round-trip from Houston to SJO is a big deal.

Contrary to popular belief, packing the seats in like Spirit does, does not necessarily mean that they can offer cheaper fares -- it's the sales model and cost-cutting that allows that. If both Spirit and United fly the exactly same airplane on the exact same route, United's gross income is higher than Spirit's. Spirit will carry more passengers, because they have more seats, and Spirit will charge extra for the bags, etc. However, United still takes in more money for the flight. However, United's expenses are higher. United offers beverages, sometimes entertainment, etc. and gets the choice perks from airport management at the airports that they serve. United also provides a dedicated support staff and infrastructure. And, of course, United's pilots make a lot more money, on average at least. The "legacy" airline philosophy is almost entirely different from the "budget" and "ultra-budget" airline philosophies.

Most passengers don't notice much of a difference, other than the lack of frills, until the airplane that was supposed to arrive in SJO at 1:12 a.m. doesn't arrive due to a mechanical difficulty or because the crew called in sick, or because SJO was fogged-in. Well, that airplane isn't in San Jose for your 12:30 p.m. departure. In fact, there is not a single Spirit employee within 1500 miles of SJO. Spirit contracts, as most budget airlines do.

I see it all the time... The passengers are upset because there's no airplane... And no once can tell them (reliably) when there is going to be another airplane. There's no free hotel rooms, no guarantee of when you'll get home, and no guarantee of any help with your expenses. Now, everyone is saying, "Spirit screwed us!"

Well, of course they did. Spirit knew that you might be screwed when they sold you the ticket. They definitely knew last night that you were screwed, and probably didn't bother to call you before you showed up at the airport.

As with most other things, you get what you pay for.