Spirit Airlines coming to RIC in 2018

Spirit Airlines coming to RIC in 2018

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - A new airline is coming to Richmond. Starting next year, Spirit Airlines will offer non-stop flights to Florida.

Flights can be cheap, but you'll have to be willing to pay extra for some of the common comforts that are free on other airlines.

Frequent travelers tell us what's important in an airline.

"Comfort, safety and on time," says Aaron Hodges.

Martha Javinsky flies from Florida to Virginia regularly to see her children and knows what she likes.

"Assigned seats for one thing, and just good personal service," she said.

She could soon have another option now that Spirit Airlines is coming RIC.

"We believe Richmonders will love our non-stop destinations of Orlando and Fort Lauderdale and the 11 connections that we have that include Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Costa Rica," says Bobby Schroeter, Spirit Airlines Vice President of Consumer Marketing.

Spirit says one-way flights to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale start as low as $49.  It's even less if you belong to their fare club.

Spirit prides itself on being a 'no frills' type of airline.

"Our guests choose the additional items they want. Those might be seat assignments or bags, that's what we call frill control," says Schroeter. "Our airfares plus frill control are on average 30 percent lower than other airlines' full price."

For travelers like Javinksy, she's heard mixed reviews about Spirit.

"They're kind of a no-frills, and I've also heard not a whole lot of good things," she said. "Service wasn't good, or people lost luggage, people got stranded in places."

The latest study from Airline Quality Rating gives Spirit one of its lowest rankings for things like mishandled baggage and consumer complaints.

While the fares are low, a look at the website shows what extras you can choose to pay for. There's a fee for carry-on bags, a fee for assigned seats can range from $1 to $50, there is even a fee for printing your ticket at the airport.

Spirit is counting on Richmonders to find their low fares appealing.

"So the experience isn't the greatest, but your paying x dollars, so you pay what you get," says Hodges.

The website Airline Quality Rating says Spirit has shown improvements. The first flight to Florida starts March 15.

Click here for more information about Spirit and to start booking flights.


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