Tuesday, March 8, 2011 | 5:39 p.m.
Spirit Airlines is jumping into the Las Vegas-Los Angeles airfare price war with $1 tickets.
The Mirimar, Fla.-based carrier which currently offers one round trip a day each to Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Detroit; and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport from Las Vegas, announced today that it would fly the Los Angeles route with five round trips a day between McCarran International Airport and Los Angeles International beginning May 5.
The carrier initially announced $9 promotional fares on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in May and early June. The deal was flagged by travelzoo.com as one of its top travel values of the day.
But rivals Southwest Airlines, the dominant carrier on the route, New York-based JetBlue and Las Vegas-based Allegiant Air retaliated with their own low fares. JetBlue and Allegiant fly between McCarran and Long Beach, Calif.
Southwest began selling the Los Angeles route for $29 one way, making the final cost of a round-trip ticket $79.40.
Allegiant had a $10 fare on its website, making the final cost of a round-trip flight from Las Vegas to Long Beach $56.41.
American and US Airways matched the Los Angeles fare with $58 round trips, but United and Delta didn’t.
New York-based JetBlue matched Southwest’s fare on its Las Vegas-Long Beach flights.
Spirit then further undercut competitors with $1 fares that operated on days in addition to Tuesdays and Wednesdays. With taxes and fees, a round-trip fare to Los Angeles on Spirit went for $39.40.
Spirit and Allegiant are among the nation’s biggest generators of ancillary revenue and tickets on those carriers don’t include baggage fees. Spirit also charges fees for carry-on luggage, a policy under consideration at Allegiant.
JetBlue allows passengers to check one bag for free while Southwest lets two suitcases fly for no extra charge.
Spirit’s new flights between Las Vegas and Los Angeles will depart at 11:15 a.m. and 2:15, 6:50 and 10 p.m. A fifth flight will leave at 8:10 a.m. Saturdays and 7:50 a.m. all other days.
Return flights will leave Los Angeles at 9:55 a.m. and 1:50, 4:05 and 8:40 p.m. A fifth flight will leave at 6:30 a.m. Saturdays and 7 a.m. all other days.