This Time Spirit Airlines Is Taking On A Delta Hub

Last month Spirit Airlines announced a run at the American Airlines hub in Philadelphia, ramping up flights to a level similar to Frontier Airlines. That came after a big growth move for Spirit Airlines at American’s hub in Miami.

This time it’s Delta’s turn, though the initial incursion by the ultra low cost (and fare) carrier is more modest with just three routes. Spirit is launching service to Delta hub Salt Lake City starting May 26, 2022 with flights to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Orlando.

This serves leisure destinations from Utah for the first time, and brings customers in existing strong Spirit markets to Utah, largely for leisure activities.

  • Las Vegas double daily service
  • Los Angeles daily service
  • Orlando daily service

Spirit Airlines had improved their operation before the pandemic, they’ve improved their frequent flyer program, they’re finally adding internet to planes and their Big Front Seat remains one of the best deals in travel. In other words, their summer meltdown notwithstanding, they’ve actually become quite flyable and this expansion is a win for Salt Lake which tends to have high fares as a result of Delta’s dominance there.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Delta tends to have the highest fares in the USA. Hopefully this move by Spirit will put the screws to Delta in Salt Lake City.

  2. Delta and Spirit have coexisted for years with both doing well and Spirit remaining in a box the size of which Delta is happy to keep them. Detroit is the largest city where they compete against each other and it is pretty apparent that when Spirit starts growing in leisure markets, Delta sends in its 240 seat 757-300s. The combined share of low cost and ultra low cost carriers in Detroit is not much different than in other cities.
    Salt Lake City, like Denver, is growing rapidly so Spirit’s additional capacity is not much in the scope of things.
    SLC- LAX and LAS are very competitive markets and, as has been seen in other Delta east coast hubs, ultra low cost carriers tend to hurt other low cost carriers more than Delta.

  3. It’s probably good for lowering fares from SLC to those destinations, but otherwise DL has little to worry about. One flight a day to LAX/MCO and 2 to LAS is hardly going to shake things up. Southwest offers far more competition for DL from SLC than this move represents. So, it’s hardly “taking on a Delta hub”. More like a dirty look than an actual challenge.

    But, as I said, Spirit’s new service will lower fares somewhat and that will be a positive.

  4. Been a Delta loyalist for 17 years (gold or platinum medallion for 14 of those years). Trued out Spirit for the first time last week and to my surprise, it was actually a good experience. For flights that I can save over $200, even more if purchased at the airport, I’m sure flying Spirit again.

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